Witchcraft Activism: A Toolkit for Magical Resistance, by David Salisbury
Weiser Books, 9781578636570, 192 pp., 2019
I knew I needed a copy of Witchcraft Activism: A Toolkit for Magical Resistance as soon as I read its summary. I believe that witchcraft is a tool to manifest change and can aid those who are in need, and so the idea of a book about this was promising.
Although I try to keep an open mind when reading an author for the first time, it was impossible not have high hopes for this one due to the subject. Honestly, it filled them all and proved to me that David Salisbury should write another book sooner rather than later. It has been a long time since I read something with substance and style that was so easy to follow. It was love at first page.
There is controversy about whether witchcraft should be used for activism, but I agree with Salisbury when he writes, “activism isn’t always about gently educating and waiting for change. Sometimes it is about pushing your obstacles away and demanding that change occur by force. To me this also encompasses the spirit of magic itself.”1 If we have a tool that could be ethically used for a fair cause, why not to do so?
it is my own hope that the trend of helping others and the world we live in will continue to be a theme for magic-makers everywhere. If anything, we certainly have a wealth of ancestral inspiration to draw from.2
Witchcraft Activism guides the reader in the mundane and energetic steps one should take in order to have positive results. Whether it is about meeting a person with an important charge, marching, or even writing an email, David Salisbury makes his ideas clear and gives a lot of examples and shares his experiences. This illustrates his point, and also make this an entertaining book.
Salisbury not only provides guidance and advice that is useful for times when we need to make ourselves heard, but also reminds us that “the only thing more important than the work you’re doing is you.”3 He goes straight to the point in this matter, but also says that “there’s an old saying, ‘a witch is never alone.’ This is great news for the activist witch.”4 Again, I agree with him. To serve a noble cause is even nobler, but to do so we must take care of ourselves first.
For this, Witchcraft Activism comes with several rituals and spells to ask for help when we need it, since “the activist witch might call upon the aid of ancestral spirits, spirits of the land (which would be particularly suitable for environmental causes), animal spirits, and otherworldly spirits such as demons and angels.”5 I would only advise the reader to do whatever they feel most comfortable doing and to follow their intuition.
I wish to finish by reminding you, as Salisbury does, that “every day is a chance to do something. Anything. While we certainly cannot do everything, we can always do something.”6 Reading and using Witchcraft Activism: A Toolkit for Magical Resistance is a good first step.
Image credit: Thomas Lee-Smith