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 Witching Culture Book Review, by Sabina Magliocco
post Jun 25 2012, 03:36 PM
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Recently I picked up "Witching Culture" by Sabina Magliocco off amazon and thought I would write up a review for anyone else interested in picking it up. Here is the official description:

Taking the reader into the heart of one of the fastest-growing religious movements in North America, Sabina Magliocco reveals how the disciplines of anthropology and folklore were fundamental to the early development of Neo-Paganism and the revival of witchcraft. Magliocco examines the roots that this religious movement has in a Western spiritual tradition of mysticism disavowed by the Enlightenment. She explores, too, how modern Pagans and Witches are imaginatively reclaiming discarded practices and beliefs to create religions more in keeping with their personal experience of the world as sacred and filled with meaning. Neo-Pagan religions focus on experience, rather than belief, and many contemporary practitioners have had mystical experiences. They seek a context that normalizes them and creates in them new spiritual dimensions that involve change in ordinary consciousness.

-up to date info on wicca/pagans/witchcraft practitioners
-explains the history of modern American paganism
-lots of "extra" info
-well cited

-very biased (in favor of magic)
-redundant (topics are often covered multiple times throughout the book, hence adding pages instead of content, imo)

This book was great for me because I wanted an overview of paganism from a historic or anthropological view instead of a "personal experience" perspective. Often both types of perspectives are offered, and thankfully the author makes it clear when she is presenting evidence instead of an opinion. (I just read a few books by Montague Summers so I was extra happy about that ha).

This book tries to get a feel for where wicca currently stands as far as being a legitimate practice, which is made difficult due to it's relative newness. I was surprised to learn that Gardnerian witchcraft was only about 60 years old. There was a little bias though, and the author explains how she herself has experienced some of the phenomena herself. I don't think her experiences hurt the book, but I think it should be taken into consideration because then you know that the book was written from a certain position.

Overall I would give this book a 4.5/5 stars for what it is and recommend it to other people who are looking for a reference or fresh perspective on the developments of modern paganism. Expect it to be more than pure facts and timelines but less than a pure narrative. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/mf_bookread.gif)


This post has been edited by ☞Tomber☜: Jun 25 2012, 03:39 PM

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Jan 30 2013, 02:19 AM) *
Expect nothing, or you will get caught up in the future and not pay attention to the present. Just do the practice diligently, do it because you enjoy it, do it because you believe in it. Don't wait for results, don't wait for it to happen.

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