Witches’ Datebook / Witches’ Calendar 2016

By Kate Large

Witches’ Datebook 2016 | Llewellyn Publications | ISBN: 978-0738734002

Witches’ Calendar 2016 | Llewellyn Publications | ISBN: 978-0738734026

Every year, Llewellyn produces a wealth of goodies to see witches through the year, and the Witches’ Datebook is always popular. This is an American-produced datebook, so it’s crucial to remember that all times given for astrological phenomena are in Eastern Time – you’ll need to adjust for Greenwich Mean Time in the UK.

The datebook is a week to view is and black and white throughout, featuring the popular woodcut-style illustrations of  Kathleen Edwards, with additional art from Jennifer Hewitson. Preceding the diary is a section of short pieces by various authors, which can cover some quite unusual topics: ‘smartphone sorcery’ being no exception in this edition!

Featured authors include Jane Meredith, Michael Furie, Deborah Blake, Melanie Marquis and Sybil Fogg  to name a few. The datebook’s spiral-bound format is essential for any working book: it lies flat, leaving your hands free, and allows you to easily remove old pages you might want to file away. Plenty of datebook fans cut out the art as they go along, pasting them into their own books.

On each double-page you’ll find a piece of art, a seasonal recipe, spells, incantations, and full moon or Sabbat information. There are a few pages left blank for your own notes, and at the rear of the datebook are lasted colour correspondences, daily magical influences, lunar phases, eclipse, planetary retrogrades and full moon dates – again, remember to convert the times! There is also a full table of moon-void-of-course data for the year and a handy 2017 calendar.

Much of the art you’ll find in black and white in this datebook is reproduced in colour in the Llewellyn 2016 calendar. Opening this as a Yule gift would definitely lighten up a dark day -the 12″x12″ size lets the images really open up. The image of La Santa Muerte in particular captured my imagination; easily good enough to frame. Each month and image is accompanied by text by writers including Ellen Dugan, Tess Whitehurst, Autumn Damiana and James Kambos to name a few.

This calendar really is a thing of beauty. Regardless of your path, you’ll find something to admire on almost every page. The images lose nothing in resolution as they increase in size: lines are clean and crisp and the colour palette excellent: tones are vibrant but natural. For image quality alone, I’d say this is one of the best calendars of the year.

A calendar is much more than just a list of dates around which we can organise ourselves – it is something we live with day in, day out, and the best ones should inspire and lift the heart as well. I can easily imagine this calendar adding its own colour and vibrancy to any household.