Teen Magick — Witchcraft For A New Generation by the fantastically talented Fiona Horne is an important read for young teens. It is a comprehensive book that covers everything a budding witch may need to know — what makes a witch, witchy lingo, what to buy and where to buy it; all sorts of spells and how to do them, and ways to bolster their confidence in themselves and their journey.
This is not just a guide on witchcraft itself, either. I was astounded at the brilliance and spectrum of the messages Horne weaved through it. With chapters like Parents — Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without them, Let’s Talk About Teen Witch Sex and Out Of It, Fiona addresses familial distress, navigating sexual awakenings, and drug use. She uses an array of personal anecdotes of her own teen years to elucidate her thoughts on each matter. She shares her experiences with being an outcast, feeling overwhelmed and overrun, social media, self-image, and sustainability.
Regardless of whether or not the young people reading Teen Magick will remain on the path — or even if they are not interested in it at all — there is so much good within this book that I would suggest it to anyone with a teen in their life. The book emboldens the reader to be a sustainable, happy, and worldly-conscious individual. It’s an empowering read, even for one such as myself, already out of her teen years.
At several points, through reading this I was taken aback by the good this book could do for young people struggling with their mental health. It encourages a lot of positive habits for young people to partake in. For instance, Horne describes the way in which keeping a book of shadows isn’t just about recording thoughts and learning, but also a place to include happy polaroids of gatherings, and little bits and pieces that create a positive space for the writer. Through this, Horne inspires the reader to be reflective, introspective and thankful.
After reading Teen Magick, I can easily believe Horne when she says she receives a lot of feedback from teen witches saying they feel good about themselves and the world. Within the book, Horne gives the reader a wealth of resources for young people to help their friends, family, and themselves. She links RUOK.Org, for instance, and a lot of the rituals Horne suggests are about improving your mental health and wellbeing.
My favourite part of the book was undoubtedly that which addressed social media and its role in young people’s lives. Horne helps reveal the way it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, you can still be unsatisfied with yourself; social media incites seeking validation from others, rather than from yourself. In response to this, Horne urges young witches to use social media as a place to share positivity, knowledge and lessons learned, rather than making it about “you”. She says:
“Rather than posting with the aim of how many likes you will get, think about the quality of comments that will be shared underneath those likes based on the depth of sincerity that your post contains. Think about how it can be aspirational, inspirational, motivating to others, how it can inspire stimulating, uplifting conversation, shared love and high vibes.” — (pg. 100)
What struck a chord with me was the point in which Horne shares her personal experience with cleansing herself and her online space of negativity. Horne insists that you do not owe people a space to attack you, and you should not be scared of cutting out negative influences online. During my teens I watched a lot of my friends be bound to etiquette for a space that doesn’t really exist — in a way that perpetuated a lot of toxicity in their life. Setting and maintaining boundaries is such an important message.
The Writing Style
The writing style alone is comforting and encouraging. Fiona addresses the reader directly, often referring to them as “you”. The writing is engaging, relevant and often beautiful; it portrays wisdom, and yet is also framed in a way to be digestible and appealing to younger audiences. The instructions are simple and easy to follow, set out in a way that is easy to read and memorise. Importantly, at no point during discussing things like drugs, sex, parents or school, is she preaching.
She’s sharing her own story of struggling at home and relates to the reader — expressing what she has learned from her own experience as a teenager. She doesn’t leave it at a “this is bad for you” — she gets very personal and raw to show why. I was so pleasantly surprised that she talks about how drugs are not only bad for yourself but the environment. It was just another example of how she conceptualises things for teens on a larger scale — encouraging them to think beyond their own sphere of existence, to the wider world.
The book itself is beautiful. White pages interspersed with red and fantastic images make for a visually appealing read, as well as a clean one.
It was a calming read, and even though I myself am not a teen witch on her journey, I felt like I came out the other side of the book more connected to the universe — more aware of my surroundings, and my own power as an individual. I was totally engrossed, from start to finish. There was a perfect balance between guidance and personal anecdotes, spells and interviews.
Most young people have encountered a time in their life when their experiences, feelings or ideas have been belittled by an older individual. I loved that at no point does Horne attempt to speak over teen witches. By including interviews with them in her book, she has given a stage for them to speak for themselves, and to each other.
So if you’ve got a special teen in your life, pick up Teen Magick. I personally cannot wait until my niece is old enough to read it!
Featured Image Via Heart Shaped Bones by Jessica Gutteridge