Basic Witches: The Beautiful Book For Raising Hell

RATING: 🌙 🌙 🌙 / 5

Like I said last week, I’ve probably read half a dozen books on witchcraft over the last few months and and there are a few of them I would like to share. This week, I’m talking about Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman.

This book stood out, not only for the gorgeous cover and illustrations throughout it, but because it pretty much steers clear of the spiritual or religious elements of pagan witchcraft. While that might be a disappointment to some readers, this witchcraft how-to guide instead explicitly revels in female empowerment. Instead of delving into the mystic, it lingers in the pragmatic and emphasizes on self-care and positive relationships. 

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Basic Witches is a light and fun book full of humor, with chapter titles like “How to Clothe Yourself in Literal Darkness” and “A Ritual for a Relaxing Netflix Binge.” With that said, it can at times read feel a bit juvenile and definitely steers toward a younger crowd. While my 90’s mall-goth days might be just about over, there is something kind of fantastic about how this book leans into that spirit.

My favorite chapter in this is “Enchantment: The Power to Make Choices about Love and Sex.” While more than a few books I’ve read this summer have gone straight to how to concoct a love potion, the pragmatic sensibilities throughout Basic Witches take a less mystical route. Instead of fixating on what you’re not looking for in a partner, it asks that you get specific with what you are looking for, writing it down, and making a list, acknowledging still that no one is perfect.

While this is not a book I’d recommend to everyone, it’s great for someone who is specifically drawn to witchcraft as a form of self-care. It’s a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously and carries lot of positive messages worth sharing.

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