Author and Spiritual Teacher
“Ever ancient, ever new” was the guiding principle of esoteric spiritual teacher Gary Erbe, known to much of the world as author Raven Grimassi, who passed away on March 10th, 2019, at his home in Springfield, Massachusetts, from complications of pancreatic cancer, with his wife and close friends at his side. He was 67 years old. Preceded in death by his mother, Flora Rescigno and his father Herbert Erbe, Raven is survived by his wife, Stephanie Erbe, daughters Kathy Church, Michelle Valencia, Brieanna Evelyn, and brothers, Donald and Glenn Erbe. Raven was an award-winning author of more than twenty books and two oracle decks on Witchcraft, magic, and ancient spirituality, 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 and for his 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 magickal traditions, including those of Lady Sarah Cunningham. Raven later co-founded the Ash, Birch & Willow tradition with his wife Stephanie Taylor, with members across the world. 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 spirituality and 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. 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. Calling hours will be held at Hafey Funeral Service, 494 Belmont Ave., Springfield on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, followed by a memorial service at 7:00 pm to celebrate Raven’s life and legacy. Flowers of white and red roses for the service are welcomed. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Raven’s name can be made to the Temple of Witchcraft at templeofwitchcraft.org.
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