Pam Grossman is a writer, curator, and host of The Witch Wave podcast.





Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
June 4, 2019


A whip-smart and illuminating exploration of the world’s fascination with witches from podcast host and practicing witch Pam Grossman (The Witch Wave), who delves deeply into why witches have intrigued us for centuries and why they’re more relevant now than ever.

When you think of a witch, what do you picture? Pointy black hat, maybe a broomstick. But witches in various guises have been with us for millennia. In Waking the Witch, Pam Grossman explores the cultural and historical impact of the world’s most magical icon. From the idea of the femme fatale in league with the devil in early modern Europe and Salem, to the bewitching pop culture archetypes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Harry Potter; from the spooky ladies in fairy tales and horror films to the rise of feminist covens and contemporary witchcraft, witches reflect the power and potential of women.

In this fascinating read that is part cultural analysis, part memoir, Pam opens up about her own journey on the path to witchcraft, and how her personal embrace of the witch helped her find strength, self-empowerment, and a deeper purpose.

A comprehensive meditation on one of the most mysterious and captivating figures of all time, Waking the Witch celebrates witches past, present, and future, and reveals the critical role they have played—and will continue to play—in shaping the world as we know it.


“Pam Grossman has written a flowing history that I scarfed down like an eclair. She reminds us that witches are not monsters so much as possibilities. The archetypal, swirling symbol of ‘Witch’ is a guide to remind us that we are allowed to act on our desires AND congratulate ourselves for choosing to. I hope this book makes everyone who reads it ask themselves ‘What do I deny myself and why?’ I started this book all in, but when I read the sentence ‘Show me your witches, and I’ll show you your feelings about women,’ I knew I was done for.” - Neko Case

“Deftly illuminating the past while beckoning us towards the future, Waking the Witch has all the makings of a feminist classic. Wise, relatable and real, Pam Grossman is the witch we need for our times." - Ami McKay, author of THE WITCHES OF NEW YORK

"A masterful and moving meditation on female power and persecution, Waking the Witch deftly lifts the veil between fact and fiction, indulging joyfully and critically in the distortions and delectations that have surrounded magical women for millennia. Pam Grossman is a beacon in the world of contemporary witchcraft and neo-paganism, and this comprehensive work grounded in scholarship and cultural criticism is brought to life through intimate stories from her own life and spiritual practice. Waking the Witch is an artful gateway into a history that is both profoundly and painfully relevant today. Whether you’re intrigued by or deeply committed to the who, what, when, where, and why of the witch, this book is for you." - Kristen J. Sollée, author of WITCHES, SLUTS, FEMINISTS: CONJURING THE SEX POSITIVE

“The wonderful Pam Grossman takes us on a whirlwind tour of witches in history, literature, and the cinematic and visual arts, serving up much food for thought along the way. Her exploration of alchemical artists Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo is no less than brilliant. But my own favorite parts of Waking the Witch are Pam’s generously-shared descriptions of her own personal journey to magic and power. Recommended!”  - Judika Illes, author of ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WITCHCRAFT, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF 5000 SPELLS, and other books of magic

“Students and scholars will savor Waking the Witch’s historicism—which is brilliant—and practitioners will thrill to its understanding and inspiration. In a world of boundless choices, this is one of the singularly finest works for understanding modern witchcraft. It will never leave my bookshelf.” - Mitch Horowitz, PEN Award-winning author of OCCULT AMERICA and THE MIRACLE CLUB

“A celebration of witches and everyday individuals whose independence and self-possession fuel their resistance and rebellion against the long-standing social contract of female disempowerment…A rich and unique mix of historical events, literary references, and contemporary popular media inform keen observations on how we have arrived at a place in which feminism and witchcraft find a cultural convergence. Reminiscent of Sarah Vowell's work and equally affecting, this intellectually satisfying, personally liberating, and remarkably humorous classic is recommended for readers of women's history, paganism, witchcraft, and feminism.” - LIBRARY JOURNAL, Starred Review

