If Megalithica Press excels at one thing, it is the company’s ability to anthologize compelling topics. No other publisher organizes cutting edge magical thought so well; arguably no other occult publisher has such an edge. This does not negate the wide range of fascinating books by individual authors offered by this press; somehow the intellectual fire lights up the hottest when an editor corrals a group of their best writer-magicians in between the pages of a single book.
Women’s Voices in Magic is an outstanding example of this gift, and like its siblings birthed by the authors and editors working for Immanion/Megalithica, it offers a broad range of perspectives, experience and outright challenges to commonly held magical beliefs. Yes, these female authors mention the “boy’s club” mentality that lingers, and the “f” word – feminism –appears alongside words like fucking, fertility and freedom. The essays venture far beyond the familiar fare of Goddess worship, feminist empowerment and activism first associated with women in the occult.
The women who contribute to this book write about their experiences as well as their ideals. These are different from the movers and shakers of Women’s Liberation; these are the women freed by it.
This book may also break some ground: Lesa Whyte writes what could be the first record anywhere about practicing magic while pregnant. The essays on Satanism from a feminist perspective cause discomfort and challenge assumptions about how women come to the Left Hand Path and what they do when they’re on it. Jaymi Elford tells the relatable tale of life, magic and seeking treatment for magical injury. Women’s Voices allows readers to peer into many windows: what’s like to be magical and queer, what it’s like to be magical and transgender, what it’s like to be magical and consciously promiscuous.
There are women in magic who still remember the early feminism that influenced our movement into a magical life – in fact, one essayist was 70 at the time she wrote for this anthology. The very nature of that feminism has changed, and Women’s Voices in Magic illustrates that change better than any feminist discussion or movement matriarch can.
~review by Diana Rajchel
Editor: Brandy Williams
Megalithica Books, 2009
199 pages, $20.99