Old World Witchcraft – Ancient Ways for Modern Days

by Raven Grimassi © 2011. Weiser Books ISBN 978-1-57863-505-4, 246 pages including notes and bibliography.  Paperback $19.95 (U.S.)


Greetings, I heard about Pagansapce on a Yahoo Group where Raven Grimassi's new book was mentioned, learned about the review of it on Paganspace, and have decided to join in with my thoughts. I give the book 5 stars out of 5.

I like to refer to a book such as ‘Old World Witchcraft Ancient Ways for Modern Days’ as a ‘left hand’ read, because one may feel the ‘magick’ of the words secreted between the pages.  Archaeologists, theologians, and many mainstream scholars will likely take issue with this newly presented view, but that is their problem. The logic with which the ideas blossom as a living thing from seed to earth, earth to root, root to sprout, sprout to leaf, leaf to bud, bud to flower, flower to fruit, fruit to seed, and seed to earth spring forth from the pages to the reader with a living consciousness which cannot be denied, unless one is completely asleep.

 There is a scholarly feel to Raven's writing that many Occult/Pagan writers today would do well to emulate. The research shines throughout the book. Knowledge is power and a great gift when shared in a format which is both thought provoking and fresh. For the author, this book can be felt to be the birth of a child; a work of love.

The book is written in the way one would build a home; set upon a solid foundation of literary and archaeological evidence, and constructed by a builder with a wealth of knowledge in their Craft according to a plan.

The work is dedicated to all who suffered torment, pain or death for what they believed, or what others believed about them.

The folkloric Witch is unmasked as a near thought form of preconceived notions, misunderstanding, erroneous suppositions, historical ignorance, superstition, and religious agenda driven falsehoods, which continue to be perpetuated by an unquestioned and accepted largely mythological and biased literary history. This falsehood is passed on by well meaning parents to their children and continues to fan disdain and outright hatred to this day. This is a chain of events this book will in a large part help to break with the laser-like light of knowledge. The fine line between the uneducated peasant and the educated scholar is also laid bare. The witch is stripped, exposed and found to be very real and entirely human.      

A mystical alignment, an enchanted world view is explored, which separates and defines the Witch from other Crafts folk and Pagans. A Witch acknowledges a consciousness in all things as spirit or as shelters for spiritual beings. The Goddess and God are understood to be more like spirits or sentient forces. The Witch has a rapport with these beings and works with lunar and elemental forces, celestial and chthonic powers, utilizes the principle of the momentum of the past, and appropriate occult correspondences within the age old magical equation of time, space, and energy….

The Witch is seen to carry the veritable cord of ‘spiritual DNA’ of all Witches who have gone before. A preserved knowledge, the basic elementary understanding and use of which is thoroughly explained within the tenets of Raven Grimassi’s magical system of witchcraft, a collection of very old practices, themes, and concepts within a new structure known as the Ash, Birch, and Willow (ABW). Within the thorn gates of the ABW is found a commonality of core beliefs easily recognizable to anyone with a grasp of European Paganism. Through the ABW the concepts of otherworldly beings such as the Faery and the Asthesia, The Hallow, and Shadow are awakened to nudge something slumbering within the reader.



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