Book Review: Witchcraft Activism by David Salisbury

Review and Photo by Briony Silver | Instagram | Podcast 

About the Author

David Salisbury teaches Wicca- and witchcraft-based topics throughout the mid-Atlantic region. He currently lives in Washington, D.C., where he works to co-facilitate Firefly, a national Wiccan tradition, and head up the Firefly House, the largest Pagan organization in the mid-Atlantic region with nearly six hundred members.

About Witchcraft Activism

It is no secret that our world has changed dramatically in 2020. Revolutionary energy is palpable, and perhaps more people than ever before have developed (or deepened) their interest in activism – yet this wave of new and renewed interest can generate a lot of questions for folks who have not been fully immersed in their activism for an extended period of time already. Written by David Salisbury and published in 2019, Witchcraft Activism provides answers to many of those questions while serving as an invaluable resource for witches who wish to learn practical methods for incorporating magic into their efforts.

“This work can be messy, hard, stressful, and painful. It can also be rewarding beyond measure. Most of all, it is important and worth your effort. There has never been a time when the world needed our activism and our magic more.”

Witchcraft Activism

Witchcraft Activism is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for folks in the magical community who want to dial up their level of involvement in causes about which they are passionate, yet might have that oh-so-common question standing in their way: “Where do I start?” – perhaps you have even found yourself asking this same question. Salisbury takes a pragmatic, “from A to Z,” approach, starting with the aptly-titled section, “The Basics,” which details the various types of activism (hint: if attending a protest is not for you, there are lots of other options!). These include learning and education, petitioning and letter writing, lobbying (not just for professional lobbyists!), outreach and volunteering, street activism (marching and demonstrating), and civil disobedience and direct action. While this may sound overwhelming at first, remember that you do not have to do it all – try selecting just one area with which to start, and make a commitment to your work in that area. Part two of the book (“Getting to Work”) gets into a bit more detail around such topics as developing your strategy, finding your voice, building and joining activism communities, and even touches on some magical lore, as well as modern history that informs present-day activism.

New Witches will Love…

…the extensive guides to symbols and sigils for use in your magical activism. Personally, I found sigils to be an incredibly accessible tool in my own craft, and Witchcraft Activism contains a plethora with which you may choose to work. These sections are entitled “Symbols and Sigils of Defense” and “Symbols and Sigils of Offense,” respectively, making it simple to find something that aligns with your intention. And speaking of intention, Salisbury also details the utilization of The Witch’s Pyramid as a means to create a plan of action for your activism – so even if you are new to both magic and activism, this book provides approachable methods to take those first steps on your journey. 

Experienced Witches will Love…

…the number of exercises, activities, and general advice offered around incorporating magical practices that may be considered more advanced into your activism. If you are an experienced witch, but seeking a means to wield your knowledge within the activist context, there are plenty of suggestions provided for ways to do so. Conjuring spirits of defense (and / or offense), contacting ancestral spirits of activism, working with your personal guardian spirits, warding yourself, and creating a thoughtform are just some of the practices outlined in Witchcraft Activism. If astrology and divination are of more interest, you’ll also find some fascinating discussion on how to integrate such methods as you step more fully into the work of activism. 

Witchcraft Activism 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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