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  • Writer's pictureEnchanted Conversation

Review by Kelly Jarvis: New Moon Magic by Risa Dickens and Amy Torok

New Moon Magic: 13 Anti-Capitalist Tools for Resistance and Enchantment is a phenomenal book of magic and scholarship designed to help readers create meaningful change. The forward, written by Dr. Christena Cleveland, likens the book to the “magic of Gestalt psychology” which teaches that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Cleveland, “enrobed in a Black and female body”, grew up feeling pressure to break down her sacred intersectionality into its simplistic parts, and she upholds this book and its magic as an antidote to harmful reductionism. Dickens and Torok, creators of the podcast Missing Witches, show readers how to liberate themselves from tyranny by fully embracing their identities and forging connections to each other and the bountiful world. 


The book is divided into thirteen sections that correspond with the astrological new moons and the meanings of the earth, air, water, and fire signs. The introduction defines the word “witch” not as a person but as a discursive space, “a meeting point of politics, spirituality, and art.” The writers chart “a path beyond the violence of capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy” by hearkening to the voices and stories of marginalized people. Each month’s new moon offers readers the dark space to explore a new way of living as they contemplate what “our worldviews and world will look like when we reintegrate marginalized, obscured, violated, missing wisdom.”  


I absolutely loved this book. Although it is full of thought-provoking ideas, it is easy to read and can be digested over time as each new moon rises. The book covers the magic of the body, the garden, song, dance, storytelling, geometry, and divination, pairing simple rituals and incantations with historical information and complex philosophies. In the section on the 13th moon, the writers issue a call to action, urging readers to understand that personal strength is political strength and that our greatest calling as humans is “to build a shared house of wisdom in community with all creatures of the earth.” Heartfelt, informative, and inspirational, this book reaches into a shared past to envision a brighter future, showing readers that true magic lies not in tools or aesthetics but inside ourselves. This beautiful book is full of ancient wisdom, personal stories, and innovative tips that will help readers to enchant their lives and, in doing so, change the world.


You can find the book here.  


Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.  

Kelly Jarvis works as the Assistant Editor for The Fairy Tale Magazine. Her poetry has been featured or is forthcoming in Blue Heron Review, Mermaids Monthly, Eternal Haunted Summer, Forget Me Not Press, A Moon of One’s Own, The Magic of Us, and Corvid Queen. Her short fiction has appeared in The Chamber Magazine and the World Weaver Press Anthology Mothers of Enchantment: New Tales of Fairy Godmothers. She can be found at https://kellyjarviswriter.com/


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