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The Gray Witch's Grimoire Paperback – 25 May 2012
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About the Author
Amythyst Raine is an author, psychic, and gray witch and brings with her the magick and mystery of the ancient wise-woman.
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The authors style is personal and readable and again moonbooks are printing on paper which is lovely and soft to the touch and is a pleasure to handle, making the pages easy to turn in more than one way.
Not every spell detailed is one that every reader will be comfortable with as it includes curses and spells to influence the will of another.
Many witches will shy away from such practices, either on ethical and moral grounds, or because of concern for the consequences and unexpected repercussions; not to mention the responsibility you bear when practicing such work is great; and some even avoid taking those steps because they consider there to be healthier approaches to problem solving with reduced personal cost. However for those who are happy with taking on full personal responsibility for these actions themselves who want materials to help them work along the shadowier areas of magic, this should prove to be a good and useful resource.
Personally I would have liked to see the reasons why others don't go there examined a little more, there is a general impression that
the author thinks of being focussed on good, light, positive work as being weak or fluffy-bunny (of which there is a lot around admittedly),
missing the fact that it too can be fierce and powerful. That said, quite where white ends and grey begins is probably variable from
person to person and subject to some degree of debate too. Either way it is addressed sufficently that the author could not be accused
of maliciously leading the naieve astray without any warning. Even if that warning is brief.
It is after all always our own responsibility to think carefully about what we do anyway, be it magical or mundane.
Anyone familiar with most mainstream witchcraft publications will find familiar ground in much of what is offered here,
though it does address it all from the angle of grey witch in particular, which is bound to be refreshing to anyone who bucks at
always being told what they must or must not do or anyone who dislikes someone else's morals being superimposed on information.
Even if you're not planning on following through and exercising curses against others it could still be a useful read and definitely stimulates thought.
It is also nice and clear about being grey not black, although there is a fairly heavy curse or two and there are items on breaking up a couple
and causing conflict in relationships. I personally find the relationship interference really quite unpleasantly malicious as an intention, I'm not sure
where that is grey over just plain black and negative, and I expect it will be mostly used in totally selfish, and often inappropriate ways.
I'm sure some people will welcome it, and the learnings they get as a result will doubtless help them grow; I'm just not sure I'd want the authors karmic come-back for helping to enable those malicious savagings of the love of others over petty jealousy that are inevitable.
Given part of the target market of the author is likely to be teenagers with all the emotional turmoil that brings it's bound to happen
and when it comes down to it it will be her spell being used, there's got to be some responsibility attached.
Thankfully keeping in the grey it doesn't actually delve all the way into planning serious savage harm to anyone and much of the
grey areas are bindings and are about protecting you and yours which to my mind generally sits in quite a white space really.
It wisely includes a little on self protection, however, given that like does attract like, both in general and on other planes,
I would also recommend that anyone throwing malice and friction, hostility and harm, spite and vengence around;
anyone aiming that at other people, whatever the targets offense, also learns about protecting themselves well
and possibly also reads up on other titles such as Dorien Valiente's Psychic Self-Defense and is ready to take her advice and
abstain from any magical practices should they find themselves under any serious attack as a result of practicing the darker
aspects of grey magic, as naively escalating could get messy and I'm quite sure this book has more than enough in it
to act as a potent springboard for anyone intent on destruction. The only question is whos.
All in all a satisfactorily written and probably rather useful little publication, especially appealing to those who see themselves
in the shadows rather than too squeaky clean. Also very unusual in that although it would appear to be american
(from the spelling of gray and the mentions of hoodoo) there are no glaringly uncomfortable cultural conflicts.
It should be noted the book is primarily of a Dianic standpoint and therefore men who read the book for insight may feel a bit left out, but I still think it's a good resource for those who may just be starting out on the Path. Personally, I have been Working for over 20 years, but even I read some things I didn't know about (having never been a part of a coven), and I will definitely be incorporating some things into my practice. All in all, a good book for those who aren't afraid to bring down a hex or two upon a deserving head - but only when it is deserved.
I liked the inclusion of the metaphysical witches laws, a lot of how to books seem to skip past that, but I feel the witches laws explain how energy works, and how to work in a state of balance. I also liked the explanation of the elements, and the author has included a few correspondence lists to get the practitioner started. I also liked the description of the sabbats and the 13 moons of the year.
I noticed the author seemed to get confused with the hermetic axioms. On p18 she stated Air = To know which is correct. On p21 she stated Earth's axiom was "to know".
I wasn't keen on how the book refers to witches in a feminine aspect, this book did not come across as being very inclusive of male witches but I do understand there are a lot of books on witchcraft that still do this. I also understand the author is writing from her own experience as a female witch working in a coven of all female witches.
Another thing I was not sold on is the concept of self initiation. I do not believe that people can initiate themselves, but I do believe they can dedicate/devote themselves to a path or to chosen deities. The author states on p29 about the three degrees in Witchcraft, "These degrees are a progression of levels within the hierarchy of a coven, from the first-degree witch passing through her period as novice, to the third-degree witch who will carry more responsibility within the group..." and the author contradicts this by offering ways to self-initiate and self-elevate to third. This to me is the equivalent of sitting your driving test and giving yourself a pass mark for it.
The spells included are varied and cover the topics of love/money/protection/healing and the author also includes a spell to hex, to bind and to break a spell. Some of the spells the practitioner would need a strong stomach for, as the author forewarn the reader. However the author contradicts her own ethics, on p6 the author writes "try to bring harm to no one in the practice of your magic..." and on p36 she writes about the law of rebound "what goes around comes around" and on p39 the law of cause and effect "For every action there is a reaction... ",,, energies that you unwittingly set loose during inept magical practices can have widespread effects upon the world, nature, specific locations, groups of people, individuals of the universe in general" "You're messing with other people's bodies, space, homes, energies, dreams and realities. Consider carefully all the possible outcomes and repercussions from any magical endeavor." And yet on p128 she has a spell for dividing lovers with a verse "This couple the spirits shall divide with malice." Malice is harmful intent so already she is contradicting the laws of witchcraft. The law of rebound would also suggest that if you attempt to separate lovers, then you may find your own relationships breaking down.
p140 has a "do my bidding spell" again this is harmful, and taking away someone else's will. p157 the "To spite your face spell" the author writes " you will take their photo and, with the focused emotions you feel at this person and their actions, you will mark it, slash it, spit on it, stomp on it" etc and yet on p7 she writes "This rule, more or less is telling you not to act rashly, or in anger but to think things through and try to view the circumstances and objectives on an level plane" The spell mentioned to spite your face suggests you let out all aggression during the spell - a very harmful and unwise thing to do.
p162 is a hex, one of the verses states, " That you will know sadness and sorrow and continuous misery" once again contradictory to the witches laws and ethics she has stated. The law of rebound will only bring sadness, and sorrow and continuous misery upon the person who casts this.
Overall I didn't fully enjoy this book, there were parts of it I thought were well written but the book seems to give the overall impression that it's ok to hex as long as you do it at the right time for the right reasons and you won't get any karmic backlash from it, and the author contradicts her ethics with the spells she has listed in the book, this would make it confusing to a person newly coming into witchcraft.
This book was interesting from the vantage point of how other witches may practice their craft, as witchcraft is extremely varied but I would not recommend this to a new beginner, or someone who was not already well versed in witchcraft.
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