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The Meaning of Witchcraft Paperback – March 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
GBG, with the help of Doreen Valiente, gave structure and form to what he learned. His followers have come to be called "Gardnerians", and it's a name they are proud to claim. Many traditions abound in Wicca, and all of them have gleaned something from GBG's writings. These influential books are a must have for any serious student of the "Craft", but a bit deep for those who only play at being "Witches".
It's only fair to warn you: Gardner's writing style can be dry and his organization a bit erratic. Sometimes it can be downright tedious reading his books. However, the information and opinions he gives are well worth the occasional headache! If you only want to play around and "cast spells" as a game, don't bother with his books. There are plenty of recipe-format spell books out there that will serve you just fine. If you are into the Religion of Wicca, then this book will find its way into your library ... one way or another. You might as well get it now! You'll thank yourself ... maybe not *while* you're reading it, but *after* you've (finally) finished!!!
This book is not meant as an introduction for aspiring witches, but as a history lesson for those who might persecute witches. The book is filled with old practices and superstitions that formed the basis of modern witchcraft, as well as the origins of witch prosecutions.
The Meaning of Witchcraft may certainly deserve some scrutiny as Gardner obviously has an agenda and occasionally leaps to a conclusion that supports his claims when the evidence does not offer as much support as he claims.
The book is a heavy read that may take some effort to get through if you are used to lighter modern writing. Gardner is primarily concerned with the origins of witchcaft in Britain, and witchcraft's future in Britain. The book has many local anecdotes that may lose meaning over time and distance.
The information I found most interesting was the history of the Christians moving into Britain, how they pushed out the native pagan beliefs, and how those pagans left traces of their beliefs.
It was unknown to me that Mr. Gardner was somewhat of an accomplished anthropologist and folklorist. This should be required reading of anyone with a serious interest in Wicca.
For those who haven't had the pleasure this work bears a resemblace to Star Hawks famously acclaimed The Spriral Dance,Sir James Frazier's The Golden Bough and Robert Graves The White Goddess.
It's also good reading for students of Welsh, Celtic and European-Arayan folklore in general.
I definitely intend to read all of his works.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have not finished the book yet. So far though it is quite informative.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Interesting view of Gardner and his interpretation of Craft history. Very boring for me, I've never gotten through it, and it isn't as fascinating or enjoyable as Witchcraft Today.Published 6 months ago by Austin
Lots of good info. from the founder of modern wicca.Published 10 months ago by Valerie Kelley-Curtis
Very interesting! It reads like a history book which is what I personally wanted!Published 13 months ago by Autumn
A good book for background on Gardnerian Wicca, but has to be read with an eye to the times when it was written.Published 17 months ago by boudicea
This is a great book. it's a must for anyone interested in Craft.Published 19 months ago by mark bowser
Very good information written without bias. Gives the history of witchcraft, dating back to caveman times. dispels many stupid myths about witchcraft.Published on November 28, 2012 by JoLi and Sean Sharp