Based on the premise that activism is magic in action, Revolutionary Witchcraft is about using magic in politics to enact direct, real, political change in the world. While there are few rituals and spells, the ones presented are useful and I appreciated how Lyons offers a way to make them local by incorporating native plants and materials.
I felt a resonance with Starhawk's Dreaming the Dark and Truth or Dare while reading this book, although Starhawk's work is far more in-depth about the psychology and sociology of group work. If for no other reason that Lyons makes a clear linkage between the basics of organizing an action and the unchanging constant that IT'S ALL POWER. (And the people hurting us know it and work their magic on us constantly.) And unlike Starhawk, newcomers will find Lyons' work more accessible and direct.
Although presumably written for a novice witch, I found the section on "Magic in Action: Shape-shifting and Soul Flight" deeply problematic. There is never a good reason to introduce newcomers to OBE (out of boy experiences) without a lot of preparation. Its mentioned without the safety protocols of grounding and centering, and even before basic meditation instructions. That lack of preparation is deeply concerning and undercuts much of the value Revolutionary Witchcraft might otherwise hold. I also found it weird that Deity is pretty much dismissed, or an afterthought. That might not be an issue for other readers, but I didn't like it at all.
In the end this is a pretty good book, but not for everyone.
~review by Lisa McSherry
Author: Sarah Lyons
Running Press, 2019
pp. 158, $16.99