I always try to read without expectations, but once you get accustomed to a certain author, get to know the quality of the material she shares, it gets harder each time. Despite I kept an open mind for Weave the Liminal: Living Modern Traditional Witchcraft, by Laura Tempest Zakroff, I certainly expected a good book, and so I received.
The self-described Modern Traditional witch has created a lot of expectation about the term. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one waiting for an explanation, long and detailed, on what it means to be such a thing, how the term came to be, its history and many more aspects surrounding it. A book was, for obvious reasons, the best way to get an answer, and the author knew it.
Laura Tempest Zakroff has a clear and direct style that has evolved book after book. Her descriptions in Weave the Liminal for each topic go straight to the point, and intertwines her explanations with personal stories, perceptions, experiences and examples with ease to illustrate the point in question.
The book contains a long history and summary of many cultural perceptions and ideas that have come to be related with witchcraft, the figure of the witch and how witchcraft is understood under the popular lens, and although 3/4 of the book are theory with hardly any practice, the reading never gets boring, maybe a bit dense at some points, but it keeps the reader’s attention from beginning to end.
This certainly could be a problem for more practical witches that would rather learn practicing than by reading. Although both parts are important in any learning process, this imbalance could bother in some cases. However, I strongly suggest anyone interested in Weave the Liminal to keep an open mind, as I said at the beginning, and take their time with it.
I’m saying this because this is not a book to be read in a single afternoon. Laura Tempest Zakroff has included so much information that I needed to stop at times to digest and analyze some passages, think a bit about it to absorb what she meant in the best way, and I would even say that re reading would be a good option on this case. This is not a complicated text, quite the contrary, but gets deep at some points and you will need a while to swallow it, and enjoy it anyway.
I am inclined to consider Weave the Liminal not as a manual or a workbook, but rather a long reflection on several aspects that surround the world of witchcraft nowadays, and so an important reading for anyone interested in the topic because of either faith or academic matters. It shines a light in many important aspects that practitioners should have in mind and will guide the academic in a path to understand how witchcraft has evolved through time.
Laura Tempest Zakroff is, without a doubt, a strong voice that keeps getting stronger every time she speaks. Her opinions and teachings are meant to create a reaction, to make us think and reflect on what we think we already understand. Weave the Liminal is a must have that will complement any tradition. By the way, it includes awesome art at the beginning of each chapter!
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (January 8, 2019)
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
About the Author
Laura Tempest Zakroff is a professional artist, author, dancer, designer, and Modern Traditional Witch. She holds a BFA from RISD (The Rhode Island School of Design) and her myth-inspired artwork has received awards and honors worldwide. Laura blogs for Patheos as “A Modern Traditional Witch,” for Witches & Pagans magazine as “Fine Art Witchery,” and contributes to The Witches’ Almanac. She is the author of the bestselling book Sigil Witchery: A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols, as well as The Witch’s Cauldron: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Ritual Vessels, and The Witch’s Altar (co-authored with Jason Mankey). Weave the Liminal: Living Modern Traditional Witchcraft is her fourth book.
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 who tries to educate whenever he can. He hopes to succeed in one of them sooner than later.