Light Magic for Dark Times by Lisa Maria Basile is the modern-day witch’s guide on magic. No there aren’t any spells for winning the lottery or making someone fall in love with you, but there are spells on how to empower yourself…in a confident and feminist way. What I most loved about this grimoire was that the spells all featured ways to alchemize negative emotions and states of mind into positive healthy vibes. I have never actually read a spell book that emphasized personal growth so this book was a lavender breath of fresh air. The spells and rituals featured help you to cast a shining light upon those parts of yourself that you have hidden away, much like the woman healers of the past (whom we call witches), who had to hide themselves away to avoid persecution. Society today can often times feel as though we are being burned at the stake, and Light Magic for Dark Times will help you realize that a little self-care is the magical potion you need so you can brew some positive changes in your life.
If the point of witchcraft is to bring about practical change, this book is revolutionary. Modern day grimoires focus heavily on traditional magick such as creating love potions, protective amulets, and so forth. What’s missing from those spells are a modern and relatable context. In Light Magic for Dark Times there are spells for saying no to labels, to end loneliness, to recharge after doing social justice work, and rituals for going with the flow, to celebrate yourself after you’ve lost confidence, releasing parental resentment etc. I was particularly drawn to the lunar rituals being the moon-child I am, and I plan on performing the new moon rituals this month. The spells and rituals are categorized under Love, Grief and Trauma, Negativity, Regeneration and Recharge, Identity and Body, Shadow Work, Writing Magic, Last-Minute Light, and Finding Your Craft.
The beauty of magic is that it doesn’t require a lot of tools or objects. What is required is self-awareness and a willingness to grow, which are the key tools needed in this grimoire if you expect the spells to work. Sure a piece of rose quartz is recommended, along with some basic candles, but the essential materials required for the spells are a few moments of silence, a comfy chair, and a paper and pen. Basile’s writing background comes across strongly throughout this book as the majority of the spells and rituals require journaling. This book is the perfect companion to Basile’s Luna Luna Magazine which is of the same essence.
The luminous thread that bound this book together was self-care and personal empowerment. Being a modern-day witch is less about pentagram necklaces and black cats and more about honouring thyself through meaningful intentions and sacred work that makes a difference in a time when it’s becoming harder and harder to find the light. Even if you don’t identify as a witch or spell caster, read this book anyways, because if you are a woman trying to navigate her way through the murky waters of 2018 and beyond, Light Magic for Dark Times will become a very handy paper familiar.