Apocalyptic Witchcraft

Apocalyptic Witchcraft

from 16.00

Peter Grey
 

Fine edition

Limited to 81 copies; bound in full gold hand-grained morocco, blackened ends, charged with a murder of crows
– Sold out

Standard hardback edition

Limited to 1000 copies; bound in black linen cloth stamped with a dule of doves, embossed grey endpapers, dust jacket
– £40

Bibliothèque Rouge edition

Sewn paperback; isbn 978-0-9574492-9-9
– £16

240 × 156 mm
200 pp
5 black and white images punctuate the text

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Précis

The spectre of witchcraft is haunting the West, the dead giving up their secrets. This is a ritual unveiling of these mysteries. It is a vision and a revelation of the mythopoetic structure of the Art.

Apocalyptic Witchcraft is a bold project which does not seek to impose an orthodoxy on what is the heresy of heresies. Instead, it suggests a way forward. Apocalyptic Witchcraft gives a compelling and profound account of the Sabbat and Wild Hunt as living experiences. These are the core of our ritual practice. Dream, lunar and, critically, menstrual magic are explored as a path to this knowledge. The wolf, the devil, and the goddess of witchcraft are then encountered in a landscape that ultimately reveals the witch to her or himself. These are not separate threads, but arise from a deep mythic structure and are woven together into a single unifying vision. Alternating between polemic, poetic and ecstatic prose, an harmonious course is revealed in a sequence of elegant stratagems. The book is threaded together with a cycle of hymns to Inanna, pearls on the tapestry of night. Seemingly disparate aspects are joined into a vision which is neither afraid of blessing nor curse. This is a daring undertaking, born from both urgency and need. It offers a renewed sense of purpose and meaning for a witchcraft that has seen many of its treasured ideas about itself destroyed. An apocalyptic age demands an apocalyptic witchcraft, and this is a book which is offered up to revolutionise the body of the craft, a way out of the dark impasse.

Tradition is not static, it flows, and this work pours forth a vision for the future. Founded in pilgrimage and ritual, encountered in dreams and gleaned from the conversations of both doves and crows, a remarkable narrative unfolds. Its wings span from prehistory, through the witch panic and it emerges fully fledged into our present moment of crisis. It offers a witchcraft for our time. 

Contents

Exordium
Inanna ascends
Apocalyptic Witchcraft
This is War
A Manifesto of Apocalyptic Witchcraft
Who sings this?
She is Without
The Cup, the Cross and the Cave
This dance for Inanna
A Spell to Awaken England
The knives are out
The Scaffold of Lightning
Venus phosphorous flare
The Children that are Hidden Away
Midnight Sun
A Wolf sent Forth to Snatch away a Lamb
Flayed by sun rays
Fifteen
This the blood cup
Hic Rhodus, Hic Salta!
Whore star of heaven

Excerpt

A Manifesto of Apocalyptic Witchcraft

  1. If the land is poisoned then witchcraft must respond.
  2. It is not our way of life, it is life itself which is under threat.
  3. Witchcraft is our intimate connection to the web of life.
  4. We are the Witchcraft.
  5. Our world has forever changed.
    The trodden paths no longer correspond.
    Witchcraft thrives in this liminal, lunar, trackless realm.
  6. We are storm, fire and flood.
  7. We will not be denied.
  8. Witchcraft is the recourse of the dispossessed, the powerless, the hungry and the abused.
    It gives heart and tongue to stones and trees.
    It wears the rough skin of beasts.
    It turns on a civilisation that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
  9. If you have no price you cannot be bought.
    If you do not want you cannot be bribed.
    If you are not frightened you cannot be controlled.
  10. Witchcraft is folk magic, the magic of the people and for the people.
  11. We call an end to the pretence of respectability.
  12. We will not disarm ourselves.
  13. The War is upon us.
  14. Choose then to become a Mask.
  15. Those with nothing left to lose will dare all.
  16. There is one witchcraft under many names.
    There is one Grand Sabbat on one mountain.
    There are many ways to fly.
    There is no witness present at the Sabbat.
  17. Witchcraft is a force, not an order.
    Witchcraft is rhizomatic, not hierarchic.
    Witchcraft defies organisation, not meaning.
    We simply bear the marks.
  18. Witchcraft is power and possesses this in ekstasis, sex and ordeal.
  19. Witchcraft is unbridled sexuality.
    In witchcraft it is the woman who initiates.
    We challenge man to be the equal of this woman.
  20. Witchcraft is the art of inversion.
  21. Witchcraft is the beauty which is terror.
  22. Witchcraft is a myth, which drawing on the past, clothes itself in the symbols of (its) time.
    Witchcraft does not mistake myths for history, it harnesses them to transform the future.
    Witchcraft knows the ground upon which it stands.
  23. Witchcraft honours the spirits.
    Witchcraft enchants for the lost.
    Witchcraft will not forget.
  24. Witchcraft embodies our ancestors and saints, they carry us with them.
  25. To Her is offered the blood, to us the care of the ash and bones.
  26. The example we follow is our own.
  27. The practice of witchcraft is one of revolution and of the power of woman.
  28. The goddess who speaks through us is known among men as Babalon.
  29. Witchcraft concerns itself with mystery.
    Through the gates of mystery we come to knowledge.
    Knowledge enters us through the body. The highest form of this knowledge is Love.
  30. Every drop of blood is sacrificed to the grail.
    Love cannot be bought with any other coin.
  31. We seek and drink this wine together.
  32. Will is finite, passion infinitely renewed.
  33. Witchcraft is present, it is ensanguined and vivified.
    Witchcraft is prescient, it gazes on the future.
    Witchcraft is oracular, it will not hold its tongue.
    Our time has come.
Reviews

Clive Harper writing for The Wiccan

This is a beautiful book. This is a clever book. This is a dangerous book.

