Wiccan Mysteries; Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft), a practicing Wiccan for nearly three decades, has trained in"/>

THE WITCHES' CRAFT: The Roots of Witchcraft & Magical Transformation

Raven Grimassi, Author . Llewellyn $16.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-7387-0265-0

Grimassi (Wiccan Mysteries; Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft), a practicing Wiccan for nearly three decades, has trained in at least four schools of The Craft. Here he makes a powerful case for returning to the ancient traditions that he believes have fallen by the wayside in the last 20 years. He complains that "many modern books on Witchcraft will describe a technique or method of performing a spell or ritual, and then go on to inform the reader that almost everything described is optional, and that the prescribed items can easily be substituted with other things." His approach is different than those "modern" books he chastises—more traditional, more rooted. His substantive research in the first third of the book traces the written history of witches over the past 2,500 years. Having thus established his traditional credentials, Grimassi then turns to the tools, techniques and tried-and-true methods such as instruments, states of consciousness, implements, and the like. Much more than the standard gallop through the sabbats (seasonal observations), Grimassi delves deftly into more cerebral issues such as "right and left brain consciousness" and "myth and metaphor." He also manages to put into perspective more provocative avenues such as "sex magic" and "ritual flagellation." Grimassi offers a well-researched history of ancient magickal techniques, including some that have been preserved orally and are here in print for the first time. Everyone who cares deeply about the witchcraft tradition will want this impressive work. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/30/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
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