Maia Toll’s Wild Wisdom series — The Illustrated Herbiary, The Illustrated Bestiary, and The Illustrated Crystallary — introduced readers to the mystical energy of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. In this capstone to the Wild Wisdom series, The Wild Wisdom Almanac guides readers in developing a personalized earth-based spiritual practice using specific rituals, writing prompts, recipes, symbols, and reflections tied to the seasons.
Organized into 12 chapters — Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumnal Equinox, plus early and late stages of each of the four seasons — the book features seasonal practices; exercises for the body and for writing and reflection; plant, animal, and mineral medicine; and symbolic explorations of the gifts and challenges that arise with seasonal change. Original illustrations by Kate O’Hara illuminate the symbolic richness of the text, and 28 pop-out oracle cards plus 4 bound-in pocket pages enhance the invitation for readers to use this interactive guide as an ongoing tool for cultivating the sacred in their own lives.
Maia Toll is the award winning author of Letting Magic In, The Night School, and the Wild Wisdom Series (including The Illustrated Herbiary). After pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and a master’s at New York University, Maia apprenticed with a traditional healer in Ireland where she spent extensive time studying the growing cycles of plants, the alchemy of medicine making, and the psycho-spiritual aspects of healing. Maia maps new pathways for seeing our lives, inspiring those who encounter her work to live with more purpose, more intention, more meaning, and, maybe, even more magic. She is the co-owner of the retail store Herbiary, with locations in Philadelphia, PA and Asheville, NC where she lives with her partner, three ridiculously spoiled dogs, and her gorgeous rescue horse. You can find her online at maiatoll.com and writing on her Unkempt Substack at maiatoll.substack.com.
This is a really beautiful book. It's best suited for those who are Wiccan or Pagan, and apparently comes with pop out oracle cards. The illustrations are just beautiful, giving it a really evocative feel. The text is very introspective and well written. It covers the 12 mini-seasons of the year (early fall, late winter, summer equinox, etc.) and talks about what to do and learn in each, regarding nature, the cycles of time, crystals, etc. While it does touch on some seasonal plants it is not an herbal book. Highly recommended for those who are looking to get in touch with the natural cycles of the year.
I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
OH I CANNOT WAIT TO BUY THIS BOOK AND GET THE ORCALE CARDS!
I used to get seriously depressed in winter,. I got Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Then I started to read books like this one. They totally changed my life!
My life has improved tremendously since I decided to go with the flow of nature instead of opposing it!
And this book will help me an others to continue that path. It's the kind of book you want to keep on your night stand so you can read it throughout the year and find inspiration in the quotes and go try the recipes and journaling prompts. The beautiful illustrations are so uplifting!
Not everyone would be interested in all the information offer (I don't really care about crystals and chakras) but there is something for everyone embarked in a self-improvement/spiritual journey
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Despite living in a geographic area that doesn't have seasons (hot, hotter, hottest, still hot), I was raised in a place that did and frequently travel back and forth, and often reminisce about fall and winter. I also enjoy books that are almanacs, devotionals, workbooks, etc.., basically adore any books that take their time.
Wild Wisdom Companion is one of those books. It's not a book that you sit down with for a couple of hours and digest all of it in one sitting (like I did with my ARC because sadly they have time limits). It's also not a book filled to the brim with words on every page. It's separated into 8 parts - times of the year such as early summer, late summer, early autumn, and so on. In each section, there are lovely images, quotes, inspiration from animals, symbols, crystals, recipes, signs, and meditation and journal exercises that correspond to each time of the year in which to reflect. I believe that when read in this way, this book will give the reader some knowledge not only about various topics (like the aforementioned crystals, symbols, etc) but knowledge about themselves from the practices suggested within Wild Wisdom Companion. Bonus, it comes with oracle cards!
I plan to purchase this book when it comes out and use it along with my journals, daily reads, and favorite almanacs as a tool to incorporate into my daily morning routine. The only negative, which many won't find as a negative because it's personal preference, were the chakra references/information for each section, as it's something I've read about but not really that interested in nor find much substance in as a topic. Though, I'm sure many will find it a plus or at least an interesting idea to read more about, 4/5 stars
I am a sucker for pretty books, and this one is definitely pretty. From the binding, to the formatting, to the gorgeous illustrations, it’s a feast for the eyes. It also comes with a set of beautiful oracle cards. I also like books that focus on nature and the seasons, which this one does, so another win.
