Memoir of a Witch
Grand Central Publishing, 9781538763056, 352pp.
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (10/22/2019)
An initiation signals a beginning: a door opens and you step through. Traditional Wiccan initiates are usually brought into the craft through a ceremony with a High Priestess. But even though Amanda Yates Garcia's mother, a practicing witch herself, initiated her into the earth-centered practice of witchcraft when she was 13 years old, Amanda's real life as a witch only began when she underwent a series of spontaneous initiations of her own.
Descending into the underworlds of poverty, sex work, and misogyny, Initiated describes Amanda's journey to return to her body, harness her power, and create the magical world she longed for through witchcraft. Hailed by crows, seduced by magicians, and haunted by ancestors broken beneath the wheels of patriarchy, Amanda's quest for self-discovery and empowerment is a deep exploration of a modern witch's trials - healing ancient wounds, chafing against cultural expectations, creating intimacy - all while on a mission to re-enchant the world. Peppered with mythology, tales of the goddesses and magical women throughout history, Initiated stands squarely at the intersection of witchcraft and feminism. With generosity and heart, this book speaks to the question: is it possible to live a life of beauty and integrity in a world that feels like it's dying?
Declaring oneself a witch and practicing magic has everything to do with claiming authority and power for oneself, of taking back our planet in the name of Love. Initiated is both memoir and manifesto calling the magical people of the world to take up their wands: stand up, be brave, describe the world they want, then create it like a witch.
About the Author
Praise For Initiated: Memoir of a Witch…
"Initiated is breathtaking--gorgeously written, fierce, political, personal, and deeply inspiring. I love this book."
—Michelle Tea, author of Modern Tarot
"Yates Garcia takes us on a sweeping, expansive, generous, and beautifully intuitive
journey into feminine power in Initiated. She leads us fearlessly into the dark underworld
of patriarchal oppression, intergenerational trauma, loss and grief, where, she says, every
witch must go to find her magic. This book is a powerful political protest and a call to
return to first principles as a nation, a society, and a people. Come to it seeking your own
artistic and intellectual path, and leave trusting yourself, trusting others, and trusting in
the unconditional love you will find in the collective soul of the world."
"A journey through wild beauty and deep wounds, Initiated is the book we need right now-it is an embrace, an awakening, a forging by flame and an enchanted rallying cry."—Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. the World
"To read Initiated is to undergo your own. Amanda's wisdom and insight into the heart of the witch is complimented by her ability to weave together a story that is also a spell. Somewhere between a memoir and a grimoire, this book invites the reader to reflect on their own cycles of life and death as well as their own relationship to the witch. All in a way that's uplifting, engaging, feminist as fuck and so unapologetically fierce. No one else could have written this story, and whether you identify as a witch or not, you'll leave obsessed."—Gabriela Herstik, author of Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft
"Early on in her beautifully written memoir, Amanda Yates Garcia says of her sister, 'I
decided to love her forever.' That is precisely how I felt about this gorgeous memoir that refuses to be labeled or to fit inside any kind of box. Part history, part mythology, part
poetry, part prose; but mostly: magic. Which is to say: this is a book about love. A book
which challenges the reader to a deeper understanding of what it means to be human in a
complicated and beautiful world. My copy is dog eared and highlighted and I plan to pass
it on to all my friends. This book reminds us that we all are powerful with the capacity to
change the world, one witch at a time."
"This bold and transporting story of one woman's awakening into her own spiritual
power reads as a metaphysical coming of age, bearing gifts for anyone seeking her own
alignment in the world."
troubled times. It functions not only as a scathing personal critique of patriarchy and
oppression, but as a manual for dismantling them from the ground up, told with style,
deep spiritual insight, and brutal honesty. Raw, lyrically enchanting, and brimming with
feminine power, this is the book of shadows and light our imperiled world desperately
needs right now."
"In a world desperately in need of re-enchantment, Initiated provides more than its fair
share. It is a battle cry, a blueprint, and most of all, a love letter to the traditions of
witchcraft, the benefits of co-creation and interdependence, and our innate ability to
manifest our collective power as women and humans."
"As much as witches are warriors, we are also guardians-of a history, culture, and
practice that's been erased and persecuted for millennia. Recently, I've watched with
apprehension as witchcraft, in a much-needed renaissance, has also become a lifestyle trend on Instagram, ahistorical and commodified. I've been hoping for a visibility that
cannot divorce witchcraft from its insurrectionary origins, its lineage of liberation, its
blood memory that connects us to its feminist fire. As Initiated luminously testifies,
Amanda Yates Garcia is the kind of warrior and guardian witches need: subversive and
scholarly, empowered and devoted, a magician and a firebrand."
"More than a story of coming into one's own, Initiated is a page turning word orgasm of flowering language. It's a reexamination of patriarchal hierarchy, a relinquishing of the idea that because something is, is because it's supposed to be. It embraces fierce feminine energy that crackles with the transformative excitement of giving birth to one's self, standing in our own power and releasing old narratives that have held us back, individually and culturally. Initiated is a fierce and radical call to action."—Nikki Darling, author of Fade Into You
"Initiated is a stunning act of generosity from a fearless and wise spirit guide. Amanda Yates Garcia has cracked open her life -- the brutal lessons, the romantic entanglements, the yearning to be a force of love -- to empower all of us to write our own magic myth into the sky."—Margaret Wappler, author of Neon Green
"I see Amanda Yates Garcia realizing a kind of magic choreography
here: reaching back through millennia, dragging forth darkness by the handful, recalling
ancient women misremembered, denied, hounded and destroyed, holding the pain of
misogyny and changing it with intention, into light."
"Effortlessly weaving Goddess myths from diverse cultures with her own life story, Garcia's reverent, powerful work will encourage readers to forge their own values and join in her 're-enchantment' of the world."—Publisher's Weekly (starred)