Author: Ipsita Roy Chakraverti
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8172234953
This is the story of one woman's conviction in the ancient science of Wicca or witchcraft, and the dedication of her life to removing the stigma attached to witches.
Born into a well-known family in Calcutta, the young Ipsita began her quest when she joined the Society for the Study of Ancient Cultures and Civilizations in Montreal, Canada. In a chalet in the Laurentian mountains, where this group of women would meet, she pored over crumbling manuscripts holding secrets long forgotten and tantalizing answers to questions one is too scared to ask. Eventually, she chose to carry on with further studies in the ancient cultures, unraveling forbidden codes and deciphering obscure texts.
She was formally initiated as a witch by the Spanish head of the society and began her journey into the hazy past, when Wicca was considered a valuable branch of learning under the patronage of Inana-Ishtar in Sumeria, Isis in Egypt, Diana in Greece, and Kali in the Indian subcontinent. The women who embraced Wicca represented strength, endurance, intelligence, compassion and a rare wisdom.
As time went by, however, organized religion and the inquisitors descended on them with their instruments of torture and their intent to kill. What followed was a brutal massacre, and what is more important, the distortion of the image of an ancient school of learning. Invaluable texts written by the Wiccans as their Book of Shadows were destroyed when the witch-hunts began in Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The keys to an unknown world were lost.
Ipsita Roy Chakraverti's life has been an amazing one. Time and again she has encountered the mysterious 'X factor' when the meeting ground between science and the supernatural - and she believes there is one - has been transcended by a force that defies explanation. Some of her strange encounters have been with the rich and famous - the scientist Homi Bhabha, Indira Gandhi and Elvis Presley. But equally there has been her work with the poor and persecuted in the towns and villages of India, those whom, as she puts, ' if God forgets, the witch cannot.'
Part of Ispita's work has been in the interpretation of the prophecies of Luciana, a famous Wiccan noblewoman of Franco-Italian birth who was executed in the sixteenth century. Many of those prophecies, written four hundred years ago, have proved uncannily true: such as the recent earth-quake in Turkey, Rajiv Gandhi's assassination and the marital woes of the British royal family.
But more than magic and spells and unexplained phenomena, Ipsita has, in telling her story, brought to the fore Wicca's powers of healing, wisdom and justice. Upon her return to India, she has worked extensively in the rural areas for the empowerment of women and has been a member of the Congress party.
Ipsita Roy Chakraverti has proved through her own life, one of her guiding principles - that every strong woman can be a witch.