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Old World Witchcraft: Ancient  Ways for Modern Days

Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days [Kindle Edition]

Raven Grimassi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

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.

About the Author

Raven Grimassi is a Neo-Pagan scholar and award-winning author of over twelve books on Witchcraft, Wicca and Neo-Paganism including Italian Witchcraft. He is a member of the American Folk Lore Society and is co-founder and co-director of the Crossroads Fellowship, a modern Mystery School tradition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1114 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1578635055
  • Publisher: Weiser Books (1 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005JE94FY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #437,852 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Read 4 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is pretty much a complete departure from Wicca, which has previously been Grimassi's focus. Instead, he has gone back to his Italian and European Witchcraft roots, with influence from many traditions. This means you're almost bound to come across some new concept!

The first part of the book focuses on providing an analysis of historical witchcraft. Grimassi is not trying to claim that he is practising an ancient, complete system of magic by examining this history; simply I believe he is trying to provide a basic summary of the shifts in society's perception of any person who was known as a "witch", and debunk a lot of misconceptions people have. He provides quotes from historical sources, and uses logic to distill the essence of what "witches" (effectively village wise men and women) were believing and practising by a sort of reverse psychological approach to the hysterical accounts of devil worshiping evil hags that litter Europe from various witch trials and pious Christians. While the fact that witches have been completely misrepresented in history is well known to many people, Grimassi puts it in a more detailed and interesting way - and we must remember that there are still many people who have not worked this out, so the book must educate them, too!

The second half is the real meat of the book and here is where you will probably find the most thought-provoking material. It is basically a simple, compact summary of the beliefs and practices of those who follow the Old World Way (known as the Thorn-Blooded Path) and also those who follow Grimassi's own system known as Ash, Birch and Willow - though this system is hardly mentioned and is not the point of the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written book 16 Feb 2014
This book is a genuinely interesting addition to my witchcraft bookshelves- well researched, this is a genuine and indepth history and also a practical guide for any witch. Be aware this is not Wicca- it is for those with an interest in the old ways, there is no law of three or rede to be found here. For me that's a serious bonus!
I am finding the historical analysis fascinating and well researched, it's not sensationalised at all and is scholarly without being dry- no mean feat.
If you have an interest in the old ways of witchcraft then I think you will enjoy this book immensely. It has given me some fresh and interesting ideas to work into my practises as well as enlightening me at every turn.
This is very well written and a pleasurable read indeed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars soulful 31 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
great book. just an atmospheric world of the old ways. great insight into world around us. pleasure to read. inspiring. deeply observant of subtle world
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book fast delivery will use again
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are a practicing Witch, you must read this book! 17 Oct 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I have many of Raven Grimassi's books, but Old World Witchcraft travels even deeper into the mysteries and uncovers some amazing history that every Witch should know. Grimassi reveals invaluable knowledge to the new, intermediate, and well seasoned, practicing Witch. This book is PACKED with Real Magick! You will feel that Blessed feeling all around you, as you read through the book. Old World Witchcraft covers everything you'd want to know about the history and meaning of the Cimaruta Charm, all the way to offering an exclusive reference guide with spells and incantations to conjour up in your Mortar & Pestle! Once again, Grimassi outdoes himself with his new book! The high quality of research and evidence we can expect from this well known and trusted author grace the pages of Old World Witchcraft, along with his uncanny ability to hold the reader's attention all the way through the entire book.
One time I was reading one of Raven Grimassi's books in the middle of a long distance move across the country. The book never left my side. Old World Witchcraft is now in my purse, as I find benefit in reading it and referring to it again and again. I'd give this book 6 stars if the ratings went beyond 5! Blessed Be ~
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Fashioned Witchcraft: The Real Way. 26 Oct 2011
By S. Cranow - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Meditate for a few moments on the image of the witch. Tell me what do you think? Chances are it is one of two images, an old hag doing evil spells or a young pretty woman dedicated to the Goddess doing benificial spells with the blief of harm ye none. The Old Witch was nothing like that at all. Noted author Raven Grimassi for the first part of this book goes thorugh ancient historical text dating all the way to Greco-Roman Times to give us an accurate as possible mental picture of the ancient witch. Tracing a definition from the Greek work pharmokote which meant worker of plants. THe witch was someone who worked with the numen or life force of plants for various aims. THe opld withc was not bound by the three fold law or harm ye none creed. They could do good just as well as malevolent. It was not until the medievil times that the image of the witch became tarnished by the Christian priests eager for an enemy and to convert the population. Witches never called upon or worked with demons. In addition to calling on the spirit of plants they also called upon rather commonly on Goddesses such as Hekate, Diana and Prosperina. There is no direct mention of a male God. Witches also called upon stars adn planets for aid as well.

The second part of the book focuses on a new paradigm that is based on Ancient principle. From myu observations it is a practical paradigm that seems to be informed from Traditional British Witchcraft in part. There is some Wiccan practices and concepts brought into the paradigm. THe God is called the o"One of the 'Deep Forest' and the Goddess is called she of the rounded white. THe tools employed are besom knifes, wands, cauldron, chalice and mortar and pestle. In the grimouire section there are rituals, spells and instruction on how to connect to the shadow and other realms. THe paradigm is called 'Ash, Birch,Willow". It is practical and useable.

