Book Review: Light Magic for Dark Times

Lisa Marie Basile’s latest book on DIY witchcraft and magical living, is brave, bold and beautiful.

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Sensitively-written and extremely nuanced, it is literally a self-care manual for living through these “dark times” and finding one’s own light and haven of peace, regardless. As someone who has always been fascinated with magic, the occult and the supernatural, reading Lisa’s book made realize 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 a 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 practised 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 colour 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, and 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 witches too, as you don’t need to spend a fortune on materials and instead make do with what you have.

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Lisa’s book 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 got the opportunity of reading this book at a time when my life was undergoing tremendous change. I suppose that for me, the second half of this year has been a complete rollercoaster, chaotic and emotional and filled with people leaving, entering or returning into my life, and while I’m still trying to come to terms with these changes, trying to accept my body and my self as it is, trying to work through my mental health issues, this book offered some clarity, assurance and guidance and 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, and Lisa’s book did help 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. However if you’re someone who’s been practising 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 be a reminder that magic is there in all the small acts and in the little moments that we tend to take for granted.

Rating: 5/5

You can buy her book on Amazon from here.

Next Up: Interview with writer & witch Lisa Marie Basile!

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About Lisa Marie BasileShe is a poet, essayist and editor living in New York City. She’s the founding editor-in- chief of Luna Luna Magazine, and most recently is the author of LIGHT MAGIC FOR DARK TIMES, a collection of practices and rituals for intentional and magical living. Her newest poetry collection, NYMPHOLEPSY, is available now. She regularly writes intentionality and ritual, creativity, poetry, foster care, addiction, family trauma, and chronic illness. Her essays and other work can be found in The New York Times, Chakrubs, Narratively, Sabat Magazine, Refinery 29, Healthline, Entropy, Bust, and more. She received a Masters in writing from NYC’s The New School. Follow her @lisamariebasile.

I’m always open to reviewing books of poetry or novels in the genres of YA, fantasy, sci-fi, magic realism, speculative fiction, as well as non fiction books on magic and comics, so if you want your book featured on my blog & promoted on my social media channels, do feel free to contact me.


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