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Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven

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Capitalizing on the rising trend of hipster witchcraft, BASIC WITCHES is a lighthearted and empowering book of spells and lifestyle tips for feisty millennial women. In Basic Witches, readers will discover how to tap into their inner sorceress and channel the dark arts for everything from cluttered apartments to dating disasters. Want to enhance your attractiveness? Pick th Capitalizing on the rising trend of hipster witchcraft, BASIC WITCHES is a lighthearted and empowering book of spells and lifestyle tips for feisty millennial women. In Basic Witches, readers will discover how to tap into their inner sorceress and channel the dark arts for everything from cluttered apartments to dating disasters. Want to enhance your attractiveness? Pick the right power color of eyeshadow and project otherworldly glamour. Need to exorcise a toxic friendship? Say the right symbolic curse and banish it from your life. Need to boost your self-confidence? Whip up a tasty herbal “potion” to strengthen your inner resolve. Plus historical and pop culture sidebars that situate the new witchcraft trend within a broader context. With humor, heart, and a hip modern sensibility, journalists Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman dispense witchy wisdom for the curious, the cynical, and anyone who could use a magical boost to get through the day. This ain’t your grandma’s grimoire!


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Capitalizing on the rising trend of hipster witchcraft, BASIC WITCHES is a lighthearted and empowering book of spells and lifestyle tips for feisty millennial women. In Basic Witches, readers will discover how to tap into their inner sorceress and channel the dark arts for everything from cluttered apartments to dating disasters. Want to enhance your attractiveness? Pick th Capitalizing on the rising trend of hipster witchcraft, BASIC WITCHES is a lighthearted and empowering book of spells and lifestyle tips for feisty millennial women. In Basic Witches, readers will discover how to tap into their inner sorceress and channel the dark arts for everything from cluttered apartments to dating disasters. Want to enhance your attractiveness? Pick the right power color of eyeshadow and project otherworldly glamour. Need to exorcise a toxic friendship? Say the right symbolic curse and banish it from your life. Need to boost your self-confidence? Whip up a tasty herbal “potion” to strengthen your inner resolve. Plus historical and pop culture sidebars that situate the new witchcraft trend within a broader context. With humor, heart, and a hip modern sensibility, journalists Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman dispense witchy wisdom for the curious, the cynical, and anyone who could use a magical boost to get through the day. This ain’t your grandma’s grimoire!

30 review for Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    You know, I originally had a very long, angry review posted for this book, however I deleted it. I tossed and turned at night because of this book. I woke up in a cold sweat, my nightmares filled with images of Killstar-esque Tumblr witches sporting Ray Bans and purple lipstick and shirts that say "Fuck the patriarchy" I took some chill pills, waited a few weeks, and have since decided to re-write my review. I don't like this book. Why? 1. It's deceptive. If your book is called Basic Witches: How You know, I originally had a very long, angry review posted for this book, however I deleted it. I tossed and turned at night because of this book. I woke up in a cold sweat, my nightmares filled with images of Killstar-esque Tumblr witches sporting Ray Bans and purple lipstick and shirts that say "Fuck the patriarchy" I took some chill pills, waited a few weeks, and have since decided to re-write my review. I don't like this book. Why? 1. It's deceptive. If your book is called Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven then yes, I'm more than likely going to assume that your book's main focus is on witchcraft. It is not. This is a self-help book conjured up from the deepest depths of Tumblr hell that uses witchcraft as its main marketing point. As both a Millennial and a witch myself, I have a deep, long-standing problem with spiritual books with deceptive claims and covers. 2. Simply Ineffective Magic. There's two types of magic: magic that works and magic that doesn't- and this is the latter. The "spells" (if you can call them that) are what I like to call Dandelion Magic. Dandelions have an extremely long taproot that has the amazing ability to regenerate. If the smallest piece of this root is left behind, an entire new dandelion will sprout back, therefore the entire root must be removed. Issues such as self-esteem, self confidence, and body image are deep-seated issues that require an aggressive approach to heal. If you started hating your body at age 7 then its going to take a hell of a lot more than a simple 6-word spell to fully heal. A combination of therapy, magic, journalism, mindfulness, and ritual will more than likely be your best bet. 3. Edgy. The entire tone of this book smacks of edge. To the author, witchcraft isn't about power or manifesting one's will on Earth or forming relationships with spirits or any of that complicated sh*t. Its about being sticking it to the MAN. Its about, like, not giving into to mainstream media and culture. You don't actually have to learn or practice anything or read books about witchcraft and the occult. All you have to have is a middle finger and no fucks to give and you too can be a witch. 4. Lazy. If you're going to using the tarot in a spell, *maybe* you should at *least* have a basic understanding of the tarot as a system? Or maybe go into descriptive detail about what each card means as opposed to a few hastily scribbled words? If you're going to include information on reading tea leaves, maybe you should devote more than a paragraph to explaining it? Seriously, the information on reading tea leaves was literally a paragraph long, but explaining it would have meant less room for the pretty pictures, so its fine. 5. Trendy. I am so adverse to spirituality becoming yet another Instagram and Tumblr trend, for several reasons. The first is because it causes that person harm. The dummy who reads a Tumblr post on Lilith and tries to summon her a s some sort of eDDDDGY feminist goddess is putting herself in danger by approaching a powerful spirit in a completely rude and disrespectful manner. I dislike this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lizy

