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Dr Leo Martello - Weird Ways Of Witchcraft (copyrighted book, review only)
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I had no intention of writing a book on witchcraft. That was the farthest thing from my mind. I did have a couple of other book ideas. I dropped a note to my graphological colleague, Dorothy Sara, asking her if she knew of any publisher who might be interested. She got my letter on Monday, March 10, 1969. That same morning H.C. Publishers, Inc., had asked her if she knew of an author who could write a book on both witchcraft and hypnotism for them. She did.Dorothy Sara and I have known each other for over twenty years and we... More >>>
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I had no intention of writing a book on witchcraft. That was the farthest thing from my mind. I did have a couple of other book ideas. I dropped a note to my graphological colleague, Dorothy Sara, asking her if she knew of any publisher who might be interested. She got my letter on Monday, March 10, 1969. That same morning H.C. Publishers, Inc., had asked her if she knew of an author who could write a book on both witchcraft and hypnotism for them. She did.
Dorothy Sara and I have known each other for over twenty years and were both members and officers in the American Graphological Society. She had been both President and Secretary and I was Treasurer. Years ago I gave a lecture before them on hypnographology, the study of handwritings and their analysis under hypnotic age-regression. At the time I was directing the American Hypnotism Academy in New York. So she knew that I knew hypnotism. I called the publishers that same day and set up an appointment to meet them the next. Contract was signed then and there for two books: One on Witchcraft, the other on Hypnotism.
Thus began a fantastic series of intuitive experiences and "coincidences" relating to this book. Though I was not totally unfamiliar with the "ways of witchcraft" having read my first book on the subject, Witchcraft in The World Today by William Seabrook when I was about fourteen or fifteen, plus countless other books on interrelated subjects, and even having known people in my life who claimed
to be witches, and personal experiences with clients who claimed to be "hexed," I was in no way involved with the subject. That changed fast!
For some unknown reason I had collected a file of witchcraft articles, stories, news items and newspaper clippings throughout the years. I had no conscious purpose in mind, certainly not a book on the subject. The day that I signed the contract I mapped my course of action: 1) I sent out letters and requests to the various publications that I write for and to various correspondents throughout the country and 2) I used a technique that 1 have practiced for years. I projected my will ... simply sent out the thought that I would be guided into the right channels in my research.
At two o'clock one morning I decided to take my two dogs, Boom Boom and Baby, for a "walk around the block" and see if there were any retrievable discards in the local trash baskets (one of my "hobbies" is junk picking ... I could write a book on that!). I found a number of recent magazines in perfect condition and was returning home when a "hunch" told me to walk to the corner. I had nothing to lose so I did. Just before I reached the corner I noticed a red-edged magazine lying under a trash can. I pulled it out, picked it up and lo! and behold! it was the March 21, 1969 issue of Time magazine with a full cover story on "Astrology And The New Cult Of The Occult" mentioned elsewhere in this book.
Dr Leo Martello (1931-2000) is contemporary Wiccan priest. Martello was born on September 26, 1931, in Dudley, Massachusetts. He attended Assumption College and Hunter College and went on to become a Spiritualist minister. In the early 1960s he founded the Temple of Spiritual Guidance and the Spiritual Independents Movement. Through the 1960s he concentrated on his skills as a psychic reader and wrote a series of short booklets: Your Pen Personality (1961), Its in the Cards (1964), and How to Prevent Psychic Blackmail (1966).
By the end of the 1960s, however, he had begun to identify with the slowly emerging neopagan witchcraft movement. In 1970 he founded the Witches Liberation Movement and the Witches Anti-Defamation League as instruments to demand religious rights and reparation payments for the Wiccan community. That same year he organized a Halloween "witch-in" in New York City's Central Park.
Martello was quickly recognized as a leader in the Wiccan community and soon turned out a string of books that were widely read in the community, which had at the time produced only a few texts of its own. His 1973 book Witchcraft: The Old Religions was standard reading for young Wiccans through the rest of the decade and was frequently cited as an authoritative presentation of the beliefs and practices of modern witches. He also began to publish a periodical that flourished through the early 1970s, the WICA Newsletter, and the Witchcraft Digest.
Martello identifies himself as a traditionalist Wiccan with Sicilian roots. His coven operates under the name Witches International Craft Associates. He also founded and heads Hero Press, a small publishing operation. Martello died in June 2000.
Leo Martello (1931-2000) also is an author, lecturer, gay civil rights activist, and an early voice in the American Neopagan movement. He drew heavily on his Sicilian heritage, teaching the Strega Tradition which was named after the Italian word for Witch.
As a founder of the Witches Anti-Defamation League (later the Alternative Religions Education Network) he was known for his lively and sometimes confrontational style. For example, in his books he tried to popularize the "Witches' Curse" which was "I wish you on yourself". He was profiled in Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon.