Book Review – How Witchcraft Saved My Life by Vincent Higginbotham

Review by Mandi Em Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 
About the Author

Vincent is the author of How Witchcraft Saved My Life: Practical Advice for Transformative Magick which is published by Llewellyn Worldwide and was released in June 2021. He has been called to Witchcraft his entire life but failed to pay attention for much longer than he would like to admit. Since truly taking this path seriously he has found his hunger for education is insatiable, he consumes books in an attempt to quench a thirst for knowledge. It is never enough. There is no subject Vincent finds taboo and he believes that every Witch’s voice is deserving of an audience.

 

About How Witchcraft Saved My Life: Practical Advice for Transformative Magick

Part memoir, part practical guidebook, author Vincent Higginbotham manages to present some of the foundational cornerstones of the craft through the lens of how they can practically be applied to craft a beautifully tapped-in life. More than just an introduction to witchcraft, this is a tale of trauma and healing, showing how readers can find a safe place in a personal practice that allows us to transmute pain into power.

While many witchcraft books that cover the fundamentals lack a human voice, in How Witchcraft Saved My Life: Practical Advice for Transformative Magick, Vincent Higginbotham gives readers insight into the troubled times that led him on his path. The raw retelling of his own personal transformation and healing by way of the craft gives this book depth and soul that can be hard to come by in most beginner-friendly tomes. 

Alongside the author’s personal anecdotes and overview of foundational witchcraft principles, this book also has rituals, prompts, and witchy activities to help the reader connect in a direct tangible way to the lessons that are being taught. The practical tools and processes outlined in the book are relevant and informative, and will have the reader likely marking pages for quick reference later. 

 

Pick Up This Book Because

Although a witches practice varies greatly depending on the witch, there are some foundational concepts that Vincent managed to cover and present in a relatable, down to Earth fashion. The book begins with a disclaimer to prepare the reader that this is not a ”good vibes only” style of book, instead it is told through the author’s own personal stories and experiences, many of which are very raw and moving. 

While most witches will jump at the chance to explain just how healing the craft can be, this book drives the point home by pairing stories from the author’s tumultuous past with the applied practices and principles that allowed his transformation. By doing this, the fundamental cornerstones of the craft become more “real”, as we hear the impact these techniques had on the author’s life and psyche.

Far from the silly descriptions on the big screen, witches are healers, and this book helps to illuminate the concept of transforming trauma and negativity into personal empowerment and positive change. The author talks about his own experience with abuse, homelessness, addiction, and turmoil, and how the craft acted as a light in the dark to help him find his way. This is a book about hope and healing, and how all of us have the power deep inside us to make something magic out of the sometimes harsh chaos of being alive.

The Magic You Could Learn

This book covers principles and techniques to help readers transform pain into power through strengthening their senses, cultivating a gratitude mindset, using ritual work, deep knowledge and application of the four pillars of Witchcraft, and divination (such as the Tarot). This is not a passive read, instead the author invites the reader to participate with hands-on activities and spells that will help solidify the concepts in a lasting way. 

The techniques outlined in this book are incredibly helpful for both new and experienced witches alike. The section on psychic senses is full of useful info for the practitioner that wants to tap into their own guidance and abilities. The sections that depict the four pillars of the craft (to Keep Silent, to Dare, to Will, and to Know) is expertly woven with the author’s personal stories in such a way that will make the info hit home. The section on using the Tarot as a spiritual tool is likely going to be dog-eared by the eager practitioner. This book is full of useful guidance, and the tone reads like a friend who is accepting and kind. 

At its core, this book is about calling in the incredible healing power of magic for personal empowerment. It gives a why and a how for those looking to learn more about how witchcraft can be applied in a practical way for personal healing. The author shows us that this is our right as practitioners; to transmute darkness into something brighter. 

One thing that jumps across in this book is hope- while life may throw us curveballs and our own trauma and pain can cloud our potential, Vincent shows how we can take these cards into our own hands and become more empowered as practitioners and people. There is incredible transformative power in the craft, in this guide Vincent gives us the proof and permission to seek it for ourselves.

 
About Mandi Em

Mandi Em is a freelance writer and solitary witch, who shares approachable, funny self-help advice on her blog Healthy Living for Hot Messes and resources for nonreligious witches at The Secular Witch. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, HuffPost, SheKnows, Refinery29, McSweeneys, and more. She and her husband are born again hippies trying to live green AF while connecting with nature as they raise their three children in Vernon, BC.  You can follow Mandi  on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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