A Raven Grimassi Mystery...

Discussion in 'Pagan' started by WiccanWade, Aug 23, 2003.

  1. WiccanWade

    WiccanWade New Member

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    Hmmm... Okay, now, while I am far from a "fan" of the man, I don't buy into much of what he publushes. *sigh* Call me a major skeptic, but, I just don't buy it! *shrugs* Anyway, while flipping through a copy of his book Italian Witchcraft, while waiting in a beloved bookstore (my regular home away from home, where I can always be found, or else at a coffee house) he published a series of symbols which bears such a striking resemblence to modern Craft (i.e. Wiccan) symbols, such so-based, and others I had never seen before (on pages 106-108). He alledges that they are "the most common symbols and sigils used in italian Witchcraft". Some of it appearing to be based in Norse runes (Futhark) and others in the work of Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophyu, etc... Anywya, one was strikingly retty, and I'd like to research where it came from (although, have an interest where they all may have their origins, or may specifically be found, if he didn't create them himself- as I suspect- as he has a habit of only publishing a "selected bibliography"...forgivbe my skepticism, but...whenever I see this, red flags, bells and whistles immediately start going off within me). Anyway, the only writing around it is thus: The Goddess Manifest (the Moon Cross). To describe it: Picture two lines forming an equal-armed cross (sort of ike you just drew two lines with a pencil) with a small circle at the end of each line, with a small cross-bar ust below each "circle" making it appear as the Glyph of Venus with an extented end, but no larger in scope than a pin-head, to be honest. Anyway, superimposed upon this cross is a lunar symbol- the waxing and waning crescents back to back. Like this: )(

    Be Well, All...
    Wade MacMorrighan (getting more used to it!)
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    A little scepticism never hurt anybody. :)

    Do you have a scanned copy of the image? IT would be interesting to see in form.
     
  3. WiccanWade

    WiccanWade New Member

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    No, I do not. Or I would have found a way to contact one of you with it, or posted it, or something. I wish I did, though, because it's quite pretty! If anyone has such means, feel free, especially if you have access to this particular book.

    Although, frankly, what really burned my buns is how he seemed so agenda-driven to prove that Wicca is purely another form of Italian Witchcraft/Hereditary Witcchcraft (which I can tollerate, based on whree so much of Wicca origionally stemmed by the writings from the 19th. century), but he went further to attempt to prove that all Witchcraft (that not connected to Wicca) and even the Celtic and Druid's beliefs and practices origionated with the Italians, alledging (without out-right saying so) that the Italians are the oldest race throughout the whole freaking continent and Bridgit's Isles! Sorry, but...that just really grates me the wrong way. :p Whew...sorry for venting, there. Heh heh heh... His tone was absolutely less-than-kind to the Celts- which is putting it mildly (my ancestors and those whom gave me the Gods I honour, as well as the Saxons, etc.); so, it hit a nerve with me.

    Blessings, everyone...
    Wade MacMorrighan
     
  4. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    I have a few of Grimassi's books (but not the Italian Witchcraft one) and I agree that he does try really hard to present his particular approach as the "one true and only" witchcraft, which of course he insists is authentic as an ancient tradition passed down in an unbroken lineage from the stone ages.

    The attempts to prove his position remind me a lot of the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." The bride's father has this schtick where he claims that any word in ANY language can be traced back to a Greek origin. It's really funny to watch him go through contortions to prove his theory.

    The sad thing is that Grimassi appears to be doing the same sort of thing, and appears to have invested a lot of his personal reputation on being right. I've heard from people who've met him that he's a very nice guy, but it will be a pretty humiliating thing to be publicly proven wrong (as will undoubtedly happen, and is already happening if you side with authors like Ronald Hutton and Isaac Bonewits.)

    The lesson I get from it all is: don't base the claimed validity of your philosophy on ideas which are open to being discredited.

    As a Wiccan myself, I think it's important that we do learn more about the real, verifiable history of witchcraft and paganism. But I don't base the validity of my spiritual path on whether it is one year old, ten years old, or a million years old. Or on whether some of the ideas that are foundational, the practices I perform, are new or old or "authentic" with any particular historical period or cultural group. To me, it's more important if I find ideas and practices work for me and are inspiring to me. Finding out more about their history, to me, only helps in getting a better understanding and won't undermine their usefulness if the claimed history turns out to be bogus.
     
