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4.0 von 5 Sternen Wenn man die "Geschichte" ignoriert.....
Dieses Buch erläutert die traditionellen Hintergründe der heutigen Wiccatradition(en) und verfolgte diese aus der Steinzeit herauf in die Neuzeit. Leider hat Grimassi es verpasst Fußnoten zu setzen, so dass ich mir nie sicher sein kann, in wie weit dies korrekt ist und er verpasst es auch meiner Meinung nach zu betonen, dass die Wiccatradition zwar ihre...
Veröffentlicht am 29. September 2007 von Sternenkreis.de

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1.0 von 5 Sternen somewhere in time...
This was one of first two books about Wicca that I ever bought, the other one was 'Buckland's Complete Book of CrapCraft.' Raven Grimassi is an odd author. His oddness is also somewhat puzzling. He is the only prominent modern neo-pagan author who makes any sort of effort to relate accurate and detailed historical accounts. But strangely, he still sticks behind the...
Veröffentlicht am 25. April 2000 von Keith Coady


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4.0 von 5 Sternen Wenn man die "Geschichte" ignoriert....., 29. September 2007
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
Dieses Buch erläutert die traditionellen Hintergründe der heutigen Wiccatradition(en) und verfolgte diese aus der Steinzeit herauf in die Neuzeit. Leider hat Grimassi es verpasst Fußnoten zu setzen, so dass ich mir nie sicher sein kann, in wie weit dies korrekt ist und er verpasst es auch meiner Meinung nach zu betonen, dass die Wiccatradition zwar ihre Wurzeln dort hat (wie auch jede andere Religion) aber Wicca selbst nicht aus dieser Zeit stammt.
Sehr schön finde ich jedoch, wie er auf bestimmte Praktiken eingeht und diese ausführlich beschreibt, was besonders in vielen Anfängerbüchern fehlt. Auch erklärt er wie es denn nun wirklich mit den Wächtern abläuft und er ist eines der wenigen Autoren, die den 4. Aspekt der Göttin hervorkehren und den Schwarzmond nicht einfach unter ferner liefen abhandeln, oder gar der schwarzen Magie zuordnen. Gewisse dinge, die jedoch für Anfänger wichtig wären, lässt er etwas außen vor, weswegen ich dieses Buch nicht zu den Anfängerbüchern gestellt habe. Es kann sicherlich eine große Bereicherung sein zu den üblichen Wiccabüchern, gerade wegen den vielen Aspekten, die man sonst nur in der Ausbildung mitkriegt. Einige Texte werden ebenfalls erläutert.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Nice change of pace, 30. April 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
Wiccan Mysteries is an indepth examination of the similarities that exist between various aspects of ancient paganism and modern Wiccan beliefs and practices. Of the 17 chapters that appear in this book only 2 deal with history. The rest of the chapters present and explore the beliefs, practices, and spirituality of Wiccan religion.
It is clear that Grimassi believes that modern Wicca is the survival, fragmented though it may be, of an ancient pre-Christian European religion. Unlike a small minority of reviewers here on Amazon, I personally find nothing in this book to indicate that Grimassi is trying to pull anything off on the reader. He simply presents the historical evidence he believes supports his theory and makes a sincere argument for it. What good author does not? At least, unlike most modern Wiccan authors, Grimassi has clearly performed some pretty wide and extensive research before writing a book. And although we don't have to agree with all of his conclusions, I do think we have to respect the sincere effort.
There have been some negative comments about Grimassi using fragments to present his beliefs about ancient traditions. Don't archaeologists do the same when exploring the past? Sometimes fragments are all that is left, but to ignore them is to turn our back on the possibilities. No one with an honest open mind would do that. Although there are certain absolutes in historical research, some of it is left to speculation, and some of it is left to the victor's account.
Stepping outside of the historical debates (a relatively small portion of this book) the Wiccan Mysteries is an excellent and enlightening work on modern Wicca. It reveals a great deal of the inner meanings of ritual, symbolism, and magic. It is the first book, to my knowledge, to explore ritual text and poetry in modern Wicca, and to offer deep insights into the hidden meanings.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Bravo!, 27. April 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
This book is a thoughtful and detailed examination of the basic themes one finds incorporated into modern Wicca. The focus of this work details how the various elements found in modern Wicca also appear in many ancient civilizations, particularly Greece, Etruria, and Rome. It is the author's opinion that many pagan elements associated with modern Wicca were introduced, or at the very least influenced, by the Romans as they expanded into lands formerly held by the Celts. This is not an unreasonable theory, especially when one considers that Celtic lands were held by Rome for over 200 years.
