I first became interested in writing at the age of 12 when I wrote short stories for friends. Later, in high school, I wrote for the school paper, and eventually wrote a collection of poetry.
I was raised by an Italian mother who immigrated to the US in 1945 as a war bride to an American soldier. I was born in the US several years later. I grew up on the tales of Old Italy, and learned about the folkloric practices of what I call "peasant witchcraft." In addition, like most others with such a background, I attended Catholic Church (an old protective practice of veiling witchcraft with a veneer of Catholicism). At the age of 18 I discontinued this practice and cast off the veneer.
In the summer of 1969 I encountered a young woman who identifed heself as a "Wiccan" (and at this time the term was interchangeable with "witch"). The description of her own practices were strikingly similiar to portions of what I was previously taught. Through her began a journey that led me into initation within a group claiming to practice Gardnerian Wicca. This claim eventually proved to be false, and the group was actually practicing a system stitched together from published materials only.
In the early 1970s my interest in Witchcraft was further fueled by the writings of Gerald Gardner. During this decade, and into the next, other authors caught my attention. These included Robert Graves, Eliphas Levi, Franz Bardon, Charles Leland, Israel Regardie, Stewart Farrar, Doreen Valiente, and William Gray (to name a few).
In the early 1980s I self-published several books: The Book of Ways (volume one & two) and the Book of the Holy Strega. In 1994 my first professional publication was produced by Llewellyn Publications under the title Ways of the Strega. It was later re-titled Italian Witchcraft.
My full title of professionally published works is:
Ways of the Strega/Italian Witchcraft
Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft
The Witches' Familiar
Spirit of the Witch
The Witches' Craft
Witchcraft: A Mystery Tradition
The Well Worn Path (divination system)
The Hidden Path (divination system)
Crafting Wiccan Traditions
Although only two of my thirteen books deal with Italian witchcraft, I seem to have been labeled "that Italian witchcraft guy." I suppose this is because, in part, the Italian Craft is my personal path. Unfortunately many people misrepresent my position on Italian witchcraft as it is presented in my books. They also misrepresent my views on folklorist Charles Leland, and his book Aradia: Gospel of the Witches.
Anyone interested in my actual views and positions can read articles written by me on the Stregheria.com website.