Thursday 8 December 2022

Review: The Holy Wild Grimoire by Danielle Dulsky

We are living in a time of change, which for many is also a one of loss and grief. This can mean the death of loved ones, but also environmental loss and species extinction. The Holy Wild Grimoire: A Heathen Handbook of Magick, Spells, and Verses by Danielle Dulsky looks at the ways this sense of loss can be faced through witchcraft. 

The introduction is called Love Letters on a Death Bed, and offers the idea that love and anger are not opposites, despite many new-age type teachings that they are. We can be angry about what's happening in the world, while also loving the world deeply. Following sections enable us to create our own grimoire of spells, rituals, ceremonies and magical workings by looking within and facing our love, anger, fear and other emotional responses to events in our past and wider world. I would call this shadow work, which is an important part of personal development within witchcraft.

Dulsky's writing is poetic and beautiful, just as in her earlier books. The Holy Wild Grimoire was also created to help readers integrate ideas from The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman into their lived experience. I would suggest reading that, or some of her other earlier books, before this new one. Dulsky writes: 

“In this handbook, there are verses, prompts, stories, and spells for deepening your encounter with the Holy Wild, with your own fundamental essence as it has been formed and re-formed through your unique story and shaped by this transformational moment in the world story. The time to radically revision our place in the world is now. This is the moment in the human tale when hope meets sorrow, when innocence meets wisdom, a climactic union of polarities that is birthing — and will continue to birth — a new, more heathen reality.” 

The word 'heathen' is used in the general sense of someone who isn't strictly within an organised religion or is nature-based in their practice, rather than someone who specifically worships Germanic and Norse gods and goddess. The teachings would be useable by anyone following a nature-based or pagan spirituality.

The Holy Wild Grimoire works through the elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ether, with a section, or 'book', for each. These begin with a word-spell, a story and an invocation for readers to get their own sense of that element’s energy. There are also 13 journaling prompts for each element; you are recommended to get a good-size journal to make notes in. Dulsky writes: 

“Move through this grimoire at your own pace, in your own time. Choose a sizable journal to accompany you on this journey through memory and muse. This blank book will become your personal grimoire, the house of your heathen testaments, and your soul-written bible that defines this moment you are living.” 

While The Holy Wild Grimoire is grimmer than the earlier titles in this series, it is empowering. It's intended to help us recognise, reclaim, and recharge the personal and collective power we may feel we have lost in these turbulent times, and help us heal and liberate ourselves and others who are struggling. Dulsky writes: 

“Hold yourself tenderly now. You were born for these times. You are here because these patterns are yours to break. The poisons are yours to remedy. The new language is yours to speak, and the story is yours to tell.” 

 Danielle Dulsky is the also author of The Holy Wild, Sacred Hags Oracle, Seasons of Moon and Flame, and Woman Most Wild.  She is the founder of The Hag School. Visit her online at  

You can view The Holy Wild Grimoire on Amazon

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