The Dabbler's Guide to Witchcraft: Seeking an Intentional Magical Path (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
Challenge your assumptions about witchcraft, Paganism, and spiritual seeking and learn how to craft your own magical path with this timely and entertaining exploration of what it means to practice witchcraft from the host of the Inciting A Riot podcast.
If you’ve ever wanted to burn your ex’s old stuff in a trash can while drinking wine with your friends and reading tarot cards under the light of the full moon, you already know that magic is an essential part of our human existence. But what is magic, anyway? And are witches real? Where do I start if I want to build a deeper, more personal magical practice? (I mean…can I just make sh*t up?)
Perfect for anyone who has wanted to get a little witchy but not known where to start, The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft provides everything you need to discover more about modern witchcraft while forging your own magical path in a responsible and informed way. Fire Lyte takes us on a thoughtful, compulsively readable, and provocative journey, addressing topics such as:
-Pop culture and witchcraft
-The intersection of science and spirituality
-Gatekeeping and inclusivity in the magical community
-“Good” vs “bad” magic (spoiler alert: there’s no such thing!)
-Why a coffee pot or Dutch oven is just as effective as a cauldron
He also provides eleven spell canvasses, perfect for beginners and practicing witches alike to expand their spell-casting repertoire.
Whether you’re just starting on your spiritual journey or recent events have inspired you to reexamine your current magical path, this humorous, practical, and insightful book provides a roadmap for anyone curious about enriching their practice.
About the Author
For more than ten years, Fire Lyte has interviewed self-identified witches, fairy experts, goblin hunters, paranormal investigators, and even a werewolf on his podcast Inciting A Riot. His thousands of listeners worldwide tune in as he examines magic, witchcraft, Paganism, and spiritual seekership through a diverse, inclusive lens with a balance of modern science, critical thought, and pop culture. He lives in the Chicago suburbs with his husband and vast array of fur children.
“I love this book! The Dabbler’s Guide is a fantastic introduction for folks new to the world of witchcraft as it is right now. There are many missteps one can make when first entering the witchy/Pagan world. Without a friend to guide you, there’s just no reason why you would know about many of them. If you’re in search of a spooky, scary, edgier-than-thou grimoire, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a sharp, funny, and engaging friend to walk you through some first steps while you decide if you want to dive in or only get your toes wet in the ways of the witch, let Fire Lyte be your guide. Did I mention I love this book?” —Aidan Wachter, author of Six Ways: Approaches & Entries for Practical Magic and Weaving Fate: Hypersigils, Changing the Past & Telling True Lies
“If you’ve ever thought about practicing witchcraft but weren’t sure where to begin, The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft serves up the tea. From discussions of privilege and cultural appropriation to political activism and gatekeeping in the magical community, Fire Lyte says the quiet parts out loud—the parts of modern witchcraft that can be uncomfortable, painful, awkward, and messy. But equally important, he also shares, with tongue-in-cheek humor, the rich benefits, joys, and empowerment that come with living a magical life. The Dabbler’s Guide offers a beginner’s foundation for spiritual exploration, while laying out the expectation that practitioners—whether new or veterans—are going to have to actually do the work if they want to enjoy success. Fire Lyte explains the mechanics of magic so those new to the craft can build their own eclectic traditions, offers tips on being a contributing member of the magical community, and recommends ways to critically evaluate one’s own personal gnosis. The spells are rooted in the use of natural objects, the five senses, and simple correspondences, and are designed in a way that’s both friendly and accessible. For any dabbler—or a longtime practitioner who wants to get back to basics—Fire Lyte’s Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft offers a real and refreshing look at modern magic.”—Patti Wigington, Author of Herb Magic, Witchcraft for Healing, and Badass Ancestors
“Chock-full of practical advice and insightful guidance, The Dabbler's Guide to Witchcraftprovides a beginning practitioner of witchery with a toolkit that goes beyond cauldrons and broomsticks. Fire Lyte’s experience is balanced by his wry humor and enhanced by research drawing on social science, geology, political theory, and more. You’d be hard-pressed to find a book that cares more about ensuring the reader approaches witchcraft with both enthusiasm and respect. This innovative approach to the beginner’s guide has spells, crystals, and herbs, of course, but also practical advice on spotting spiritual charlatans and avoiding the pitfalls of cultural appropriation. I very much wish I had this sort of book earlier on in my own explorations of witchcraft, but I am thrilled that future generations of witches will be starting here!”—Cory Hutcheson, Author of New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic
“The Dabbler's Guide is the kind of book that's been needed in the witchcraft canon for decades. It's the book for someone who's new to the path, or someome who is just passing through. With practical and pragmatic advice in spades, the book will hold your hand where the woods get dark, show you were not to step, and lead you to the clearing you've seen in your dreams. This is the book for the seeker in your life, the wannablessedbe, or the witchlet who says they don't believe and then asks you to read their cards. Put it into their hands and show them that they're already dabbling; now it's time to take the permit test for that broomstick.”—Meg Elison, Philip K. Dick award winner
"I was sold on this book from the intro which is punchy and fun without ever talking down to its readers. The Dabbler's Guide goes on from there to be the perfect book for any witchling looking for responsible and safe ways to explore new ideas and techniques. It's smart, well-researched, and an absolute delight to read. I am so excited to watch it get into people's hands. The grimoire alone is SO different from other spell appendices I've seen (and the spells work!), and the book leads you there beautifully." —Cassandra Snow, Author of Queering Your Craft and Queering the Tarot