  5. WiccanWade

    WiccanWade New Member

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    Oh, it was his Hereditary Witchcraft book which got me all a jummble. *sigh* I had to listen to Melissa Etheridge just to calm down, and find my centre for goodness sake! And, speaking of Melissa, this'll sound weird, but...you know that feeling of love you feel when you first kiss someone? That electric bizz which rushes your body, and the pounding of your heart? Well, I feel those feelings whenever I listen to her stuff! Her songs carry me away- and I fel what I remember my first kiss feeling like. Which is odd, because I'm gay,she's a lesbian, and she's naturally writing about other women, etc... ;o) But, I digress... What sounded so unusual was that he claimed it was assed down orally. Well, if it was, then...why was it being written down (which he states), alledging that these Italian Witchjes were copying down the Keys of Solomon, which is not Italian, but Hebrew magick (last I knew). So, based on this, one could say, that his "hereditary craft" really isn't as he claimes, anyway, because what these "witches"mwere coipying wasn't even Italian!



    Oh my goodness, that's exactly the feeling which was coming across!!! And...as much as I've wanted to, I haven't seen that movie, yet. And, I've met several alledged "stregha"(sp?) whom appear to be doing the same thing, too! They do not believe in the Indo_European root theory, think that the Italians are the oldest European race, from whom everyone's Gods stemmed (the Gauls, the Gaels, the Celts, everyone, etc...), back from Neolithic or Paeolithic cultures, I believe Raven stated in his book. You just have NO idea what an aggrivating read this book was! I was gritting my teeth the whole way through! After all, from all accounts, the Celts have their own culture and Gods long before they first had any contact with the Romans. Yet...some such Italians still assert that Danu (the irish Earth Goddess also know as Anu) origionated as their Diana. Well, one person tried to say that the Celkts owe their belief and Gods to the Italians (which I do notm recall reading). However, I do recall reading that she said Aradia was probably Celtic in origin. And, based on a line of reasoning, Aradia may really have been Diana, because their names are so close, and it could merely be a case of the Goddess transcending into a new cult as Aradia rather than Diana. After all, according to my research Aradia is etymologically linked to the Gaulish Witch Goddess, Herodianna.



    Absolutely! I love Ron.! He got me started inr esearching history, and recommended some great books to me! And, they still seemingly go against what historians have said, even Ron, in a very blind-sided manner. Did you read what I've found about Raven's blind-sided history and the Tarot??? But, they still don;t take historians whom refute their beliefs, seriously. The Italian whom I spoke of, previously, said that there was evidence that the irish Gods started out, origionally stemming from, the Italian Gods, also based in that Ireland was on some trade route from italy, or whatever... I'd have to lookmit back up to be sure, though. But, I'm fairly sure this was the jist of what he'd stated.

    Oh, I hope you were able to read what I write about Ron Hutton haviung to radically re-thinbk his theories in "Triumph..." and coming out with some other material and books because of it! It's so exciting!




    Oh, both Grimassi and this other Italian fellow both seemed to be using a lot of history to support their claims, and totally called the Indo-European root of the Gods and beliefs, of what-have-you "a myth which has not been proven to my satisfaction." I may post some of what this person said, if no one minds... :D



    YOU GO, GIRL!!! ;) Or is it "boy"? :)
     
  6. WiccanWade

    WiccanWade New Member

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    I warmly (as warmly as I could, despite my chipped teeth from gritting them) that Doreen has pointed out that Aradia may very well have been Celtic in origin, as well as all the examples I could think of with regards to Ind-European roots, etc... As well as mythography, etc... Even recommending books on the subject by Celtic Reconstructionists, whom are known for their scholarship. So, he shot back with:



    However, I was always under the impression, based on historians, that the Celts and Irish had their own culture long before they met the Romans, so there is no proof that their Gods "grew from" the Roman Gods... Again, he;s trying tolink every Celtic god back to Roman origional, asserting that the Roman deities were those whom the Ceklt's Gods stemmed from.
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I am quite the Romanophile - which is all the more reason to be concerned to see people claim that the Italians were have such primacy in mythology.