    I was really excited about this ARC until pages 49-52, where the authors deadass suggest that if you're not a man (or just not feminine at all) but want to be witchy you should dress in your power colors (verbatim. Power colors), find a nicely scented cologne to wear, and do an anti-femininity spell where you literally keep a tube of lipstick under your pillow for 3 days. I'm sorry. I can't. That's bullshit if I ever heard it and I couldn't keep reading after that. It's like they didn't even try t I was really excited about this ARC until pages 49-52, where the authors deadass suggest that if you're not a man (or just not feminine at all) but want to be witchy you should dress in your power colors (verbatim. Power colors), find a nicely scented cologne to wear, and do an anti-femininity spell where you literally keep a tube of lipstick under your pillow for 3 days. I'm sorry. I can't. That's bullshit if I ever heard it and I couldn't keep reading after that. It's like they didn't even try to think of gender neutral or masculine things to do. I'm... I can't, yall.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books) in exchange for an honest review. I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. I’ve been wanting to read this book for the longest time. I’ve been very interested in witches and witchcraft since I read the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and watched the Craft and the Love Witch (I really recommend this movie if you haven’t already seen it). Please be advised that this book doesn’t feature “real” witchcraft that Wiccans would use, I received this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books) in exchange for an honest review. I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. I’ve been wanting to read this book for the longest time. I’ve been very interested in witches and witchcraft since I read the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and watched the Craft and the Love Witch (I really recommend this movie if you haven’t already seen it). Please be advised that this book doesn’t feature “real” witchcraft that Wiccans would use, so if you are looking for that, then I would suggest looking elsewhere. Like most of the books Quirk Books publishes, this is more fun than it is serious. Instead this book takes the spirit of witchcraft and combines them with the ideas of feminism and turns it into a self help book. From the self help point of view, I found all the chapters to be really empowering and useful. I could definitely see people actually doing some of these rituals. The rituals/spells were all about your mind and how you view situations. One of my favorite things about this book were the historical sidebars about witches. I always love learning little historical tidbits. The only thing I didn’t like was that there wasn’t a concluding chapter. I have a thing about nonfiction books and conclusions. I hate it when they just end, without any sort of wrap up. I would have loved to have seen some final words from the authors. Overall, if you are looking for a fun and different self help book, or want to dabble in witchcraft without going full on Wiccan, then definitely check this book out.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ☠Kayla☠

