Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Raven Grimassi

Taken from the Kitchen Witch forum:

Raven Grimassi is best known for his writings on Italian Witchcraft, or Stragheria, although he has written on a wide range of subjects relating to the Craft. Grimassi is his pen-name, as he is highly secretive and protective of his private identity and family. He was born to an Italian immigrant to the United States of America in 1951, his mother a war-bride. He was still a child when he began learning the folklore and old religions of Italy and southern Europe, which came to him with a strange mix of Catholicism. By the age of 18, he had discarded any Catholic associations altogether, and was determined to delve deeper into the old ways of his heritage.

In 1969 he first came across Wicca, a tradition compatible with the Italian Witchcraft he was more familiar with. Unsurprising when considering the influence the 1890 book, "Aradia: Gospel of the Witches" by Charles Leland, had on those who brought Wicca to life. He initiated into what claimed to be a Gardnerian Coven, though these claims were later proven as untrue. Since then, he has also initiated into several other traditions, Brittic (1975), Pictish-Gaelic (1983) and Traditional Celtic Wicca (2001), the latter two at third degree level, and more as a guardian to preserve their knowledge. He has also studied the Kabbala with the First Temple of Tiphareth (1975).

Drawing elements from both Strega and Wicca, Grimassi created the Aridian Tradition in 1979, specifically designed for the neo-pagan, not necessarily of Italian descent. He is purported to have initiated Scott Cunningham into this tradition, though Cunningham never rose above first degree, and they parted with some differences of opinion.

Also in 1979, whilst the editor and contributing writer of the magazine "The Shadows Edge", a publication concentrating on Italian Witchcraft, he began writing articles on Wicca and Witchcraft. A year later, he published his first books, The "Book of the Holy Strega" and "The Book of Ways". Both books were to be out of print within a few years, but the latter was brought back into print recently. In 1995, Llewellyn published his book "Ways of the Strega", shortly after, an expanded and retitled version was released as "Italian Witchcraft".

Some misinterpretation of the phrase "initiated into the Family Tradition" have caused controvery, with critics claiming that it's not actually the traditions of HIS family. However, he has never claimed that his work recreated that of the old traditions, but that he has built upon his existing knowledge of Italian Witchcraft and folk magic, adapting it for the contemporary practitioner, thereby creating a new tradition.

Grimassi is regarded as a foremost expert on the work of Charles Leland and his Aradia book. Though he sees much Christian distortion in the work, there are many underlying elements that he sees as truth.

Grimassi is married to Stephanie Taylor, his co-author in the Well Worn Path oracle. He is the Directing Elder of the Arician Tradition of Italian witchcraft, co-director of the College of the Crossroads, along with Stephanie, a school devoted to the pre-christian European mysteries, though now known as Fellowship of the Pentacle. The couple run an online shop called "Raven's Loft" and further information on Strega can be found on his website stregheria.com.


1981: The Book of the Holy Strega
1981: The Book of Ways Volume I and II
1994: Ways of the Strega reprinted as Italian Witchcraft: The Old Religion of Southern Europe in 1995
1999: Grimassi, Raven. Hereditary Witchcraft: Secrets of the Old Religion. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 1567182569.
2000: Grimassi, Raven. The Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 1567182577.
2001: Grimassi, Raven. Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore and Celebration. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 1567182836.
2001 Grimassi, Raven. Hereditary Witchcraft. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 1567182569.
2002: Grimassi, Raven. Wiccan Magick. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 1567182550.
2002: Grimassi, Raven. The Wiccan Mysteries. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 1567182542.
2002: Grimassi, Raven. The Witches' Craft: The Roots of Witchcraft & Magical Transformation. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 073870265X.
2003: Grimassi, Raven. Spirit of the Witch: Religion & Spirituality in Contemporary Witchcraft. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 0738703389.
2003: Grimassi, Raven. The Witch's Familiar: Spiritual Partnership for Successful Magic. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 0738703397.
2004: Grimassi, Raven. Witchcraft: A Mystery Tradition. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 0738705969.
2005: Grimassi, Raven & Taylor Stephanie. Well Worn Path: Divination Kit. ISBN 073870671X.
2007: Grimassi, Raven & Taylor Stephanie. Hidden Path: Divination Kit. ISBN 0738710709.
2008: Grimassi, Raven. Crafting Wiccan Traditions. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 073871108X.
2009: Grimassi, Raven. The Cauldron of Memory: Retrieving Ancestral Knowledge & Wisdom. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 0738715751.
2011: Grimassi, Raven. Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days. Weiser Books. ISBN 1578635055.



Blessed be


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