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Grimassi's Connection W/ Stregheria

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,alt.witchcraft,alt.traditional.witchcraft,alt.religion.wicca,talk.religion.misc
From: lorax666 
Subject: Re: Grimassi's Connection W/ Stregheria
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 21:22:32 GMT

50031226 vii om

Grimassi claimed 'Old World connections' in this article:
#>$ Question from Herne Forester (in Pacific Pagan):
#>$ PP: According to your bio, you have been
#>$ associated with several family
#>$ traditions. Is Stregheria one of them?
#>$ RG: Yes, it is my own personal tradition.
#>$ Through friends I have met and other traditions
#>$ that I have been in contact with, I have met
#>$ several who claimed to be family traditions.
#>$ I have met people in my travels who claim top be
#>$ hereditary witches from different parts of
#>$ Europe, and there is a commonality you find
#>$ among them, which is interesting. There is a
#>$ certain feel that is different from people I
#>$ have met that don't practice a family tradition.
#>$ I tend to think that traditions survived to
#>$ various regions, even as fragmented as they
#>$ sometimes are.
#>$ PP: Family traditions have gained a reputation
#>$ for deceiving students, being that it can be used
#>$ as an easily misleading claim. How would you
#>$ differentiate between a legitimate Family or
#>$ Hereditary tradition and one that is simply claimed?
#>$ RG: I don't know that there is any clear formula
#>$ there. I have read scholars' accounts of what they
#>$ would consider to be more legitimate than something
#>$ else. It's hard to say. What I usually come back
#>$ with when I have had people make allegations against
#>$ me in that it is easy to make the claim that I follow
#>$ the practices of ancient witches, is no, it is not
#>$ easy. Claiming it only brings you disfavr, only
#>$ brings skepticism and actually causes problems in
#>$ relationships with other people in the Craft, so there
#>$ is no positive reason for claiming it. So with the
#>$ fact that it exists, you have two choices: you can
#>$ either pretend that you aren't and make everybody
#>$ happy, or you can be true to who and what you are
#>$ and take the consequences that come. I choose to be
#>$ who and what I am and take the consequences of that
#>$ because I do have these Old World connections.
#>$ -------------------------------------------------------
#>$ "An Interview With Raven Grimassi", by Herne Forester,
#>$ in Pacific Pagan Magazine, published by Lyceum of
#>$ Trees, Inc., WA, Mabon 2003; p. 6.
#>$ =======================================================

"Deanne Roberts" :
# I found his website in a quick search here is a 
# link to the page in which he discusses this

at which I found this:
$ I came about writing my books on Italian Witchcraft....
$ ...Leo Martello's earlier book on the Old Religion contained 
$ only a chapter or two that dealt with anything related to the 
$ Italian Craft. Charles Leland's 19th century book titled 
$ Aradia; Gospel of the Witches 

here's what is said about that text, found at, Lucky Mojo at
	Aradia: the Gospel of the Witches                                  

%  From                   
%  This text was first published in 1890. It is out of copyright and            
%  therefore may be duplicated in any manner required for the widest            
%  possible dissemination. Although not a Wiccan document per se, it --         
%  along with the writings of Aleister Crowley, Margaret Murray, "The Key       
%  of Solomon," and "Duncan's Ritual of Freemasonry" -- formed the basis        
%  for Gerald Gardner's creation of Wicca. Gardner's eventual                   
%  collaborator Doreen Valiente also drew upon this book when she refined       
%  and amended Gardner's earlier Wiccan rites. For further details on the       
%  relationship between Charles Leland's "Aradia" and the various               
%  Gardner-Valiente "Book of Shadows" texts, see Aidan Kelly's "Crafting        
%  the Art of Magic," published by Llewellyn.                                   

$ offered little in a practical sense for modern Witches. 

not having found anything in books....

$ Therefore I decided to turn my attention to filling this 
$ void by presenting a modern version of Italian Witchcraft, 
$ a book that would deal in its entirety with the subject.
we are still left wondering how Raven might be qualified to
write such a book without just making up things wholecloth.

excusing any disresemblances between his book and Italians:
$ What I provided was simply a place for people interested 
$ in Italian Witchcraft to find a starting point. To this 
$ end I presented the Aridian Tradition as a model in WAYS 

this appears to be a carefully-worded fallback so that he
can yet proclaim his 'ancient roots' but explain why they
do not appear in his book by a name connected to them.
why he proclaimed them at all is a relevant inquiry.

NOTE: 'the Aridian Tradition' and its resemblances to
      Leland's "Aradia". this could be no accident. 

$ As stated in the introduction to my book, the Aridian 
$ Tradition is a modern Tradition created by me in 1981, 
$ to which I added some modern Wiccan elements. 

this might be because that's all Raven knew, and thus the
claim to 'ancient practices' above might be somewhat like
the mention below of 'what Raven is not at liberty to
reveal'. compare Murray Hope's works?

$ I did so in order to make the material less alien to 
$ modern Wiccans, 

i.e. have a connection so there'd be an audience for 
the book. Llewellyn might not have taken it otherwise.

$ and to fill in areas in which I was not at liberty to 
$ reveal certain specific aspects of the Italian Craft's 
$ rituals and practices. 

another clear indicator that he is claiming to have very
specific connections to what he's calling 'the Italian
Craft' quite *aside* from his Aridian Tradition. it is
this which he claims above when he shiftily says that

	you have two choices: you can either 
	pretend that you aren't [part of some
	longstanding family tradition] and make 
	everybody happy, or you can be true to 
	who and what you are and take the 
	consequences that come. I choose to be
	who and what I am and take the 
	consequences of that because I do 
	have these Old World connections.

$ WAYS OF THE STREGA eventually went out of print. 

a successful book publishing endeavour. Crafters 
want 'Italian Witchcraft', so let's provide it. it also
appears that Crafters want 'Old World connections'.

$ However, the interest in Italian Witchcraft continued 
$ within the Craft Community. Renewed interest in the 
$ works of Charles Leland on this topic was fueled by the 
$ release of a new translation of ARADIA; GOSPEL OF THE 
$ WITCHES in 1999, marking the 100th year anniversary of 
$ Leland's classic work. 

isn't Leland en par with Murray as to its reliability?
don't the Neopagans find the Diana/Lucifer partnership
within "Aradia" somehow problematic? there's more here
that is being evaded. Ginzburg pretty well laid out the
map on this material and it appears that Llewellyn has
blithely ignored this for the purposes of selling books
by people like Grimassi. corrections welcome.

$ Llewellyn publications decided to bring WAYS OF THE 
$ STREGA back into print in February of 2000. It was 
$ given a new cover and title - ITALIAN WITCHCRAFT, 
$ and I added a new chapter, expanded others, made a 
$ few minor corrections, and included new material 
$ in the appendices.                                                                  
no information about his supposed connections. anybody
could make such claims, but without something to support
them, why ought we believe Raven? why has he bothered to
make the proclamation of his Old World connections public
if he was forbidden to reveal their details, *except* to
sell books? 

more information is needed. there is something amiss here.


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