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Initiated: Memoir of a Witch

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes meets Women Who Run With The Wolves in this haunting, mystical memoir about finding meaning, beauty, and power through a life in witchcraft.

An initiation signals a beginning: a door opens and you step through. Traditional Wiccan initiates are usually brought into the craft through a ceremony with a High Priestess. But even though Amanda Yates Garcia's m/>An
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Grand Central Publishing
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Leah Dieterich
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The right book for this moment. Yates Garcia shows us how to rise up against patriarchy in our thinking and living and inspires us to re-enchant a world that feels cursed.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.

I really enjoyed this memoir. Garcia has writing chops that are strongest when she’s describing landscapes, which thankfully she does often. Her reverence for the natural world is palpable, as is her devotion to social justice, anti misogyny and anti capitalism. She’s also extremely well-read in the history of myths, witchcraft, and folklore from many parts of the world, and I really like the c
Amanda Harlowe
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a privilege to have been gifted an early copy by Grand Central– this book BLEW ME AWAY. INITIATED features a deft interweaving of Garcia’s vast esoteric and cultural knowledge with her captivating personal story of trauma, self-discovery, empowerment, and metamorphosis. I was astounded by Garcia’s spellbinding, nimble, gorgeous prose (particularly its supernatural ability to carry me away from a crowded Friday night Amtrak car with broken air conditioning). This is THE memoir for all the wi ...more
Mary Lowry
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amanda Yates Garcia is an intellectual giant. This book is riveting and beautifully written and also acts as a guide for readers seeking to engage in magic as a route to personal empowerment. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Zandria Senft
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this beautiful memoir down. I fell in love with Amanda's story about the magical life she leads and how she uses that magic to find herself. The detail Yates goes into describing her life, rituals and initiations makes you feel as though you are experiencing the same things with her. This book will inspire you to be brave in any way you can. This book is exactly what the world needs!
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s hard to explain exactly what this book is so I will just throw around some adjectives while I digest, having just finished it an hour ago. It is: unique, brave, erudite, inspiring, raw, and real.

It is a feminist anthem from a daughter and a leader but that is almost a byproduct. It seems she set out to write memoir to share her experiences of learning her power through personal pain. But along the way, she learned to spiral herself up into the empowered witch she would eventually become th
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Bewitching Read! Garcia lives her life as a modern witch. She takes the reader through her journey of being Initiated onto this path. Garcia unpacks so much in these pages, Memories, Mythology, Trauma, Self-Discovery, Empowerment and more! Her writing is strong and decisive. This is one of thoes memoirs that really shows what the human spirit can endure and what it looks like to come out the otherside.

A reccomended memoir, and especially if you have ever been curious about the prac
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Beyond the sheer amount of trauma in this book (suffering as initiation), it's written in lengthy paragraphs that meander.
For example, the author will start each chapter with a quotation and then talk about part of her induction into witchcraft and the growth of her practice, but it's not linear. So she's walking us through her practice and what it means, how it developed, etc... but then she'll take a break to talk about her past. This is a little confusing, but what made it difficult for
Margaret Wappler
Review forthcoming but for now: what a beautiful gift of a book.
This is one of the best books I've read this year. It satisfied my hunger for witchy folklore, stories of *becoming*, and how to have faith in oneself. Will be combing through this for book recommendations and other rabbit holes for years to come, I can tell.

May write a more thoughtful review later, but didn't want to let this slip through without saying something!
Quentin Montemayor
This is my favorite book of the year hands down. Her voice is transcendent. I can only appreciate a woman that is willing to open some of her deepest, darkest wounds to help heal others. I’m happy that she tries to teach but is open about not having all the answers. Even the last chapter of the book with her Mom is a testament to that. We are all working on our relationships both spiritually and physically. Truly loved it and would recommend to anyone seeking something more spiritually meaningfu ...more
SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*
Need to process this book.
I nearly gave up on this because I felt the author/narrator's voice in the audiobook was very affected but I'm glad I gave it another chance because I ended up quite enjoying this witchy memoir.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read about 5 memoirs this year, I'm through. I'm not that interesting in people's childhoods. I thought this would be interesting for the intersection of witchcraft and memoir. I'm not sure I believe the author's entire story. However, I found there were profound treasures of wisdom hidden in this book that really spoke to me. I hope the author writes more - nonfiction.
I enjoyed parts of it very much, but when it drifted into feminism and other politics, not so much.

this was a goodreads giveaway
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read, and an important book of a female witchy voice. Something we need right now, with the toxic patriarchy running wild. Some quibbles: I think it's too long. I think the narrative thread meanders and repeats itself, and I wish there was more research in its place. I also don't love the narrator's voice. It feels weird to say this, but the narrator, to me, is not the easiest to like at time - occasionally veering into 'holier than thou' territoy. It feels, also, like sometimes t ...more
Kate Mercier
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the witch memoir I’ve been waiting for all my life. That it came from a peer (we’re close in age and our lives have some overlap) makes it all the more special to me.

