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The Grimoire of Lady Sheba Hardcover – June 1, 2001

3.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lady Sheba was one of the first people in the United States to officially establish the Craft as a legally recognized religion. She registered "The American Order of the Brotherhood of Wicca" as an religious organization in Michigan on August 13, 1971. She stated that she was a witch "by traditional heritage" and a "Gardnerian Witch by choice."

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1 The Power

The foundation on which all your witch power is built is the witches' pyramid. The first side of the four so-called sides of the pyramid is your dynamic, controlled will; the second, your imagination or the ability to see your desire accomplished; third, unshakable and absolute faith in your ability to accomplish anything you desire; and fourth, secrecy-"power shared is power lost." You and your co-workers must work in solitude, peace, and harmony.

These four things, will power, imagination, faith, and secrecy are the basic rules and the absolute basic requirements for the working of Witchcraft. Without all four working together you cannot accomplish the arts and crafts of the Wise Ones.

With your pyramid of power working for you, be sure you have ample knowledge of the universal power tides. The source and the ebb and flow of these cosmic power tides are marked by the movements of the Sun, Moon, and planets through the solar system.

The eight great solar power tides that occur throughout the year mark the time of our religious Sabbats. This is our cosmic calendar. They are a time to draw close to the Gods and receive the magical rejuvenation from contact through the cosmic power tides that are closer to the earth at the Solstices and Equinoxes.

It is not enough to know or possess knowledge and power. One must know how to focus or aim the power in the desired direction and for the purpose intended.

The famous witches' "cone of power" is accomplished by using your pyramid powers to build and focus the force or power raised by your own electric and magnetic body, and brought together and held as a beam of light (power) by your will, within the Magick Circle. Then by the force of your will, command the power cone to come forth and accomplish the purpose for which it was raised.

The Magick Circle acts as a lens to constrain and focus the magical cone of power, very similar to the lens on a modern spotlight.

When you begin to build the cone of power and cold chills are tingling up and down your spine, and your will has increased in power and determination until you feel highly intoxicated and ready to explode; when you have experienced all these things, then know that you have succeeded in raising the mystical, magical cone of power. When you know you have succeeded, drop to the floor or earth and point your Wand in the direction you are sending the power, binding your will to the cone of power and visualizing the accomplished result.

You may also raise the cone of power and send it forth as a familiar in the form of a bird or ball of light, etc., and have it report back to you when it has completed its errand.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

The mystical magic of Witchcraft is the highest science known to man. Practical Witchcraft is the knowledge of and the ability to manipulate the metaphysical and metapsychical universal laws of nature established by the Creator of the universe, and it encompasses the lowest of the universal laws of nature, unto the highest laws of the spirit.

The powers obtained by the knowledge of and the use of Witchcraft are neither good nor evil, but are neutral. The universal laws remain the same. It is the application of the laws by the individual and the results obtained by their use that alone determines what is known as white or black Witchcraft.

The power comes from one source only-the God Force. Our God and Creator of all things did not create anything unclean or evil. but as either positive or negative. Man gave these positive and negative forces within nature the aspect of good or evil.

The universal law of "Like Unto Like" upon which the Sympathetic Magick aspect of Witchcraft is based has been used since time began.

Witchcraft is used today in America by people who would be shocked to find out that the wooden duck decoys set out on the water to attract the ducks from the sky is and always will be Witchcraft. This is a modern example of the universal law of "Like Unto Like" or "That Like Produces Like," which is often called "the Law of Similarity."

Another aspect of Sympathetic Magick is "Contact." Witches believe that things that have once been in contact with each other, such as a person's clothing containing their perspiration or things that have been once a part of the body (cut hair or nails or urine) continue to act on each other no matter what the distance between the severed parts.

Knowing Sympathetic Magick to be an application of the universal law of "Like Unto Like," we thus make use of this ancient wisdom in the rituals by using waxen images or clay puppets.

