When I heard about What We Knew In The Night, Raven Grimassi’s final book, my fan-girl scream rocked the house. Having lost such an influential teacher and writer earlier in the year, to have this work is a gift. A book which is the culimination of over 50 years of Grimassi’s research and personal witchcraft practice.
The Skinny On “What We Knew In The Night.”
In this book, Raven Grimassi (1951-2019) explores the roots of European witchcraft, many of which have been forgotten. According to the book’s description:
‘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.”
The book offers Grimassi’s understanding of the old rites, building this knowledge into a system he calls “the Rooted Ways.” He offers practical and detailed descriptions on how to became grounded in the esoteric art of the Craft. Each chapter is filled with history from the author’s experience as an initiate in the 1960’s to the skilled practitioner he became before crossing the Veil. He offers a 5-step process for anyone who wants to walk the path of witchery. These steps include:
Virtue of the Moon
The Witch’s Blade
The Clay Pentacle
The Witch’s Ring
And that is just the tip of the knowledge iceberg.
My Thoughts On What We Knew In The Night
In the preface of his book, Raven Grimassi says the purpose of the work is to re-introduce core concepts which have existed within witchcraft since pre-Christian times but lost in our modern era. The process for the Rooted Ways, as presented in the book, is one of his own creation with a mixture of history and UPG. Grimassi recommends reading the book through in its entirety. Twice. No skimming or picking what seems most interesting from the text. His reasoning is sound, as the introduced concepts are built layer by layer throughout the chapters.
What We Knew In The Night is an important book for the knowledge it brings to modern day Witches and practitioners. Information which has been lost to an extent through the many traditions and solitary practices which have been created as part of modern-day witchcraft. He speaks of a Witch recognizing the connection (or their potential to practice witchcraft) from within. Years ago, my mentor explained it to me as “witch blood.” The re-awakening to one’s true Witch Self.
Now, there is a section which self-initiated Solitary Witches may find a little judgemental. But don’t allow salty emotions to prevent you from gleaning from the lessons of this fundamental book. The wisdom held within What We Knew In The Night makes these mysteries accessible to the modern Witch. The book is a valuable read (and yes, do read it multiple times. You’ll miss stuff otherwise) and should be an addition to any Witch’s library (regardless of path or tradition).