    Though this book is NOT the right choice for witches old and new, it still is very entertaining to read. It has a very strong empowering energy to women and it's very lighthearted and fun to read. It has very few spells in it but other information that might be helpful and enjoyable. Also the cover is beautiful and draws attention to anyone who sees it. This book is definitely not for everyone though so my advice to anyone looking into getting it should pick it up and flip through the pages firs Though this book is NOT the right choice for witches old and new, it still is very entertaining to read. It has a very strong empowering energy to women and it's very lighthearted and fun to read. It has very few spells in it but other information that might be helpful and enjoyable. Also the cover is beautiful and draws attention to anyone who sees it. This book is definitely not for everyone though so my advice to anyone looking into getting it should pick it up and flip through the pages first. It talks more about appearance then it does the actual art of spell casting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR WITCHES It is definitely for those not well versed in anything wiccan or occult. It is a self help book for the millenial/gen-z-er that needs a little spirituality in their life. It goes over ways to empower yourself, through day to day life, and with little charms. While it is inclusive of non-binary and masculine genders, you can tell that this book was written by two women. Most anecdotes and problems are femme centered, (which I don't think is a bad thing, just something t THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR WITCHES It is definitely for those not well versed in anything wiccan or occult. It is a self help book for the millenial/gen-z-er that needs a little spirituality in their life. It goes over ways to empower yourself, through day to day life, and with little charms. While it is inclusive of non-binary and masculine genders, you can tell that this book was written by two women. Most anecdotes and problems are femme centered, (which I don't think is a bad thing, just something to be aware of!). I loved it. I have just started tarot, and I was curious to get a spell book, so I picked this up. I kind of consider it a palatable entry to witchy things for me. I have heard that some practicing witches don't find it cute and funny, but offensive. And to that I say that this is a starting point for people like me, who are curious but overwhelmed by the amount of books and material on the internet about witches. One of my favorite parts were the quick history lessons interspersed within the chapters. They seemed relatively well researched, and focused on the Western European definition of witches, so it didn't feel appropriative or problematic. Overall, fun quick self-help read for the magically inclined!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Could not finish. About 60 pages in, I was asking myself, “is this offensive or just stupid?” Everything about the book description is misleading and the cuddly bunny authors thought it best to lead into a discussion about reclaiming your feminine power with, I kid you not, a lipstick spell. Wtf is this? I am a makeup junkie and, no, I still have no urge to perform a lipstick spell. This is dabbling, plain and simple, and the authors were right to reference The Craft in this book as a way to discu Could not finish. About 60 pages in, I was asking myself, “is this offensive or just stupid?” Everything about the book description is misleading and the cuddly bunny authors thought it best to lead into a discussion about reclaiming your feminine power with, I kid you not, a lipstick spell. Wtf is this? I am a makeup junkie and, no, I still have no urge to perform a lipstick spell. This is dabbling, plain and simple, and the authors were right to reference The Craft in this book as a way to discuss the ‘trendiness’ of modern day witchcraft. I’m sorry but I don’t know any practicing witch who would say that The Craft was a positive influence. It taught magical irresponsibility by making it look fun and cool to fuck with people. Yeah. No. Like The Craft, this is not going to teach you anything. Not even solid makeup tips.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Ok let me start by saying I have been studying and learning witchcraft for more years then I care to say. This book is a joke to anyone who is even the least bit schooled in the real thing. On top of that if you take this as your first book and try some of the junk in this book you can and will be opening yourself to some not so fun things in your life. The book does not give any warnings on how some spells can turn on you so to speak. Also there is not enough information given in the book to ma Ok let me start by saying I have been studying and learning witchcraft for more years then I care to say. This book is a joke to anyone who is even the least bit schooled in the real thing. On top of that if you take this as your first book and try some of the junk in this book you can and will be opening yourself to some not so fun things in your life. The book does not give any warnings on how some spells can turn on you so to speak. Also there is not enough information given in the book to make these spells plausible. When using tarot cards you really need to know what the meaning of the card is, you don't just pick the pretty one. You also need ore then 1 paragraph to understand and be able to read tea leaves. These things need full chapters if not more then a single paragraph. As a fun book this has humor, to me it was more making fun of witchcraft then being serious. This book was not for me and honestly I doubt it is for anyone else who is serious about witchcraft in any way. I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is neither an informative book about witchcraft, nor is it an effective self help book. Really patronizing to the reader and has no idea how to give actual useful advice. First glaring problem is the complete dismissal of any reader who isn't female or nonbinary AFAB. This pays off in pretty disturbing ways later on in the book. (See the consent issue below) Prime examples of the crap advice in this book include the spell for "being afraid of going to the doctor". Instead of giving you sound This is neither an informative book about witchcraft, nor is it an effective self help book. Really patronizing to the reader and has no idea how to give actual useful advice. First glaring problem is the complete dismissal of any reader who isn't female or nonbinary AFAB. This pays off in pretty disturbing ways later on in the book. (See the consent issue below) Prime examples of the crap advice in this book include the spell for "being afraid of going to the doctor". Instead of giving you sound advice on how to make the most of a stressful situation, like writing down all of the questions and concerns you have in advance and taking the list with you. Instead, it advises to push off all personal responsibility onto an "advocate" - aka, a toy or action figure you carry in your pocket. It isn't going to help your remember to voice your concerns, or what those concerns even ARE, because it's a piece of plastic, but this book treats you like a child. It's all about FEELINGS, the action figure will make you FEEL better, but it isn't going to actually do you any good, much like the advice in this book. Also, my other favorite piece is about the "rejecting the pressure to be feminine" spell. To work this spell to reject femininity, you need a tube of pink or red (preferably organic!) lipstick. What??? This book is nothing but feel good band-aids, and rejects any notion that self improvement comes from introspective self examination, time, and work. If you want useless cutesy ~self care~ that doesn't actually help you address your deep seated personal issues, I guess you might like this hollow waste of time. Oh, also, there's an emphasis on consent, but then follows it up in the next chapter talking about how the author had a sex spell cast on her marriage (so her and her spouse), but didn't inform her husband. That's not consent. But the book doesn't care about you unless you fit into the specific people it cares about. This book is gross.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I’m so disappointed in this book. I found their working definition of a “witch” vague and inconsistent. The book was annoying on one level, in that it skirts the edge of discussing aspects of pagan spirituality, but also kind of dismisses it at the same time. In addition, I found the book to be so shallow, vague, and random, that I can’t imagine who will get anything out of it. Wear flat shoes for ~stability~? Get ~beauty~ by eating ...guacamole??? It’s just such an odd jumble of silly stuff lik I’m so disappointed in this book. I found their working definition of a “witch” vague and inconsistent. The book was annoying on one level, in that it skirts the edge of discussing aspects of pagan spirituality, but also kind of dismisses it at the same time. In addition, I found the book to be so shallow, vague, and random, that I can’t imagine who will get anything out of it. Wear flat shoes for ~stability~? Get ~beauty~ by eating ...guacamole??? It’s just such an odd jumble of silly stuff like what pet should be your familiar, and then how to counteract abuse by using vaguely described visualizations. I will say the illustrations are amazing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Magic, well-being, feminism, empowerment, humour. I loved this. This is a fun look at witchcraft for self-care and self-love.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bobbi

