Paperback, 240 pages
Publication date: September 2002
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The night has been considered mysterious and dangerous since the dawn of humankind. Many members of the current generation of teens and young adults have turned a fascination for the night into a subculture that has spawned everything from a style of dress to roleplaying games to music. So I wasn't surprised to see a book tailoring Wicca to this subculture. The Gothic Grimoire is actually the second book from Konstantinos in this field. While Gothic Grimoire is listed as a companion volume to Nocturnal Witchcraft, it stands fairly well on its own. (This is good as I've never seen Nocturnal Witchcraft.)
The first part of the book summarizes a "Nocturnal Tradition" of Wicca with a self-initiation ritual and a set of sabbat rituals customized for the night. There is also a brief discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of both solitary and group work. There's nothing really spectacular here, it's just yet another custom tradition of Wicca. At least the author makes no wild claims of ancient origins for his version of Wicca.
The rest of the book deals with practical magick. While all the magick is given a nocturnal flavor, there's really nothing all that new or special here. However, a wide variety of magick, some of which would be more correctly considered psychic phenomena, is presented and explained in a clear and concise manner. There are chapters on telepathy, intuition, divination, astral travel, illusion, controlling negative thoughts, creating a magical servant to accomplish magickal goals, and banishing. There is also a chapter on specific rituals for aid in dealing with some of the problems of life. The final chapter deals with contacting the dead.
The most interesting part of the book is probably the chapter on "The Nocturnal Servant" as it gives a fairly simple method of creating a magickal servant to accomplish a magickal end. This is a very general and useful spell form that is often ignored in books aimed at beginners.
Gothic Grimoire will definitely appeal to the Wiccan teen and goth markets. It doesn't talk down to the reader or present (often silly) "teen" spells as some books aimed at younger readers do. However, there really isn't anything new in this book. It's just normal Neo-Wicca and magick given a "night" flavor. The author does do a good job with the flavoring, however.
Reviewed by Randall