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Hereditary Witchcraft: Secrets of the Old Religion Paperback – September 8, 1999


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Hereditary Witchcraft: Secrets of the Old Religion + Italian Witchcraft: The Old Religion of Southern Europe + Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (September 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567182569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567182569
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Like many of you reading this, I have my own library. Because I have been collecting occult books and manuscripts for over half a century, my library has gotten so large that at times it is difficult to find information I need. That is why Hereditary Witchcraft by Raven Grimassi is such an invaluable tool. No longer do I have to go through old volumes to find a bit here or a sentence there. Grimassi has done all the hard work for us. It's great to have all of this information on hand!
Grimassi has traced the sources of an amazing number of beliefs and practices. In an age where cynicism and doubt are rampant, it is great to have references so you can identify the antiquity of what you do and believe.
You could say that this is a book for scholars, because the scholarship in this book is impeccable. But this book is far more! It is a living, breathing document showing how Wicca has evolved over the centuries. It also shows how you can practice the "Old Ways" of Witchcraft, even if you are not near a coven. In this book you will learn important rites and rituals that you can perform in private.
The magical techniques and information here are wonderful. Grimassi shares his knowledge of the magick of the stars. He also shares the secrets of the Tuscan Runes and how you can use them for divination. For the first time this information becomes something practical that you can use!
Expert scholarship combined with an easy writing style and practical information makes this a usable resource that you simply must have. If you don't have a copy you should get one right away. The greater depth of your knowledge of Witchcraft lore and techniques will be your reward.

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.

 



 


More About the Author

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA, to an Italian immigrant who married an American soldier at the close of World War II. My earliest training was in what I call a "peasant witchcraft" tradition, which consisted of Witchcraft and Folk Magic practices of Old Italy. Over the past four decades I have been a practitioner of several Witchcraft and Wiccan traditions. At present I am the directing Elder of the Ash, Birch & Willow tradition, which is a system of "Old Ways Witchcraft" not originating from any single region of Europe, but instead embracing what is held in common among many lands.

I currently have over 14 books in print and write on the topics of Witchcraft, Wicca and Magic. Many people seem to peg me as an author on Italian Witchcraft exclusively, but in fact only two of my books are about that specific subject. The primary focus of my work is about pre-Christian European beliefs and practices that appear in contemporary systems. In doing so I look to the commonalities of European traditions that appear in various regions instead of just one.

Customer Reviews

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Very informative and easy to read.
B. Eaton
The chapter devoted to Rituals is done in great detail with complete scripts, altar layout, gestures, and explanations of the Sabbats.
"starrwalker"
I have learned more from this book than I could have ever imagined possible.
Rayetta Myhre

