In Old World Witchcraft, noted author Raven Grimassi covers totally new territory–in his work and in the world of popular witchcraft books published in the last few decades. This book is actually about “an enchanted worldview,” one that has not necessarily been inherited from the beliefs and practices of any particular region and one which is available to us today.
The “Old World” in the title is actually about a magical view of the Plant Kingdom and the spirits attached to it. While Grimassi’s previous books discuss the cultural expressions and commonality of witchcraft beliefs and practices in general, this book penetrates much deeper.
Old World Witchdraft reveals rarely discussed topics such as the concept of Shadow as the organic memory of the earth. Readers will learn rooted techniques that possess power because these ways have always been connected to it. They will learn methods of interfacing with the ancestral current and with the organic memory of the earth. Through these they can connect with the timeless arts and learn methods of empowerment directly from the ancient source.
Totally new information about familiar tools is presented. For example, the mortar and pestle is a tool for spell casting, a device that creates interfacing with plant spirits and with shadow, and a focal point for veneration of the Plant Kingdom. Grimassi also presents the art of using plant ashes for magical sigil work.
This book is for people who have had their fill of books that say the same things over and over, who want to take the next step, and who are eager for the more rooted ways that have remained largely hidden.
First, let’s take a minute and look at the fabulous cover. This is one of the best covers that I have seen this year. I’ve seen some really sharp looking covers coming from Weiser Books recently. The interior art was good, but I have a pet peeve with tiny illustrations. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t send a novice into a garden with your illustrations, and trust that they will return with the correct plant, don’t bother printing that illustration.
Tiny illustrations of Aconite, Foxglove, and Wolfsbane were followed by half-page sized illustrations of an abstract tree, mortar and pestle, and a generic rose? Really? Aside from some tiny graphics that challenged my 53-year old eyes, the book was excellent.
So very often when you see a sharp cover and tons of well-known authors praising a book, you can almost count on that book failing to live up to the hype. However; Old World Witchcraft is brilliant. My favorite part would be the research of the historical witch. As I thumbed through the book, I spent time looking through the Notes and Appendix, I was impressed. Grimassi is indeed a scholar.
“The Ash, Bark, and Willow” was new to me and I enjoyed diving into it. The Plant people and herbal lore sections made this book a must-have for any esoteric home library. I highly recommend it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Weiser Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”