A grey witches grimoire does what it says on the tin. It is a fairly comprehensive but concise introduction to witchcraft from the viewpoint of the grey witch. (That is as opposed to a pure and good white witch who might be a little over fluffy at times and a dark and wicked black magic practitioner – a middle ground of a witch who recognises her own human quirks and is willing to take a few steps more into forcing her will on the world around her, sometimes over other people). As with any publication on witchcraft or paganism there are areas which individuals will disagree on, or feel were represented in a way one wouldn’t oneself, but here they are mostly not any great issue and don’t detract from the book as a whole or it’s usefulness. (Which is in itself quite an achievement).
The authors style is personal and readable and again moonbooks are printing on paper which is lovely and soft to the touch and is a pleasure to handle, making the pages easy to turn in more than one way.
Not every spell detailed is one that every reader will be comfortable with as it includes curses and spells to influence the will of another.
Many witches will shy away from such practices, either on ethical and moral grounds, or because of concern for the consequences and unexpected repercussions; not to mention the responsibility you bear when practicing such work is great; and some even avoid taking those steps because they consider there to be healthier approaches to problem solving with reduced personal cost. However for those who are happy with taking on full personal responsibility for these actions themselves who want materials to help them work along the shadowier areas of magic, this should prove to be a good and useful resource.
Personally I would have liked to see the reasons why others don’t go there examined a little more, there is a general impression that the author thinks of being focussed on good, light, positive work as being weak or fluffy-bunny (of which there is a lot around admittedly), missing the fact that it too can be fierce and powerful. That said, quite where white ends and grey begins is probably variable from person to person and subject to some degree of debate too. Either way it is addressed sufficently that the author could not be accused of maliciously leading the naieve astray without any warning. Even if that warning is brief. It is after all always our own responsibility to think carefully about what we do anyway, be it magical or mundane.
Anyone familiar with most mainstream witchcraft publications will find familiar ground in much of what is offered here, though it does address it all from the angle of grey witch in particular, which is bound to be refreshing to anyone who bucks at always being told what they must or must not do or anyone who dislikes someone else’s morals being superimposed on information. Even if you’re not planning on following through and exercising curses against others it could still be a useful read and definitely stimulates thought.
It is also nice and clear about being grey not black, although there is a fairly heavy curse or two and there are items on breaking up a couple and causing conflict in relationships. I personally find the relationship interference really quite unpleasantly malicious as an intention, I’m not sure where that is grey over just plain black and negative, and I expect it will be mostly used in totally selfish, and often inappropriate ways.
I’m sure some people will welcome it, and the learnings they get as a result will doubtless help them grow; I’m just not sure I’d want the authors karmic come-back for helping to enable those malicious savagings of the love of others over petty jealousy that are inevitable. Given part of the target market of the author is likely to be teenagers with all the emotional turmoil that brings it’s bound to happen and when it comes down to it it will be her spell being used, there’s got to be some responsibility attached.
Thankfully keeping in the grey it doesn’t actually delve all the way into planning serious savage harm to anyone and much of the grey areas are bindings and are about protecting you and yours which to my mind generally sits in quite a white space really.
It wisely includes a little on self protection, however, given that like does attract like, both in general and on other planes, I would also recommend that anyone throwing malice and friction, hostility and harm, spite and vengence around; anyone aiming that at other people, whatever the targets offense, also learns about protecting themselves well and possibly also reads up on other titles such as Dorien Valiente’s Psychic Self-Defense and is ready to take her advice and abstain from any magical practices should they find themselves under any serious attack as a result of practicing the darker
aspects of grey magic, as naively escalating could get messy and I’m quite sure this book has more than enough in it to act as a potent springboard for anyone intent on destruction. The only question is of whom.
All in all a satisfactorily written and probably rather useful little publication, especially appealing to those who see themselves in the shadows rather than too squeaky clean. Also very unusual in that although it would appear to be american (from the spelling of gray and the mentions of hoodoo) there are no glaringly uncomfortable cultural conflicts.