Unlike many modern writers, Grimassi does not avoid controversial material such as the theories of Margaret Murray. Despite those things worthy of discredit in Murray's thesis, there still remains a "core of truth" in her material, as was noted by the respected historian Carlo Ginzburg. Regarding Murray's claims, it is worthy of note to include a statement by historian Gustav Henningsen, in Early Modern European Witchcraft, that there existed in Sicily a "particularly archaic form of Witch-belief, almost identical with the 'witch-cult' that Margaret Murray attempted to demonstrate."
Some reviewers here, who apparently took little time other than to skim read this book, have tried to paint Grimassi as alternating between grasping at straws and demonstrating episodes of a self-congratulatory nature. Nothing could be further from the truth. This book is very well researched and supported by the quoted works of many highly respected historians and folklorists. Curiously the critics of this book have conveniently failed to mention these authorities but have instead elected to address only the controversial ones. One reviewer here claims that the Wiccan Mysteries is not the type of book the neo-pagan community wants. However, since this book is in its 5th printing and has won several awards, I think this speaks of the book's popularity and wide acceptance by the community.
If you're tired of poorly researched books, and the "traditions-of-the-month" variety, then you owe it to yourself to read this book. One word of caution though, this book needs to be read more than once to fully comprehend it. This is not the typical light and fluffy Wicca book.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen somewhere in time..., 25. April 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
This was one of first two books about Wicca that I ever bought, the other one was 'Buckland's Complete Book of CrapCraft.' Raven Grimassi is an odd author. His oddness is also somewhat puzzling. He is the only prominent modern neo-pagan author who makes any sort of effort to relate accurate and detailed historical accounts. But strangely, he still sticks behind the theory of witchcraft as an ancient religion. In many ways, he is a Wiccan appologist, dilligently trying to piece together fragmentory historical accounts that can prove once and for all that Margaret Murray was right all along and that witchcraft is indeed a continuation of an ancient pre-Christian pagan cult. Well, the first chapter of 'The Wiccan Mysteries' provides for the first bit of insight as to the utter fragulence of this claim, for Grimassi quotes and seems to idolize Marija Gimbatus, and uses her "old Europe" theme as a starter for his own historical account. It's too bad though that Gimbatus, like with Margaret Murray before her, has been shot down, discredited and refuted by nearly every serious scholar and anthropologist who has researched the fabled neo-pagan history of old Europe. Why such an obviously intelligent man would therefore use her theories as the basis for his work is beyond me. The chapter then goes on to say how women were revered above men in the minds of the earliest organized, dare we say "civillized" human beings. These "idyllic goddess" theories are today the butt of jokes in the anthropological field, you will find no one with serious credentials who will back them up. The rest of the book is an examination into ancient traditions and customs that find a home within modern Wicca, the point being to find a historical, and indeed ancient, justification for Wicca as a whole. Aside from the fact his first chapter "history of witchcraft" is basically a re-hash of long dis-credited psuedohistory, it goes without saying that the rest of the book, though interesting, is also pretty weak. Like I said above, Grimassi's evidence is mostly fragmentory. He will take a certain type of ritual found within a certain, say, Roman cult, and if he sees any similarity to it in Wicca, will jump all over this and hail it as "proof" of Wicca's antiquicy. However, he never establishes anything as being directly passed on from ancint days up to modern Wicca. He never establishes any sort of direct continuation. He proves that the basis for Wicca may indeed go back thousand's of years, but the notion of Wicca as a distinctive religious sect in ancient times is an issue that he never really address. This, unfortunately, is not what the neo-pagan community wants. What the neo-pagan community wants are ancient texts detailing the religion of witchcraft as it was practiced in ancient times, there is nothing like that here. All there is are bits and pieces from various scattered historical religious sects whose rituals and beliefs may have been carried out in the same manner as they are in modern Wicca. Usually the similarities are only of an esthetical nature. If he finds somehwere an ancient ritual where four people stood in a square formation and chanted something, he considers this a historical justification for calling quarters. If a modern Wiccan is content with the fact that his or her faith is essentially compilation religion, a religion compiled from various scattered sources, then the notion that Wicca is an ancient religion might just have some credibility to it. However, most modern Wiccans who still go on the "ancient cult" theory aren't content with this, what they are content with is the belief that witchcraft was a distinct and organized historical religious sect and that Wicca is a direct continuation of it. Grimassi seems to be well aware of this in his writings, well aware of what modern Wiccans would really, really like to hear, but even when the most detailed historical inquiry is carried out, the ancient cult theory simply doesn't hold up. Grimassi also gives absolutely no attention to goings on of Gerald Gardner and Aleister Crowley during Wicca's birth in the mid 1950's, he only says that Gerald Gardner was a Brittish witch(giving no definition of the word) and that he helped to revitalize Wicca in the present day. He realizes perfectly well that this is the place where it could all come crashing down, and it would be better to simply avoid this period. Instead he only offers fragmentory historical evidence to try and justify the "ancient cult" myth and then jumps ahead to modern Wicca, with nothing in between. That, along with the fact that most of his historical accounts in the first chapter regarding the "idyllic goddess" theory are blatently false, and are the two biggest holes in the book, and even if he can trace some of modern Wicca to ancient sources, that still doesn't fill in the gaps made by these holes, or can it even come close to finally proving, historically, the "tie-in" that connects modern Wicca to the fabled ancient cult of witchcraft.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Great book on the spiritual legacy of Wicca, 3. November 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
