Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Living Traditions - Apocalyptic Witchcraft review

 Review courtesy of Living Traditions Magazine:

Apocalyptic Witchcraft
Peter Grey
Scarlet Imprint 2013

Apocalyptic Witchcraft offers a potent vision of witchcraft for a dark age, beautifully written in a direct if not poetic form, avoiding clichés and modern forms. It is not a book of spells or a guide to this or that school because the whole text itself exudes sorcery. It is not a lineal read but wanders through poetry, visions, descriptions and text, it is flows like a river back to the source of the Old Ways.

The book itself has produced to Scarlet Imprint’s usual impeccable standard. The standard edition “Of the Doves” is an octavo book of 200pp bound in rough black linen cloth and limited to 1000 copies. The boards are stamped with white doves, whose hidden meaning is elucidated in the text. Lyrical typography and carefully chosen images communicate further understanding. The fine bound “Of the Crows edition” is limited to 81 copies. Bound in a hand grained morocco of hammered gold. The gold is charged with a murder of crows, a totem of the author. The ends are blackened. The book comes ribboned, slipcased and signed. Apocalyptic Witchcraft is interspersed throughout with ten hymns to Inanna and various images. (ed. note, fine Of the Crows edition is sold out but available in standard hardback, paperback and digital editions)

Grey offers a radical view of Witchcraft which is controversial, inflammatory and illuminating; it is a challenge to the mind and a call to the soul. Grey laments the way we have broken our covenant with nature and have become obsessed with technology and consumerism.  He rejects the dead forms of consumerist Wicca and hails the ancient dark ways and their relevance today, so often witchcraft has become a joke, a show even a circus however it is becoming dangerous again. Witchcraft is a cult of the other which must face the catastrophes that are destroying the modern world head on. Such concepts as “and ye harm none” means to be harmless and weak, real witchcraft is beyond good and evil. The true Witch has no fear has no fear of the wild and priapic image of the devil of the Sabbats of excess and finds modern sanitized view of the Horned God bourgeois and petty.

Grey offers a perceptive and well informed critique of Gardnerian and modern Wicca and draws a clear line of demarcation between operative and ritual witchcraft, traditional and modern forms followed by a powerful manifesto of what Apocalyptic Witchcraft is. Grey explores the nature of the apocalyptic vision and the power to dream. He also opens the mysteries of the Sabbat showing that it is not just a shamanic event but a survival of the earliest mystery cults. While so many witches may focus on the mysteries of the feminine in “the wolf sent forth to snatch away a lamb” Grey reclaims the role of the male witch, the wolf and the berserker.

Peter Grey is the co-founder of Scarlet Imprint. His previous work The Red Goddess has become the standard work (if there can be such a thing) on Babalon. Apocalyptic Witchcraft represents his mature understanding of these mysteries, working in conjunction with Lover and accomplice Alkistis Dimech. It is a powerful and significant evocation of the true power of Witchcraft and once read will not easily be forgotten.


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