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Sexy Witch is a controversial book, both for its subject and for the message Ms. Firefox sends to us: being sexy means being your self, and if you feel sexy altering yourself from what nature provided, go for it. The first part of her message (being sexy means being your self) is common to modern pagandom, the permission to indulge in dyed hair, intricate shaving, waxing, or cosmetic surgery is the one that gets her into trouble. But, it shouldn’t. A careful read shows that Firefox is serious about the ‘be your self’ aspect and encourages that self-exploration so that any decisions made are based on what the reader wants, not what she’s told by the media, her mother, her friends, or her lover.

The first section provides us with the core materials of Firefox’s self-awareness program, divided into seven chapters relating to the myth of the Descent of Inanna as an empowering journey rather than humbling. This building-up process introduces self-awareness and self-love initially in the abstract and then in the physical by taking the reader on a brief tour of the senses. It concludes with mythmaking, mentors, and preparation for a ritual of personal empowerment. In the second section we move out of the mainstream with two sets of seven rituals, keyed to the seven chapters. The first is for solitary practitioners, while the second set is for groups. Each set is quite lovely -- simple and structured enough for an inexperienced witch to follow, but open enough that one with an existing practice can modify the rituals to her taste. Each of the seven contains a consecration and a step in the initiatory process, culminating in a witnessed initiation ritual.

She is writing for women, although I think men would be wise to read it as well, if only to read about some of the dilemmas we face. Many of us have partners who love us as we are, and yet we still dream of becoming prettier/flatter/rounder/fill in this blank to be more pleasing to the eye. The journal work and thought-provoking writing on BDSN and blood magic are intriguing. What might be more shocking is the collection of tantric-style exercises to explore our sexuality, including painting the vulva, chanting love poems to our pussy, tasting our vaginal secretions, and spending long periods of time touching ourselves (erotically an not) so as to explore the boundaries and aspects of pleasure. I am fairly comfortable with my sexuality and my body (at the least, I know the shape of my self-dislike) and there were many suggestions in Sexy Witch that I found to be over the top. There is frank discussion of alternative sexual practices, role-playing, gender-bending and body manipulation. So-called ‘vulgar’ language is sprinkled throughout.

Discussing the body, sexuality and body manipulation is difficult to do in the best of circumstances and although North American Paganism has been deeply influenced by feminism, we still struggle to accept ourselves as Goddess. This has created viewpoint that unless the author is speaking out against all forms of media manipulation (stick thin = pretty) while at the same time promoting the power of the natural woman (I am sexy, exactly as I am) she is betraying her sisters and must be demonized. Think about that for a moment, and then consider this: when you wake up in the morning, do you feel sexy and happy exactly as you are? Or, do you really want to at least brush your teeth and hair before you crawl back into bed with your lover (who really needs to do the same!)? So much for the ‘natural woman.’ My point (and that of Ms. Firefox) is not that brushing your teeth (or not) has everything to do with sex, but that doing things to feel more beautiful is empowering.

I was reminded of Yasmine Galenorn’s work Crafting the Body Divine (which I highly recommend) although Sexy Witch is a more aggressive (and raunchy) version. It may be a book you dip in and out of as your tolerance allows, but I absolutely believe that Sexy Witch is worth reading.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author:  LaSara Firefox

Llewellyn Publications, 2005

pp. 314, $14.95

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