I would especially have you remember that miracles and magick acts are accomplished by the use of the powers of your mind which today's scientists cannot explain or understand.

2 The Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path has never been published openly before. Without this knowledge you cannot work the Arts Magickal, since the Eightfold Path to the Center is the basic essential in all the workings of the Craft.

The First Path
Intention and concentration of intent. Mental imagery or visualization. Meditation.

The Second Path
Rising upon the planes. Using the many Trance States, better known today as "altered states of consciousness." Projection of the Astral Body.

The Third Path
The Keys: rites, rituals, chants, spell-casting, runes, charms, amulets, talismans, the magick link.

The Fourth Path
The correct and controlled use of drugs (hemp, kat, mushrooms, etc.), ritual wines, whiskey (known as "the elixir of life"), and incense.

The Fifth Path
The dance and kindred practices to raise the fiery cone of power.

The Sixth Path
Warricking, blood control by use of the Cords, breath control, and kindred practices.

The Seventh Path
The ancient rite of scourging to purify.

The Eighth Path
The great rite, the spiritual union as well as the physical union of male and female to create life. Sex Magick.

Comment: The five essentials for the working of the Eightfold Path are Intention, Preparation, the Magick Circle, Self-purification, and the Consecrated Tools.

To me the Intention of the Wise One is the most important feature of the Eightfold Path. You must know beyond any shadow of a doubt that you can and will succeed. This is the absolute essential of every operation of magick or religious worship.

Preparation: You must be properly prepared for the work you are doing according to the rules of the Art, and you must take note of the cosmic laws and the planetary times. All ritual preparation must be observed or you cannot work the Arts Magickal.

The Magick Circle, our temple between the realm of the Gods and the world of man, must be properly formed, consecrated, and purified.

Self-Purification, cleanliness of body and mind. You must be prepared and purified according to the rules of the Art. If a rite should be of long duration, lasting through a Moon and Sun, then the Circle and the operator must be purified often through the night and the day.

All of your holy altar tools must be properly constructed, purified, and consecrated to the God/Goddess. Keep your tools highly charged with power. This can be done by recharging in the Magick Circle with the Dance, by concentration, or as I personally do, by sleeping with my Magick Knife, feeding it constantly.

There are many ways of using the Eightfold Path and the five essentials to gain the Center. The Center is the union with the God/Goddess, the source and sustainer of our being.

All of the Paths do not combine well together; but many of the Paths can be combined to bring faster and more powerful results. Each person must work out his own best combinations.

The First Path, intention and concentration of intent, is essential in all workings. It combines easily with all the other paths and leads to the Second Path, the union of the operator with the evoked Entity.

The Fourth Path is a very powerful way to the Center. The aids quickly unlock the inner eye and swiftly release the spirit from its physical prison. Therefore, "Judge Ye wisely with whom Ye will choose to tread the Pathways to Wisdom, for Ye must accompany them until they stand in the Divine Light of the Center." This knowledge must not be taught to fools.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875420761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875420769
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #800,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Some of the reviews on here, that appear to be made by "Wiccans" shows that they don't know their religion's history. When practicing a religion, one should know it's history and roots. And, if you knew anything about the history of Wicca, you would know...

1.) That the original traditions as created by Gerald Gardner included the blind folding, nudity, binding, and scourging.

2.) When Doreen Valiente and other members of his coven (Bricket Wood Coven) wrote the thirteen "Rules of the Craft" to try and deter Gardner from his publicity seeking, he produced 30 "Wiccan Laws" (130 later added by Alexandrian Wicca), that said things like men should rule women and so forth. This therefore led to Doreen and other members to leave his coven, however, many of his followers still passed these things on down the line of initiates, because each initiate would copy the coven's Book of Shadows...which Lady Sheba did when she was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca (although it has been said that it was an Alexandrian BOS she copied).

3.) And yes Doreen Valiente "re-wrote" the Charge of the Goddess, however, Gardner had originally taken it from an older book "Aradia: the Gospel of Witches" by Charles Godfrey Leland written in 1899...so it is essentially 100's of years old.

