Initiated by Amanda Yates Garcia


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes meets Women Who Run With The Wolves in this "gorgeously written, fierce, political, personal, and deeply inspiring" (Michelle Tea) memoir about finding meaning, beauty, and power through a life in witchcraft. An initiation signals a beginning: a door opens and you step through. Traditional Wiccan initiates are usually brought into the craft through a ceremony with a High Priestess. But even though Amanda Yates Garcia's mot...

Details Initiated

Release DateOct 22nd, 2019
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Paranormal, Witches, Biography Memoir, Feminism

Reviews Initiated

  • Leah Dieterich
    The right book for this moment. Yates Garcia shows us how to rise up against patriarchy in our thinking and living and inspires us to re-enchant a world that feels cursed.
  • Sarah
    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.I really enjoyed this memoir. Garcia has writing chops that are strongest when she’s describing landscapes, which thankfully she does often. Her reverence for the natural world is palpable, as is her devotion to social justice, anti misogyny and anti capitalism. She’s also extremely well-read in the history of myths, witchcraft, and folklore from many p...
  • Amanda Harlowe
    Such a privilege to have been gifted an early copy by Grand Central–this book BLEW ME AWAY. INITIATED features a deft interweaving of Garcia’s vast esoteric and cultural knowledge with her captivating personal story of trauma, self-discovery, empowerment, and metamorphosis. I was astounded by Garcia’s spellbinding, nimble, gorgeous prose (particularly its supernatural ability to carry me away from a crowded Friday night Amtrak car with brok...
  • Mary Lowry
    Amanda Yates Garcia is an intellectual giant. This book is riveting and beautifully written and also acts as a guide for readers seeking to engage in magic as a route to personal empowerment. I cannot recommend this book enough!
  • Natali
    It’s hard to explain exactly what this book is so I will just throw around some adjectives while I digest, having just finished it an hour ago. It is: unique, brave, erudite, inspiring, raw, and real. It is a feminist anthem from a daughter and a leader but that is almost a byproduct. It seems she set out to write memoir to share her experiences of learning her power through personal pain. But along the way, she learned to spiral herself up int...
  • Zandria Senft
    I could not put this beautiful memoir down. I fell in love with Amanda's story about the magical life she leads and how she uses that magic to find herself. The detail Yates goes into describing her life, rituals and initiations makes you feel as though you are experiencing the same things with her. This book will inspire you to be brave in any way you can. This book is exactly what the world needs!
  • Michelle
    I don't often read memoirs, as I tend to prefer books to give me a respite from reality rather than a telling of reality. Additionally I feel they are often dry and boring. This is far from the case when it comes to 'Initiated'. I've been eagerly awaiting this book since hearing Amanda speak about writing it on her podcast 'Strange Magic'. I pre-ordered the book and finally read it during a business trip. What a work of magic. Amanda is a born st...
  • Icy Sedgwick
    It's rare in these overly distracting times that I start and finish a book within 48 hours. So it was with Initiated, a book I had trouble putting down, and missed whenever I did.I first encountered Amanda Yates Garcia through her Strange Magic podcast with Sarah Gottesdiener, and she's come to be a real 'guiding voice' for me through this particularly peculiar period in human history. I preordered Initiated way back in July and I'm pleased to sa...
  • Kate
    A Bewitching Read! Garcia lives her life as a modern witch. She takes the reader through her journey of being Initiated onto this path. Garcia unpacks so much in these pages, Memories, Mythology, Trauma, Self-Discovery, Empowerment and more! Her writing is strong and decisive. This is one of thoes memoirs that really shows what the human spirit can endure and what it looks like to come out the otherside.A reccomended memoir, and especially if you...
  • Suzanne
    Beyond the sheer amount of trauma in this book (suffering as initiation), it's written in lengthy paragraphs that meander.For example, the author will start each chapter with a quotation and then talk about part of her induction into witchcraft and the growth of her practice, but it's not linear. So she's walking us through her practice and what it means, how it developed, etc... but then she'll take a break to talk about her past. This is a litt...
  • Margaret Wappler
    Review forthcoming but for now: what a beautiful gift of a book.
  • Christine Hipolito
    This book is a gift for everyone who picks it up. Truly. Other folx reviewing might talk about the book's structure, or the exquisitely written imagery of landscapes and environments, or how much aspects of Amanda's story may resonate with their own. As I was listening to this in public, I found myself crying multiple times! Not only is Amanda a wonderful storyteller but I also think she has a rich voice. I was emotional listening to her story be...
  • Maeve
    First of all, what an incredible journey. To say that this book found it's way into my life at the perfect moment would be an understatement. I couldn't help but be reminded of Persephone's descent into the Underworld as I read this book, and how easy it is to think that she would be powerless as she travels through darkness, but in reality she steps even further into her own power and comes out stronger than before. These themes of death, rebirt...
  • Karly
    A year ago today, I could have never imagined that one of my favorite books of 2019 would be Amanda Yates Garcia's first (and hopefully not last) book Initiated: Memoir of a Witch. One reason is that when the term "witch" entered my everyday life, it used to trigger me. I remember sitting in my office as a PhD student and having a colleague say "burn the witch" when other male colleagues would bully me. I didn't want to be the witch, though I fel...
  • Emily Haenny