This is a book on the history and spiritual legacy of ancient pre-Christian religions and their impact on the evolution towards modern Wicca. It is written from the perspective of a long practicing Witch and artfully presents a fascinating micro-history. Modern scholars draw their conclusions concerning Witchcraft largely from material contained in trial transcripts and from writings by various monks and other Church agents who wrote about demonology and satanic worship. The problem with this "official" history of Witchcraft is that few if any people convicted of Witchcraft were actually witches. Therefore the information extracted from them cannot realistically be viewed as representative of the beliefs and practices of Witchcraft. And yet, this information is what scholars use to "prove" the non-existence of Witchcraft as having any credible relationship to the ways of modern Wicca.
As a contrast to the Judaic-Christian history of Witchcraft, Grimassi offers the views of those who actually practice the religion of Witchcraft. As Grimassi points out in the introduction he is an initiate of several Witchcraft traditions, and therefore draws from the common elements contained within all of them to reconstruct the tenets of the ancient Mystery Traditions that influenced the evolution of Witchcraft.
But the focus of this book is not on history, it's on the spiritual and religious beliefs in modern Wicca and the ancient concepts that contributed to them. Several reviewers have expressed serious questions about many of Grimassi's historical references while at the same time complaining that Grimassi offers no historical support at all. This seems to reflect some personal agenda rather than an authentic criticism of this author's work.
If you're genuinely interested in the magick, religion, and spiritually of modern Wiccans and Witches, then buy this book.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Fantasy history at its finest, 31. Oktober 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
The most obvious conclusion when trying to find a purpose for Grimassi's works are that he is a no hold's bareed author when it comes to "secrets" and "mysteries" concerning witchcraft. Most pagan authors simply skim over the basic work, slap a colorful cover on the book, and pass it off as witchcraft. Not so with Grimassi. He takes no prisoners on his relentless pursuitof "true" witchcraft. The problem is that, despite being a very detailed book, he cannot come up with a single shred of evidence to back up his claims. Granted, his work is quite detailed, and his historical interpretation is second only to Vivianne Crowley's "Wicca." But, as far as a difinitive definition of witchcraft goes, he leaves off and never picks up. He always refers to the "The Wiccan Mystery Tradition" but never gets into exactly what this tradition is or where it came from. He'll say something like "in the ancient Wiccan mystery tradition we are taught that..." My conclusion is that Raven Grimassi is far more talented and intelligent than his peers in the buisness, and uses this to avoid the harsh critics of witchcraft history. Wiccan psuedohistory is just that, psuedohistory, but every now and then an author comes along that is very good at making himself seem like a respectable historian, therefore making his fabricated rhetoric more credible. Grimassi is just such an author. But like I said, he gives a very detailed account of the history of the ideas of native(pre indo) Europeans and the history of the migrations of Europe great peoples, but then jumps forward to the present where he fabricates this so-called "ancient Wiccan mystery tradition" without providing any link between it and the cultures he talks about. Some books about Wicca do talk about these links, and usually the intelligent historical/scientific community can easily discredit them in little time. Other books like this one are written intelligently, but in such books, the author cannot provide the historical links he needs to validate his claims, and as a result, the book winds up with holes in it, as this one contains hundreds. If the neopagan community would force themselves to read PROFESSIONALLY written books about the Inquisition and ancient religions, there is a slim chance that we might be able to pull ourselves out of this "true witchraft" rut and bring Wicca to a respectable level where people learn about Wicca for what it really is, a modern compilation religion that combines prehistoric naure based ideals with Indo-European polytheism and is practiced under the shell of ceremonial magick. But until that day, crap like this book and the many others like it will be all there is to turn to, and many would-be practicioners, will soon come to grips the the obsurdity of mainstream neopagan literature ad rejoin reality and REAL nature based religion.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen too bad detail doesn't mean quality, 13. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
