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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Journaling: I understand nothing and I still hate Guy Smiley

Before I write, I have to journal for a few pages. It’s just what I have to do so I don’t write total crazy-in-a-bad-way bollocks for my work-writing. Usually journaling, combined with yoga and much tea, clears my head enough so that I start to figure things out.

Today I wrote in my journal, “I can’t control anything in the universe except myself, and even that is debatable.” I laughed and then I stared at it for a while. Upon literally minutes of examination, the extent to which I control myself is a complete and utter mystery. But I think self-control or self-awareness is the heart of Svadhyaya, or self study, from the Yamas and Niyamas, the 10 ethical principles or guidelines of Yoga. Compassionate study and practice lead to knowledge… and maybe self-control.

Our roommate said something like, “My mother tells me that good manners are meant to make the other person feel as comfortable as possible.” I absolutely love this idea, and I think the yogic practice of self-study probably has that in mind too. If we can accept and understand ourselves lovingly, we can act with love and love unconditionally. Right? (Right?)

I’m still not sure what it means to control one’s self, but it’s worth investigating in writing, and in all the other things, really. I’m thinking that it might even be a fun writing prompt when I’m stuck with a character, like, “What aspect of himself or his behavior can’t he control? Why? Who/what else is controlling him?”  Or it could be real-talk like, “Why do I still find Guy Smiley from Sesame Street terrifying now that I’m a grown-up? Why can’t I control my reaction?”

Image

 

Image source: muppet.wikia.com

    I just hate his stupid face! He’s looking right at me. Put that away, Guy Smiley. You have no power here.