"Let's Go On a Journey... these are the words that will lead us down a magical path—one that branches into every aspect of modern witchcraft lifestyle. From the power of the pop-culture witch, to the existentialism of magic, The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft explores the why, what, where and how of today’s witchcraft, and how to navigate the world of magic for everyday living. Fire Lyte offers humor, real-talk, and guidance on the success and failures of spells, the power of community in magic, the potential pit-falls and pleasures of practice, and everything in between. The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft is an illumination on real life witchery, and it has left this reader glowing!"—Via Hedera, Author of Folkloric Witchcraft and the Multicultural Experience: A Crucible at the Crossroads
“The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft is an absolute treat from beginning to end. This book answers the questions most newcomers to Witchcraft have when they initially embark upon their journey into developing their own spiritual and magical practice. It touches upon difficult and complex topics in a way that isn’t too daunting. Fire Lyte’s voice throughout the book is casual, yet deeply informative. He comes across not only as a trusted authority on the subject of Witchcraft, but reading his words is like sitting down to chat with a close friend. The inclusion of topics such as pop-culture, politics, and ethics make this book entirely unique and deeply special. Beyond all this, the book presents practical knowledge that the reader can easily incorporate into their own practice. Funny, informative and bold, Fire Lyte’s book shall be the one I recommend to many new Witches in the years to come.”—Mhara Starling, Author of Welsh Witchcraft: A Guide to the Spirits, Lore, and Magic of Wales
“Fire Lyte accomplishes with The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft exactly what he set out to do—provide an honest and informed discussion of the realities of magic and people who practice it. This book is that and so much more. It talks about pop-culture magic and why real magic works and when it doesn’t; thankfully this book asks all the important questions and answers even more. Before you dabble, do yourself a big favor and buy this book now!” —Lilith Dorsey, author of Orishas, Goddesses, and Voodoo Queens and Water Magic
“Not your average beginners guide. The questions every witch should be asking themselves as they start to, and continue to, walk their path. Easily digestible, invaluable information for (not just) beginners wrapped in wit and quips that kept me hooked from page one. Love love love!”—D.E. Luet, Author of A Witch’s Book of Shadows
“Accessible, intelligent and extensively researched, The Dabbler's Guide to Witchcraft meets a longstanding need amongst seekers and dabblers of witchcraft and Paganism. Fire Lyte takes readers through the basics and not-so-basics of the craft in a way that is comprehensive and timely, all with wicked-sharp wit along the way. This is a book with heart, and that alone sets it above and beyond most contemporary 101 books out there.”—Josephine Winter, Author of Fire Magic
“This book is a toolkit for successfully navigating a magical path. Any longtime magical practitioner will tell you they have had to learn some hard lessons. This book is about those hard lessons and is a must have for new seekers and longtime seekers alike. It gives seekers the tools to navigate the sometimes confusing world of a spiritual and magical path and provides much needed context for new and old books. The tools and lessons discussed bring much needed critical thinking to the forefront, but these important lessons and serious topics are presented and balanced with humor and humility in order to entertain while it educates. We all learn hard lessons but we don’t need to all learn the exact same hard lesson when we can teach the community how to avoid them. This book fills a gap in the market and I am incredibly excited to see its impact. From avoiding scams, cults, and dangerous predators, to approaching different cultures with respect, and weaving in the amazing advances of human knowledge from modern science—this book is a must have!”—Kathleen Borealis, Geologist & Host, Borealis Meditation podcast
"The Dabbler's Guide to Witchcraft is a clever, fun, and erudite journey through what it is to be a modern witch. Full of popular culture references and real world examples this book is relatable and speaks to the reader's lived experiences while relaying important information. Truly a witchcraft book for the 21st century that conveys truth going beyond spirituality." —Morgan Daimler, Author of Fairycraft and Fairies
“This may be witchcraft for the dabbler, but there’s plenty here for the alternative religionist, spiritual seeker, and skeptic as well. Fire Lyte’s playful and thoughtful guided tour conveys the range of Pagan belief while leaving plenty of room for personal expression. It’s an engaging window into timely (and timeless) discussions around magic, science, evidence, appropriation, economics, and inclusion as they influence daily practice.” —Ross Blocher, cohost of Oh No, Ross and Carrie! podcast
"Fire Lyte draws the reader into the world of magic and witchcraft with wit, humor, and sense (a rare treat in magical texts). His warmth and passion help the reader navigate the fundamentals of magic, while also tackling subjects of appropriation, ethically sourced tools, and critical thinking skills to ensure that readers can cultivate a thriving, meaningful practice that strives for balance within and without. The Dabbler's Guide to Witchcraft is sure to be a beloved and treasured volume in the library of many witches—beginners and experts alike."—Nicholas Pearson, Author of Crystal Basics and Stones of the Goddess
"In The Dabbler's Guide to Witchcraft the author nurtures you with the most enriching, and precise information, elaborates onn it, and later invites you to think and act on your own. Fire Lyte does not limit himself to giving you the list of steps to follow, but he also leads you to be creative, to find your own source of inspiration, and guides you in the search for your endeavors. Reading this book has been an exhilarating and enriching experience. Fire Lyte stands out for his eloquence as always, transcends all the boundaries about the Craft, and he has absolutely no fear of expressing himself and going beyond everything that we usually find in other books about magic and witchcraft. he dares to think differently, and to make matters "worse," he guides you wisely to do the same.—Elhoim Leafar, author of Manifestation Magic