April 12, 1951 – March 10, 2019
Author and Spiritual Teacher
You came to us descended from the stars,
fated by the sun, envisioned by the moon,
given form by the land.
And you walked your days rooted in the memories held by the earth.
Reach upward and return now to your place among the stars.
“Ever ancient, ever new” was the guiding principle of esoteric spiritual teacher Raven Grimassi. Raven passed away on March 10th, 2019, in his home in Springfield, Massachusetts, from complications of pancreatic cancer. His wife and close friends were by his side. He was 67 years old. .
Raven was an award-winning author of more than twenty books and two oracle decks on Witchcraft, magic and ancient spirituality. He was well known for his contributions in awaking modern practitioners to the traditions of Italian Witchcraft, or Stregheria, through the family traditions in which he was raised. Raven also did an in-depth and intensive study of the work of Charles Godfrey Leland, being a leading expert on Leland’s work and legacy. Along with his family’s practices, he was an initiate of a number of magical traditions, including those of Lady Sarah Cunningham. .
Raven later co-founded the Ash Birch & Willow tradition, having world-wide membership, with his wife Stephanie Taylor. Together they created the Ever Ancient, Ever New: Witchcraft by the Hearthside DVD to share core teachings of the Craft with the world. Spending most of his life in the San Diego area, Raven and Stephanie moved to Springfield, MA, in 2009. Previously they owned a “brick & mortar” shop in Escondido, California, Raven’s Loft, that Stephanie now operates as an online business. .
Never one to shy away from controversy, Raven saw himself as a “tender of the roots of tradition,” urging a return to deeply-rooted principles of magic over the new and untested. Raven was an educator on the “old ways” of pre-Christian European religion, having appeared in numerous print, television and radio interviews, and traveled widely to teach and appear at festivals and conferences across the country. His students include the well-known authors Scott Cunningham and Donald Michael Kraig. Raven was the editor and a contributor to several magazines, including The Shadow’s Edge, Moon Shadow and Raven’s Call. He was also a favorite author of The Witches' Almanac. .
Along with the esoteric arts, Raven was a lifelong collector of comic books and comic memorabilia, with a particular passion for Marvel’s Dr. Strange. Raven’s life is celebrated by the numerous people whose lives he touched through his teaching and loving presence. .