So why “just” a three star rating? (Although three stars does mean I liked it.) Unfortunately, despite how aesthetically pleasing this book is, I found it a bit superficial. Lots of suggestions for meditations and journaling prompts, but not a lot of substance to back it up.
Nonetheless, it’s a keeper for my shelves and I don’t regret the purchase. I will probably turn to it for inspiration periodically as the seasons turn. I just wish it had a bit more depth to it.
This book. What an amazing reminder that we are a part of the natural world and its rhythms and not just observing it. Maia Toll really does a wonderful job of showing new ways to understand nature and the seasons.
I used to really dislike Winter, but since working with Maia and her books, it's become one of my favorite times of year. How about that?!
I am kind of in love with this book. Oh my goodness. I'm already familiar with Maia Toll's work, as an owner of her Illustrated Herbiary (book + cards) and her Illustrated Crystallary (why haven't I gotten her Illustrated Bestiary yet?! Um, just ordered it!). Anyway, I'm not at all surprised by the phenomenal beauty of this book, yet somehow it still blew me away! The complete design -- from the illustrations to the page layouts, down to the representations of the season on the top of each page -- was extremely well thought out and executed beautifully!
Oh, right, and the content? Holy crap. This was exactly what I needed right now, especially beginning with the Early Autumn season in which I read this book. The breakdown by season and the assortment of practices and symbols for each one is a really nice approach. The general practices outlined in the beginning of the book are all ideas that resonated with me. I can't remember the last time I read a book that got me so eager to *take action* that I was itching to actually get out a journal and a pen and start immediately! The content for Early Autumn was so poignant and relevant to where I am in life right now that I actually started crying as I was reading through one of the practices. This book is an incredible companion (what the PERFECT word to use for its title), and I can't WAIT to get my physical copy so that I can keep it with me all the time and use the cards and connect even more to my own inner wild wisdom.
Everything about this beautiful witchy reference book is amazing. The illustrations, easy to understand writing, beautiful layout...I could go on and on because this really is just a wonderful book about how to connect with nature-based spirituality a huge must do for so many of us in todays world climate.
So I wrote a review but apparently I didn’t hit the post button 😩😵💫 I’ve been waiting for this book since Maia first mentioned it pre Herbiary book.It’s everything I hoped it would be and more❤️ I have the Barnes and Nobel issue which has the Wheel of Life! It’s a book that I will use year after year!! Absolutely recommend this for your magical library
This its another gorgeously-illustrated release from author Maia Toll and illustrator Kate O’Hara, which takes the reader around a full turn of the year with seasonal practices and wild wisdom offered to encourage and inspire.
Starting in late autumn and following the year-wheel around, Toll guides the reader through the seasons, equinoxes, solstices, and fire festivals with journal prompts, questions for reflections, and suggested practices designed to honour the turning of the year and encourage self-awareness and personal growth. The book itself it split into twelve chapters, each with its own elements, symbols, animals, crystals, and plants. There are also energy centres, which are basically the chakras, recipes, and relevant quotes.
This book is packed full of information and would be great starting place for anyone wanting to work more consciously with the seasons, and it is suitable for both North and South Hemispheres. I like how the seasonal symbols are given with both gifts and challenges, so that they are offered with perspective and balance. I’m not sure I understand why Toll chose to include the Witch as a season symbol of late summer, however, but I appreciated the inclusion of making and working with flower essences. The additional cards at the back are great for working spreads and going further with meditations or journal prompts, and many of the questions sprinkled throughout the book are meant for deep personal inquiry, which is a nice touch.
