I’ll rarely review something that’s out of print. However, I was feeling nostalgic last night and began flipping through the companion book of Silver Ravenwolf’s Teen Witch Kit. This kit was created to be a companion to her popular book Teen Witch: Wicca For A New Generation. Before there was the Sephora Witch Kit that was canceled before it’s creation there was the Teen Witch Kit.
There’s probably not a single more controversial product ever released by Llewellyn than this kit. Many recently drew comparisons between the two kits, but honestly – that’s completely unfair. The now out-of-print Teen Witch Kit was vastly superior and actually created by an experienced Witchcraft teacher that approached all the information within it in a responsible manner, with historical information and witchcraft lore understood and embraced as true at the time, with a motive much larger than a perfume company cashing in on a trend for a money grab.
The Sephora kit was going to contain a bundle of sage, a deck of tarot cards, a rose quartz, and perfume. The Teen Witch Kit included a pentacle necklace, a bag of salt, a bell, a cord, a quartz crystal, a coin for divination, a coin with the symbol of the triple goddess on one side and the horned god on the other, a spell pouch and most of all – the box itself transformed into a makeshift portable altar. But the true gem within the kit was the companion book.
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My very first pentacle (maybe like 20 years ago?) that I actually owned. It came from Silver Ravenwolf’s Teen Witch Kit. I felt like such a badass for having it. Me: *whisper and looking around* Hey, want to know a secret? Oblivious Kid At School: Yeah, sure! Me: *takes pentacle out from under shirt* Don’t tell anyone! Oblivious Kid At School: I didn’t know you were Jewish. Why’s that a secret? #WitchesofInstagram #witchcraft #witch #SilverRavenWolf #pentacle #pentagram
While revisiting the Teen Witch Kit, I realized how absolutely genius the book was and how ahead of its time it was. Before there was this flood of hardcover books with pretty covers trending on instagram and tumblr, there was the Teen Witch Kit – the format of which is absolutely the precursor of these now popular books. Silver ensured that the reader learn the bare bones of magick, correspondences, magickal timing, and Wiccan spirituality. She made certain that the reader was gaining access to information that was solid based on their experience and comprehension level that wouldn’t overwhelm them.
This is a project that had so much potential of being done unsuccessfully – however it’s absolutely brilliant in its execution. Being a good magickal instructor isn’t about how advanced and convoluted you can present ideas – but how well these ideas and practices can be taught clearly and in ways the student can integrate them into their own life. In this sense, Ravenwolf excels. Before the topic of taking on self-appointed gate-keepers of witchcraft was a popular idea, there was Silver Ravenwolf already knee-deep in the work of breaking down those gates, decades ahead of her time.
The book is full of spells that cover almost every area that a beginner or young person could want. However, the true genius of the book is that Silver sets the reader up to create a daily practice for every single day of the week. The emphasis on a consistent daily devotional practice to be incorporated into one’s life is something that I feel was a unique contribution from Silver and something that other books didn’t address or devote a lot of attention towards (the closest being Cunningham). She sets the reader up for success, keeping the practices simple, manageable, and consistent. The book ensures that the reader begins connecting to currents of power within their life and building a relationship with them – planetary, lunar, elemental, and divine – all in a safe manner. She shows how to cast a circle, call upon elementals, cast spells, bless, and create a personalized Wiccan spirituality.
While the book may seem simple – and it is intentionally – the brilliance of the kit is that everything within it is completely accessible and creates a foundation from which a more advanced and in-depth practice could be built upon effortlessly with time and study. The kit supposedly targets teenagers, but honestly it seems to be truly focused on pre-teen seekers – or perhaps it only seems that way to me because that’s when I began using it as a kid. The magick and the spells within the book also work. I remember them working as a kid and I know many adult witches of my generation that have confided in me that they still effectively use spells from this kit and from her book Teen Witch.
Most of all, the most powerful aspect of both Teen Witch and the Teen Witch Kit – is that Silver may have single handedly saved Witchcraft for a generation in the ’90s – Millennials pre-teens and Gen-X teenagers – during a time when new seekers weren’t drawn towards genuine witchcraft in large enough numbers to ensure it’s survival. Many of those young readers have now become that generation’s authors and teachers of witchcraft, most citing Ravenwolf’s early books and this kit as their gateway into the Craft. By reaching out to a younger audience, teaching them how to enchant their lives and believe in themselves, she cultivated a whole generation of future witches. Both books also include a list of resources including suicide hotlines, lgbtq support, addiction support, abuse and sexual assault support – something no other book on the Craft had ever done before.
Teen Witch was released two years after the movie The Craft, when many young people began feeling drawn to Witchcraft but didn’t have a solid place to start. The companion kit followed shortly after. However, whereas The Craft was a cautionary tale of the dangers of exploring and experimenting with Witchcraft, Ravenwolf turned the narrative on its head, showing that magick can enhance and empower your life instead of destroying it. Between The Craft and Silverwolf’s work this began a whole pop-culture revival of presenting witchcraft in a more positive, slightly more accurate, and vastly more appealing light – from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer incorporating a strong witchcraft storyline, to Sabrina the Teenage Witch becoming a popular TV show, to Charmed, to Practical Magic – making the idea of witchcraft more culturally popular and less scary or taboo to the general public. That alone is one of the greatest contributions that any witch in the history of modern Witchcraft could have ever done.
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