This is not an unfamiliar story, and I realize now that Amanda Yates Garcia is not an unfamiliar person to me. From afar, she’s the famous Oracle of Los Angeles, a very popular and well regarded witch. She’s been on the TV! But in reading this book, I’m realizing that she could have been me, or one of my friends, or all of
Well, if all of this is true, no wonder she wrote a book.

For about the first half, I saw it as a man-hate manifesto. But again, if these experiences are true, I get it. Certainly, this was not what I expected. Maybe that's a good thing. This is a very different insight to the witch life than anything I've read before. And, of course, that's because it's not about life as a witch. It's about life as Amanda Yates Garcia.

This is her personal life experience and she just happens to have
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best memoirs I’ve read! The author had an unconventional childhood; her mother was a priestess following the Reclaiming tradition of Starhawk. She also had to deal with the more common parental problems of drug use, domestic violence, and divorce. She tried to leave those problems behind in her adult life; however, her choices led her deeply into her own underworld darkness.
The story moves from the hippie havens of San Francisco to the Burning Man Festival in the desert. She travels
Jeffrey Chassen
I had seen Amanda’s appearance on Tucker Carlson and then on Vanderpump Rules. She seems incredibly approachable, kind and normal. So I had very high hopes for this book, but I was sadly disappointed. The formatting of the book was a mess, and it’s filled with so many rarely referenced terms and mythology that it was very hard to get through. Her television appearances have always been so great because they present witchcraft palatable and understandable. This just felt like it was solely aimed ...more
Abby Rubin
ARC from Publisher

This book is an interesting introduction to the life of someone living as a modern witch. Yates Garcia has such a long and winding path to get where she is at the time of writing the book. If "memoir" wasn't on the cover, I would be hard-pressed to believe that one person could live through all of the experiences she had. I feel like this book just scratches the surface of her powers and her story. I would have loved to learn more about modern witchcraft and what it
Rhiannon Johnson
[I received a copy of this release from the publisher in exchange for an honest review]

With Halloween on the horizon, witches are prevalent in decorations (like my framed Hocus Pocus song), memes, and spooky stories, but "Initiated: Memoir of a Witch" by Amanda Yates Garcia (releasing 10/22/19) is a story of "true" witchcraft--one woman's story of her lifelong practice of Wicca.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful magical memoir from one of my favorite witches. Amanda’s writing is so poetic and evocative, and she is so vulnerable about her life story. This reads like an Alice Hoffman or Francesca Lia Block novel but it’s a true story. I loved the weaving of myths and stories from the ancients as well as some beautiful ideas on how to “re-enchant the world”.
Half memoir and half self help for witches. I thought it was pretty interesting, her life definitely has had her hellscape. If you’re looking for something to relate to in ways you didn’t think it’d be possible, I recommend this book. Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes Please

I feel pieces of my story mirrored in this memoir. Also a teenager of the 90s with trauma beginning in childhood but this is more than a memoir. It is a book filled with thought provoking perspective woven together in mythological knowledge and proud Goddess faith being the binding thread through life lessons. Thank you Amanda, I see your light and you are beautiful.
Angela Natividad
A work whose perspicacity never stopped surprising me. It’s mythology in life, rooted in something you can feel, and reinforced with research that illuminates without feeling pedantic. I often oscillated between the sensation of having coffee with a friend and witnessing a masterful fireside epic. It also cast light on so much of the magic occurring in my own life.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Deeply engrossing, relatable, and inspiring.

A work of inspiring vulnerability and honesty. Sharing the truth of things is how we remake the world. Blessings and thanks to Amanda Yates Garcia for this brave book.
kayley j fonts
This book really captures the heart and soul of witchcraft and what it’s like to live a magical life. Her writing is poetic and beautiful, and I feel so inspired to make more time for the important little things in my life after reading this.
Christianne Hedtke
This book is GORGEOUS - I’ve never read anything quite like it, but Yates Garcia seamlessly blends memoir, myth, poetry, and how-to witchcraft into one magickal potion! Highly recommend!
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book...keep writing...:)
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“In our travels through the underworld, witches become map makers. Culture, art, the mystery religions, these systems of symbols are maps. Somebody has to create them. Our musicians and healers, poets and witches, travel through the corridors of the underworld by torchlight. We were not wrong to descend into these caves, but for our own sakes, for the peace of mind of those we love and for the sake of the planet, we who travel there must not get lost. We can join our lights together and return to the world. We can use our symbols, our stories, our mystical methodologies to forge connections with each other in these underground spaces. Symbols and stories order our world; they create the narratives by which we live. It matters whose stories get told; it matters how we tell them. Imagination matters. Our connections to one another matter, as does the pleasure we take in our experience. Witches stand in solidarity with those already doing this work. Because people have been doing this work since humans first appeared on the surface of the earth. Now we listen to them, we participate, we use techniques of the healer, the poet, the artist, the scholar, the cunning folk, the green men, and the medicine women to heal ourselves and care for our wounded world.” 0 likes
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