Book Review: The Hearth Witch’s Compendium by Anna Franklin

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I’m often asked what my favorite witchy books are, which is why I put together The Ultimate List of Witchy Resources a while back. This post is incredibly popular and I understand why, as I’m always looking for new books to read too! That’s why I thought I would expand on this theme and give you a little bit more in-depth information about some of my favorite resources in particular.

One of my favorite witchy books is The Hearth Witch’s Compendium: Magical and Natural Living for Every Day by Anna Franklin. This book has only been out for a couple of years but it has already risen in esteem to be a favorite of many hearth, cottage, green and hedge witches. Not only is this book well-organized and packed with useful recipes and information, but it also contains a lot of fun ideas for expanding your herbal practice.

The Hearth Witch's Compendium by Anna Franklin - Review by The Witch of Lupine Hollow

The book contains sections on cooking for the sabbats, making your own wine, cider and beer, preserving, making your own household, personal and cosmetic products as well as natural dyes, what to grow in your garden, healing herbs and remedies, essential oils, incense, magical herbalism and correspondences. It is the single most comprehensive herbal reference in my collection! Often times, when an author tries to pack a book so full of material, the book can feel like an overview for beginners. The Hearth Witch’s Compendium really succeeds in this way though, as the book is not only very detailed but also presents information in ways that can be useful to witches of all levels. This book will be useful, regardless of how long you have been practicing!

Most of the sections begin with basic instructions, such as how to use yeast to make your own alcohol, followed by a wide variety of recipes to which you can apply your new skills. There are literally hundreds of recipes in this book for cooking, making products and brewing remedies. The pages and pages of information and recipes are broken up with helpful tables of healing and magickal correspondences, potential combinations of herbs, simmering and brewing times for different types of fruit, essential oil blends and more. Whatever your learning style, this book is suited to help you make the most of your herbal education.

The Hearth Witch’s Compendium is also wonderfully interactive. There are blank, lined areas in every section so that you can record notes and ideas about the recipes found there. There is also room at the back of the book to record your own recipes once you have had a chance to experiment with those in the book!

I think one of my favorite things about this book is that it would be useful even if you were completely uninterested in practicing magick. Franklin does not shy away from topics of magick, witchcraft and paganism, but the large majority of the book focuses on natural living and making your own products, irregardless of your spiritual path.

Where she does choose to incorporate elements of magick, the transition feels seamless and smooth. The magickal correspondences at the back of the book are spot on and yet a refreshing difference from the standard correspondence books. Herbal correspondences are delivered very simply and to the point and associated with everything from the planets to important life events. The same is true of the sabbats section, which contains a page or two of fascinating research about each holiday, followed by a dozen or more recipes related to the sabbat.

As a cottage witch, this lovely book is an essential part of my witchcraft library and I refer to it all the time for both cooking and magickal assistance. Any cottage, hearth, green or hedge witch would be proud to have this book on their shelf – or anyone else interested in simple, natural living! Click here to pick up a copy of The Hearth Witch’s Compendium for yourself.

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