Seasonal Dance – Broch and MacLer – July BBBR

Seasonal Dance: How to Celebrate the Pagan Year
Janice Broch and Veronica MacLer
Weiser, 1993
172 pages

I’m admittedly kind of jaded about books on celebrating sabbats and esbats. How many times do we need to know that we can associate bread with Lammas, have pumpkin soup at Samhain, and rut like bunnies at Beltane? Still, I was pleasantly surprised to find a good deal of practical information in this book that’s a decade and a half old now.

The first chapter, “Creating Ritual”, is exceptionally important all on its own. The authors give a detailed process for structuring and writing a good ritual. While it doesn’t have every single answer you may need, it’s a wonderful resource if you’re just learning how to write a ritual, especially one with other people involved. The appendices are also quite useful, especially the ones on song and dance and games (though the appendices of correspondences aren’t too much different from what you’d find elsewhere).

The chapters on individual sabbats do have precrafted rituals, though the authors do advise that if you use one of them (or any other publicly available, widespread ritual), someone else may recognize them–which may or may not be embarrassing. While they offer sample rituals, they do encourage the reader to write their own. They’re fairly generic Wicca-flavored neopaganism, but they are nice and the background information in the first chapter gives added depth to understanding the components of the rituals–much better than just giving people a book of spells and rites and telling them to go to it.

This would be a lovely book to give to a beginner, especially someone who may be in an informal group with other relative newbies. While it certainly shouldn’t be the only resource made available, it is a wonderful addition to a 101 bookshelf.

Five pawprints out of five.

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