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Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Paperback – October 3, 2006
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Before I read this book I saw modern Pagans as crack-pots, foundationless cults, weirdo's and overgrown hippies. I was at a stage where I could accept the slightly eccentric but practical spirituality of `OBOD' and the AODA but found even the notion of polytheism beyond my understanding. My mind was absolutely closed to this book in the beginning, the 1 ½ inch's of solid paper suggested a good door-stop and I lay it down in a corner of the room where it gathered dust for several months. Visions of naked feminist witches haunted my dreams, strangely effeminate men on LSD staring into glass globes on a wayward camping trip whispered profanities behind my back. I secretly made private jokes about people with names like `Ferret-Raven Wolf Prancer' and `Moon-Swirler.' !!!!
This book actually scared the hell out of me, literally. I clearly saw the book for what it was; a genuine account of modern American Paganism and this frightened me, maybe because I didn't want to come to the realization that such a thing actually exists. I was too wrapped up in the comfort of a semi-gnostic, spiritual haven of abstract and unspecific wandering.Read more ›
Adler entered as a '60s activist bridging the social reforms she sought with a spiritual dimension that appealed to her even as a girl admiring the Greek deities while growing up in a secular Manhattan family. She explores in this feminine-based, earth-connected, non-salvific, and sexually freer array of practices and lore a fascinating variety of people who yearn for change, but who cannot find it within conventional intellectual, political, or religiously dominant frameworks. Pagan seekers built an alternative that doesn't proselytize or threaten, but a lower profile system of thought and action which awaits those who tend to find in freedom of divine choice what they have always sought but did not know how to name.
Diversity counts. "Most Neo-Pagans I know see polytheism not as competitive factions but as facets of a jewel, harmonious but differing." (28) It's bracing to watch a belief option much more open to cooperative rather than hierarchical decision-making coalesce. "Modern Wicca descends 'in spirit' from precisely those fragments of pre-Christian beliefs and practices nobody denies: myths, poetry, the classics, and folk customs." (83) Way back, all of our ancestors practiced a similarly rich combination.
This worldview may not, for Western Europeans, have survived after the Christian centuries, but practices did, if severed from their ancient roots.Read more ›
This book isn't a how-to book and is often misslabled as a Wicca 101 textbook. This is probably because most Wicca 101 'read' lists will list this book; often this is mistaken by the reader to mean it is a hands-on teaching manual. No. All 101 'read' lists should have a historical texts or several.
It isn't, in fact, about just Wicca. But rather the modern history of all Pagan religions in North America and Britan that are even similar to Wicca. The various definitions of 'pagan' and 'magic' are gone over and many, many quotes from other witches. I like this because I can't afford to buy all these texts she references and I trust that she pulled out the 'most relivent' information for her work.
I, personaly, love hearing her stories and personal experiences with these historical figures. Like meeting Maxing Sanders and finding out she is quite a terrible teacher. And the story of an initiation that 'took' even though it was a botched job. <-- this story coming in the wake of a discussion over weather or not it takes a witch to make a witch.
Several tradition are listed, with examples of their liturgy and sources for said liturgy. Lots and lots of sources are given.
This book is still relivent to new comers to the craft. It is one of our 'roots' and roots can never become 'outdated'. History texts that arn't updated are still relivent. The history has not changed. I don't think they can add any 'new discovories', as most of them have been researched to death.
A sequel would be nice but I'm afraid that what is and isn't Witchcraft and Wicca is so watered down and debatable that the poor author wouldn't know where to begin.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great update of a wonderful book. Margot Adler was an incredible journalist and documented a movement in its early years that has now become relatively mainstream. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Linda Baustian
The best book for introducing someone to contemporary American neopaganism ever. I knew Margot for decades. She was an exceptional writer and a solid researcher.Published 4 months ago by John V. Hedtke
A very well-written history of the modern Neo-Pagan movement. Back when I was first interested in Wicca this was the second book assigned to me and I have recommendedi it to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by margaret barrett
another well done book that those serious about the Old Ways..the Ancient Ways we still honor today. Add this one to your private collection. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Arachne