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Whispers From The Woods

Whispers From The Woods: The lore and magic of trees
by Sandra Kynes; Llewellyn Worldwide

This book is subtitled “The lore and magic of trees.” When I opened the package it came in and saw that I became very excited. I have always felt that trees had a great deal to teach me and looked forward to learning what I could about their magic. You might call me a natural born tree-hugger. Even before I knew about the Pagan Path, I would commune with the trees in the woods behind my childhood house. I was thrilled to be able to read a book with trees as the focus.

Unfortunately for me, the book written by Ms. Kynes seemed to be dedicated to the usage, understanding and creation of Ogham. Ogham is a style of rune system based on lines and crosshatches that symbolize a limited number of letters. According to the author, Ogham’s history, origins and even pronunciation is in dispute. I’ll have to admit that the author was very thorough in including as much material on the many different Ogham as she could, but much of what she presented was very dry. The book consists listing of fact after fact with little to break up the endless listings.

If you are interested in either learning to use Ogham or want a book dedicated to properties and correspondences of many popular varieties of trees, this book is an excellent resource. Part Two of the book has entries in alphabetical order of 50 common trees. Each entry consists of a few paragraphs about the tree’s history, uses and mythology. The entries also include Latin names, seasonal details, various attributes and correspondences as well as what ritual uses the wood is most often associated with.

There is also an appendix entitled “Tools” that I found very insightful. I would have liked to see this section enlarged and moved to the front of the book. The directions for making the various tools (in addition to creating your own personal Ogham) deserve more than the short section in the back.

Someone who is already actively practicing can best use this book. The listings can be useful for someone who is interested in making sure they have the perfect tools for their workings. However, for this old kitchen witch, I found little of interest to me or applicable to my needs.

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