    Let me preface this by saying that, yes, I'm an actual witchcraft practitioner. You know, the religion. Magick with a k. Which makes it rather surprising that I actually enjoyed this book. It's a silly foray into the absolute basics of summoning personal intent and casting rudimentary spells, but that doesn't make it bad. I think it's great for its intended audience: baby witches in high school or college (hint: I wasn't there too long ago). It's cute, the illustrations are badass, and it's got s Let me preface this by saying that, yes, I'm an actual witchcraft practitioner. You know, the religion. Magick with a k. Which makes it rather surprising that I actually enjoyed this book. It's a silly foray into the absolute basics of summoning personal intent and casting rudimentary spells, but that doesn't make it bad. I think it's great for its intended audience: baby witches in high school or college (hint: I wasn't there too long ago). It's cute, the illustrations are badass, and it's got some great tips for success as an adult in there. Some of the "rituals" are a little rediculous and should not be conflated with real magick, and some of the punky overtones are odd, but it's not nearly as atrocious as I've seen some elders say. It's just fun, and it's not a bad introduction to witchcraft in this day and age. Overall, I'd only recommend it to the intended audience I mentioned before. It by no means would be able to reach a middle-aged man without coming off as bizarre. It's well-researched, quick, and a nice little coming of age field guide, and it's okay if that's all it is. I personally enjoyed it. 4 stars for punk-rock.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tally

    DNF-ing this book! Why? Because it's not what I thought it would be. It's just some fluffy bullshit that makes you think you're gonna get some modern day witch tips but really it reads as a teenage self help book just throwing some crystals and tarot cards in the mix. I need real and raw. Next. DNF-ing this book! Why? Because it's not what I thought it would be. It's just some fluffy bullshit that makes you think you're gonna get some modern day witch tips but really it reads as a teenage self help book just throwing some crystals and tarot cards in the mix. I need real and raw. Next.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk

