Review: The New Aradia: A Witch’s Handbook to Magical Resistance, edited by Laura Tempest Zakroff

The New Aradia: A Witch’s Handbook to Magical Resistance, edited by Laura Tempest Zakroff

Revelore Press, 2018, 9781947544161, 106 pp

Magick has long been the domain of the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the otherwise powerless.

“And thou shalt teach the art of poisoning,
To poison those who are great lords of all;
To make them die in their palaces;
And thou shalt bind the spirit of the oppressor.”

Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches, 1899.

Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches is one of the most influential books on modern witchcraft, laying the mythic framework for a lot of systems that came after. In the text it is abundantly clear that Diana and Aradia, gods of witchcraft, are on the side of the average person, the weak, the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and forgotten.

One hundred and twenty years later Aradia, both the god and the gospel, still inspire witches. The New Aradia: A Witch’s Handbook to Magical Resistance was the result of such inspiration. Over 25 witches of different stripes, including such names as Laura Tempest Zakroff, Christopher Penczak, Storm Faerywolf, and Ivo Dominguez Jr have contributed to this handbook.

Following the message or Aradia to poison the great lords and bind the oppressors this book is a collection of short pieces from a variety of authors on a variety of topics that connect back to the theme of magical resistance. Using our magick not (just) for personal work, growth, and gain, but using our magick for the good of our society, to protect those crushed by the boots of power, and to strike at those who wear the boots.

Are you a protestor in our modern social revolution? Are you an activist fighting the injustices our societies are built upon? Are you a worker trying to build a better, more fair world? Do you love someone who can be described by those statements above? Then this is a book you need. 

The book contains invocations to Aradia, to call on her power and her justice, a call to protect and inspire us, to strike against the oppressors of our world. There are workings intended to heal and purify our damaged lands and societies, to bless, heal, and cast out evil and delusion from the places of justice, to bring light and wisdom back into the systems meant to serve and protect us. There are a few sections on useful plant allies for those fighting for magickal justice, and oil recipes to support your work. Acknowledging the reality of protesting injustices there are spells to win court cases when unjustly detained, or spells to protect yourself against violent counter-protestors, or to hide from those who would harm you. Several sigils and spells for protection, house cleaning, and reclaiming our power are throughout the book.There are several pieces that are more of the philosophy of The New Aradia, discussing the history and importance of social justice witchcraft.

This book is short, but to the point, no fluff or padding. Due to the eclectic nature of the authors, and the topics and perspectives of their writing this book is bound to have something for anyone seeking to turn their magick against inequality, injustice, and oppression. It’s a great handbook and guide for social justice witchcraft, the pieces are short, but pithy and powerful, written for a variety of skill levels and levels of involvement. In our current world, with the growing spectre of facism, the widening gaps of income inequality, racial and social tensions that have been simmering for decades boiling to the surface, and ecological breakdowns, this is a valuable little book is essential for witches and other magickal practitioners seeking to join the fight.

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