Initiated: Memoir of a Witch

Initiated: Memoir of a Witch

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 ceTea)...

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Title:Initiated: Memoir of a Witch
Author:Amanda Yates Garcia
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Initiated: Memoir of a Witch Reviews

  • Leah Dieterich

    The right book for this moment. Yates Garcia shows us how to rise up against patriarchy in our thinking and living and inspires us to re-enchant a world that feels cursed.

  • Margaret Wappler

    Review forthcoming but for now: what a beautiful gift of a book.

  • Zandria Senft

    I could not put this beautiful memoir down. I fell in love with Amanda's story about the magical life she leads and how she uses that magic to find herself. The detail Yates goes into describing her life, rituals and initiations makes you feel as though you are experiencing the same things with her. This book will inspire you to be brave in any way you can. This book is exactly what the world needs!

  • Amanda Harlowe

    Such a privilege to have been gifted an early copy by Grand Central– this book BLEW ME AWAY. INITIATED features a deft interweaving of Garcia’s vast esoteric and cultural knowledge with her captivating personal story of trauma, self-discovery, empowerment, and metamorphosis. I was astounded by Garcia’s spellbinding, nimble, gorgeous prose (particularly its supernatural ability to carry me away from a crowded Friday night Amtrak car with broken air conditioning). This is THE memoir for all the wi

    Such a privilege to have been gifted an early copy by Grand Central– this book BLEW ME AWAY. INITIATED features a deft interweaving of Garcia’s vast esoteric and cultural knowledge with her captivating personal story of trauma, self-discovery, empowerment, and metamorphosis. I was astounded by Garcia’s spellbinding, nimble, gorgeous prose (particularly its supernatural ability to carry me away from a crowded Friday night Amtrak car with broken air conditioning). This is THE memoir for all the witches and witch-curious folks whose spiritual engagement and magical practice cannot exist in an apolitical vacuum by virtue of their experiences – Garcia refreshingly unpacks the covert toxicity inherent in a certain sort of New Age detachment from the socioeconomic and political realities surrounding spiritual engagement, and instead shares her fearless journey of confronting the shadow aspects of our world head-on.

    Just pre-ordered another copy as I desperately need a hardback of this, and strongly encourage you to get in on the action early – INITIATED is guaranteed to empower you, hypnotize you, transform your perspective on your own darkness and the underworlds that you encounter, and will no doubt serve as a catalyst to the genuine empowerment, liberation, and personal transformation of the many readers who need Garcia’s inspirational story of rebirth.

  • Mary Lowry

    Amanda Yates Garcia is an intellectual giant. This book is riveting and beautifully written and also acts as a guide for readers seeking to engage in magic as a route to personal empowerment. I cannot recommend this book enough!

  • Natali

    It’s hard to explain exactly what this book is so I will just throw around some adjectives while I digest, having just finished it an hour ago. It is: unique, brave, erudite, inspiring, raw, and real.

    It is a feminist anthem from a daughter and a leader but that is almost a byproduct. It seems she set out to write memoir to share her experiences of learning her power through personal pain. But along the way, she learned to spiral herself up into the empowered witch she would eventually become th

    It’s hard to explain exactly what this book is so I will just throw around some adjectives while I digest, having just finished it an hour ago. It is: unique, brave, erudite, inspiring, raw, and real.

    It is a feminist anthem from a daughter and a leader but that is almost a byproduct. It seems she set out to write memoir to share her experiences of learning her power through personal pain. But along the way, she learned to spiral herself up into the empowered witch she would eventually become through lessons in survival, as well as her studies of historical figures, both real and myth. That knowledge becomes a rally cry to us all to climb our mountains alongside the heroines of the past. She is a wonderful example of how you can study the stories and use them practically in your life for energy or inspiration towards real change in your life.

    She does not try to convince you that witchcraft has virtue or value. She explains how it comes into her life but she does not get very practical about it. She does quite a bit of demystifying of the art and practice but also that is a byproduct and not the point of the book. I appreciated that.

    I learned of this book because I listen to the author’s podcast, Strange Magic. I can see why she elected to launch the book during Scorpio season but I also somehow feel like the timing was a gift just for me. I needed something to help me find some control inside of my energy this week and this met that need and then some! Life is always going to be better if you believe in your own ability to practice magic!

  • Sarah

    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.

    I really enjoyed this memoir. Garcia has writing chops that are strongest when she’s describing landscapes, which thankfully she does often. Her reverence for the natural world is palpable, as is her devotion to social justice, anti misogyny and anti capitalism. She’s also extremely well-read in the history of myths, witchcraft, and folklore from many parts of the world, and I really like the c

    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.

