SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – On June 27 a fire broke out at the home of Raven and Stephanie Grimassi. According to the fire marshal, the blaze was caused by a lightning strike during a thunderstorm. Raven Grimassi is best known as an author of books on Wicca, Stregheria, Witchcraft, and Paganism. He and his wife operate the store Raven’s Loft, out their home.
A fundraiser has been set up to help the couple recover from the fire.Mr. Grimassi says he and his wife were home during the storm when they heard a loud crack of thunder. Mr. Grimassi checked the home, including the third floor, to see if there was any damage. Finding none, he went back to working on his next book,and his wife went grocery shopping. A short time later there was a loud pounding on his door.
“I opened the door and my neighbor was there, yelling that my house was on fire,” Grimassi explained. “I stepped out and looked up towards the third floor and could see the flames.”
Mr. Grimassi says the fire department was there within minutes. The third floor was completely destroyed by the fire, while the other floors were destroyed by water.
The couple’s temple room was located in that space. In sifting through the room after the fire, the couple found the God and Goddess altar statues completely unharmed. Likewise, the plaque with the symbol of their tradition and anothergGoddess statue were also undamaged. Everything else in the room was destroyed.
“These are wonderful affirmations of our tradition. There are so many stories connected with fire that speak of magic and how we were protected by the powers that be.”
Mr. Grimassi says it will take six months to a year to rebuild their home. Although it was insured, Mr. Grimassi says the loss of his home is the loss of his business, “Because we work out of our home, we won’t have any income until we can get our store running again. That means we have no money coming in to pay our mortgage or any of our bills.”To help the couple financially until they are able to find a place to live and reestablish their home-based store, author Christopher Penczak and Steve Kenton have started a GoFundMe account for them. The fundraiser has a goal of $30,000 and has raised, as of press time, just over $13,000. The couple is currently staying in an extended-stay hotel, but hope to be renting a home soon.
Ms. Grimassi says, “The resiliency of our spirituality keeps us moving forward through this process.”
Both of the Grimassis say they are very thankful for the support and kind wishes that they’ve received. “We gratefully thank everyone for their kind and loving outpour[ing] of support and generosity. You make a positive difference in the lives of others you touch. May it return to you three-fold.”