Smoke Gets in Your Eyes meets Women Who Run With The Wolves in this "gorgeously written, fierce, political, personal, and deeply inspiring" (Michelle Tea) memoir about finding meaning, beauty, and power through a life in witchcraft.
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.
Garcia, self-proclaimed "Oracle of Los Angeles," shares the series of initiations that led to her practice as a professional witch, writer, and healer in her superb debut. Raised in Northern California, Garcia was introduced to the feminist practice of Goddess magic by her mother, but she rejected those teachings for years. After experiencing horrific abuse at the hands of a family member, she left home at 16 for San Francisco, drifted to Europe, then landed in Los Angeles to chase her dream of being an artist. Garcia realizes that, like magic, art made "the things we imagine visible to us; it pulls them into material reality and changes the way we experience the world." Throughout her travels, she experiences visions that lead her thoughts back to witchcraft. Then, following a stint in grad school, she performs an official witch ceremony on her 30th birthday with members of her L.A. community and realizes "nothing could give me the satisfaction of witchcraft." She also reveals times of personal "darkness," such as working as a stripper and pursuing toxic relationships, crediting witchcraft for helping her escape: "The moment you stop seeing yourself as a supplicant and start seeing yourself as a participant, a coconspirator, an agent, that shift marks the moment you become a witch." 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.
Amanda’s words are always a gift
Memoir for everyone 💗
Initiated is all at once an incredibly personal, and familiarly relatable, tome- one of discovery, exploration, and finally coming back home to oneself. This book had me crying and laughing, for in Amanda Yates Garcia’s colorful sharing of her own life, I found myself looking to my own memories and experiences, finding the multitude of moments where there were hidden depths of magic and doorways to understanding that I never noticed before. This book is for everyone! It is steeped in the language of witchcraft, which is a voice that has been seriously misunderstood and under-heard. This book is for people of all faiths and beliefs who are looking for a seriously fun and soberingly authentic tale of one coming into her full power - and thus for anyone ready to come into their own full power.