The first thing to do if we're going to talk about this book is to set clear expectations. To be blunt, this book is about witchcraft like 2006's "The Secret" is about casting spells. What it is, is a self-help book whose authors have chosen to use a veneer of Wiccan language as a theme to tie their life lessons together. This isn't entirely shocking. According to Mashable, the "basic bitch" lifestyle meme of a couple years ago has morphed into a "basic witch" meme in some pockets of the country. In that light, this book makes a lot more sense, as it is far more focused on feminism-light and edgy attitude.

Unfortunately, the most "witch-y" use for this kind of book is out of the question. It might occur to you, as it briefly did to me, that this book might make an interest introduction to Wicca for some young relative in your family who has asked any of the right questions. But no, the book doesn't just not do Wicca right, it does so many things wrong. The use of Tarot is particularly galling, as they slap a few major arcana together as elements of a "spell" (and my fingers are now sprained from how hard I made those air quotes) with only the briefest of mentions about the meanings of the cards. Best case scenario: the proto-practioner is so untrained in focusing their will that they get no result as all. The possibilities only get worse from there.

If a reader has no interest in witchcraft, and never will, then some of the book's positive affirmations and self-empowerment messages are probably beneficial. On the other hand, there are a hundred, if not a thousand, books with this same goal in mind that don't run roughshod over genuine spiritual beliefs in the process.


~review by Patricia Mullen

Authors: Jaya Saxena & Jess Zimmerman
2017 Quirk Books
208 pg, $15.99

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