Raven Grimassi (born 1951) is an author of 17 books, and is a Pagan scholar with over 40 years of research and study in the genre of Wicca, Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism (Publisher Weiser Books, author bio, Horns of Honor). Under the pen name of "Grimassi" this Italian-American author popularized Stregheria, the religious practice of witchcraft with roots in Italy. Grimassi presented this material as a Neo-Paganism version through his published works.
Grimassi won "Book of the Year" and "First Place - Spirituality Book" from the Coalition of Visionary Retailers in 1998 for his book The Wiccan Mysteries, and his book Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft was also awarded "Best Non-Fiction".
Grimassi became involved with Wicca in 1969. He created his own system of witchcraft known as the "Aridian Tradition" ten years later, publishing it in print beginning in 1981. He is currently the directing elder of the Ash, Birch and Willow tradition, and co-director of the Fellowship of the Pentacle, a Mystery School tradition of pre-Christian European beliefs and traditions."Fellowship of the Pentacle". In 1994, the new age publisher Llewellyn Publications accepted his manuscript for Ways of the Strega, which was reprinted the following year as Italian Witchcraft: The Old Religion of Southern Europe .
Reports that Grimassi claims to belong to a "family tradition" of religious witchcraft has opened him to criticism. Professor Sabina Magliocco, who has criticized some of Grimassi's claims, does point out that "Grimassi never claims to be reproducing exactly what was practiced by Italian immigrants to North America; he admits Italian-American immigrants "have adapted a few Wiccan elements into their ways". After personally meeting Grimassi, Professor Magliocco writes in her letter to the Pomegranate Reader's Forum: "I had the pleasure of meeting Raven Grimassi during the summer of 2001, unfortunately after the final draft of my article had already been submitted to The Pom. He was very gracious and helpful to me. From information he revealed during our interview, I can say with reasonable certainty that I believe him to have been initiated into a domestic tradition of folk magic and healing such as I describe in my article."