I have a strange, bittersweet relationship with this book. It was clear since the beginning that “The Hedge Druid’s Craft: An Introduction to Walking Between the Worlds of Wicca, Witchcraft and Druidry,” by Joanna van der Hoeven would honor its title, I expected it to be a little more interesting.
Van der Hoeven has a style that is fluent, easy to read and follow, and I have found a linking for it. Readers can expect this to be a quick book, and it is not as long as one may expect. Again, it honors the title and gives glimpses of where to found more information for readers interested in doing so.
The Hedge Druid’s Craft explains the basic concepts and draws useful lines that make it clear where a concept end and where the next one begins, shining a light that some other books may not include. It also serves as a refreshment, a reminder of those initial concepts for those more versed on said matters such as Wicca, Witchcraft and Druidry.
To include original illustrations was a good option and a useful way to show some postures or ideas the author explained. There were not as many as I thought it would and I’m far from being a fan of the style, which intends to emulate ancient paintings, but the effect is pretty much the same and that’s what counts in the end.
However, I find The Hedge Druid’s Craft to be just the surface of the surface of the topics it speaks about. I was left with more questions than anything else, and despite that could be the desired effect, I certainly expected the book to answer them, for I do not understand it when an introduction doesn’t give a little more of information in order to make the reader fall in love with the topic.
Another issue I had with this book was that the practices were all promised for a later chapter, one after the other. It wasn’t only that only a couple of them were included right away, but also that said spells and rituals were near to the end of The Hedge Druid’s Craft; I find it risky to do such things for a newcomer may quickly forget what the spell was intended for. It always bothers me when the authors divide the information this way, I don’t see a reason to do so.
This becomes more problematic when Joanna van der Hoeven includes many of her own experiences, not so much as other authors, truth be told, but that may lost the reader now and then. There are certain anecdotes and examples I found worthwhile as they simplified some of the explanations and effects the author spoke about, but I felt most of them were there just to fill the pages.
Even with all of this, and consider that this a short, small introduction, I may have recommend it for those who are just starting with the basic concepts and ideas of Witchcraft, maybe not as much as Wicca, since there is not enough content on the religion, but for readers more interested on Druidry. Joanna van der Hoeven gives a helpful hand in her book The Hedge Druid’s Craft for that public, yet I doubt how useful it could be for the rest.
Since I’m still in love with this woman’s style and writing, I will wait for another one, preferably something not as introductory as this book. She makes it so easy to understand the ancient wisdom of the Druids, their craft and world one cannot deny she has a magic of her own when she writes.
The Hedge Druid’s Craft: An Introduction to Walking Between the Worlds of Wicca, Witchcraft and Druidry
Print Length: 144 pages
Publisher: Moon Books (June 29, 2018)
Publication Date: June 29, 2018
About the Author
Joanna van der Hoeven is a Druid, Witch, best-selling author and teacher. She is the co-founder of Druid College UK. Joanna moved to the UK in 1998, where she now lives with her husband in a small village in Suffolk near the coast of the North Sea.
About the Reviewer
Bader Saab is a digital journalist and self-published writer; a solitary, eclectic Wiccan interested in the darker side of magic and divination; a gothic guy that tries to educate whenever he cans. Hopefully, someday he will succeed in one of them.