Old World Witchcraft : Ancient Ways for Modern Days
Raven Grimassi, Weiser Books, 2011
Author Raven Grimassi states that the goal of this book is to allow what he calls “The Old Ways witch” to emerge by clearing away the large mounds of debris that surround it. He has done an excellent job at that task. Old World Witchcraft is a beautifully- researched and well-written book, and gives those who read it a sense of what real witches and witchcraft were all about before being falsified, fantasized, and maligned throughout history.
The problem of what properly defines a “witch” is at the heart of this book, which is for anyone interested in Old World Witchcraft and separating facts from fiction. Chapter One is an excellent examination of the roots of the “witch” figure. Chapter Two explores stereotypes of the evil witch, looking at its evolution during the Medieval and Renaissance periods, including how Christian theologians grafted the figure of the Devil onto witchcraft. Chapter three focuses on removing these negative stereotypes, while chapter four introduces the primary tool of the Old Ways Witch. In the last half of this book you’ll discover a Witch’s Grimoire of old world magick, techniques for awakening the “inner witch”, methods for obtaining Familiar Spirits and Faery allies, spells, and a variety of symbols. A section titled “Romancing the Witch” helps to bring the past and present into better focus and attempts to separate genuine knowledge from the entirely invented. As an example, Grimassi oﬀers literary and historical references to a Goddess of the Witches, demonstrating that the notion itself is ancient.
The underlying message in this book is simple: torture, intimidation, and coercion are unreliable methods for producing information about witchcraft (or anything else, for that matter.) Unfortunately, this is precisely the approach which generated the data that scholars today use to paint a portrait of the history of witches and witchcraft. This expertly-crafted book aims to amend that error by separating truth from fantasy and falsehood. I highly recommend this book for all Wiccans, and anyone desiring to know the truth about witches and witchcraft throughout history.