Light Magic for Dark Times review on BUST

I love Lisa Marie Basile‘s new book, Light Magic for Dark Times. “Basile’s magic feels like a dip into The Artist’s Way for witches,” which is no surprise since you may already know her creative writing, and Luna Luna Magazine, which she runs and founded. The spells she writes benefit from her poetry, and the journaling and other reflective exercises help the reader heal and learn about themselves before they even light a candle.

While the book is geared toward femme spirits, Basile’s language and focus is mindfully intersectional and gender-inclusive, embracing of fluid and non-binary identities, and all bodies and body types. The focus is always on self-love and self-care, particularly for marginalized people who may feel ground-down in the day to day of our, lately dark, times. There are spells for healing burnout after social justice protests, trauma, chronic illness, grief, and discrimination, and as always, the focus is on increasing love and kindness in all of its forms. In short, bringing the light in.

To learn more about what I love about the book, her work in shadow magic, and the ins and outs of ritual, check out my review for BUST.com. I’m looking forward to revisiting this book for years to come, and I hope all you artists, witches, and wonderful sprites answer if it calls to you.

lisa

Illustration of the author in Light Magic for Dark Times

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Book Review: Witches, Sluts, Feminists by Kristen SollĂ©e is a Must-Read

I was delighted to review a book I love, Witches, Sluts, Feminists by Kristen J. SollĂ©e, for BUST.com. Here’s an excerpt:

As a Romani woman from a long, matrilineal line of healers and magic workers, how could I fail to be intrigued by Kristen J. Sollée’s book, Witches, Sluts, Feminists. It’s a scintillating, wry, and accessibly academic overview of the witch archetype in relation to the European and American witch hunts, and to the festival of misogyny in current American politics. Sollée, a professor of Gender Studies at The New School, teaches a popular class on the same topic. In the book, Sollée explores the deadly interplay of women’s financial and social autonomy, and sometimes sexual liberation, during the inquisition and the days of colonial America. Today, though sex and power can still be damning for women, they can also be quite a combination for activism and protest art.

In my review, I discuss the ways in which my own experience with witchcraft relates to SollĂ©e’s work, and the ways in which she acknowledges that so much of modern Paganism is often unapologetically appropriative, and what can be done to initiate that healing. I should explain that my first line,”A Romani woman from a long, matrilineal line of healers and magic workers….” refers to the very ordinary magic of herbalism, energy work, and prayer that many Roma practice. My grandmother claims the title witch because it is understood by outsiders, and I do too. And while I am an English professor, writer, and editor, I also work the family trades, fortune telling and dancing, still practiced by some Roma. Like all Roma, I am not one thing. Romani people aren’t inherently magical, and most would be reluctant to claim the words “magic” and “witch” the way my family does, because these practices are not out of the ordinary. They are everyday healing, and I think that’s what SollĂ©e is saying in her book too. The witch/slut archetype are very human, and that humanity is extraordinary in its tradition, practicality, and power.

For the full review on http://www.bust.com, follow this link: http://bust.com/books/193139-witches-sluts-feminists-kristen-sollee-review.html

jesswitchesslutsfeminists

Loving the book in a lacy cami