Cover image for Encyclopedia of Wicca & witchcraft
Encyclopedia of Wicca & witchcraft
Grimassi, Raven, 1951-
Personal Author:
Second edition, revised and expanded.
Publication Information:
St. Paul, Minn. : Llewellyn Publications, [2003]

Physical Description:
xviii, 525 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF1571 .G75 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BF1571 .G75 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

On Order



Craft Elder and author Raven Grimassi has revised and expanded his indispensable reference work, the award-winning Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft. The first book of its kind to be written by a practicing Witch, this guide presents Wicca/Witchcraft as a spiritual path, connecting religious concepts and spirituality to both a historical background and modern practice.

With a wealth of information on European folklore and Western Occultism, and material relevant to any tradition, you can use this book to research any aspect of the Craft, including:

Theology: Pantheons, Wiccan Rede, Three-Fold Law History: Craft roots and influence Places: Historical and sacred sites Verses, rites, and invocations Ritual objects and tools Influential Witches: Past and present

The Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraftalso contains a glossary of terminology; book references; Craft web sites, organizations, and magazines; magickal alphabets, runes, correspondences, symbols; and 300 illustrations.

Author Notes

Raven Grimassi is a Neo-Pagan scholar and award-winning author of more than eighteen books on Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism. He has been devoted to the study and practice of witchcraft for over forty years. Raven is co-founder and co-director of the Ash, Birch, and Willow tradition.

Grimassi's background includes training in old forms of witchcraft as well as Brittic Wicca, the Pictish-Gaelic tradition, Italian Witchcraft, and Celtic Traditionalist Witchcraft. Raven was also a member of the Rosicrucian Order, and studied the Kabbalah through the First Temple of Tifareth under Lady Sara Cunningham.

Raven currently lives in New England with his wife and co-author Stephanie Taylor-Grimassi. Together they direct The Fellowship of the Pentacle, a modern Mystery School devoted to preserving pre-Christian European spirituality.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This A^-Z title describes the contemporary Wicca and witchcraft traditions. Many different groups (Black Forest Clan, Blue Star Wicca, Church of the World Tree) have entries ranging from a few paragraphs to a couple of two-columned pages. Prominent figures from the history of witchcraft also have entries, as do contemporary writers and practitioners. A number of the writers who are covered have been published by Llewellyn Publications, which is almost inevitable given Llewellyn's prominence in the publishing of occult and New Age material. Entries describing the origins of various traditions and certain historical controversies within the Wicca and witchcraft community strive to be fair to all sides, even to outside agencies that persecuted practitioners. This is a work by a believer for believers, although it has something to offer those outside the various traditions who seek to understand them. It describes various practices (although it does not offer detailed spells and instructions) and the significance of certain animals, plants, and objects. All of the descriptions are specific to their Wicca and witchcraft significance. Mythological characters, especially from British and Celtic mythology, are described, as are some deities and legendary figures from classical mythology who are significant in Wicca and witchcraft traditions. Appendixes provide "Classic Wiccan Verses" and lists of relevant periodicals, organizations, and merchants. This volume would be most useful to a public library that serves an active Wicca and witchcraft community or an academic library with an inclusive special interest. Those libraries that need a more general reference would probably do better with The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft [RBB Mr 1 00] by Rosemary Guiley, which is available in paperback for the same price.

Choice Review

Grimassi's hazardous reference work is possibly useful to scholars of Wicca but very misleading to those unfamiliar with the topic. The biographical and autobiographical entries for authors (most of whom publish with Llewellyn) and practitioners of witchcraft are interesting, and the article on the history of the Reclaiming tradition, originating from Starhawk's writings, is particularly valuable. But most of the entries largely ignore current scholarship, omitting any references to the influences of feminism on the craft in the US, and they present the "Cult of the Great Goddess" and the myth of matriarchy as facts. One must also question the presence of subscription information in an entry on a Wiccan journal, which gives the impression that marketing has priority over scholarship. The author's stated purpose is compilation, leaving evaluation to readers; unfortunately, the material's presentation appears authoritative rather than descriptive, and few references lead readers to the sources of the entries. Libraries are already well served by Rosemary Guiley's The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft (2nd ed., CH, Apr'00) and James Lewis's Witchcraft Today (CH, Apr'00). Not recommended. M. R. Pukkila; Colby College