Toil and Trouble

From 2022: “In the past, the word witch was used as an insult, an accusation. Those who practiced kept their craft undercover, in the protection of covens, keeping any occult practices secretive. Today, if you casually mention a full moon magical ritual to a neighbor, the worst you’ll probably face is a funny look—and you might even make a friend. But who led us down that path to occult acceptance? How did we get from the Salem witch trials, when any association with the occult could mean a death sentence, to a book like this one, examining women’s history with the occult? The evolution was slow and involved many founding mothers taking small steps along the way. These women were at the forefront of a quiet revolution. Their ideas, their words, and their artistry changed the lenses through which Americans viewed religion and spirituality.” “Helen Peters Nosworthy. The Woman Who Built Ouija.” “Pamela Coleman Smith. The Mother of Tarot”—”Out of the Shadows: On the Forgotten Mothers of the Occult: Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson on the Women Behind Ouija and Tarot”

An excerpt from Toil and Trouble: A Women’s History of the Occult [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R Anderson.

Kroger Anderson Toil and Trouble

“A celebration of magical women and nonbinary people in American history, from Salem to WitchTok.

Meet the mystical women and nonbinary people from US history who found strength through the supernatural—and those who are still forging the way today. From the celebrity spirit mediums of the nineteenth century to contemporary activist witches hexing the patriarchy, these icons have long used magic and mysticism to seize the power they’re so often denied.

Organized around different approaches women in particular have taken to the occult over the decades—using the supernatural for political gain, seeking fame and fortune as spiritual practitioners, embracing their witchy identities, and more—this book shines a light on underappreciated magical pioneers, including:

✦ Dion Fortune, who tried to marshal a magical army against Adolf Hitler
✦ Bri Luna, the Hoodwitch, social media star and serious magical practitioner
✦ Joan Quigley, personal psychic to Nancy Reagan
✦ Marie Laveau, voodoo queen of New Orleans
✦ Elvira, queer goth sex symbol who defied the Satanic Panic
✦ And many more!”