Before I get into it, please leave a comment if there’s any witchcraft memoirs you love! Always looking for more reading material. I’m a Gemini, so it is physically impossible for me to read just one book at a time.
So, I feel like my first post on this site should be a huge thank you to the authors that took the time to write memoirs about their witchcraft journeys. They’re the ones that got me here.
The thing is – I’ve been curious about magic and witchcraft pretty much my whole life. But, I’ve always been hesitant to pursue it because of the stigma. Society will make you feel crazy for believing there’s more to life than the physical. And for believing that you are more than your physical body.
Then I found these memoirs. The way these people were just living their normal lives, and then felt the call to witchcraft (like I had). The way they questioned their sanity when they received said call (the same way as I). And the way they ultimately answered that call and came out the other side wholly believing that magic exists. Those people inspired me to pursue this path.
So, that’s my spiel.
Now, onto the book recommendations.
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Book of Shadows by Phyllis Curott. This is the one that started it all for me. Phyllis was working in the corporate world (I can relate, obviously) as a lawyer in Manhattan. Needless to say, she was bred to be pretty skeptical.
Like most people, there was a time when I thought witches existed only in the realm of make-believe. Whether they were real, and whether they actually had magical powers, were not questions I even considered as a philosophy student at Brown University, and certainly not later as a young practicing Manhattan attorney. After all, why would a well-educated, professional woman be interested in witches, let alone willingly become one?
However, she began feeling an inexplicable pull towards magic. She felt a longing to connect with nature, escaping her office any chance she got to sit underneath a giant willow tree and ground herself with the earth. She began having psychic experiences. And she felt drawn to the goddess Isis, who is literally the goddess of magic.
A trusted friend talked her into getting her tarot cards read to see if she could find some meaning in these experiences. The tarot reader happened to be the High Priestess of a coven and convinced her to attend a meeting. She eventually became a member of the coven and began slowly learning what it means to be a witch.
Magic is the art of living a creative life that is graced with divine presence. It isn’t something one does to the universe; it’s what a living universe does with us once we have awaked to its divinity.
And now, according to her website: “Phyllis Curott is a pioneering spiritual teacher and one of America’s first public Wiccan Priestesses. She is an attorney and outspoken advocate in the courts and media on behalf of Pagans, Wiccans and other religious minorities.”
Initiated: Memoir of a Witch by Amanda Yates Garcia. This book chronicles Amanda’s journey back to witchcraft. I say “back” because her mother was actually a witch and Amanda was technically initiated into the craft at thirteen years old. But, she goes through many trials and tribulations (referring to those as her real initiations) and eventually becomes the Oracle of Los Angeles. You may also know her from her podcast “Between the Worlds” (formerly “Strange Magic”).
Apart from her inspiring journey, I also appreciate her practical outlook on witchcraft and her emphasis on the magic in human connection:
Witches don’t seek to transcend material reality. We know that the material world is where the work happens; we want to wring its juice and drink it. We don’t seek a spiritual existence in a golden cloud surrounded by angels or virgins. Nor do we abandon our bodies for an abstract realm of mathematical forms. Witches know that it is in our relationships with each other and with our planet that the true magic occurs.
Toil & Trouble: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs. I relate so much to Augusten. He is a realist. You can tell that by his writing style. He is mystical, but matter-of-fact about it. Just take a look at this excerpt:
Here’s a partial list of things I don’t believe in: God. The Devil. Heaven. Hell. Bigfoot. Ancient Aliens. Past lives. Vampires. Zombies. Homeopathy. Bigfoot. Canola oil, because there’s no such thing as a canola. Note that “witches” and “witchcraft” are absent from this list. When really they should be right there at the top. The thing is, I wouldn’t believe in them, and I would privately ridicule any idiot who did, except for one thing: I am a witch.
In the book, he goes through various memories from his childhood, like when he had an unfortunate premonition about his grandmother and subsequently had “the talk” with his mother where he found out he came from a line of witches and was probably a witch himself. We also catch up with him in his present day, where he is a master of his craft, using sigils and visualization to manifest his desired outcomes.
The reason why I included Augusten’s book on this list, apart from it being an excellent book, is because he is a pretty “mainstream” figure. He’s a New York Times bestselling author (you may have heard of his book “Running With Scissors”). And he’s a witch. And I think that’s pretty cool.
So, those are my recommendations!
If you decide to check them out, I hope you like them 🙂 And like I said, if you have any book recommendations for me, feel free to drop them in the comments.
Also, I’d like to write more detailed reviews of these books in the future, so if you’re interested feel free to click the Follow button.