4.) Gerald Gardner passed Wicca off as being an ancient religion, so many of his followers believed this to be so. Yes, he created Wicca, however he created it from pieces of other older practices as well as what he was able to glean from the New Forest coven that he was originally initiated into, and this all began in the 1930's, which to some people is ancient, LOL.

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By A Customer on August 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps one of the reviewers laughed this book off the shelf when it first appeared, but there were a lot of people who loved it, and who are delighted to see it in print again. It was one of the first books from which I learned to practice witchcraft. It contains some beautiful and powerful material. The author was completely sincere in what she wrote. There were some witches who were scandalized and jealous because of what she put into it. It's worth a look.
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Having spent many years looking for a copy of this work in the days before the Internet (and thus Amazon) existed, I was surprised when Llewellyn decided to re-publish it. I got a copy of this new edition, thinking to trade in my old copy, until I noticed something rather strange. It appears Llewellyn decided to make some changes to the text. There are some small, but very, very interesting differences between the original edition I own and this new edition. I don't know the exact reasons behind these changes, but it seems the publishers wanted to eliminate some of the wording in Lady Sheba's original text which sounded a bit too much like "Ceremonial Magick" and not enough like current Wiccan beliefs. I'm not going to list these differences here, but, if those who are interested in the evolution of modern paganism wanted to track down a copy of the original and compare it with this new edition, I think they would be intrigued.

As to the book itself, well, it is what it is. In and of itself, it's total garbage, but as an artifact of the process of how modern neo-paganism emerged out of various occult traditions in the twentieth century, it's important as a landmark along that path.
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This was the first book of shadows ever published - first on it's own and then as part of this grimoire

Again, it has captured the early spirit of the Wicca movement here in the USA - i've said elsewhere i see Raymond Buckland, who is still alive, and Scott Cunningham the Fathers and Founders of forms of Wicca in the USA: well, Lady Sheba, in publishing this book, i think is the Mother of the movement in the USA.

We need to know our roots and respect the crap that the early Witches to come forward went through - here and in the U K!

So that way we won't take for granted what we have now and how we got there!
j/L "Granny" Matrika
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One of my favorite books on the Craft of all time. Reading it brings me into another world of lost Witch legend and poetry. I really don't understand the negative reviews. Why be so hateful... Over a book? Lady Sheba's rituals and chants are very unique and beautiful, and the Gardnerian rituals are, if not totally accurate, summed up and concise. I refer to Lady Sheba's Book of Shadows whenever writing a new ritual for a Sabbat. I recommend all Wiccans read this book as a glimpse at the Witchcraft of Lady Sheba's time, and also a fictitious romanticized look at the Witchcraft of hundreds of years ago.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was originally published in 1972, and has been republished by Llewellyn as part of their centennial celebration. Lady Sheba, Jessie Bell, was born in Kentucky in 1920 and as far as I can read, she's still alive and well. This books seems to be a combination of practices created by her as well as her mother and grandmother [according to the auhtor]. Divided into three section, it covers Lady Sheba's Grimoire, BOS (Book of Shadows), and an appendix of an old sabbat rite.
A great book for a beginner because it covers so much! There is information about tools, alphabets, lingo and phrases, rituals and sabbats. It's also great for a more advanced practioner because it gives insight into a kind of "old-school" craft.
There is a lot that can be used in coven work, but it can also easily be modified for solitary use. The BOS section starts with a chapter called "The Laws", and there are 162 of them! 162 may not work for everyone, but it is very interesting reading.
One of my favorite things in the book, and the reason I purchased it was "The call of Nine", and I like things that are written in rhyme-no pun intended :-). And there are some fun things too, like her "Spell to Control a Man and not feel guilty about it." And although there are some things I will leave within the pages of this book and never put into practice myself, I feel this book is a delight and a welcomed addition to any pagan library.
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