Book Review: The Magical Writing Grimoire by Lisa Marie Basile

Review and Photo by Briony Silver | Instagram | Podcast 

About the Author

Lisa Marie Basile is the founding creative director of Luna Luna Magazine, a popular magazine and digital community focused on literature, magical living, and identity. She is the author of several books of poetry, as well as Light Magic for Dark Times, a modern collection of inspired rituals and daily practices. She’s written for or has been featured in The New York Times, Refinery 29, Self, Chakrubs, Marie Claire, Narratively, Catapult, Sabat Magazine, HelloGiggles, Best American Experimental Writing, Best American Poetry, Grimoire Magazine, and more. She’s an editor at the poetry site Little Infinite as well as the co-host of Astrolushes, a podcast that conversationally explores astrology, ritual, pop culture, and literature. Lisa Marie has taught writing and ritual workshops at Manhattanville College, Pace University, and HausWitch in Salem, Massachusetts. She is also a chronic illness advocate, keeping columns at several chronic illness patient websites. She earned a master’s degree in writing from The New School and studied literature and psychology as an undergraduate at Pace University. Follow her at @lisamariebasile and @Ritual_Poetica. Follow Luna Luna Magazine at @lunalunamag

About The Magical Writing Grimoire

Have you ever felt an unexplainable rush, an overwhelming sense of comfort, or an elusive sense of magic when putting pen to paper? (Or fingers to keyboard, or voice to recorder, etc.). Are you a witch who has always felt a deep connection to the power of the written and / or spoken word, yet couldn’t quite define the reason for such a connection? Are your bookshelves lined with – in addition to countless books – different journal styles, with a variable number of pages filled in? If any of these ideas strike a chord for you, The Magical Writing Grimoire will feel like a homecoming in many ways. 

“Words allow us to give shape and meaning to our magic and to carry it with us wherever we go.”

The Magical Writing Grimoire

Lisa Marie Basile’s latest book beautifully captures the essence of “word witchery,” a relatively new term that emcompasses many of the above-described feelings, and so much more. The book is centered around the notion that language and magic are inextricably linked – and that that connection is sacred. This sacred nature, though, does not mean that it is only attainable through elaborate, precisely-timed ceremonies that utilize numerous expensive or hard-to-find witchcraft tools. Quite the contrary, in fact – the emphasis is on accessibility, with careful consideration for those who are coming to these practices from a wide variety of backgrounds. 

Basile’s warm and familiar tone encourages readers to immerse themselves in the ritual of writing on a consistent basis. Like any new endeavour, there is always the chance that it will be messy, difficult, or even confusing at times, but she is clear in her stance that regular practice is what will yield the most powerful results- so just keep writing! To that end, Basile also offers plenty of words of wisdom for those who know all-too-well the challenge of putting small, subtle, or obscure feelings into words – as well as for those who simply do not consider themselves to be writers at the moment. For those who fall into the latter category, the List-Making Practices for Writing Goals & Inspiration on page 126 may be especially helpful. This practice, like all others in The Magical Writing Grimoire, is journey-focused as opposed to results-focused, and that journey certainly does not have to be linear. After the foundational discussion in chapters 1 & 2, non-linear engagement with the material is encouraged, in fact! 

New Witches will Love…

…the wonderful sampling of different practices and rituals contained in this book! The practices are divided up into the categories of Healing, Manifestation, Mindfulness, and Grimoire Poetica (Basile defines Grimoire Poetica as “a creative, poetic, less structured collection of your magical workings and creative writings, part magical-recipe collection, part literary exploration of you: It’s a sacred book of self” [p.149]). This broad range of offerings gives new witches an exceptional opportunity to try different things, see what interests them most, and perhaps use this newfound self-exploration to shape the direction of their practice moving forward.  

Experienced Witches will Love…

…the detailed discussion around writing your own spells and incantations. While there are certainly some witches out there who feel comfortable doing so right out of the gates, oftentimes it is not until they become a bit more well-versed and familiar with the craft that they feel confident striking out on their own to create original spells. (Does the thought, “What if I do it wrong?” sound familiar to you?). For readers who are at such a place in their practice and feel ready to try their hand at spellcrafting, Basile has included an entire deep-dive on precisely how to do so in chapter 2. 

The Magical Writing Grimoire may be purchased here.

About Briony: Briony Silver is an eclectic witch based in the Pacific Northwest, and the host of the Eclectic Witchery podcast. A proud Cancerian, water and the moon heavily influence her individual Craft – so you can almost always find her wearing something lunar-inspired, while toting a variety of jars, bottles, and vials in her bag. With a background teaching yoga and mindfulness, she enjoys weaving those two practices into her magic, and vice versa. You can connect with her on Instagram at @eclectic_witchery to talk water magic, crystals, moon magic, divination tools, and witchy books galore!

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