Book Review | Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman

How to summon success, banish drama, and raise hell with your coven. 

Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman introduce you to witchcraft for the modern witch in this handy little guide. From everything to finding your colours, banishing toxic friendships, and how to handle truly terrible Tinder dates, the girls show you how you can be a badass witch in the modern era with spells, rituals, and just a whole lot of empowerment. 

I’ve recently become really interested in witchcraft, so this book has come at the perfect time for me! It’s a really simple, and plain gorgeous, little guide to the modern witch. 

Throughout the book, Jaya and Jess have invented spells to help you for a whole range of things, and some of them I think would actually be ones I’d perform! They write about rituals, and stones and runes, and throughout keep up with a really good sense of humour that actually had me laughing out loud. Not only was there some really good information in this book (the girls are very well informed, and write about a lot of history of witchcraft, which I found so interesting!) but it was also just a pleasure to read. I would love them to collaborate and write a fictional book together, I think it would be hilarious!

I will say that if you are truly looking for a book on “modern witchcraft”, this is not it. This is a book for people who feel like they want a bit more empowerment in their lives, and are happy to perform spells and rituals to do it. (Reading this book has made me feel a lot more feminist, and, incidentally, I loved how inclusive Jaya and Jess were!) For example, there is a “Personal Exorcism Spell” which could actually be legit alongside pages making up tea cup readings and demons.

The fundamentals of witchcraft are included in this book: that intent is the most important thing, all you need to be a witch is you and a sense of yourself, and, as I’ve said, they’re both very well researched. I think that this book will become really popular, because it is a really entertaining read. I will say that I think the look of it suggests that some booksellers will put it into the children’s section, but this is not a children’s book! Jaya and Jess happily talk openly about sex and sexuality, having sex, and how orgasms can be used to charge spells and crystals, but therefore it’s not a children’s book! I would suggest this for old MG and any YA! For context, I am 19 and I really enjoyed this book!

Overall, I highly rate this book! I don’t think it’d get a budding witch onto a firm journey into witchcraft, but they might find it enjoyable to have this book on their shelf. It’s a fun one if you want to have a slumber party and perform some spells with your self-made coven, and Jess and Jaya don’t shy away from the shit that life throws at you. Their anecdotes weren’t drawn out, their writing was light, and I give this book a strong 4/5.

Thanks so much to Quirk Books for providing me with a copy of this book! All opinions are my own. This book will be released on September 12th in the UK and August 29th in the US. 

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