Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, "starter witch kits" of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning. In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch. She interlaces stories from her forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life—Twin Peaks, the Oregon Trail II video game, a Claymation Satan, a YouTube video of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham—to explore questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule.
Kyla Garcia is a film, stage, and television actress based in Los Angeles, California. She has earned an Audie Award nomination and seven AudioFile Earphones Awards for her work as an audiobook narrator. Her favorite storytelling moments include being a company member of Native Voices at the Autry, starring in the World Premiere of Sovereignty at Arena Stage, and creating the critically acclaimed one-woman show The Mermaid Who Learned How to Fly. Kyla's most recent project is the original feminist spoken-word digital series Herstory 101 featured in BUST Magazine.