"[A] beguiling exploration of witches across history, myth, art and pop culture. Part history, part memoir, part effervescent feminist manifesto, the book takes readers on an exhilarating ride through witchy archetypes..." - TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

"A fun study… Feminist readers will be pleased by Grossman’s deconstruction of witch clichés.” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“A fun, informative glimpse of witchcraft… Waking the Witch reflects Grossman’s ability to cast her spell with memoir, storytelling, journalism, and history… Feminists will appreciate Grossman’s in-depth, woman-focused history and analysis… A must-add for public and academic collections.” - BOOKLIST



Tin Can Forest Press, 2016


Conjure an image of a witch in your mind’s eye, and you’ll find s/he can take many different shapes. Evil, beautiful, hideous, holy, a sinner who just might save us all – this multifaceted archetype is a dark layer-cake of legends and associations. Written by Phantasmaphile’s Pam Grossman and artwork by Canada’s occult sweethearts, Tin Can Forest, What Is A Witch is an illuminated incantation, a crystalline invocation, a lovingly-crafted celebration of the world’s most magical icon.

"What is a Witch feels like a captured dream to me, one in which the author and artists dutifully recorded what they experienced and shared the results with us. And those results definitely feel touched by magic." - Boing Boing

"What Is A Witch's lyrical language of night-song and half-rhymes, when given voice, becomes a wild, witty, wondrous invocation, threaded throughout with fanciful visions, whimsical allegory, and magical truths." - Dirge Magazine

"It's GORGEOUS" - Neko Case

4.72 on Goodreads

Other Writing


Cat Call: Reclaiming the Feral Feminine by Kristen J. Sollee - Foreword (Weiser Books, 2019)
Ascend Ascend by Janaka Stucky - Foreword (Third Man Books, 2019)
Le Tarot de L'étoile Cachée Guidebook (Sabat Magazine, 2018)
Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan - Foreword (Seal/Hachette, 2017)
Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive by Kristen J. Sollee - "Art Witch" Chapter Contribution (ThreeL Media, 2017)
Earth Magic, Rik Garrett artist monograph - Introduction (Fulgur Esoterica, 2014)


Here’s What Being a Witch Really Means, The New York Times
The Wizard of Oz Invented the “Good Witch,” The Atlantic
Yes, Witches Are Real. I Know Because I Am One,
Work Witch, Powell’s
Wonder Woman: From the Golden Age to the Fourth Wave, Moleskine’s Fold Magazine
Ritual for the Rebirth of a Republic, Medium
Ring Around the Rebel, Ravenous Zine
Advice From A Witch, Woolly
The Year of the WitchHuffington Post
Three Times a Lady: Tales with Triple Witches, Huffington Post
10 Ways to Celebrate Witches’ Night This Weekend, Medium
Wonder Woman: A Feel Piece, Medium
Bittersweetie, Sabat Magazine Issue 1
Other MotherSabat Magazine Issue 2
Crowning the CroneSabat Magazine Issue 3
Earth, Sabat Magazine Issue 4
Pam Grossman, In Wild Air
Interview with Jesse Bransford, Abraxas Vol 3
Basement Vodou: Shannon Taggart, Abraxas Vol 4 
Gifts for the Romantic, Etsy
An Old World Sense of Wonder,
Scent Guide,
SamhainSciences Occultes Magazine Issue 1 (page 102)
Midwinter RitualsSciences Occultes Magazine Issue 2 (page 66)
Solar RitualsSciences Occultes Magazine Issue 3 (page 76)
Various interviews on Phantasmaphile


Ms. Mystery: Susan Jamison’s Secret Garden catalog essay for her Super Natural exhibition at The Longwood Center for Visual Arts
Álvaro Barrios: The Hierophant of Barranquilla catalog essay for his Portrait of the Artist as a Medium show at Henrique Faria New York
El Gato Chimney’s Bewilderbeasts catalog essay for his solo show at Stephen Romano Gallery