    I just finished reading the book yesterday, so this review is very fresh. Usually when I finish a good book I feel like I have been in a daze living in the clouds and it takes me a while to come back down to earth. However, Amanda Yates Garcia lead me on a much more enriching journey. I find myself at the end of this book emerging from the fertile earth deeply connected with myself; empowered and centered; cosmically charged. I can’t recommend ...
  • Miss Marley
    Yates Garcia weaves memoir and witchcraft in 'Initiated' seamlessly. But what really moved me was the magic that is in the sharing of one’s story. By sharing our stories through the written word (or through podcasts, art and music etc.) we are making maps to inspire/guide other wild folk and witches and Yates Garcia has done just that – created a map filled with wisdom, experience, honesty, vulnerability, healing and love. Re-enchanting the w...
  • Josette Eales
    Magic is real and it's in this book!!! Witches walk among us, they're not the evil outcasted witches of old, they are our modern day guides to a life full of power and magic... Amanda is one of these witches. This book is a love letter to the magic in each of us. It's a call to answer your own initiations and look within for your own sense of agency in this often confusing world. Amanda is Hecate embodied at the cross roads for us all, she stands...
  • Joanne
    Enchanting I read this faster than I wanted to. I hope to read it again but am still reeling from the journey. Not everyone who knows things can share them, not everyone who can make a beautiful sentence can weave a great story into a spectacular arch and satisfy us. Amanda Yates Garcia does and can do both and all. This is a well written book. And magic. This magic is real for not blocking out ugliness that makes enchantment necessary. One of th...
  • Virginia Barnhart
    Initiated is a book I have needed for a while. Most books about witchcraft and the Goddess are essentially how-to books, because, frankly, my generation (I’m 73) has had to reclaim/recreate practice and thealogy from what bits and pieces we could find or imagine. Ms. Yates Garcia was raised in the craft, so for her its language is a natural as the language of traditional western religious is for me. This has allowed her to write a book that has...
  • Sarah
    This is one of the best books I've read this year. It satisfied my hunger for witchy folklore, stories of *becoming*, and how to have faith in oneself. Will be combing through this for book recommendations and other rabbit holes for years to come, I can tell.May write a more thoughtful review later, but didn't want to let this slip through without saying something!
  • Quentin Montemayor
    This is my favorite book of the year hands down. Her voice is transcendent. I can only appreciate a woman that is willing to open some of her deepest, darkest wounds to help heal others. I’m happy that she tries to teach but is open about not having all the answers. Even the last chapter of the book with her Mom is a testament to that. We are all working on our relationships both spiritually and physically. Truly loved it and would recommend to...
  • Crystal
    I nearly gave up on this because I felt the author/narrator's voice in the audiobook was very affected but I'm glad I gave it another chance because I ended up quite enjoying this witchy memoir.
  • SUSAN *Nevertheless,she persisted*
    Need to process this book.
  • Barbi Stalburg Kasoff
    Thank you Amanda Yates Garcia!! Your brave leap to create and share this book brings forth knowledge and wisdom for all witches to share. This book is also exceptionally meaningful for people who have never studied the craft. It is an insightful, in-depth story told of the paths we choose and the steps we take along the way. I actually have found myself reading this more like a workbook, underlining things, looking up mythological references and ...
  • Kalina
    This was such a special book, it felt like a treasure to read each word and I kept hoping it would never end. Anyone thinking this is a guide to witchcraft, this is not it, nor does it claim to be! It is Garcia's beautiful memoir of her life through the lens of magic. It is truly inspiring and for anyone in need of light in a dark time, this is the book for you. Garcia uses her own experiences, mythology, and a bit of Tarot to portray how she tap...
  • Aja
    Having read about 5 memoirs this year, I'm through. I'm not that interesting in people's childhoods. I thought this would be interesting for the intersection of witchcraft and memoir. I'm not sure I believe the author's entire story. However, I found there were profound treasures of wisdom hidden in this book that really spoke to me. I hope the author writes more - nonfiction.
  • Sharon
    I enjoyed parts of it very much, but when it drifted into feminism and other politics, not so much.this was a goodreads giveaway
  • Anna
    An interesting read, and an important book of a female witchy voice. Something we need right now, with the toxic patriarchy running wild. Some quibbles: I think it's too long. I think the narrative thread meanders and repeats itself, and I wish there was more research in its place. I also don't love the narrator's voice. It feels weird to say this, but the narrator, to me, is not the easiest to like at time - occasionally veering into 'holier tha...
  • Jeffrey Chassen
    I had seen Amanda’s appearance on Tucker Carlson and then on Vanderpump Rules. She seems incredibly approachable, kind and normal. So I had very high hopes for this book, but I was sadly disappointed. The formatting of the book was a mess, and it’s filled with so many rarely referenced terms and mythology that it was very hard to get through. Her television appearances have always been so great because they present witchcraft palatable and un...
  • Abby Rubin
    ARC from PublisherThis book is an interesting introduction to the life of someone living as a modern witch. Yates Garcia has such a long and winding path to get where she is at the time of writing the book. If "memoir" wasn't on the cover, I would be hard-pressed to believe that one person could live through all of the experiences she had. I feel like this book just scratches the surface of her powers and her story. I would have loved to learn mo...