A Grimoire of Shadows
by Ed Fitch
Ed Fitch, for those who do not recognize the name, is one of the
individuals most responsible for moving Paganism in the United States
out of the shadows and into the light of sun, as well as the moon.
Many years ago he worked with others to bring the English organization,
the Pagan Movement, to this country. Along the way the name changed
to the Pagan Way and efforts were made to make Pagan material widely
available. In cooperation with others basic rituals were written
and (in the dark days of pre-worldwide web distribution) mimeographed
and photocopied to be sent to people who were seeking information.
One of the charges frequently made today (on mailing lists, newsgroups,
etc.) is that most of the books published by Llewellyn are re-hashes
of other s works. That cannot be said of this work. This book contains
much of the occult wisdom and training techniques about which others
have written, it is true. BUT speaking from personal knowledge and
memory, I can state categorically that Ed Fitch said it first. I
have much of this information copied into notebooks going back to
the 1970s and attributed to Pagan Way sources.
The material contained in this book comprises much of what was
self-published over a quarter of a century ago. A lot of it may
seem quaint or dated compared to the material currently available.
Some of the attitudes (i.e., male-to-female always) may seem bigoted.
Be that as it may. It is the way much of my early training was presented
to me. There is information (and suggestions) contained in the first
20 pages of this book that I had forgotten over the years, and which
I have not heard passed on to the newcomers in decades. Perhaps
this book will spark a renewed interest in the common sense approach
to the Craft.
This book is designed to be used in a system which has, in my experience,
fallen into disfavor that of an Outer Court and an Inner Court system
of training. It contains an entire training system for basic Pagan/magickal
workings. It is, however, drawn from a base that many of today s
seekers may find too long and slow. It postulates a time frame of
about five years (minimum!) to progress through the grades that,
in today s instant gratification world will undoubtedly seem WAY
too long to many. For those who take the time to progress through
the system, and not take shortcuts, the rewards will be well worth
the time and effort invested. It takes time to hone one s magickal
The magickal exercises which appear, at first reading, to be very
simple are really quite challenging if only because they demand
unbroken concentration, and that means quiet time (i.e., no cell
phones, no WalkmanŽ, no television, etc.), and some people will
be reluctant to be out of touch for the time required.
If you want a simple, easy to use training system for magickal
workings, leave this book on the shelf, and move on to more New
Age materials. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a thorough
training system, compatible with most religious orientations, and
you are willing to commit the time and effort it will take, then
this is the book for you. It is simply written, easy to understand,
and challenging in its goals. It would have been a real bonus for
me when I began training students, but it wasn t easily available
at that time. Now that it is, I highly recommend it.
The cost is reasonable. It is easily available. If you plan to
train others, or if you want some help honing your own magickal
abilities, add this book to your library.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason