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Hereditary Witchcraft: Secrets of the Old Religion Paperback – 1 Oct 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications,U.S. (1 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567182569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567182569
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 1.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 662,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

"TO HAVE WITCH BLOOD' WAS TO LIVE BETWEEN THE WORLDS AND TO KNOW THAT WHICH CAN NEVER BE TOLD."

"Through the years, I learned many things from my mother about the Old Religion. I learned that spirits dwelled in plants, and that to invoke them, one simply inhaled the scent of the flowers and called their names. She taught me to call the fairy folk by pouring milk, wine, and honey into a bowl and setting it under a myrtle bush. Once the bowl was in place, a reed tied to a string was swung briskly overhead in a clockwise circle, and we would whistle a slow, haunting melody. The rustling of the leaves was a sign that the fairies had come. But all of this was secret, and secrecy surrounded everything I was taught."

These were the Old Ways, part of a legacy of magick passed down through family lines, and kept alive for centuries. The secret ways of Italian witches live on today, and serve as an excellent model for any tradition of magick that seeks to impart its wisdom to future generations. In this well-crafted book, respected author Raven Grimassi tells the story of his family's traditions, from ritual spellwork to the Italian tooth fairy. Engaging and thought-provoking, Hereditary Witchcraft inspires us all to preserve the sacredness of our mysteries and magicks by giving them away -- as gifts to our children.

About the Author

Raven Grimassi is a Neo-Pagan scholar and award-winning author of more than eighteen books on Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism. He has been devoted to the study and practice of witchcraft for over forty years. Raven is co-founder and co-director of the Ash, Birch, and Willow tradition. Grimassi’s background includes training in old forms of witchcraft as well as Brittic Wicca, the Pictish-Gaelic tradition, Italian Witchcraft, and Celtic Traditionalist Witchcraft. Raven was also a member of the Rosicrucian Order, and studied the Kabbalah through the First Temple of Tifareth under Lady Sara Cunningham.   Raven currently lives in New England with his wife and co-author Stephanie Taylor-Grimassi. Together they direct The Fellowship of the Pentacle, a modern Mystery School devoted to preserving pre-Christian European spirituality.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Never have I read such an in-depth book on The Old Ways, Diana, Dianus or Aradia. The book covers everything one could possibly need to know. Unfortunately, my mother does not look kindly on these sorts of things, nor is she understanding, so she took my book away. However, I remember a great deal, for it easy to absorb every piece of information in this book- it is not easy to forget such a remarkable work!
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By A Customer on 24 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent blend of lore, history, and mythology, fully supported by excerpts from ancient historians, witch trial transcripts, and the writings of several prominent folklorists. A reviewer has suggested that Grimassi made up the system he writes on, however the documentation of a well established 19th century tradition of Italian Witchcraft is quite evident in the research material contained within Grimassi's book.
Italy, like most regions of Europe, has many diverse folk traditions and beliefs. For example, the traditions of Witchcraft on the island of Sicily historcially differ from the traditions on mainland Italy, as do many folk beliefs and practices. No one can reasonably lay claim to the One True path of Italian Witchcraft. Grimassi certainly does not, but simply writes on the tradition he knows best. Some critics claim that Grimassi's material is Gardnerian Wicca with Italian seasoning. However, anyone of reasonable intelligence (and not buried in their own agenda) will easily see the compelling counter evidence presented in Grimassi's book. Grimassi demonstrates that many of the so-called Gardnerian aspects of Wicca are found half a century earlier than the writings of Gardner. Grimassi draws on the 19th century writings of several key folklorists who wrote on Italian Witchcraft, fully documenting a pre-Gardnerian system of Witchcraft
that resembles modern Wicca.
Like any credible author, Grimassi has pointed out revisions to his earlier work, stating that he wished to reveal more information in a less watered-down version as time passed. I think the author is to be applauded for his openess and willingness to share, instead of hiding behind claims of unspoken secrets he knows of but cannot speak of.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting book, with a lot of information about this Old Religion. From an adept, it shows you an insight of how it started, where do the fundaments come from and great overall view.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book originally as I was looking for more detail about the history and international development of witchcraft as a personal belief system rather than a "religion". I was a bit disappointed to find that the exclusive HEREDITARY aspect of witchcraft is emphasised making non-hereditary "witches" feel a bit marginalised. Otherwise it has some interesting content, eg: how to build a lasa shrine, and a few incantations. However, still very much Italian oriented, and made me question "How hereditary is withcraft or 'the Blood' anyway?". Good from the general interest point of view, but disappointing if one wants to do more than skim the surface.
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Great
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