Raven Grimassi, scholar and author, has authored some of the most influential books about witchcraft in the modern age. What We Knew in the Night, is his magnificent final contribution to more than 50 years of practical and empowering witchcraft.

Within these pages, Grimassi returns to a favorite theme of his: exploring the roots of European witchcraft and re-imagining them for the modern age. Broken out into a five step process (poetically described as Virtue of the Moon, The Wafting, The Witch’s Blade, The Clay Pentacle, and The Witch’s Ring) Grimassi re-introduces these core concepts in a practical and grounded fashion. Each step in the process builds upon the previous steps, creating a layered conceptual practice that can take the student through into a lifetime of development.

Grimassi says, and rightly so, that witchcraft is not supposed to be a "pick and choose" adventure of buying crystals and making moon water. (My examples, not his.) For him, being a Witch is a matter of recognizing the connection that comes from within -- and no amount of "stuff" can validate that connection.

This is not an easy book to read, and a shallow skim will turn most readers away. It is a book to savor and return to again and again, reading through several times. He calls out the current trend of over-codifying and placing too much emphasis on UPG (unverified personal gnosis) over the actual work of withcraft. One's personal experience with Deity is a valuable part of one's practice . . . but it doesn't make a good foundation for a tradition.

This book is truly a treasure for any of us who take our Craft seriously.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Raven Grimassi
Weiser Books, 2019
pp. 272, $21.95

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