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

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

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...

Title: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 Reviews

  • Flavia

    This book was so much fun! I’m not usually one to consult self-help books, or one who reads nonfiction in general! I know that some of you may also associate the word “nonfiction” with dry and boring information. But even as a lover of fiction (and fantasy fiction, at that), I am telling you that not all nonfiction has to be dry. In fact, quite a bit of nonfiction is actually quite fun while also being educational!

    The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the title (I know! Us

    This book was so much fun! I’m not usually one to consult self-help books, or one who reads nonfiction in general! I know that some of you may also associate the word “nonfiction” with dry and boring information. But even as a lover of fiction (and fantasy fiction, at that), I am telling you that not all nonfiction has to be dry. In fact, quite a bit of nonfiction is actually quite fun while also being educational!

    The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the title (I know! Usually it’s the cover, haha, but don’t worry…that was the second thing that caught my attention). Most of us will know that this title is a play on words based on a phrase which as become quite common I the past 5 years or so (this is an assumption, rather than an answer with any research behind it. Sorry!) Anyway, I found the title to be witty, and the cover to be fun and quite different from a lot of covers that I’ve seen over the years. The interior of Basic Witches is just as much fun as the exterior, and the same kind of illustrations can be found throughout. The authors and illustrator (whether the illustrator is one of the authors, I do not know) all have a very healthy sense of humour!

    They manage to cover a lot of bases, while being serious when it’s required, and quite funny when it’s called for! If my boyfriend or any of my family members were watching me while I read this book, they would have seen me alternate between some serious nodding, with a concentrated look on my face, and laughing uncontrollably. The formatting on the inside was also straightforward, keeping each type of information separate from the other types, in the way that an effective textbook would. I also really enjoyed the Harry Potter, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Charmed, (and possibly American Horror Story? I don’t quite remember) since those are some of my favourite things ever!

    I like that this book does not have to be read in a chronological order. Rather, with the use of the index at the start of the book, you can flip to whichever section you need at a given time! I actually did read this book out of order, flipping from parts at the end to parts at the beginning, etc. etc. To avoid any confusion, this book is not necessarily for witches (although Wiccans are more than welcome to read it, obviously). The magic which is discussed in this book is actually more of a realistic magic. And what I mean by that is that Saxena and Zimmerman discuss the magic of effective goal-setting, positive thinking, good vibes, as well as how to “exorcise” demons such as fake friends, and toxic relationships. I also liked how both mental, and physical, health remedies were included (with the mental health ones in the form of “spells,” including steps and everything)!

    Overall a really good self-help book, and fun at that! I will definitely be returning to this one, time and again. I will most certainly be keeping an eye on Saxena and Zimmerman, to see what they come up with next, and I have to say…I would not be opposed to a version of this book, or a book of the same nature (by these authors) formatted like and old school spellbook! Hint hint! Cough cough!

  • Brian

    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.

  • 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.

  • Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess

    I loved this.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    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

    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 toxic and building your self esteem.. basically your typical self help type of book, but done with humor and in a way that keeps you turning the page. There's sections on how to read tea leaves that made me laugh. For instance, seeing a flower means you'll receive praise but seeing Leonardo's Last Supper means your cup is too big. I also loved the Calisthenics part - they call planking "Light as a feather, stiff as a board." I found these little things to just be adorable. All the spells and rituals are things that can be done... and maybe they don't actually work but I think the basic core of just doing SOMETHING helps ease the mind at times.

    I'm never going to be that person who will find my inner light or believe in mercury retrograde or the universe making things happen... but will I open this book every once in a while and do a little ritual because it might make me feel better for the moment? Well, it certainly is healthier than other options so yes, absolutely.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

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