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What We Knew in the Night
Reawakening the Heart of Witchcraft
Raven Grimassi
ISBN: 9781578636518
Book (Paperback)
Weiser Books
$21.95
by Deidra Catero
September 1, 2019


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"Raven Grimassi shares the heart, soul, and wisdom of the Old Craft elders with his readers, drawing from things half-forgotten and never written, inviting us to know what they knew, and incorporate it into our own Craft. This book is a treasure for future generations." - Christopher Penczak, award-winning author and co-founder of the Temple of Witchcraft.
“As the final book written by Raven Grimassi before his passing, What We Knew in the Night: Reawakening the Heart of Witchcraft is the crown jewel of the legacy of countless contributions that this extraordinary man has provided the witchcraft world. Grimassi provides the deep wisdom that comes from being involved in the witchcraft world for half a century: training, teaching, lecturing, writing books, and interacting with witches and occultists of all types. The book provides what no other book on witchcraft does - a perspective that can only come from both observation and involvement within witchcraft for over 60 years. In the book, Raven reminisces on mysteries that he feels have been lost from those early years before the modern witchcraft and magick renaissance and this book’s goal is to preserve that knowledge. These mysteries are those that the witches, regardless of tradition, all knew when gathering together in secret in the night during those early years, hence the title. As such, the insight and sagacity provided within the pages of this book are unparalleled and invaluable to any earnest witch seeking to dive deeper into the heart of the spirit of witchcraft.” - Mat Auryn, author of Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick, and Manifestation
“In What We Knew in the Night, Raven Grimassi’s last and greatest work, he has given future generations not merely a historical view of witchcraft or a guidebook, but a well-crafted blending of the two, featuring his singular voice. This rendering of Old Witchery offers historical influences and empowering rituals for new and seasoned practitioners alike.” - Amy Blackthorn, author of Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic and Sacred Smoke.
“Sometimes we need to go back before we can meaningfully go forward. In his final work, What We Knew in the Night, Raven Grimassi shows us the importance of knowing our past as a collective of magical folk and he teaches us how we might connect and preserve what was time-honored to the present, and to the future. Grimassi’s work is a treasure trove of knowledge and practice that he has won not only by study and synthesis, but through his decades of personal practice in the Craft. His teachings, timeworn, tried and true, are a gift to us, and reading this volume is like sitting down with any of the Craft’s greatest teachers—Gardner, Valiente, Sanders, the Farrars—and learning straight from them. Grimassi has blessed us with a lasting set of glorious magical instructions, both foundational and beyond. We would do well to heed them.” - Timothy Roderick, author of Wicca: A Year and A Day, Dark Moon Mysteries, and other books
What We Knew in the Night: such an evocative title, so much information, including some that was almost certainly secret initiatory lore. I found this book to be strangely moving; Raven Grimassi reminds us how different the early witchcraft revival of the mid-20th century was to the widespread popular practices today. He takes us back to primal ancient roots that inspired a new radical movement in the 1960s… I was part of that revival in Britain. The core of this book is potent original witch-magic. It reveals the ageless whisper of Ancient Spirit Voices speaking through, and in harmony with, a committed and experienced witch.” - R J Stewart, author of The UnderWorld Initiation and many other books on the magical arts.
“In What We Knew in the Night, Raven Grimassi reintroduces teachings from the 60s and 70s, tending the roots and branches of the modern Western practice of witchcraft and reminding us of who we were by revealing how we’ve changed. The growth and development of modern practice is solely dependent upon a proper understanding of the past and, in this final treatise, Raven does that in a time honored, winding-way-manner that is sure to guide and inspire both longtime admirers of his work and new practitioners alike. Hail the traveler!” - Christopher Orapello, co-author of Besom, Stang & Sword
“In What We Knew in the Night, Raven Grimassi has once again given us a treatise that guides us through a system of witchcraft with passion, clarity and depth of thought. Raven shares with us his wealth of information that is both old and new in the same instance. With a brief introduction, he launches headfirst into his system that is sure to produce results - provided there is dedication and passion for the Work. If you read only the first chapter, an echo of the entire book itself, you will walk away with much to reflect upon and to practice. Raven advises early on that What We Knew in the Night is not a book to be read once; it is to be read, digested, read again and experienced. In subsequent chapters he treats us to yet more ritual and philosophy, peppered with a good amount of esoteric history. This is a book that deserves to be read in a comfy armchair, while sipping strong tea, loving our Craft and remembering. . . “ - Andrew Theitic, publisher of The Witches’ Almanac.
"With this extraordinary book, Raven Grimassi has reached across the veil to present us with one last gift: his wealth of knowledge of the Craft, laid out in perfect detail. Filled with the teachings and rites of the Old Ways, and laced with personal anecdotes, What We Knew in the Night truly is his legacy: a treasure trove of information that readers will not find elsewhere and a must read for both seasoned practitioners and those new to the Craft." - Dorothy Morrison, author of The Craft and Utterly Wicked.
“Over his long creative career, readers were privileged to walk with Raven Grimassi as his spirituality grew and changed. His last books reveal a man who walked his talk, one who wore his beliefs on his sleeve, as well as his sense of humor. This final book--What We Knew in the Night: Reawakening the Heart of Witchcraft--does not disappoint. It is rich and generous and beautiful. It is Grimassi at his best.” - H. Byron Ballard, author of Earth Works: Ceremonies in Tower Time.

Explores the roots of witchcraft while providing an integrated magical system to serve the modern witch

Raven Grimassi is among the pioneering authors of the modern witchcraft renaissance. In What We Knew in the Night, he presents a cohesive and complete system of witchcraft based on traditional sources. The author’s premise is that, beginning in the 1980s, with the rise of modern metaphysical publishing, authors began presenting very personal witchcraft practices. In the process, traditional and formerly well-established practices fell into obscurity, which potentially lead to confusion.

What We Knew in the Night uncovers and clarifies those buried gems for a new generation, assembling and integrating key components of witchcraft, past and present. Grimassi lays out key mystical and practical foundations of witchcraft and restores their important role.

Sharing lessons and advice from his own almost 50 years of personal study and practice, Grimassi explores what he describes as the “heart of the old rites.” He also offers practical instructions and a clear 5-step process of empowerment—one chapter for each step —for anyone who wants to walk the path of witchcraft:

  1. Virtue of the Moon
  2. The Wafting
  3. The Witch’s Blade
  4. The Clay Pentacle
  5. The Witch’s Ring

Having accomplished these steps, the reader will possess the “quintessence of witchery” and be firmly grounded in the arcane art of witchcraft.

Raven Grimassi was a neo-pagan scholar and award-winning author of more than 12 books on witchcraft, Wicca, and neo-paganism. He was a member of the American Folklore Society and was a co-founder and co-director of the Crossroads Fellowship, a modern Mystery School tradition. Photo credit: Peter Paradise, Raven Wolfe Photography

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