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As a Reclaiming witch myself, when I saw Irisanya Moon had written a new book in the Pagan Portals series: “Reclaiming Witchcraft”, my first thought was “why didn’t I think of that?!” I’m glad I didn’t, though, as Irisanya has done such a wonderful job of sharing a sense of the workings that make Reclaiming what it is.
“Pagan Portals – Reclaiming Witchcraft” by Irisanya Moon (Moon Books, 2020) systematically shares about the parts of a tradition which grew out of a deep, activist, desire to bring magic to bear on the world for positive change. The origins and history of its roots in an activist collective, and its subsequent growth into a worldwide collective – anarchistic in that each witch is their own authority, and recognising that we always live within community.
Through the Principles of Unity, Irisanya shares the guiding concepts of Reclaiming, and illustrates how we balance our independence and our collectivity. How do highly creative, anarchistic witches work in community? Through listening and developing structures through which each member can, when it works, be heard.
Irisanya touches on the ways in which we co-create Ecstatic, Improvisational, Ensemble, Inspired, and Organic rituals and magic. The Tools mentioned in the “Core Classes” give each witch both their own toolbox and shared points of magical development and ritual technology. And the concept of “Witchcamps” is discussed too, between the ritual style, the tools, and the Witchcamps, Reclaiming has an unusual and effective system of magic and community development. All of which feed back into creating change in the world.
As a tradition with 40+ years of history now, the question of how different generations are included is an important one, and one Irisanya handles gently and with compassion… Because a world of community must have space for all the family!
The final chapter on Magical Activism speaks to the desire that underpins Reclaiming Witchcraft… To make the world a better, fairer, place, and a home for us all.
This topic is one that Irisanya then went on to expand in “Earth Spirit – Honoring the Wild – Reclaiming Witchcraft and Environmental Activism” (Moon Books: 2023), which, as a book on collective action, includes a myriad of voices, some of whom are friends of mine!
My activism is a quiet one, I marched against the Iraq war in the early 2000s, handing out fliers, calling for peace (or at the very least, honesty) and found that wasn’t the path for me. But I see the state of the world too, so I often feel like I should be doing more. This book helped remind me that there are as many ways of helping to change the world, of being an activist, as there are witches. That doing my bit in my own life and working to lift spirits and share tools is valuable too.
Stories from disabled witches, from teachers, from people determined to help, and from the front lines of history.
A discussion of how magic, and a magical worldview, can help us motivate ourselves. Rituals and blessings. Tips for encouraging younger generations to engage.
All of these things offer hope.
Hope because we are not alone in caring.
Hope because those successes, those actions do help.
Hope because we can be activists, just as we are, when we offer our imperfect offerings. And perhaps we, too, can be inspired to help change the world for the better. A spell at a time.
Find more of Irisanya’s work here.
And learn more about Reclaiming here.
PS: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy books through them the website gives me a little commission, which helps support me at no extra cost to you. So… Thank you!