It is an enormous task to take on the writing of an encyclopedia, and probably even more so when the subject is as contentious a field as witchcraft. Raven Grimassi’s Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft does a very good job of covering an enormous amount of material with a minimum of bias.

The revised edition has new material on the structure, offices and practices of covens as well as material related to classical witchcraft and historical references in western literature. The biographical entries were written by the authors themselves (which is probably a very good idea), except when the author is deceased.

Overall I found the book interesting, although I note that most of the authors listed are in the Llewellyn ‘family’. Interestingly, that was apparently a criticism of the 1st edition. Grimassi says, “authors are included…simply because of their achievement in being published.” That may be the case, but I don’t see GreyCat, Macha Nightmare, or Judy Harrow listed. And if those redoubtable ladies aren’t listed, I have to wonder at the strength of the source as a reference.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author:  Raven Grimassi

Llewellyn Publications, 2003

pp. 526, $24.95

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