On the back of this book Raven Grimassi states that most of the information within this book has never been exposed to most practitioners. Hmmm...if it trult is a book of Witchcraft, then why is more new ager than paganism. Grimassi has basically just put together a book that is loaded with detail detals details. And since there is so much detail, he can easily get people to think that the information is genuine. Gimma a break. Most of this book is your basic highly elaborate, very occult-based Gardnerian/Alexandria crud. There's nothing in this book that you couldn't find elsewhere. The only difference is that now it's finally all in a single volume. So much for a book that claims to hold top secret info. It could be worse though, since he almost never uses the word Witchcraft, and this book is anything but a book about Witchcraft. In fact, with all the new age, energy transfering crap found within, a person virginal to Wicca might read through it and never gather that Wicca is an Earth based religion. The first chapter on the history is also very detalied, but somewhat inaccurate. There is almost nothing at all concerning Witchcraft in the agri-villagers of the middle ages. But with as much detail that this book goes into, it would be very easy for someone to get the impression that this book is the answer-all ultimate Wicca volume. The worst part of this book is where he states that Scott Cunningham was mostly responcible for the addition of new age elements to Wicca. EXCUSE ME!!! This obviously a simple ploy because Grimassi knows his book is a rip off to paganism. Scott Cunningham wrote some of the best books on magick and paganism ever published, and NEVER talked about the new age crud that Grimassi indulges in. You can see here that this book was intended for beginners, since just about anyone can tell that Grimassi's idea of Wicca, which is now considered foolish to the modern pratitioner, as well as his definition of new age, are as crooked as you can get. He's mostly one the dying out Gardnerians who is mad at the way Witchcraft is getting back to what it was in the agri-villages, and misses the early days of Wicca where it was all about power and occultism. Forget this book, and try Scott Cunningham if you want a book with a no-crap approach.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent Ancient History Perspective, 12. April 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
This book contains everything you could ever want to know about the whys and wheres of Wiccan origins. If you are looking for cute spells and another book on doing Wicca your own way, this is not it. However, if you are open minded enough to realize that Wicca has been around for more than the last 50 years, you will find a rich and enlightening look at the origins and historical perspective behind the Craft. The Mysteries that this book reveals are nothing more than the origins of the basic tenets and beliefs that modern Wicca is built on. This book is a great companion to the lighter "handbook" style writings that were prevalent in the 80's. Many people seem to think that Grimassi is too preachy and is trying to reaffirm the Gardnerian and/or Alexandrian traditions. A careful read of this book will show that these traditions were structured more closely within the lines of the ancient beliefs and were not based on an eclectic gathering of permissive views. Grimassi is not trying to promote or denounce a particular traditional view, but show the origins of the belief system that became modern Wicca. As he puts it, "Wicca is like a tree,...the old Wiccan ways represent the roots. Neo-Wiccan traditions are like the blossoms...in the spring."
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5.0 von 5 Sternen For those ready to learn more, 27. Februar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
This carefully crafted book (pun intended) is an awesome text that requires at least a second read through each chapter to fully understand its wonders. Some readers may miss the secrets revealed within this book, and for those people I would offer that no mystery is closed to an open mind.
Grimassi writes with the knowledge and experience accumulated during his practice, spanning over some 25 years. This book may be uncomfortable for readers who are insecure in their own understandings of Wicca and are afraid of anything that does not conform to their own personal views. It will be particularly difficult for those readers who are heavily saddled with their own personal agenda. Yes, Grimassi writings do expertly challenge our understandings, but without this it is all too easy for us to cling to our current understandings. But the way of the Mysteries is not to teach us what we already believe we know, but instead to point to the difficult path of rising above our own perceptions. Initiation itself is such a challenge. And this book, written by a well-respected award winning author, is the ideal text to carry with us as we enter the Labyrinth.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen A badly researched retelling of long-debunked pseudohistory, 23. August 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings: Ancient Origins and Teachings (Taschenbuch)
The Pagan community is hungry for sound and genuine historical scholarship, but this just isn't it.
Grimassi makes the claims that have been floating around the Pagan community for years, and none of them are documented. The historical works that show up on the extensive bibliography are mostly tertiary sources -- the sort of things readily accessible in public libraries to any high school student writing a term paper -- or sources mired in deep academic controversy.
Most of the "history" in this book is the Sacred History of Wicca -- the myth of ancient origins, long-hidden traditions, and Inquisitorial persecution. The problem is that it's not true.
There are a few good sources on the history of Pagan religion (Ronald Hutton's _Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles_ is a good book.
But this book simply rehashes stories that have no evidence behind them. That may be acceptable for theology, but history is a matter of facts, not faith.
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