Monday, 2 December 2019

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Review: Light Magic for Dark Times by Lisa Marie Basile

Light Magic for Dark Times by Lisa Marie Basile

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Light Magic for Dark Times by Lisa Marie Basile

Published: 11th September 2018 | Publisher: Fair Winds Press | Source: Bought
Lisa Marie Basile's Website
Luna Luna Magazine

When the world around you turns dark, tap into the light. If you're having a hard time finding that light, facing trauma and division, or want to send healing vibes to a friend, the inspired, easy-to-do spells of Light Magic for Dark Times can assist.

Luna Luna magazine’s Lisa Marie Basile shares inspired spells, rituals, and practices, including:

- A new moon ritual for attracting a lover
- A spell to banish recurring nightmares
- A graveyard meditation for engaging with death
- A mermaid ritual for going with the flow
- A zodiac practice for tapping into celestial mojo
- A rose-quartz elixir for finding self-love
- A spell to recharge after a protest or social justice work

These 100 spells are ideal for those inexperienced with self-care rituals, as well as experienced witches. They can be cast during a crisis or to help prevent one, to protect loved ones, to welcome new beginnings, to heal from grief, or to find strength.

Whether you’re working with the earth, performing a cleanse with water or smoke, healing with tinctures or crystals, meditating through grief, brewing, enchanting, or communing with your coven, Light Magic for Dark Times will help you tap into your inner witch in times of need.
From Goodreads.

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Trigger/Content Warnings: This book discusses trauma generally, mentions sexual assault. Also mentions that some of the spells/rituals/practices could be triggering, such as shadow work.

I've seen Light Magic for Dark Times by Lisa Marie Basile mentioned online quite a few times, and so decided to check it out myself. I'm so glad I did; this book is fantastic!

Firstly, Basile makes it clear from the beginning that this book isn't aimed at witches - it's for everyone. Whether you consider yourself a witch or not, whether you're religious or not, whether you've cast spells before or not. It's intersectional feminist magic, and incredibly inclusive, no matter how you identify. It mentions femmes, polyamory, disabled people and chronically ill, there is a nod to asexual and aromantic people - 'Romantic love is not the only kind of love--it's reductive to say it is, especially given that everyone has a different way of experiencing love and desire.' (p42) Several times Basile mentions social justice work, and fighting for the marginalised, and also mentions at the very beginning that we shouldn't appropriate from closed cultures. And for specific spells, there are various ways of doing things in order to be accessible to people of varying abilities.

'Although these spells, rituals, and practices can be used by everyone, I dedicate this book to women, femmes, and anyone who has been systematically marginalized or silenced. Witchcraft has long been a tool for the oppressed to use to achieve automony and receive divine guidance, and I want to recognize that.' (p12)

I loved how accessible Light Magic is, considering how easy the spells, rituals, and practices are to get started (while not necessarily easy emotionally, especially when it comes to things like shadow work). While most of the books on magic and witchcraft I've read so far in my fledgling study, require herbs, essential oils, incense and crystals, in Light Magic, the spells, etc., for the most part, require things you will definitely have in your home. There might be a herb or two here or there, maybe a crystal or two, but you really wouldn't need to buy an awful lot to engage with it. Basile gives a list at the very beginning of the book of all the tools needed, in total, for all the spells, etc., collectively, and considering there are over 100, the list is pretty damn short; 11 items, not including a few journals, five different crystals, and candles in four colours (but potentially other crystals or candle colours in case you wish to swap things out). A lot of the time, all you really need is a pen, paper or a journal, and a candle. Basile also mentions that you can remove items or skip certain steps, or even swap items depending on what your intuition is telling you. Considering this, and that only very rarely is a herb needed, with my fragrance sensitivity, this is actually the first book I've read where there are more than two spells mentioned I can use myself. In fact, I can use every single one of them.

There is a is a very strong focus on self-love and self-care - especially if you've experienced trauma or loss - and looking after yourself, and it's just so gorgeous. There is so much love in this book! Basile has written it with such kindness and empathy for those reading who may have experienced terrible things. It felt very much like a love letter from Basile to the readers, giving love, support, compassion, and understanding. While this isn't memoir, Basile occasionally mentions her own practice, or experiences from the past, just a couple of lines, here and there, but enough to show that she gets it, that she herself has experienced trauma. Because of that, there's also this element of trust; she knows what she's talking about, and therefore, her spells, etc. - that she has used or still uses herself - can be counted on to help. At the time of writing this, I haven't yet tried any of the spells, etc., because I prefer reading from cover to cover first, but even so, simply from just reading this book, I felt at ease with myself. There are questions about yourself, your experiences, your feelings throughout that Basile encourages you to consider and even journal about. While I haven't journaled about them yet - though I will be - just considering them briefly as I was reading brought up things that weren't so great, even without digging too deeply. And yet the way Basile has you question, and think about what comes up, comes from such a place of love, that even those brief seconds here and there, as I read the book, led to me finishing the book feeling happier in myself and about myself. This book is remedial, it's restorative. I can't even begin to imagine how I'll feel after I've actually dug deep and done the work.

Light Magic for Dark Times is an absolutely incredible book, and it's perfect for anyone with an interest in magic, self-love and self-care, or who is struggling in the dark. I cannot wait for Basile's next book on magic, The Magical Writing Grimoire.

You might also like:

Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power by Pam Grossman Witchery by Juliet Diaz, Moonology by Yasmin Boland, and Everyday Magic by Semra Haksever raft by Gabriela Herstik

Over to you graphic
Have you read Light Magic for Dark Times? Will you be picking it up now? What are your thoughts on self-care focused magic? Do you know of any other books on magic or witchcraft that don't require too many tools to practice magic? Let me know in the comments?

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