    What I liked about this book: - it had a lot of diversity in it 🏳️‍🌈 - it spoke about important topics - I liked some of the make up receipts or descriptions of remedies you can use for your health Some quotes I really liked: And, sure, people say black is “slimming,” But really, black is the color of vast things: the night sky, the deep earth, the inside of your head when you close your eyes. In a way, wrapping yourself in black beings you close to infinity. Biology isn’t destiny - your assigned What I liked about this book: - it had a lot of diversity in it 🏳️‍🌈 - it spoke about important topics - I liked some of the make up receipts or descriptions of remedies you can use for your health Some quotes I really liked: And, sure, people say black is “slimming,” But really, black is the color of vast things: the night sky, the deep earth, the inside of your head when you close your eyes. In a way, wrapping yourself in black beings you close to infinity. Biology isn’t destiny - your assigned sex at birth isn’t your gender - but identity isn’t destiny either. For a witch, listening to your body is the most important aspect of health and self care - certainly more important than trying to whittle it into the “perfect” shape. Yes, cooking is magic, even if all you did was microwave a frozen burrito. Your power comes from your own self as a woman, and it is activated by working together with your sisters. What I didn’t like: - even though the whole comparison with witchcraft was nice and sometimes fitting, sometimes I had the feeling that the spells etc. were a little bit mocking and strange

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Torres

    WHOOOO BOY IF I COULD RATE THIS ZERO STARS I WOULD! I’m sorry. I had my eyes on this book for some time and I knew I wasn’t going to like it but I gave it a chance. I’m still disappointed... I’m really hating the fact that there are books being written that HAVE TO HAVE FEMINISM WITH WITCHES. If you are both then that’s fine but the fact that they SAID THAT WITCHCRAFT IS ABOUT REBELLION is bullshit. My religion and way of life should NOT BE TAUGHT AS A WAY TO SCARE MEN OR HEX PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY AR WHOOOO BOY IF I COULD RATE THIS ZERO STARS I WOULD! I’m sorry. I had my eyes on this book for some time and I knew I wasn’t going to like it but I gave it a chance. I’m still disappointed... I’m really hating the fact that there are books being written that HAVE TO HAVE FEMINISM WITH WITCHES. If you are both then that’s fine but the fact that they SAID THAT WITCHCRAFT IS ABOUT REBELLION is bullshit. My religion and way of life should NOT BE TAUGHT AS A WAY TO SCARE MEN OR HEX PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE AN ASS! We don’t harm people and books that are written like this really piss me off. So yeah. There’s my rant... if this book works for someone then great. I still think it’s shit and an excuse to have a “label” for yourself.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Athena Macmillan

    If you ever wanted to read a book about spirituality where the author(s) consistently deprecate that path by saying "it's not actually real, we're just pretending" then this is the book for you! Filled with bad advice, inaccurate history and ridiculous ritual suggestions, the only thing that earned it a second star were the illustrations. The section on domestic violence smacked of privilege, made light of an extremely serious situation and gave dangerous advice. I was very tempted to DNF this shal If you ever wanted to read a book about spirituality where the author(s) consistently deprecate that path by saying "it's not actually real, we're just pretending" then this is the book for you! Filled with bad advice, inaccurate history and ridiculous ritual suggestions, the only thing that earned it a second star were the illustrations. The section on domestic violence smacked of privilege, made light of an extremely serious situation and gave dangerous advice. I was very tempted to DNF this shallow, capitalist book but pushed through to look at all the pictures, hoping it would conclude in a way that would redeem it. It did not.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ellery

    The literary version of the "witch kits" Sephora came out with a few months ago. The beautiful illustration writes a check that the insipid content does not cash. The literary version of the "witch kits" Sephora came out with a few months ago. The beautiful illustration writes a check that the insipid content does not cash.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Brusco

    It's a mix of positive affirmations, feminism, and very loose ties to witchcraft and rituals. The authors make it clear in the first couple chapters that they're not spiritually wiccan, nor are they pagans practicing witchcraft. Maybe it is because I'm studying paganism and witchcraft as spiritual path that I just felt overall disappointed that this was not one of those books. In the end, it's a fun (sometimes juvenile) book meant to empower anyone to be their best self. It's a mix of positive affirmations, feminism, and very loose ties to witchcraft and rituals. The authors make it clear in the first couple chapters that they're not spiritually wiccan, nor are they pagans practicing witchcraft. Maybe it is because I'm studying paganism and witchcraft as spiritual path that I just felt overall disappointed that this was not one of those books. In the end, it's a fun (sometimes juvenile) book meant to empower anyone to be their best self.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lord Beardsley

