Traditional Witchcraft & the Pagan Revival is a funny old book, especially coming as it does as the fifth in the Traditional Witchcraft series. You see, there’s plenty of material out there to explain what contemporary witchcraft and paganism is all about … and there’s plenty of on-line information discussing everyone’s viewpoint of the pagan ethos aimed at beginners. But I’ve always found that the really important questions usually arise at intermediary level, when folk have been studying Craft for a while and they start to register the differences and similarities between the various paths.
This is the stage when the pertinent questions arise as to the group or teacher’s antecedents; and why another witch has the temerity to tell us that what we are doing is wrong! This is when we need strong historical guidelines about paganism in general and witchcraft in particular; and where we need reliable sources to point us in the right direction. According to the late Michael Howard of The Cauldron fame, traditional British witchcraft refers to ‘any non-Gardnerian, non-Alexandrian, non-Wiccan or pre-modern form of the Craft, especially if it has been inspired by historical forms of witchcraft or folklore’. This, of course, upsets a lot of people who call themselves ‘traditional’ when Old Crafters come along and point out that it means belonging to an initiatory lineage that is hierarchical, and often patriarchal and elitist!
The Pagan Revival has also traced many of the threads of Old Craft that have been preserved in often ‘suspect’ writings on the subject by Margaret Murray and Charles Leland that reveal some of their informants, at least, were indeed authentic. The book examines the revivalist and reconstructed traditions that, although of modern vintage, still have a lot to offer providing they are honest about their sources, roots and ancestry.
Traditional Witchcraft & the Pagan Revival by Melusine Draco is published by Moon Books (www.moon-books.net) ISBN 978 1 78279 156 0 : UK£11.99/US$19.95 : 180pp : Available in paperback and low price e-book format
I’d like to post a simple book recommendation, this is the first book on the subject I’ve found that takes a well researched academic approach, offers a good overview of the history and is compact and accessibly written. A must read in my opinion. HC
A great writer, a fantastic book and a wonderful person who is full to the brim of the most amazing, interesting and insightful knowledge! Melusine Draco is my favourite! TR
It’s a must have, I thoroughly enjoyed it. An erudite and captivating book that should be on everyone’s reading list. AO