    For a start, anyone who's read up on Roman history knows that the term "Italians" is quite an irrelevant term before the Roman Empire. Italy wasn't even politically unified into a country until the late 1800s.

    In the earliest Roman period, Italy consisted of a swathe of different tribes and followings, of which the Romans were originally just one very small ethnic group. They were surrounded by various other much larger groups, such as the Etruscans, who borrowed heavily from Grecian thought, and the various "Latins", whom I'm not actually too familiar with in terms of pre-Roman culture.

    The whole argument being postulated by the Stregha seems like just another form of fundamentalism - essentially, it's an expression of insecurity.

    After all, all the Streghas have to go on to support their foundation of beliefs is a single late Victorian book, which would otherwise have no obvious connection to the real folkloric traditions of Italy, and which would normally be consigned to the anthropological trash heap.

    Of course, personal belief best makes sense to the personal self - and there's nothing wrong with that. It's also not at all wrong to challenge scholarly disciplines. However, to attempt to re-write history in an ego-centric manner - and expect others to accept it - is perhaps just a shade ignorant.
     
  8. WiccanWade

    WiccanWade New Member

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    "OH, OH, OH," he says, raising his hand!!! I just recently discovered that there's even more of a reason to doubt Grimassi's so-called "history" quite simply in his "Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft" where he calls Aleister Crowley a "satanist" and a hereditary Italian witch, both of which are blatant lies (as far as I'm concerned)! :D
     
  9. WiccanWade

    WiccanWade New Member

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    Absolutely! However, all I've met whom doi this, the Stregha, are using history to their ends. Which is confusing, because I'm not as up-to-date on my history to be able to debate any that they're saying... But...I'd still like to be able to point ut where they might be iun error, suggesting that the Irish Gods origionated from the Italian/Stregha/Roman (or whatver) Gods. Grrr... :rolleyes:
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    If someone is inventing their own history, then it's going to be very hard to actually make counter-arguments, because likely none will be accepted.

    Heck, I'm a complete Romanophile but am hard pressed to define the earliest Roman origins - Livy isn't very good with that. By that I mean it's hard to see him as a erliable source for that period, excepting in terms of wanton fond romanticism and half-remembered myths and legends that actually hide deeper political truths that Livy is adamant he will not explore.

    The Celts don't actually appear in the historical record until around the 5th or 6th century BC - did we cover that? - when they broke out from central Europe. They even conquered the city of Rome herself for a short period, before moving on. My reading of Roman writings gives the impression that the Celts are regarded as quite similar to the Germanics - certainly, in terms of being regarded as very fickle, very factional, and subject to greed for material things. Hannibal called on the Celts as allies, but according to both Livy and Polybius, they generally let him down due to impatience for plunder and infighting. No discipline. Or so how Greece and Roman reports the Celts of their own period. Certainly not the peace-loving hippies modern romanticism is very much in danger of painting the Celts as.
     
  11. Septegram

    Septegram New Member

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    It sounds suspiciously like the Norse "Helm of Awe." If you do a Google search for that phrase, I think you'll see what I mean.
    [​IMG][/url] [​IMG][/url] [​IMG][/url]

    Of course, these don't have the superposed lunar crescents. If these do look like what Grimassi put in his book, I can think of several reasons for the similarity. Some are innocuous and some are, well, not.
     
  12. Baud

    Baud Seeker of Knowledge

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    To come back to the subject of Strega, which I certainly have not studied with very much attention, is anyone aware of any mention of the goddess Aradia in any writing before the publication of "Aradia, The Gospel of the Witches" by Charles Leland in 1899?

    If the answer is no, I would find very hard to believe that a religion dating from millenia has gone unnoticed for so long.

    This, however, would not undermine in any way the value of the spiritual beliefs of people who practice Strega now.

    Baud
     
  13. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    I did a little searching and while I can't say I was exhaustive in my search, it does appear that the name "Aradia" didn't appear until Leland's book. I'd love it if someone could provide a reference that predates "Aradia: the Gospel of the Witches."

    Leland does speculate that Aradia is a corruption of the name Herodias (who was supposed to have been the biblical King Herod's wife). Herodias is mentioned in some editions of the Canon Episcopi which dates back to around the tenth century CE. The Canon Episcopi was one of those Catholic documents which explained witchcraft for the purpose of helping stamp it out, and equates Herodias with the goddess Diana.