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Unlike many authors on the modern practice of Witchcraft, this author provides historical documentation that supports his claims. His presentation of Italian Witchcraft, as he reveals it, is rooted firmly in the classical era writings on Roman Witchcraft as well as trial transcripts from the Inquisition in Venice and 19th century writings by primary Italian folklorists who investigated Witchcraft in northern and central Italy.
What I found of particular interest is the historical documentation of aspects of Italian Witchcraft involving ritual circles, cakes & wine, elemental spirits, full moon gatherings, and the classic altar tools, all of which pre-date Gardnerian Wicca by several centuries in Old Italy.
It is refreshing to see historical documentation back up the claims of a modern writer on Witchcraft. If you are interested in an authentic system of old Witchcraft, supported by the facts, then Grimassi's book is the one to pick.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By "starrwalker" on December 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
One of the advantages of reading an author like Raven Grimassi is that you don't have to worry about whether or not the information is correct or not. He is the Grimass, the head of the clan, and a leading authority on the subject of Italian Witchcraft. His information is accurate, timely, and well-written. Each book he writes, you think he couldn't do another and yet he has a wealth of information for todays student.
This book is presented like a Book of Shadows. He begins with a historical presentation of the Craft and of Strega. Next are some brief myths and legends concerning the God/desses of the Old Religion and a discussion of familiar spirits. do you know what a Lara Shrine is? Why they use fava beans? What are the Blood Secrets of the Craft?
The next section has spells that are more than 100 years old! Including a charming spell for Fairy Dust and a Fairy Sight Stone. The chapter devoted to Rituals is done in great detail with complete scripts, altar layout, gestures, and explanations of the Sabbats. It is highly useful and interesting presentation.
Much of the book is devoted to divination, sigils, talismans and more. Can you read the Tuscan Runes or the Sea Magick Runes? Learn the influence of the lunar mansions and more by reading this powerful book!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Unfortunatly he does not reveal any real secrets of Sicilian Strega. The secrets are still safe. Maybe one day the public will know, then again maybe not. Is this book still worth it? Oh yes. Raven Grimassi is one of a kind with the Italian tradition of Strega (Strega=Witchcraft) He made up his own tradition the Araidian tradition from an older tradition. Here in this book you will learn about the history of the witchcraft of Tuscany and Italy. He teaches about the diffrent aspect of the Goddess Diana. He also teaches about her consort Dianus. He gives out wonderful rituals and spells. He also gives a bit of info on the Lasa and Lare (the fairey folk) and how to make your own Lara and Lasa shrine. This is a good primer on Italian Witchcraft and wonderful for the beginners of the Craft as well. The auther does a wonderful job.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Thank You Mr. Grimassi, for giving us a view of what it is like to grow up in the Old Ways. This book is amazing! In one book, we get a deeper persective of the historical and cultural background of Italian Witchcraft, solitary rituals for those of us who are out there alone, and the further tales of Aradia!
There is more than one Italian Tradition out there..no one can claim a definitive version of stregheria. Mr. Grimassi makes that very clear in his introductions. Anyone who thinks this book represents *italian wicca*, obviously hasn't read it. And, who cares if his real name is Grimassi or not?
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this book Grimassi draws upon the works of several folklorists who investigated Italian witchcraft during the late 1800s. He also incorporates traditional material that once resided exclusively within family traditions.
Although the author does refer to Leland's Aradia material, there is less of this in this book than appeared in his previous work - Italian Witchcraft. One reviewer complained that Grimassi is "intent on proving that Leland's book is a big fat lie." This is incorrect. Grimassi claims that although Leland's material is based upon pre-existing Italian Craft material, Leland's account is an altered version with Judeo-Christian overtones. The myths and other material that Grimassi uses from Leland's book are the pre-existing portions with which Grimassi agrees was in the original form. Therefore Grimassi presents it in order to educate the reader as to what is authentic Italian Craft lore. The portions with which Grimassi disagrees, he attributes to Christianization of the older material.
This is a great book for a look at authentic Italian Witchcraft. But a warning, if you skim read this book (which is always a pointless way to try and learn anything) or don't have the ability to comprehend intellectual text, you'll most likely come away with a sense that you've found some treasures but see some flaws.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Hereditary Witchcraft is a look at an older and authentic form of Witchcraft. This book contains information not found in any other book on witchcraft. It is perhaps the only book in print today that provides real clues as to the old ways of witchcraft.
As an initiate of this tradition myself, I must correct the erroneous conclusions drawn by the reviewer who stated that Grimassi "admits he was not taught strega by his family and he wasn't raised in a strega famly." What Grimassi says on his website is that he does not directly mention his family in the Hereditary Witchcraft book, nor in THIS book does he make any claims as to being raised in a Strega family (and nowhere in the book, nor on his website, does he deny being a hereditary witch).
Grimassi does NOT ever say on his website, nor in any published material, that he is not a hereditary witch nor that he never learned witchcraft from his relatives. On his website he is simply correcting book reviewers that incorrectly claim he makes statements specifically in his books 'Hereditary Witchcraft' and 'Italian Witchcraft' as to being raised in a family tradition, which he does not. Grimassi intentionally does not discuss his family in any of his published writings, as it is a private and personal matter.
So, if you're interested in knowing something about an authentic form of hereditary witchcraft, then this is the book for you. It is written by one of the few authors both knowledgeable enough and willing to discuss the hereditary path.
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