by David Griffin
|Diana del Bosco Sacro di Nemi|
Lady of the Game of Benevento
On a new blog, Lewellyn author, Raven Grimassi, recently accused me of misrepresenting the facts about Grimassi and his Italian witchcraft tradition. In reality, the exact opposite is true: Raven Grimassi, his students, and his associates have for months now been misrepresenting the facts about the Del Bosco Sacro Pagan family tradition, its elders, and myself. This assertion is easily verifiable in two highly defamatory threads on Yahoo groups.
One example of libelous misrepresentation by Mr. Grimassi concerned his writing on Yahoo that the: "majority of the reviews were not complimentary" regarding the recent appearance of Diana and Dianus del Bosco Sacro at Pantheacon 2011. This libelous misrepresentation stands in stark contrast to actual reviews from those who were there, including respected bloggers and Pagan authors, for example, here and here.
|Italian Witch - Raven Grimassi|
Raven Grimassi has apparently not yet realized how damaging one Pagan tradition libeling another in this manner is to the entire Pagan community, as Grimassi continues to spread libelous misrepresentations other Italian Pagan traditions until today. In his recent article, Grimassi adds the libelous inference that the Del Bosco Sacro family tradition claims to be the "one and only, true Italian witchcraft tradition."
Mr. Grimassi suggests that we are somehow questioning the authenticity of his Italian witchcraft tradition. This is certainly not the case. Perhaps Mr. Grimassi has confused us with someone else. It was not the Del Bosco Sacro family tradition, but rather anthropologist, Sabina Magliocco, who wrote that Grimassi's "family" tradition more closely resembles those of hedge witches and conjurers than it does any ancient Pagan tradition.
The Del Bosco Sacro family tradition certainly does not claim to be any sort of "one and only, true Italian witchcraft tradition." On the contrary, it was Del Bosco Sacro that first revealed the survival until today of numerous Italian Pagan family traditions including the Animulari, Clan Nemorensino, Janare, Benandanti, Cogas (or Surbile) , Strie, Magare, Anguane, Majiare, Maiare, Masche, Bazure, and Clan Umbro.
Unlike Neo-Pagan Italian witchcraft traditions in America, these surviving family traditions in Italy today remain practitioners of l'Arte Eccelsa (The Sublime Art), which bears more resemblance to shamanic traditions around the world than it does to any Neo-Pagan tradition, including that of Mr. Grimassi.
It is therefore unsurprising that Raven Grimassi had no idea of the existence of l'Arte Eccelsa in Italy and that he remains ignorant of the deeper mysteries of The Great Rite. As a Neo-Pagan tradition, it is also unsurprising that that Grimassi's Stregheria bears closer resemblance to Wicca in America than it does to the l'Arte Eccelsa in Italy.
This certainly does not mean, however, that Mr. Grimassi's Italian witchcraft tradition is somehow fake or inauthentic. On the contrary, all of this is becomes quite understandable when one considers that Raven Grimassi's Stregheria derives from the folk magic of the peasant class.
L'Arte Eccelsa, on the contrary, is a high Pagan tradition which has been preserved and transmitted exclusively along family lines of Italian nobility. In fact, this completely explains the prodigious differences between Raven Grimassi's Stregheria and the del Bosco Sacro di Nemi family tradition of l'Arte Eccelsa.
Mr. Grimassi's libelous intent becomes clear in his article when Grimassi resurrects a misrepresentation that he and his associates directed against our tradition several months ago - and that we refuted at that time as well. This proves Mr. Grimassi's defamatory agenda beyond the shadow of any doubt.
On May 21, Raven Grimassi wrote:
"I also have a problem with the idea of initiating people on first meeting. I asked them about it and they replied that this is their structure and how the system functions. They inform me that after initiation the training begins, but that initiation and oath-taking is required before anything else. They have no "outer court" phase. It's alien to what I was taught by my native Italian teachers. But, to be fair, witchcraft differs in each region of Italy. There is no "one size fits all" - but even so.....further questions are begged."
Here Grimassi adroitly attempts to raise questions about our authenticity due to our liberal policy regarding probationers. We already have dispelled this libel previously, on January 29, when we wrote:
"Compared to other Stregheria Traditions, our Tradition is admittedly rather liberal about admitting probationers. We are, however, extremely elitist regarding who will ever be admitted to our Thrid Degree or adopted into the del Bosco Sacro family tradition."
To this I now add that Raven Grimassi's continuing misrepresentation is as preposterous as it is libelous. It should be obvious to anyone that an Italian Pagan tradition deriving from high Italian nobility, as does l'Arte Eccelsa, is inherently far more exclusive than any "Italian witchcraft tradition" deriving from the folk magic of peasantry.