    I understand that Herodiana is another variation of the name.
     
  14. Sserna

    Sserna New Member

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    I know this is over a year old...but, R. Grimassi is a TOTAL fraud when it comes to Wicca, or Stregehria, or whatever it is he's calling it.
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Hi Sserna, and welcome to CR. :)
     
  16. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    so what's the problem with ronald hutton, then? he seemed quite a sensible chap when i saw him on telly.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  17. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Please explain what you mean by "total fraud."

    I agree that Grimassi is on very shaky ground with his historical claims about Wicca, but that doesn't mean to me that he's not Wiccan or that the details he gives about how he practices Wicca are invalid.
     
  18. Raven Grimassi

    Raven Grimassi New Member

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    No mystery is closed to an open mind. Since I am Raven Grimassi, perhaps I can help unravel the "Raven Grimassi Mystery" for you. First off, as I state in the Introduction to my book Italian Witchcraft, this book introduces a modern system that I created. It does, however, in addition present an overview of Italian Witchcraft (old and new).

    Actually my books on Italian Witchcraft were written as a response to the domination of books on Celtic systems. My intent was simply to provide people of non-Celtic descent a place in the Craft community as well.

    I mean you no disrespect, but you seem to be going out of your way to arrive at such a conclusion. My books are foremost an attempt to demonstrate that Witchcraft is an ancient religion/practice, and to that end I use the oldest literary and historical works on Witchcraft that I can find. These simply happen to be Greek and Roman writings, which is why you see such an emphasis. If there were pre-Christian Celtic writings on Witchcraft, I would be using that too, but such writings do not exist.

    Another intention in my writings is to present my theory that the core elements of the Mystery Schools of the Aegean/Mediterranean[font=&quot] were carried into the lands that were conquered or occupied by the Romans. In the regions that were not held by the Romans, we do not find these core beliefs, but they do appear in every region once held by the Romans.
    [/font]

    The reference that you address appeared in a cited article by scholar Sally Scully (Journal of Social History, volume 28, 1995) and is not an allegation but simply a historical documentation. The addition of material added to Italian Witchcraft down through the centuries does not negate it, but serves to enhance it.

    As to oral tradition, the Celtic Bards once passed on an oral tradition of myths and legends that were eventually written down. Should we now dismiss and criticize them because of this? In the Italian Craft many of us have written down what were once oral teachings in an attempt to better preserve them.

    Interesting, but I never made such a statement. I simply write about southern European influences that were absorbed by the indigenous people of northern Europe due to Roman occupation.

    No argument here. And again, I'm talking mainly about modifications to pre-existing elements among northern European systems that I believe were strongly influenced by centuries of Roman occupation. I'm not trying to portray the Celts as sitting around without gods and religion while waiting for enlightenment from the Romans, which seems to be the way you have chosen to regard the intent of my writings.

    I do not recall ever making such a statement, and very much doubt its existence. But I would be happy to see you quote me chapter and verse if you can find such a statement made by me.


    Actually, what I wrote was that "Crowley went on to form his own magickal tradition and became infamous as a black magician and satanist who identified himself with the number 666". The passage refers to his reputation and to what people said about him. As to my claiming that Crowley was a hereditary witch, that is simply untrue. What I wrote is "Crowley moved to Sicily where he established the Abbey of Thelema and became directly exposed to Italian Paganism and Witchcraft". Once again you seem to be going out of your way to view my material in as negative a filter as you can, which appears to be resulting in the continuation of your erroneous conclusions.

    In the interests of fact, I'd be happy to directly answer any questions or concerns you have regarding my writings.

    Best regards - Raven
     
  19. Raven Grimassi

    Raven Grimassi New Member

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    I think your comment is a bit exaggerated. But yes, I am convinced of the antiquity of Italian Witchcraft. This is due in part to ancient literature and history related to Aegean/Mediterranean Witchcraft, which now spans over 2500 years.

    Nowhere do I ever claim that Italian Witchcraft is the "one true and only" Witchcraft. I simply present documentation on its antiquity.

     
  20. Raven Grimassi

    Raven Grimassi New Member

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    Wow, I had no idea. Well, thanks for clearing that up for everyone. ;)

    Best regards - Raven Grimassi
     

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