Speaking as a Witch myself, there were only a few things that stopped me short of fully enjoying this book. One was in the Late Autumn chapter, where Toll advises honouring and connecting with “those you had a troubled relationship with who have passed on”. I appreciate the attempt at some ancestral healing here, but working with toxic and troubled ancestors is not easy work nor advisable for beginners, so I would be highly cautious with this suggested practice. Another thing was the glossing over of chakras as “energy centres” and the repeated use of “animal medicine”, a concept that comes from indigenous cultures and peoples; Toll doesn’t appear to acknowledge these roots, despite pulling freely from other religions and cultures (e.g. Taoism, Celtic spirituality, etc).
Overall, this a good introduction for beginners to seasonal rhythms and the year-wheel, with some good practices and excellent prompts for self-reflection. It’s also gorgeous — Kate O’Hara has outdone herself with this one.
I received an e-ARC from the publisher, Storey Publishing, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Beautifully written, you can tell a lot of thought went into the presentation of the book and it's information within. There is stunning imagery and illustrations throughout and this really enhanced the feel of the book for me. This book takes us on a journey through the wheel of the year. It is inclusive to readers in both the northern and southern hemisphere, and there are tidbits and reminders throughout the book about how someone in the opposing hemisphere/season could make it work. Another excellent point is that the author asks that you don't read the book from start to finish, but that you use the book as a companion throughout the wheel of the year, starting at what point you are in.
At the time of reading, we in the northern hemisphere were approaching the summer solstice, so I began by reading through the Late Spring chapters, and made my way through the book from that point. I found this such a unique way of reading a book and I very much enjoyed it. The book includes information on each season (split up into early and late) it's associated elements, symbols, animals, crystals, and energy centres (known as Chakras to some). There are also corresponding seasonal practices throughout the book that provide you with small activities that will enhance your practice. I found these really useful and easy to take part in, as they encourage without pressure, so you don't need to worry if they don't work for you.
The almanac isn't just useful for one year, it has can be used year upon year and I absolutely love that as it will be so useful to help me get into the seasonal mood and plan out my practice for the coming season. I can't wait for it to be published so I can buy a hard copy for my altar. Thank-you to the author Maia Toll, publisher Storey Publishing, and Netgalley for the ARC, I really enjoyed it!
Maia Toll has once again hit it out of the ballpark with this capstone to the Wild Wisdom series, "Maia Toll's Wild Wisdom Companion, A Guided Journey to Connect with the Mystical Rhythms of the Natural World, Season by Season". Her newest offering is sure to be finding a home on my bookshelf this fall. I found each chapter to include information from all her previous works combined into one beautiful reference book. These include elements, herbs, crystals, plants and symbols. It could not have been written any more user friendly!
I am looking forward to diving head first into the current season of late Spring by working on some of the suggested activities that help us flow from air into fire. I found it serendipitous that several of the mystical energies discussed in this season have been actively appearing in my life recently such as agate (I'm currently working on a necklace with a chunky agate focal), woodpecker (at my feeders daily since putting jelly out) and mandala's (creating a crystal grid). Talk about divine timing!
Scattered throughout this book, the reader will find the magnificent illustrations by Kate O’Hara that take the eyes on a visual journey. Could there be a more perfect partnership of Maia and Kate for the Wild Wisdom Series? I think not.
Although I was given an advanced copy for review, I will be looking forward to purchasing Maia Toll's Wild Wisdom Companion in October as a hard copy complete with the included oracle cards. Many thanks to Netgalley and Storey Publishing for this ARC. All opinions provided are authentically my own.
Maia Toll’s Wild Wisdom Companion is the most recent addition to the Wild Wisdom series. Drawing from a personal journey into animism and Gaia theory, Toll’s Companion is the perfect guidebook to reconnecting to nature-based spirituality, without being inherently “witchy” like so many spiritual books can be. This book is full of seasonal symbolism, reflections and journaling prompts for anyone to reconnect with the natural world outside the bustling, technological society we have become. Full of breathtaking illustrations to match, this book is magnificent.
I absolutely devoured this book in a few short hours. Her earlier books in the series - The Illustrated Herbiary, The Illustrated Bestiary and The Illustrated Cystallary – have become daily additions to my personal spiritual journey/reconnecting with the world around me and are go-to gifts for all the spiritually inclined friends around me. I have no doubt this book will join the others upon its physical release this Fall. I’m almost itching to get my hands on the card deck!
Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for allowing me to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
"Wild Wisdom Companion" is a beautifully illustrated guide for the magical year. The book is divided into 12 sections focusing on the yearly cycle of natural change. Every chapter brings us closer to the energies of each season. Including information about elements, energy centers, plant wisdom, animal medicine, crystal medicine, and seasonal symbols.
This is a lovely guide for the upcoming oracle deck.
Who is this book for:
✦ Someone who would like to live their lives in tune with the natural cycles. ✦ A person that is looking for guidance from nature. ✦ A practitioner who uses oracle cards for self-empowerment and improvement.
What could be improved:
Nothing! The book is really beautifully designed and contains a short and informative description of each element presented in it. Definitely looking for the publication and working with this oracle deck!
* Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If I could describe my ideal book, this would be it! Wild Wisdom Companion is very much written to be worked through season by season, helping you to connect inwards to your own cycles, as well as outwards, realising our synchronicities with the world around us. I especially loved the pages after each soltice/equinox page, which contained a mini folder to store the written activity corresponding with the previous page - such a beautiful touch! It also comes with a beautiful set of oracle cards, if you wanted to gain deeper insight as to what season you were going through on an individual level, and a practice to correspond with it. However, I will be going back through this over the next year, and incorporating the practices and wisdom to my own life and to help me attune even better to the natural world around me.
I love it when a book that has been written for adults holds my attention like those non-fiction books written for children. I'm drawn to the beauty of books and the wonders opened up through the power of illustrations and this book delivers on this front. It was the images that I was first drawn to but the writing is clear and enjoyable and makes you want to continue reading. Maia writes in a way that invites you into a magical world, a world that you too can enjoy.
This book is absolutely gorgeous. Just skipping through it makes my heart smile. I love that the book encourages you to find your own "thing" to nurture what is right for you, and doesn't tell you "you have to do this" or "that way, and only that way is how it's supposed to be". The only thing I found a little bit weird was that the book starts with late autumn and ends with early autumn. I mean, I understand the wheel of the year and all, but splitting autumn was a little bit, well, different I guess.
I adore this book. It is so well written, defined, and laid out. The author lays out a foundation in the beginning and then you can jump to the seasons as needed. Each season is filled with so much great content, some of which will be new to most everyone. This allows you to embrace some new practices and infuse them into your own wheel of the year. Did I mention that I adore this book?
I obtained this book to help me become closer to the natural world and its seasonal rhythms. It is making me aware of the gifts that the changing seasons offer to us to slow down in Autumn and Winter and reflect on life. The rituals offered for each season makes one aware of nature's way of rest and renewal--rebirth and transformation.
This is not a book to read page by page, cover to cover at once. It’s meant to be dipped into depending on the time of year and is full of simple, lovely seasonal activities and symbols that warm the soul. I just love it.
The art work in this book is outstanding. You will Love it. I also like the timing of the seasons and the traditions of the earth year. I recommend Maia Toll series of short but Beautiful books. Enjoy.
An amazing book that I will keep reading and working on probably for a long long time. The illustrations are gorgeous and the way it gently guides you to get in touch with yourself and the seasons is stunning. Thank you Maia Toll for this treasure!
I'm not rating or reviewing at this time because there are exercises to try (journaling, ritual, meditation, even some cooking), and I want to try them before evaluating the book's merit. However, I will say that I enjoyed the writing and seasonal insights a lot, which is significant, because I'm typically leery of anything "woo." Also - last but certainly not least - the artwork by Kate O'Hara is stunning.
I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. This book was organized so well and the pictures were so wonderful. It allowed me to get in touch with nature in all of the seasons. It was inspirational and helped point me in the right direction with crystals, seasonal plants, nature, and cycles of the year. It helps me have things to write in my journal for the way I feel as the seasons change. This is my first book in this series and I am going to look into the books in the series. The book says it came with cards, but I received a digital version so no cards, but I have seen pictures and they are lovely.
The artwork is exquisite, the material is easy to grasp, and the author clearly knows her stuff.
I became obsessed with her Herbiary and now this might be my new favourite witchy reference book. I like it so much, I'm going to actually go buy a copy when it's out, rather than just using the NetGalley one!