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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ash, Birch and Willow

Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days

by RAVEN GRIMASSI, WEISER BOOKS

10/01/2011



Meditate for a few moments on the image of the witch. Tell me what do you think? Chances are it is one of two images, an old hag doing evil spells or a young pretty woman dedicated to the Goddess doing benificial spells with the blief of harm ye none. The Old Witch was nothing like that at all. Noted author Raven Grimassi for the first part of this book goes thorugh ancient historical text dating all the way to Greco-Roman Times to give us an accurate as possible mental picture of the ancient witch. Tracing a definition from the Greek work pharmokote which meant worker of plants. THe witch was someone who worked with the numen or life force of plants for various aims. THe opld withc was not bound by the three fold law or harm ye none creed. They could do good just as well as malevolent. It was not until the medievil times that the image of the witch became tarnished by the Christian priests eager for an enemy and to convert the population. Witches never called upon or worked with demons. In addition to calling on the spirit of plants they also called upon rather commonly on Goddesses such as Hekate, Diana and Prosperina. There is no direct mention of a male God. Witches also called upon stars adn planets for aid as well.




The second part of the book focuses on a new paradigm that is based on Ancient principle. From my observations it is a practical paradigm that seems to be informed from Traditional British Witchcraft in part. There is some Wiccan practices and concepts brought into the paradigm. THe God is called the o"One of the 'Deep Forest' and the Goddess is called she of the rounded white. THe tools employed are besom knifes, wands, cauldron, chalice and mortar and pestle. In the grimouire section there are rituals, spells and instruction on how to connect to the shadow and other realms. THe paradigm is called 'Ash, Birch,Willow". It is practical and useable.





Over all excellent book. Some of the rituals I am uncomfortable with as they require pricking the finger and using your own blood. That is my personal preference. Also in modern times it is difficult to find a crossroads or even do a ritual publicly at the crossroad. Later on the author does give you an alternative to finding a crossroad. Another ritual calls for bringing dirt from the crossroad and having it under your pillow for three night in a sack of course. My question is of hygiene. How safe is the dirt. The book could use a few more picture and illustrations especially of the stang and the staff for the Goddess. It give this book 4 stars out of five. Buy it as this one book you will definitely use

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Baba-Sali
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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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