    Despite some problematics, I was pleased at how accessible this book is. The materials used in the spells are usually items people have lying around the house, such as paper, a candle, a safety pin, in order to conduct their spells and magic rituals. For those of us not able to easily access some of the lofty and expensive ingredients for spells and potion either geographically or economically, that openness to exploring household magic is a breath of fresh air. I unabashedly love the popularity Despite some problematics, I was pleased at how accessible this book is. The materials used in the spells are usually items people have lying around the house, such as paper, a candle, a safety pin, in order to conduct their spells and magic rituals. For those of us not able to easily access some of the lofty and expensive ingredients for spells and potion either geographically or economically, that openness to exploring household magic is a breath of fresh air. I unabashedly love the popularity of witchcraft. The more the goddamn merrier. However, I've lately been troubled by the consumerist, fad aspect that lies on the flipside of that, and this book bends quite a bit in that direction at times. What saves it from tipping the scales is their commitment to ordinary, household utensils in conjuring work. Witchcraft began with poor women using stuff around the house in order to work magic. There's no reason why we can't incorporate our modern lives to this reality. Some might think that the spells such as "pick the right color of eye shadow to project other worldy glamour" as being ridiculous and trite, which I find to be a very femmephobic argument. When I put on make-up, I am fucking doing some damn witchcraft. I've long thought of myself as a "lazy witch", because I sometimes don't do much performative magical practices because I have to binge-watch 'Stranger Things' or some crap. For us lazy witches, or maybe busy witches who don't have time for long, drawn out magic rituals, this does a great job at conveying the message that powerful magic can be short and affordable. This is not spoken about nearly enough in the world of witchcraft, and affordability and accessibility should always be a priority. Half (if not more like 80%) of the reason I bought this was for Camille Chew's gorgeous illustrations, and designers Andie Reid and Molly Murphy bring to this pretty little book. It's a nice, secular and modern take on witchcraft. I enjoyed reading it, and will try to do some of their spells someday (after I binge watch 'Mr. Robot' or some crap).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    DNF 20%

  20. 4 out of 5

    Frater Xolotl

    So I've been seeing this book everywhere and was hoping it would actually be pretty rad. Its really not. It is filled with nothing but cis-gender, heteronotmative assumptions that almost make Dianic Wiccans seem chill. The "spells" seem more like a replacement for actual self reflection, assessment, and development. Rather than encouraging people to critically think about their problems, this book offers these "spells" instead of sound, grounded, real world advice. Also, witches can be anyone no So I've been seeing this book everywhere and was hoping it would actually be pretty rad. Its really not. It is filled with nothing but cis-gender, heteronotmative assumptions that almost make Dianic Wiccans seem chill. The "spells" seem more like a replacement for actual self reflection, assessment, and development. Rather than encouraging people to critically think about their problems, this book offers these "spells" instead of sound, grounded, real world advice. Also, witches can be anyone not just those with this book's pre-approved hair cuts and fashion tips. On top of it, trans witches are left out completely, and us genderqueer folks were added to the intro probably as an afterthought to ensure the book could be considered "PC Enough." This book reads more like a cis-female centered pseduo feminist self-help book. But what the authors fail to realize is that sometimes self care isn't easy. Sometimes its full of tears, angst, and regret. But ya know what? At the end of it, we become better people because we made ourselves one. In the end, this is a a poor excuse for a book on witchcraft, magick, or self help. Do yourself a favor and read something by authors who really know their stuff on either subject.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    5 stars for the lovely illustrations!! Otherwise, I think this is maybe meant for teens, so I’m not the ideal audience. And it’s not exactly serious witchcraft... it’s more like a five minute guide on: how to use charms in positive visualization, play with tea leaves/tarot cards/runes, dress witchy, and find self-empowerment.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Betts-Green (Dinosaur in the Library)

