Book Review: Pagan Portals: Moon Magic by Rachel Patterson
Pagan Portals is, as the name suggests, a series of books (by various authors) with the aim of introducing various aspects of Paganism. Moon Magic seems a staple in this diet, as there are few branches of Paganism that don’t require at least some familiarity with the cycles of the moon. My initial concern is that this book may have little to offer the experienced practitioner. Just looking at the contents page dispels these fears instantly. Not only does Rachel (also known as Tansy Firedragon) cover what I would think of as ‘The Basic’ such as the phases of the moon, Esbats and some of the more well-known moon rituals, she also brings a fascinating amount of detail including working with cords, charms and supernatural creatures.
So rubbing my hands together gleefully at the prospect of learning something new about my favourite satellite, I dive right in. Rachel writes in a very accessible style that is very inclusive to readers of all aptitudes. Facts are listed in well written, easy to consume bites, and each section that stems after is broken down in such a way it could almost be used as a reference book. Each moon phase has its own correspondences and magic, so it’s easy enough to flick through to find what you need at a specific time. I would find the information on oils and crystals particularly useful.
The meditations included are beautiful; someone really needs to make a podcast of these though so they can be downloaded and played at whim!
We move from the phases of the moon into the seasonal moon and examine different ways of using a moon calendar including relating it to the controversial Celtic Tree calendar. I’m glad she includes this though; it shows that moon magic and timings are not just for Wicca, but for any path.
I am particularly pleased with the Planting with the Moon chapter; this is such a simple aspect of bio-dynamic agriculture but so many people forget the impact the Moon has on plants and the soil. I’ve often used lunar agrarian principles for my own garden and others’, but this chapter teaches me things I never knew and will definitely implement myself.
This book is very short and as such you really have no excuse to not read it. If you have even the slightest interest in Paganism, Magic, natural living or astrology, this book will be relevant to you. The moon affects all of us, after all! Rachel brings a wealth of information together in such a way that you can go back to this book time and again, without it ever feeling old. The style is simple and full of common sense, yet magical and wondrous at the same time. Quite an achievement.