    I really enjoyed this memoir. Garcia has writing chops that are strongest when she’s describing landscapes, which thankfully she does often. Her reverence for the natural world is palpable, as is her devotion to social justice, anti misogyny and anti capitalism. She’s also extremely well-read in the history of myths, witchcraft, and folklore from many parts of the world, and I really like the connections she is able to draw between all of these stories- it has the effect of painting the world as a connected orb rather than a bunch of broken pieces, which is what things like borders and wars make.

    I am definitely not a witch, but I do find witchcraft and astrology very interesting and very queer. (And btw, there is queer stuff in here, I always like to point that out for people who are looking for it, as I always am.) It’s no wonder that queer people gravitate toward it, as it inherently values emotion, community, agency, healing the individual and the collective from trauma, and the earth. While not all of it resonates with me, Garcia makes some compelling points about how important ritual can be and how crucial holistic thinking is.

    But this isn’t a comprehensive guide to witchcraft, it’s a memoir, and Garcia’s story is incredibly interesting in itself. Her mother practiced witchcraft, so she was exposed to it from birth. After several traumatic events related to her family, Garcia struck out on her own, and had a long period of time when she didn’t necessarily practice witchcraft but always felt attuned to something spiritual, and saw significant signs that she sometimes misread. She writes about her experience as a sex worker, her deep and ultimately abusive relationship with a drug dealing manic pixie dream girl, living in Amsterdam and finally reconnecting with her mother.

    Garcia’s relationship with her mother felt extremely real to me, in that as much as they love each other, they revert to their younger selves when they’re together. I have experienced this a lot with my own mother. I liked how Garcia readily admits to feeling irrational anger at her mother for seemingly innocuous things.

    Garcia’s transformation into the Oracle of Los Angeles happens at the end. It’s an interesting story but this is where the woo-woo gets to me a little. I’m just not sure about people being oracles. But I’m willing to embrace this uncertainty. It’s what witches do 😉

    Overall, despite a little bit of uneven pacing, I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. Another great memoir to add to the shelf!

  • Kate

    A Bewitching Read! Garcia lives her life as a modern witch. She takes the reader through her journey of being Initiated onto this path. Garcia unpacks so much in these pages, Memories, Mythology, Trauma, Self-Discovery, Empowerment and more! Her writing is strong and decisive. This is one of thoes memoirs that really shows what the human spirit can endure and what it looks like to come out the otherside.

    A reccomended memoir, and especially if you have ever been curious about the prac

    A Bewitching Read! Garcia lives her life as a modern witch. She takes the reader through her journey of being Initiated onto this path. Garcia unpacks so much in these pages, Memories, Mythology, Trauma, Self-Discovery, Empowerment and more! Her writing is strong and decisive. This is one of thoes memoirs that really shows what the human spirit can endure and what it looks like to come out the otherside.

    A reccomended memoir, and especially if you have ever been curious about the practice of modern witchcraft.

    Thank You to the publisher for #gifting me this book opinions are my own.

    For more of my book content check out

  • SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*

    Need to process this book.

  • Suzanne

    Beyond the sheer amount of trauma in this book (suffering as initiation), it's written in lengthy paragraphs that meander.

    For example, the author will start each chapter with a quotation and then talk about part of her induction into witchcraft and the growth of her practice, but it's not linear. So she's walking us through her practice and what it means, how it developed, etc... but then she'll take a break to talk about her past. This is a little confusing, but what made it difficult for

    Beyond the sheer amount of trauma in this book (suffering as initiation), it's written in lengthy paragraphs that meander.

    For example, the author will start each chapter with a quotation and then talk about part of her induction into witchcraft and the growth of her practice, but it's not linear. So she's walking us through her practice and what it means, how it developed, etc... but then she'll take a break to talk about her past. This is a little confusing, but what made it difficult for me to read was that she'd say something like "I'd do this for the next seven years," but then go right back to I think a few weeks after the events discussed? I had a difficult time figuring out where I was in the timeline of her life and how her practice was developing during each phase. Of course she's speaking from the present day with the benefit of hindsight, but it's tied together in a way that stands somewhat outside of time and reality.

    At times it feels like the book is trying to be a how-to and why-to be a witch, which is at odds with the very personal narrative she's trying to shape. Overall, a book that could be one or the other but doesn't quite succeed at being both.

    It's gotten rave reviews elsewhere, so *shrug*

    Content Warnings: child molestation and rape, discussion of repeated rape and abuse of her mother by mother's father, sex work, drugs, pretty much every traumatic thing that could happen to a cis woman's body, mental illness

    I received a copy of this book for review.

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