    I was going to write an awfully long negative review, but someone already did it better than I could have. https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7... had the following to say: "You know, I originally had a very long, angry review posted for this book, however I deleted it. I tossed and turned at night because of this book. I woke up in a cold sweat, my nightmares filled with images of Killstar-esque Tumblr witches sporting Ray Bans and purple lipstick and shirts that say "Fuck the patriarchy" I took I was going to write an awfully long negative review, but someone already did it better than I could have. https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7... had the following to say: "You know, I originally had a very long, angry review posted for this book, however I deleted it. I tossed and turned at night because of this book. I woke up in a cold sweat, my nightmares filled with images of Killstar-esque Tumblr witches sporting Ray Bans and purple lipstick and shirts that say "Fuck the patriarchy" I took some chill pills, waited a few weeks, and have since decided to re-write my review. I don't like this book. Why? 1. It's deceptive. If your book is called Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven then yes, I'm more than likely going to assume that your book's main focus is on witchcraft. It is not. This is a self-help book conjured up from the deepest depths of Tumblr hell that uses witchcraft as its main marketing point. As both a Millennial and a witch myself, I have a deep, long-standing problem with spiritual books with deceptive claims and covers. 2. Simply Ineffective Magic. There's two types of magic: magic that works and magic that doesn't- and this is the latter. The "spells" (if you can call them that) are what I like to call Dandelion Magic. Dandelions have an extremely long taproot that has the amazing ability to regenerate. If the smallest piece of this root is left behind, an entire new dandelion will sprout back, therefore the entire root must be removed. Issues such as self-esteem, self confidence, and body image are deep-seated issues that require an aggressive approach to heal. If you started hating your body at age 7 then its going to take a hell of a lot more than a simple 6-word spell to fully heal. A combination of therapy, magic, journalism, mindfulness, and ritual will more than likely be your best bet. 3. Edgy. The entire tone of this book smacks of edge. To the author, witchcraft isn't about power or manifesting one's will on Earth or forming relationships with spirits or any of that complicated sh*t. Its about being sticking it to the MAN. Its about, like, not giving into to mainstream media and culture. You don't actually have to learn or practice anything or read books about witchcraft and the occult. All you have to have is a middle finger and no fucks to give and you too can be a witch. 4. Lazy. If you're going to using the tarot in a spell, *maybe* you should at *least* have a basic understanding of the tarot as a system? Or maybe go into descriptive detail about what each card means as opposed to a few hastily scribbled words? If you're going to include information on reading tea leaves, maybe you should devote more than a paragraph to explaining it? Seriously, the information on reading tea leaves was literally a paragraph long, but explaining it would have meant less room for the pretty pictures, so its fine. 5. Trendy. I am so adverse to spirituality becoming yet another Instagram and Tumblr trend, for several reasons. The first is because it causes that person harm. The dummy who reads a Tumblr post on Lilith and tries to summon her a s some sort of eDDDDGY feminist goddess is putting herself in danger by approaching a powerful spirit in a completely rude and disrespectful manner. I dislike this book. "

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I bought this book 1) because I wanted to get an introduction to modern witchcraft and 2) for the pretty cover. Although the authors tried to provide some, although painfully limited, historical background to the art of magick, I felt more like reading a Tumblr blog than a real book. Safe to say I'm fairly disappointed, but then again I probably expected too much. For anyone looking into the actual practice of witchcraft, you'll get more information from Wikipedia. I bought this book 1) because I wanted to get an introduction to modern witchcraft and 2) for the pretty cover. Although the authors tried to provide some, although painfully limited, historical background to the art of magick, I felt more like reading a Tumblr blog than a real book. Safe to say I'm fairly disappointed, but then again I probably expected too much. For anyone looking into the actual practice of witchcraft, you'll get more information from Wikipedia.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Modesta Mikštaitė

    I am not a fan of motivational books but this one hooked me to read it because of feminine theme and nice illustrations. I liked some anecdotal stories about women who were accused of being witches and some humour. Hoverer, high amount of political correctness does not fit very well devils and witchcraft metaphors. Overall, it was nicely themed motivational book for the girls who fell in love with stories about witches when they were little. It was nostalgic to read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melody Luna

    THIS IS NOT A BOOK ON PAGANISM. And if you go into reading it hoping it will be, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Ultimately, this is a self-help book geared towards younger generations. It's what I, a pagan, would call "witchcraft light", taking some of the wisdom of paganism and giving ideas on how one can use this ancient wisdom to take care of themselves Frankly, I don't understand why so many pagans or proper practicing witches are upset by this book (not that they aren't ent THIS IS NOT A BOOK ON PAGANISM. And if you go into reading it hoping it will be, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Ultimately, this is a self-help book geared towards younger generations. It's what I, a pagan, would call "witchcraft light", taking some of the wisdom of paganism and giving ideas on how one can use this ancient wisdom to take care of themselves Frankly, I don't understand why so many pagans or proper practicing witches are upset by this book (not that they aren't entitled to their opinion); it disclaims this in the very beginning. If you are looking for a book on religion, this is not the book for you. But if you are looking for a lighthearted book that teaches you how to use some of the practices of witchcraft in a simple and practical way, with the intention of taking better care of yourself, then you will probably enjoy this book. This past fall was my third time reading it. The first time and the second time, I read through most of it in a few days. This time around, I worked my way through slowly, taking notes for ideas I was getting along the way. A super enjoyable read. The book gives me a dose of a "witchyness" and a does of "how to love yourself" all in one go. I first took this book out from the library, and I am so glad to now have this book on my shelf. My only real critic of this book is that I personally don't like a lot of the spells they have written. One of them involves wasting an entire tube of lipstick, which just seems, well, wasteful. And others I just personally don't relate to. But that is perfectly okay. Spells should be personalized anyway, and they do implore the reader to do what feels right for them, which is good.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Artemis

