The Witching Year: A Memoir of Earnest Fumbling Through Modern Witchcraft

S. & S. Audio. Oct. 2023. 11:03 hrs. ISBN 9781797163413. $24.99. MEMOIR
Helmuth (How To Suffer Outside) chronicles a year spent researching, practicing, and philosophizing as she endeavors to become a Wiccan, despite her self-proclaimed skepticism. The author communicates her love and reverence for nature and her openness to magical thinking, ceremony, and poetic language. Self-effacing honesty, humor, and more than a little whimsy make this account approachable and enjoyable. While this book is more entertaining than instructive, it offers insight into influential Wiccan figures and schools of thought. Additionally, it features conversations with current and past practitioners whom Helmuth sought out in her quest to learn more about contemporary witchcraft. The author candidly describes the uncertainty and foibles that tempered her year of learning. With the onset of COVID, she contends with practicing Wicca in relative isolation, struggling to make decisions about this new faith and real-life issues. As the audiobook’s narrator, Helmuth offers a convivial tone, creating a friendly, conversational atmosphere. Excellent comedic timing and well-placed pauses and emphases invite listeners into her exploration and reflection.
VERDICT A sincere and unaffected memoir that should appeal to listeners interested in Wiccan beliefs and personal growth stories.
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