Book Review: An Enchanted Life

Enchanted LifeAn Enchanted Life by Patricia Telesco

I first discovered this treasure when I was researching books that went beyond Witchcraft 101. I desired something Intermediate or for the Adept and I found An Enchanted Life in a used bookstore. I gave it a chance and fell in love with this volume of magick. I should also mention that Telesco is my favorite non-fiction, Pagan author (I’m particularly fond of her Victorian Grimoire).

Telesco wrote An Enchanted Life as a book for people, just like me, who are looking for something beyond the 101. She not only explains this in the beginning of the book but also gives a call to action to the rest of the Pagan community that these books are needed and that we as a community are ready for advanced learning in order to grow and develop. I believe this as well.

Rules for Enchanted Living

Telesco explains Enchanted Living as progressing in spirituality without becoming stagnant, getting discourages, or containing yourself in a box of rigid thinking. She encourages an open mind and to avoid thinking that there is a pinnacle to your practice as an adept.

She gives 50 Practices of Enchanted Living that range from simple, Improvise and Practice, to ones some might find more difficult, Accept Your Weaknesses Gracefully. These practices are drawn from global belief systems and are not meant as hard and fast rules. There is not “Witchier than Thou” vibe to this book, only a hand pulling back the curtain on one possible path.

Evaluating Your Beliefs

This is my favorite part of An Enchanted Living. In fact, this section is why I recommend this book so strongly to every friend of mine, no matter their religion or beliefs. The questions Telesco encourages us to ask ourselves are profound. It is this section that helped me find my true path after years as an unhappy Wiccan (ironic since Telesco is a Wiccan). After this self-analysis, I figured out what I do believe, what I don’t believe, AND how to better explain those beliefs to others who question my path. I belief this is necessary for every person.

A Challenge for Spell Work

This book isn’t just a text on philosophy and witchy self-help. Telesco also adds information on how to advance your practical magick and spell work. She encourages witches to incorporate more thought into their spells and rituals by catering not just to the drama their eyes can see and their ears can here, but to use tools and aspects that appeal to all five senses!

Archetypes for the Adept

The final sections of the book are all about Archetypes. The ones Telesco shows here are the Visionary, Teacher, Healer, and Warrior. Telesco offers these archetypes as paths adepts can take or, a path with different methods of transport. An adept can take on an archetype that most resonates with them or try on different ones like masks for a play. All of these have their own lessons and medicine.

Why I Read An Enchanted Life Every Year

I re-read An Enchanted Life every year around New Years. Its part of my spiritual growth and a tradition I’ve created for myself (along with creating a vision board, plotting out my astrology forecast, which you can read about in my Manifest Your Magickal Year workbook).

I know some of my friends view this activity with some trepidation (specifically the ones who never re-read books). I should clarify that I don’t always read it cover to cover during these returns. I often flip to sections I find highly beneficial, especially the section on evaluating beliefs. Many probably think this type of deep analysis can be done once and done. I don’t argue because doing it at least once is better than not doing it at all.

Beliefs change over time. We have experiences and our path takes us in directions that change our perspectives on everything from who we are to our politics to our views of the Divine and spirituality. Because we are always growing and changing and evolving, returning to this evaluation can really help us see that change and see what it is we truly belief – rather than following the same old redes and creedos without our heart in it.

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