    A fun little self-help book for all women, young and old, witch or not. 'Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven' is funny, accessible and not too light. It can help anyone with issues such as anxiety, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, self-pity, abusive friendships and other relationships, fear of failure, grief, breakups, and more. It is not nearly as aggressive as its title might suggest, though the authors, Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman, delight A fun little self-help book for all women, young and old, witch or not. 'Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven' is funny, accessible and not too light. It can help anyone with issues such as anxiety, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, self-pity, abusive friendships and other relationships, fear of failure, grief, breakups, and more. It is not nearly as aggressive as its title might suggest, though the authors, Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman, delight in teaching women not to give a shit about what other people think of them. Really, all it's about is casting simple spells in order to help you boost your confidence and stay focused at any stage in your life. This witchy product is as good as any mainstream magazine. How I wish I had something like it in my teens! Also included are witch history excerpts, and a list of the authors' favourite fictional witches who inspired them. 'Basic Witches' might not be super-serious about magic, mysticism or anything to do with Wicca in its religious meaning, but it's still a fun, therapeutic pocketbook for anyone remotely interested in witchcraft or living like a witch to have around. After all, "witch" is just another word for "rebel woman", in every sense. It stands for happy women, and sisterhood. Let's take back the word "witch" with pride! Happy Halloween! Final Score: 5/5

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rose Sinclair

    A self-help book with actual spells? Yes, please! I feel like the start of the book was a bit stereotypical try new clothes, try new colors, but once the basics were done the book tackled some very important things like losing people, toxic friendships, and personal demons. It was also great to see the book mention non-binary people and pushed an actually fair view on sex positivity. If you are a witch, would like to be a witch, or think the aesthetic will personally help you, check this book out A self-help book with actual spells? Yes, please! I feel like the start of the book was a bit stereotypical try new clothes, try new colors, but once the basics were done the book tackled some very important things like losing people, toxic friendships, and personal demons. It was also great to see the book mention non-binary people and pushed an actually fair view on sex positivity. If you are a witch, would like to be a witch, or think the aesthetic will personally help you, check this book out!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Gabrielle Brooks

    this isn't a book you want for practicing witchcraft. this is the book you want for your middle school occult phase before the self esteem issues start. it was cutesy and very teen magazine. kind of like if tumblr and rookie mag had a young teenager who had just watched the craft or charmed for the first time. this isn't a book you want for practicing witchcraft. this is the book you want for your middle school occult phase before the self esteem issues start. it was cutesy and very teen magazine. kind of like if tumblr and rookie mag had a young teenager who had just watched the craft or charmed for the first time.

  29. 4 out of 5

    LibraryOfTheNight

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was sent this book by quirk books in exchange for a honest review! I was so excited for to read this book!!!! And I loved it so much! The book is not a actual witch or Wiccan guide, this is mainly the modern day witch. Things you can do, or spells to help with every day things. I felt so empowered reading this book, and it definitely made me feel like I’m not alone with daily anxiety’s. We all have things that are hard or we are afraid to do. And this book makes you feel like your not alone. It I was sent this book by quirk books in exchange for a honest review! I was so excited for to read this book!!!! And I loved it so much! The book is not a actual witch or Wiccan guide, this is mainly the modern day witch. Things you can do, or spells to help with every day things. I felt so empowered reading this book, and it definitely made me feel like I’m not alone with daily anxiety’s. We all have things that are hard or we are afraid to do. And this book makes you feel like your not alone. It encourages you to be yourself and to shine brighter than you have before.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Bowen

    To be a witch you must be confident, independent and truly yourself. To become more spiritual, before the real magic, you have to work on yourself, in fact I see this book as a first step guide on meditation and self help. It's something many young girls would find helpful! To be a witch you must be confident, independent and truly yourself. To become more spiritual, before the real magic, you have to work on yourself, in fact I see this book as a first step guide on meditation and self help. It's something many young girls would find helpful!

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