Book Review Monday: the Gray Witch’s Grimoire

Buy it here: The Gray Witch’s Grimoire


Disclaimer: What I know about Wicca or Wicca-infused witchcraft, I could write on the back of a postcard; so I’m gonna write about the two things that I did like, and they are important to so many Witchcraft traditions.

First, is gender. I literally do not see why we have to give rocks, plants, and other non-human creatures human genders. It doth not compute. And also, why are only male and female used when there is a plethora of human genders to actually choose from? It’s a practice based in misogyny, or that rarer form of misogyny which looks at first glance like feminism but is actually misogyny. Anything ‘receptive’, ‘passive’, ‘open’, ‘kind’ is given the label ‘feminine’ and anything ‘aggressive’, ‘relentless’, ‘closed’, ‘strong’ is given the label masculine. This is wrong.  I am a firm believer of ‘Say What the Hell You Mean’. If the energy of a thing is passive, say it is passive. If it is open, say it is open. And that’s what I liked about this book, that in correspondences it did describe energies by what they were actually like. It did also describe them by gender, but a step forward is a step forward and I’m not going to spit at that.


The other thing is the issue brought up by the title, and that is morality in Witchcraft.  Now, I hate that this is still a thing I have to say but witchcraft is not Wicca. Wicca is its own thing, and witchcraft is an umbrella term for spiritual practices involving the uses of things like sympathetic magic, much like Pagan is an umbrella term for believing in multiple Gods or a form of spirituality vastly unlike the Abrahamic religions. And we can argue about who is or who isn’t Pagan later, let me get back to the point.

Wiccans, and Wicca-flavoured Witchcraft if that’s your thing, are beholden to a certain set of rules. This is the ‘an if it harm none, do what ye will’ stuff, and the Threefold return stuff. Not only has that been misinterpreted so wildly that a sad amount of people believe that non-Wiccan witches are beholden to these misinterpreted rules, but the misinterpretation can hurt Wiccans too, which is why this book exists. In the pursuit of ‘harming none’ some people have tried to obliterate a lot of magic that doesn’t fit some weird white fluffy box , even though that magic doesn’t actually break any Wiccan rule – it’s just odd, or spooky, or, in some bizzare cases, actually helps the wielder gain something because that’s a deeply selfish act or something

. If that’s the sort of stuff that you are interested in from a Wiccan or Wiccan flavoured perspective, I do recommend this book. As far as I’m aware, the information is sound, but I’m not Wiccan.

Like books? Visit my book review blog Mercurial Review to get all of my posts about books from around the web.

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