Book Review: The House Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

There’s a lot of information out there, with wonderful new books being published all the time. I wish I had the time to read more often, so things like this review would come out closer to when a new book is published, but I do try to read as much as I can to keep informed, stay inspired, and keep learning.

That said, I actually picked up The House Witch pretty close to when it came out in 2018, but it sat on my shelf for a while before I completed reading it. No fault of the book – just my busy schedule!

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I was drawn to this book immediately, as it is one of very few I have found that resonates closely with my own witchcraft. I have been drawn to goddesses of hearth and home since I was in college. (Go on, ask me how annoyed I get when people get talking about Greek gods and forget Hestia exists…I dare you.) In the home, so much of what we make is magic – the love we share with our family, the foods we create, the medicines we use to heal. If you don’t have a strong basis in the home, how are you then going to have strong footing when you leave? To me, that would feel like building without a foundation.

This book echoed with my feelings wonderfully.

So, on to some more specifics:

First, the physical book itself. Its a wonderful little hardcover, and if you’re someone like me for whom reading is also a tactile experience, it feels great in the hands. The cover nicely captures the feeling and themes of the book as a whole.

I did like the discussion of what is the spiritual heart of the home and advice on finding where yours is. While historically we would typically be talking about the kitchen, this book also talks nicely about finding and blessing whatever your spiritual hearth may be. Then, the combination of the magical imagery and how they correspond to the every day is nicely done.

I was happy to see a nice chapter on hearth dieties, including some I didn’t know and will read more about later. There were some wonderful points about some of the dieties I do know as well, thoughtfully included and with more depth than these gods and goddesses are usually given.

I have not tried the recipes included in here yet, but having read a lot of books that do include spells and recipes I actually want to try some of these.  Food, herbs, crafts, potpourri, spells and rituals, there are a lot of nice step by step, clear instructions for things you might want to try. Plus, these are in a good ratio to the rest of the book –  a couple mixed in where appropriate with information, then several themed chapters at the end, without overwhelming the content you can learn from this book.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to bring magic into their home, or connect the magical and the mundane better together. Though I still can’t quite bring myself to bless my fridge…

Book Review