Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch: Mastering the Five Arts of Old World Witchery, by Raven Grimassi
Weiser Books, 9781578635504, 240 pp. (incl. appendices and bibliography), 2014
Plant spirits appear in the most ancient practices of Witchcraft. These primal entities possess power and knowledge that aids the Witches’ Craft.
Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch offers the magickal keys to accessing the spirits of the plant kingdom. Decidedly gothic, with many allusions to roses, thorns and shadows, the book’s formal, atmospheric tone is sure to stir magickal memories in the blood of those called to read it.
From the ancient practices of old world witchery springs the Rose and Thorn Path, a system Grimassi manifested after he “fell back into the brewing cauldron from which all things emerge.” He continues, “When I surfaced my self-identity as a witch of any specific cultural expression of witchcraft had dissolved away’. As a grimoire (a traditional book of spells) this book does not disappoint. It presents a usable system of witchcraft based on instantly recognisable archetypes. I have read a few of Grimassi’s books and feel this is his best to date.
The “mastering the five arts” subtitle suggests the book is aimed primarily at serious witches with some level of magical experience. As such I would have appreciated a deeper exploration of the origins of Grimassi’s chosen symbols and plants, but he writes with such authentic wisdom this hardly seems to matter. Central themes are natural divinity and spiritualism — the book deals not so much with plants themselves but the spirits inherent in and attached to them. By showing respect for “Shadow” (the collective wisdom of the earth and ancestors) the green mysteries can be entered. Continue reading
Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days, by Raven Grimassi
Weiser Books, 9781578635054, 272 pp. 2011
Raven Grimassi is a name familiar to those of us who have been reading books on Wicca and witchcraft for a number of years as to date he has authored 14 of them. His background is varied and extensive, running the gamut from Rosicrucian studies and kabbalah and various forms of “traditional” witchcraft. This background allows him to approach the subject from a variety of perspectives.
In Old World Witchcraft Grimassi is presenting his take on the argument that witchcraft is a survival of an ancient pre-Christian religion. One thing I am sure of is that this book has the potential to polarize the community because of Grimassi’s emphasis on the Goddess as the primary deity of early witches, with the God perceived as an invisible presence. This is not the only sacred cow he goes after, although I must emphasize that this is not a malicious attack, but merely an attempt to show how the Christian concept of witches and witchcraft coloured the perceptions of everyone — including both medieval and modern-day witches. Continue reading
Magicians have a tendency to filter their experiences through human assumptions, and while it’s understandable, there are other factors to consider.
There’s more to tuplas thank you think, and they definitely are not whatever it is that 4chan thinks they are. (Though I’m having a lot of fun picturing Blue Flame Magick making that face.)
A workout regimen for your ethereal muscles.
Love or hate the terminating “k,” it sure does make searching for magick a hell of a lot easier on Google. Continue reading
In the past we’ve answered questions about being ready for spellwork and building self-discipline.
This question came in via our newsletter, where we ask, what’s the one thing you’re struggling with in your practice?
I have a keen mind for occult studies and my biggest hang up is lack of a teacher. I have read many books in numerology, astrology and yoga, and I very much desire a teacher in these areas.
In ancient times, yoga was disseminated person to person, this was the study of yoga. I have had many wonderful teachers, especially during kundalini teacher training, but I long for the intimate interaction of a teacher.
When it comes to numerology and astrology, I have basic tenets but I long for the next step in learning. I’ve asked the universe for a teacher and guide both in my writing and my meditations.
Finding a teacher can be tough, especially finding the right teacher. You’ve taken the first step and put your intention out there, and now it’s time to take action.
You can always Google for books, blogs, and people, but personal recommendations tried and tested from people who have already walked the path are always strongest. Continue reading
It is, as I noted previously, an inevitability of working with pop culture symbol-sets in magick, that a certain amount of cross-cultural symbolism happens. Often this is condemned by the more purist practitioners as cultural theft; views on this across occulture vary, and the debate is far from over.
I generally fall on the side of the debate that says, Yes, respect cultures, don’t nick their ideas and forms willy-nilly — but once a symbol or practice has become part of common culture, it can’t be put back in the box. And if it’s there, you might as well use it. Once those symbols are enculturated, they evolve, and what they become is no longer quite what they were, and this is often a positive evolution. Continue reading