Over all excellent book. Some of the rituals I am uncomfortable with as they require pricking the finger and using your own blood. That is my personal preference. Also in modern times it is difficult to find a crossroads or even do a ritual publically at the crossroad. Later on the author does give you an laternative to finding a crossroad. Another ritual calls for bringing dirt from the crossroad and having it under your pillow for three night in a sachk of course. My question is of hygiene. How safe is the dirt. The book could use a few more picture and illustrations especially of the stang and the staff for the Goddess. It give this book 4 stars out of five. Buy it as this one book you will definitely use
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old World Witchcraft 5 Oct 2011
By Helensmagic - Published on
I have read most of Raven Grimassi's published works, and find them enlightening, informative and thought-provoking. This one has a special place on my library shelf, as it pertains to the "real world" study of "old world" withcraft. The historical chapters place the Craft in a much needed context of time and space, while the chapters on plants and the grimoire give us witches plenty of work to do. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to "push" the boundaries of their practice, and understand their connection to working witches both past and present.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Addition to Collection 15 Mar 2012
By Garnet - Published on
It's not often that a book comes along in the world of Wicca and Witchcraft that offers something different, something that hasn't been seen a thousand other times. This book is a welcome addition to any decent collection.

The first half of the book addresses the idea of Witches based on the past, as well as how the concept of the Witch has been perceived. It is well-written, clean and concise, yet still maintains a friendly and even an occasional poetic flair that keeps it from sounding too much like a text book. The author doesn't dismiss the idea that Witches of the past could and did negative magick, but that it is part of a well-rounded belief structure that includes seeing both the light and the dark. Also, he makes sure that, yes, we know that pagans of the past did things that we'd never do today, such as human sacrifice...but that this was not outside the bounds of most cultures of the day.

The second half of the book is essentially a Book of Shadows/Grimoire that contains rituals, herb info, and so on based on the concepts contained in the first half of the book. It has a strong focus around the use of the mortar and pestle (among other tools), something that's not been seen too much. Not simply for making herbal concoctions, but as representing the male/female connection through the grinding tool and the bowl that holds the grinding tool. Definitely this can be equated to the World Tree/stang/standing stone/pillar and the Earth/mother/womb out of which these two tools create new things, including healing elements.

The author makes no claims that this is some ancient tradition handed down to him from the mists of time, but presents it as something created that is rooted in the symbology of the Witch and of Witchcraft as seen in the myths and beliefs about the Witches of the ancients. Not just in a negative, oh these are "devil worshippers" kind of way, but the Witches who could heal as well as curse.

Not really a book for beginners, save that the first half of the book might be a good one to point a newbie to for another perspective on the path. But if someone is looking to explore a new direction or haven't found what feels right for them, as yet, and are very much into the idea of working with herbs and the mortar and pestle, this may be where to look.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever Deeper into the Truth 3 Dec 2011
By Susan Marie Bolden - Published on
I've read many, many books on the Craft, by a myriad of different authors, and none have ever spoken to me the way that Raven Grimassi's books do. I am certain I got something useful from each of the other authors, but for the most part, I've always been left feeling like there was more I needed to know; like I'd eaten a five course meal but was still hungry. Enter Raven. Every single one of his books that I've read have deepened my understanding to new levels and in a most interesting and engaging fashion - and none more so than Old World Witchcraft.

What this book gives the true seeker is a deeper understanding of the lives that the men and women, who would today be considered witches, lived. Mr. Grimassi doesn't make up stories, but rather uses historical and archaeological facts to prove his points about the way that these ancient people survived, sometimes revered, sometimes hated, but always there.

Reading more about the Ash, Birch, and Willow system was something I thoroughly enjoyed. While this system is a modern one, it has roots that reach back through history - preserving elements of the Old World teachings, its core beliefs and rituals based upon what has been historically shown to be those which our ancestors practiced in the past. The ABW does not claim to be a surviving system - and yet it venerates the same things which were held sacred in pre-Christian/Jewish times and is not endemic to any one culture.

Further along in the book, there is a chapter on plant spirits and their sigils, and how one might align with the spirit of a plant, rather than the plant itself, to conduct workings. While I personally would prefer to have the physical plant to touch and connect to, I definitely do see the value of learning to work with the sigils and connecting in that manner.

Old World Witchcraft also talks in depth about the use of a mortar and pestle as a magickal tool, something that would seem fall right into place with what the ancient pharmakute would make use of, after all, when dealing with roots and herbs, what else would one be expected to use? Also mentioned is the knife - the tool used to harvest the herbs and plants which would be used, the broom, the platter, the wand, and the branch. Details for how each is used and what they represent is clearly explained.

Starting with Chapter 5, Old World Witchcraft gives the reader a totally usable grimoire that I found to be completely non-frufy or overly glitzy, just the meat and bones that I have been seeking all along.

Overall, I highly recommend this book as an essential must have for anyone who is truly seeking the path of the Old Ways.

Bright Blessings!
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