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DIY Witchcraft & Magical Living
Sensitively-written and nuanced, Light Magic for Dark Times (Fair Winds Press) by Lisa Marie Basile is a self-care manual for living through these “dark times” and finding one’s own light and haven of peace. As someone who has always been fascinated with magic, the occult and the supernatural, I found reading Lisa’s book illuminated how certain daily intentional acts can turn the mundane into magic, and make every day count in a meaningful way.
The book is filled with over 100 spells, rituals, and practices for dealing with a crisis, each of which is carefully organized, and makes the reading experience smooth and seamless. Lisa has arranged her list of spells by theme: love, grief and trauma, dealing with negativity, identity and body issues, shadow work, and so on. She has addressed almost all major types of magic that is practiced today, including sex spellcraft, kitchen witchery, mermaid magic, and so on. There’s even a beautiful section on writing magic and journaling, which I’m sure any author, artist, or poet-witch will find useful, particularly if you are going through a creative slump or you wish to craft your own spells and incantations. In fact, I really appreciate Lisa’s attempt to be diverse and inclusive in her work, as I’m sure anyone, whether they identify as a witch or not, will find something they need out of this book.
Another favourite thing about this book is the fact that it is so accessible. I suppose for any beginner or baby witch, delving into the world of crystals, moon phases, tarot cards, herbs, star charts, and color correspondences might appear daunting and needlessly complicated and it may even put you off. Ingredients required for a certain spell may not be available everywhere, and the spell itself may need to be adjusted and adapted to suit one’s culture or present needs. Fortunately, Lisa’s spells allow for a huge degree of customization and personalization. She breaks down the intricacies of modern day witchcraft into its absolute essentials, so if you’ve always been curious about the practice, this is the best way to be initiated into it. It’s great for budget conscious witches too, as you don’t need to spend a fortune on materials and instead can make do with what you have.
Light Magic for Dark Times also focuses on how the personal can be made political, and is filled with ideas in case you want to start a coven, a community or even a safe space for activists. Her self-love, confidence, and glamour spells are also gender neutral, which is another reason why I say this book is literally for everyone. Her writing is soft and full of tenderness, and the witchy illustrations that accompany it make the experience beautiful, immersive, and enticing. You can either read this book in one go, like I did, or use your intuition and turn to a page, and perform the spell it opens on.
I had the opportunity to read this book at a time when my life was undergoing tremendous change. For me, the past several months have been a complete rollercoaster, chaotic and emotional and filled with people leaving, entering or returning into my life. While I’m still trying to come to terms with these changes, trying to accept my body and myself as they are, and trying to work through my mental health issues, this book offered some clarity, assurance, and guidance. For that, I’ll always be grateful. Self-love and self-care isn’t easy, and instead it’s often messy, half-hearted, and even painful. Lisa’s book helped me acknowledge that and embrace the life I have been blessed with.
I would recommend this book to anyone who’s ever been curious about magic, or to anyone interested in developing new self-care habits or looking to live more intentionally and magically. If you’re someone who’s been practicing as a witch or a Wiccan for a very long time, this book might not offer or teach anything that you do not already know, but it will serve as a reminder that magic is there in all the small acts and in the little moments that we tend to take for granted.
You can buy Light Magic for Dark Times on Amazon here: