Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bonewits's Essential Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca by Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits

Okay, okay. Let me explain myself a little bit. After reading "Year of Wonders" I became really fascinated with the local healing women who were called witches by the plague ridden community. And I've always been interested in things psychic and/or spooky. So I checked out this book from the library. Yes, the librarian looked at me a little funny, then looked at poor Katie...Living in the South and checking out books about witchcraft don't bode well for the looks you'll get from people. They've probably already called Child Protective Services...but whatever.

This book was REALLY interesting. It's not about how to cast spells or dance in the light of the moon or anything (I got another book for that! (-:) This is a really sane, historical guide to the roots of modern witchcraft. Basically, he makes the argument that there was NOT some ancienct society of witches, there was NOT some goddess worshiping culture that went underground during the spread of Christianity through Europe. There were "cunning folk" who had some knowledge of herbs, midwifery, etc. But they were not persecuted as witches...they usually called out others as being witches.

He makes the argument that the modern Wiccan religion was basically created in the mid 1800s. He doesn't discredit the religion, as he is a member. But he argues that modern "witches" need to accept the fact that this is basically a new religion based on sometimes wishful (and wistful) thinking about some sort of "ancient way" that never really existed.

I'm not sure if any of you would be interested in reading this book, but it really is very good if you're looking for something a bit offbeat. Enjoy!

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