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

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,677 ratings  ·  362 reviews
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
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Quirk Books
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3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,677 ratings  ·  362 reviews

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Sep 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 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
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing

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
Cora Tea Party Princess
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 Words: Magic, well-being, feminism, empowerment, humour.

I loved this.

This is a fun look at witchcraft for self-care and self-love.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
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.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
I should have read reviews, I thought if I read the title and blurb I would have a good idea about what this book was about, but they were both really deceptive. It has a very vaguely offensive, and mocking tone at times towards spells/mystical arts (eg. tea reading). It also has many nods to pop culture (tinder, Buzzfeed, emojis) so it's very hip and now, BUT will probably be horribly out-dated in at least three years time.
I have no idea who the intended audience would be, because on paper this
Kayla Torres
Nov 12, 2017 rated it did not like it

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.

Bobbi Benassa
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Danielle Brusco
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
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
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
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.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF 20%
Lord Beardsley
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: witchcraft, read2017
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
Fratrem Ozomahtli
Nov 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to caravaggion by: Comiziale
this was so cute and aesthetic tbh i might buy my own copy of this but big thanks to tessa for lending me her copy!!!!
Jun 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
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.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dawn Betts-Green (Dinosaur in the Library)
Aug 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I was going to write an awfully long negative review, but someone already did it better than I could have. 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
Melody Luna
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
First, let me say that this is definitely not the type of book I would normally read. It's actually probably the type that I wouldn't even think of picking up. But anything witches always intrigues me. I also remember being a kid and thinking I could put a spell on anyone. I tried. They never worked! Ha!

This book gives a little history on witches and then is riddled with rituals and spells to cast the negative out of your life and work on the positive. Which is basically taking out anything tox
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
Rose Sinclair
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is clearly not for me; it's geared towards: A) women B) people interested in witchcraft. But it's about as charming as you can get in a book. The two authors have written out spells, life tips and just ideas for how to be a witch. I absolutely loved the section on makeup and beauty tips and thought it was both cute and interesting. Overall, this is a very fun, light and interesting read sprinkled with interesting anecdotes and facts about the history of witchcraft.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
I had expected a book dealing with the black arts, not self-help for unsettled women, so I was disappointed. I am curious to know why the authors believe a dog 'will absolutely betray you to your enemies.'
I received an ARC from a Goodreads giveaway.
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Jaya Saxena is a Staff Writer at the Daily Dot, and the author of Dad Magazine and The Book of Lost Recipes: The Best Signature Dishes From Lost Restaurants Rediscovered. She lives in Queens.
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