As one of the contributors said in the book, witchcraft has always been political. During the last years, many witches have been working directly with political matters and working to manifest a big change on a big scale. The way I see it, it was a matter of time for a book like The New Aradia: A Witch’s Handbook to Magical Resistance, edited by Laura Tempest Zakroff, to appear.
For those unfamiliar with the idea, Aradia is the messianic daughter of the Goddess Diana, who sent her to teach the art of witchcraft as a way of rebellion to the pariahs, the oppressed and the poor so they could defend themselves from tyranny and abuse. Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches, was published in 1899 by folklorist Charles Godfrey Leland and has played a significant role in shaping witchcraft since then.
Laura Tempest Zakroff created the movement of #WeAreAradia on January 24th, 2017, which centers on the idea that each witch is Aradia, that each witch is a savior and Messiah for themselves, and so started crafting several sigils for social purposes. The New Aradia, therefore, can be considered the maximum expression of this idea, a core book for the project she started and that keeps growing up.
As expected, the book includes several sigils: protect protesters, prevent burn outs and housing crisis are a few of them, each with a clear explanation on what they represent and how to use them. I already started using them in my own day-time work and developed a regular practice with them, with great results so far. If unfamiliar with the sigil work of Laura Tempest Zakroff, I recommend reading her book Sigil Witchery.
Along with the sigils, the many contributors of The New Aradia offer incantations, spells and rituals related to the same social, rebellious vein of the book, feeding on the undeniable idea that we as witches play an important role on today’s world. This is not a mere book, but a whole armory for us witches of any path.
What I admire the most is exactly that: there is not a single religion or path highlighted above all the others, only options and points of view that are explored and shared to the public. Laura Tempest Zakroff kept any possible religious affiliation out of debate, and so readers of any religious affiliation of spiritual background can benefit from the reading. An asserted and polite choice.
The length is the only problem that actually bothered me in this book, since I expected it to be longer and with much more information. I actually finished it in less than a week, which doesn’t delegitimize the content on it or implies that what it offers is useless, but I get the impression that more could have been included, more topics touched and more options explored.
That aside, I would recommend it reading to any witch eager to take a more active role in our modern world. These are the times we were made for, and it’s time to accept it and do something about it.
Print Length: 106 pages
Publisher: Revelore Press (September 26, 2018)
Publication Date: September 26, 2018
About the Editor
Laura Tempest Zakroff is a professional artist, author, dancer, designer, and Modern Traditional Witch. She holds a BFA from RISD (The Rhode Island School of Design) and her myth-inspired artwork has received awards and honors worldwide. Laura blogs for Patheos as “A Modern Traditional Witch,” for Witches & Pagans magazine as “Fine Art Witchery,” and contributes to The Witches’ Almanac. She is the author of Sigil Witchery: A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols; The Witch’s Cauldron: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Ritual Vessels; The Witch’s Altar (co-authored with Jason Mankey) and Weave the Liminal: Living Modern Traditional Witchcraft. The New Aradia: A Witch’s Handbook to Magical Resistance is the first book she edits.
List of Contributors:
Aidan Wachter, Amanda Bell, Annalun, Annwyn Avalon, Aradia The Rose, H. Byron Ballard, Casandra Johns, Christopher Penczak, Deborah Castellano, Devin Hunter, Gwendolyn Reece, Irina Xara, Irisanya Moon, Ivo Dominguez Jr., Jay Logan, Jenn Zahrt, Kelden, Laura Tempest Zakroff, Lisa Bland, Lyssa Heartsong, Mat Auryn, Misha Magdalene, Patti Wigington, Phoenix LeFae, Raye Schwarz, Stephen Pocock & Storm Faerywolf.
About the Reviewer
Bader Saab is a digital journalist and self-published writer; a solitary, eclectic witch interested in the darker side of magic and divination; a gothic guy who tries to educate whenever he can. He hopes to succeed in one of them sooner than later.