Initiation – Book Review

6

Initiation’ is a blisteringly raw autobiography that reflects not only on a personal journey but a fascinating social history of occult Australia.

Ly de Angeles is many things but readers of her books (or those for whom she has read the tarot) will know her as a witch and psychic, and a magical veteran of the antipodean witchcraft scene.

In print Ly comes across as smart and fierce and more than a little wild, with a disarming frankness whether speaking of politics or personal relationships. She’s a champion of Celtic history, a swordswoman and martial arts practitioner, and so much more. Forget the ‘Renaissance man’, Ly offers up an alternative portrait – one of a curious mind twinned with a strong and determined spirit, a scholar, a poet and a modern-day gypsy with a feverish passion for myth and life.

And life for Ly has been a series of initiations from girl to woman, woman to witch, witch to mother, mother to warrior, warrior to scholar – not that all of these passages have been mutually exclusive.

Underneath this story is a steady thrumming, an undeniable and potent energy pouring from the pages. There are many lessons to be learned here, and knowledge to be shared about birth, life, death and everything between and beyond. Predictions manifest, frequently. As do challenges. But Ly’s human too; making the same mistakes we all do, but learning from them as she finds and breaks with destructive patterns and partnerships.

Ly dispenses with the blinkers of convention and deftly explores the world’s liminal spaces and places, guided by intuition, ancestry and an animistic kinship to the natural world. ‘Initiation’ makes for an engaging memoir, certainly the best I have read in a long time.

* Did I mention she’s a Charles de Lint fan? She can do no wrong!

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