People often ask what a good starting point is to learn about Witchcraft, or that their teenager is interested in Witchcraft, but they’re unsure what a suitable book would be for someone of that age group. Tonya’s Brown The Door To Witchcraft: A New Witch’s Guide to History, Traditions, and Modern-Day Spells is an excellent place. As the subtitle suggests, the book is aimed at seekers – those who are curious or interested in witchcraft but know next to nothing about it. The book gives a nice overview of the core ideas of Witchcraft without overwhelming the reader with deeper complexities of the Craft or confusing them with too much information or jargon specific too witchcraft.
What I particularly loved about The Door To Witchcraft is how modern it was for a 101 book – it’s super inclusive and welcoming, without any gatekeeping or any of the problematic stances of previous paradigms. Every her discussion of who is a witch is broad and contemporary, including those who take on the title of witch to reflect their politics. I also want to give her a standing ovation for addressing topics such as the term “warlock” and the misinformation about that term, and how it too can be used with just as much empowerment as another originally slanderous title – witch. She puts emphasis on how we reclaim words used against us, regardless of the debate of what they might have originally meant.
The Door To Witchcraft is visually beautiful, having an alluring aesthetic that is sure to appeal to younger witches learning about witchcraft from questionable sources such as Tumblr or Instagram alone. And that’s the best part of this book, the fact that the reader will get good information and more importantly a fairly solid overview of the history of witchcraft – learning where the practices that they are learning about actually come from and who key figures in the legacy of witchcraft are. So while it’s targeted to an obvious trendier audience of seekers, the best thing is that those who purchase it will be finding a solid foundation from which anyone can build their own practice from. This makes the book somewhat of a Trojan Horse, in a sea of trendy looking books with some very questionable (or sometimes flat out wrong) information and often omitting or completely ignoring where we inherited these practices and ideas.