Astrea Taylor’s Intuitive Witchcraft beckons you into the wild woods of witchery to forge a unique path that is personally meaningful, empowering, and inspiring. Regardless of whether or not you choose to follow a formalized witchcraft tradition, intuition is an indispensable tool as you continually learn and grow your craft – and this book provides a masterful, comprehensive framework for working with it.
The early chapters lay crucial groundwork that newer witches may find particularly helpful. Key to understanding intuitive witchcraft is dispelling the notion that it is an “aimless path,” but rather one that asks its practitioners to follow their internal voice, no matter how quietly it may speak at times. While this may be difficult at first, the discussions and exercises in part one can help to clear the way for that voice to be heard clearly and consistently. From identifying and eliminating toxicity in its many forms from our lives, to understanding what it means to be empathic and setting healthy boundaries to protect our energy, the simple and practical concepts Taylor outlines aid in starting your intuitive witchcraft journey “on the right foot.”
A solid foundation of self-awareness paves the way to begin understanding and working more tangibly with one’s own energy. Intuitive Witchcraft then takes it a step further with some basic witchcraft material: magical tools and objects, casting circles, spellwork, rituals, correspondences, cleansing methods, and more. While more experienced practitioners may not feel the need to read these sections in great detail, Taylor’s personal take on some of the practices can provide hidden gems and new ways of approaching time-honored practices, breathing new life into an established practice. The discussion around spellwork and correspondences may be particularly inspiring for many readers; it is no secret that witchcraft can sometimes place a disproportionate emphasis on tradition. This emphasis can cause many witches to feel stuck in a cycle of using and repeating old spells exclusively, for fear of branching out and doing something “wrong.” However, Taylor beautifully outlines the power of creating your own spells, and of following your intuition when it comes to color, herb, and other correspondences.
The lengthier part two of Intuitive Witchcraft is a fascinating exploration of some of the more immersive aspects of witchcraft, starting right off with deity and spirit work. Whether or not you work with these energies, the abundance of information shared is bound to be helpful, particularly for beginning or intermediate practitioners. Taylor is also mindful to include some important discussion of cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation and de-colonization, topics that are becoming increasingly important as information becomes more easily accessible in the current era. The later chapters of the book also do not shy away from neutral / baneful magic, and delve quite substantively into both the concept and importance of shadow work, another “hot topic” in the witchcraft community today. Woven throughout are an abundance of exercises to help readers understand and manipulate their own energy in a tangible way – a basic building block of any magical practice. Intuitive Witchcraft reminds us that we might live in a mundane world, but we as witches have the power to make it magical.
This review appeared on the Witch With Me blog in March 2020.