This is a beautiful book. The copy I have is an attractive hardback book, bound in rough black linen cloth, stamped with a dule of white doves. For afficionados of fine book-arts, I understand that there will be an even more sumptuous edition, comprising of 81 slipcased copies bound in hammered gold morocco (ed note: sold out). For those with less extravagant tastes there is also a paperback edition at £16 and for those who prefer e-books, there is a digital version at £10.

This is a clever book. Citing authorities as disparate as De Lancre and Debord, Ginzburg and Grant, Parsons and Plath, the author’s erudition underscores his graceful prose. Written with verve and brio, is is rightly described as “a polemic… not an exhaustive history.” Time after time one reads sentences with a jewel-like clarity, for example he brilliantly encapsulates the traditional outsider status of witchcraft – “You will find the witch at the end of a pointed finger.”

This is a dangerous book in that it makes you think. Grey challenges many of the ‘givens’ of contemporary Craft. As he puts it – “Witchcraft casts its glamour through these pages, but it will not be prettified. The sickle moon cuts. The curse harms. The wound bleeds. Without these there is no life in witchcraft.” Acknowledging the place of drugs, sex and malefica, this is no book for an interfaith gathering. It is however a book which will inspire, provoke thought and excite!


Jonathan Davies writing on the Midian Books blog

Apocalyptic Witchcraft, the new book from Peter Grey at Scarlet Imprint is an important book. I think it is worth stating this at the beginning. I will go further and say this is the most significant book on modern witchcraft (or rather witchcraft) I have ever read. As stated before, I write very few reviews (due to the nature of my role as a bookseller) but it is no coincidence that the two reviews on this blog are for Scarlet Imprint titles. Scarlet Imprint are publishers with intent. Peter Grey and Alkistis Dimech have an agenda and, as popular conception has it, that makes them dangerous.

Apocalyptic Witchcraft is a book about witchcraft, but not the narrow, urbanized and ghettoized witchcraft that we seem to have backed ourselves into. This is about the witchcraft of the blasted heath and mountain, the open spaces we physically and figuratively once occupied. It is a re-envisioning and more importantly a re-affirmation of witchcraft itself. It is also a book that I find very hard to review in the traditional sense. I feel impelled to describe my reaction to reading the book rather than a detailed critique of it, both the content and the presentation of the text elicit (for me at least) an entirely subjective, visceral response. After all, this is our witchcraft, something we must all have opinions on, many of us tied to particular traditions and myth patterns. But how often do we think about what witchcraft is, where it comes from and what is its purpose? I believe this work answers those questions. I believe it answers them in such a way that it cuts you to the marrow. It is eloquent, fearsome, ecstatic and above all unapologetic. Peter Grey has the intuition of a poet, which is vital in unlocking the mysteries of the subject matter. The language he uses is elegant, steeped in poetry and metaphor - but do not confuse this with the arch, needlessly esoteric Blackadder style English that plagues some recent works on the subject - this is the poetry of experience, raw and immediate.

The book is structured as a series of connected essays, punctuated by 10 beautiful hymns to Inanna. Although a couple of the essays have been presented as stand alone works, the author asks you to approach the book strictly in order, which is highly recommended on first reading. Having read the book twice I can now dip into individual essays, which is equally rewarding (for example 'The Cup, The Cross and The Cave' is simply the best essay on dreams, dream control and dream sovereignty I’ve read). The book begins by defining Apocalyptic Witchcraft, swiftly followed by a 33 point Manifesto. This is an early indication that the author is clearly placing witchcraft in a political context. If your idea of witchcraft is that it is an escape from the harshness of the modern world to some imagined past then the first two chapters alone should be required reading. (In another era, that manifesto would be typed out, gestetnered and distributed By Any Means Necessary). After a brief account of a trip to Patmos (to the site where John wrote Revelations, a key text in understanding the thrust of the author’s thesis) the next few essays tackle dreaming, or rather incubation, the power of poetry as evocation and the true nature of the Devil as mask of the Goddess. The following three essays offer a compelling and revelatory account of the Witches Sabbat, the Wild Hunt and the very nature of witchcraft itself. I’ve not gone into detail as to the exact nature of these revelations (Well I actually did, but I deleted them on re-reading). At this point my words become clumsy, inarticulate, my feelings my own. All I can say is that I connected, this book tore into me. The mysteries of witchcraft are women’s mysteries; lunar, sanguine and sexual. This much may be intuited. But the true nature of the Sabbat and The Wild Hunt have always eluded me. To my mind Peter Grey has both delineated and enfleshed these events as living, tangible experiences. Now is the time for reclamation.

The book ends with an exhortation to action and my exhortation is for you to read this book. At the time of writing I have not yet seen another review. Hopefully as more reviews are forthcoming and the book is widely read there will be much discussion. It may not be a comfortable read for all, but I believe the author has been very careful not to decry other people’s traditions. There are many paths to the Sabbat. To some it may seem like this work should be a culmination, something Scarlet Imprint have been building up to, a lifetime’s practice and experience distilled into a final statement on the subject. From the brief conversations I have had with the author I know for certain that this is just the beginning. This is the year of the witch. This is the year of the witchcraft. I am dancing in my skull. Hic Rhodus, Hic Salta!

The original review can be read on the Midian Books blog.