View Full Version : Book?!

28-11-2010, 09:17 PM
Hi all was just wondering if anyone knew of a good book about the history of wicca?! I mean one including about the burning times etc etc.....

I did post this in the book section but had no luck so thought i would try here!

Thanks for you help in advance :D :hug: :hug3:

28-11-2010, 10:01 PM
I'm curious to know as well :)

29-11-2010, 08:26 AM
Careful over the "Burning Times" - claims in this area are highly dubious. Also, dont lose sight of the fact that Wicca did not exist before the mid 20th century.

I can offer the following which came from "an authoritive source"

Gardner was a complicated person. He did invent what is now 'Wicca', although he spelt it with one c. He threw it together as an amalgam of Freemasonry, Golden Dawn, Qabala, Rosicrucianism and Aleister Crowley's teachings, as well as the practical stuff from the New Forest Coven.

Dorothy Clutterbuck was long thought to be an invention of Gardner, but intensive searching has unearthed her Birth Certificate in the New Forest area.

This Coven is reputed to be the one which (with the blessing of the Powers that Were) performed ritual to stop the Invasion of mainland Britain by Hitler's troops during WW2. One member of the Coven died during this ritual, (whether by natural means or as a sacrifice nobody knows). This was still at a time when the Witchcraft Act was in force, it was not repealed until 1951, and the celebrated medium, Helen Duncan ,(erroneously called Britain's last Witch) was the last person prosecuted under that Act.

Wicca was Gardner's attempt to bring witchcraft into the open, in a ritual form which would be acceptable to the masses.

Witchcraft itself, the Craft of the Wisewoman and Cunning Man, is as old as the hills themselves, being shamanistic in origin, but Wicca is 'Modern Witchcraft', and has little similarity to it's ancient forebear. There are wisewomen and cunning men still, but they tend to exist in the country rather than towns, quietly doing what they have always done.

Gardner himself was a paradox, he was an ordained Priest of one of the obscure Celtic Christian Churches, and a confirmed Naturist, a member of the naturist club Spielplatz, which is still active today and has a website! He was friends with many of the occultists of the day, notably Philip Ross Nichols, (founder of the largest Druid Order in the world) who was also a Spielplatz member, and an ordained Priest of another Celtic Church. Together these two established the current Festival Cycle that Pagans now use, (It is a combination of the Agricultural Festivals which the Wiccans used, Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh, and the Solar observances of the Druids {Solstices and Equinoxes}).

Many of the rituals that Coven Wiccans currently use are lifted almost verbatim from Golden Dawn, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism and Qabala. Coven Wicca seems to be on it's way out, many Wiccans nowadays following a much simplified Book of Shadows published by many authors today and the wisdom is greatly watered down from Gardner's original. Very few Wiccans nowadays celebrate skyclad, as is stated in the Charge of the Goddess, in fact the Charge itself has lessened in importance nowadays.

With the amount of information currently available, Wicca is becoming diluted from what it used to be, becoming mixed with knowledge from other Paths. When there are groups around, they are nearly all Working Groups of Solitaries who like to get together occasionally.

A true Coven is like a Family, the HPS and HP are Mother and Father of the group, responsible for the welfare of all the members. They set the rules, and are responsible for the overall education of the membership, and it isn't an easy job, it is a heavy responsibility, in which they expect dedication, loyalty and confidentiality from their members.

Books ? stick with Hutton.

29-11-2010, 02:07 PM
Thank you Norseman, i was slightly unsepcific in what i meant.I wanted to know more about the history of Wicthcraft and paganism......any suggestions of books would be great. You hear people talk about the burning times but actually learning about them seems to be near impossible..

29-11-2010, 02:53 PM
Yeah the history would be cool probably in all origins in all continents.

29-11-2010, 03:05 PM
The problem, LostGirl, is that the burning times are largely a myth. Supposedly, it starts in medieval germany. The Bishop of a smallish city uses figures for his own city, then just scales it up for the whole of Europe. The burnings were largely the Inquisition [ Auto de Fe ] and involves mostly heretics, not witches. Bear in mind that "heretic" meant someone who did not accept the authority of Rome, so most of the heretics were christian and many of them were priests.
Another example, in Britain, no-one was burnt. The few who were executed as witches were hung ! But the story multiplies and becomes a cause celebre in pagan circles.

Now books on witchcraft and paganism I can help you with.
"Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits" by Emma Wilby
"The Triumph of the Moon" by Ronald Hutton
I recommend these because they are written by university academics, so well written and researched, and subject to critical review by their peers.
Wilby is a Fellow of the University of Exeter, and Hutton is Professor Hutton of the University of Bristol.

Another two I would go with are both by Brian Bates [ another heavy-weight [lol] ]
"The Real Middle Earth" - Magic and Mystery in the Dark Ages
"The Way of the Wyrd" - this one is clever. Its written as a story about a christian cleric who is sent on a mission to pagan England and becomes associated with an Anglo-Saxon sorcerer, learning his arte.

29-11-2010, 03:08 PM
Writing the names of those books down thanks.

29-11-2010, 03:29 PM
Before I forget. I also have a Grimoire of the Folk Magic of the Pennsylvanian Dutch if you would like it. It's a PDF file. I could put it to you as a PM I think. No history to it but it would give an insight in American Folk Magic.

29-11-2010, 05:38 PM
Thank you very much Norseman :D

That would be great if you could pm me that PDF if it doesnt work i am happy to give you my email address...

Im just trying to explore all avenues if that makes sense. I think i have found my path but i feel i cannot say for sure until i have looked into other things. I keep getting this feeling that there is more that i need to know.

Thank you for those books, i shall look into them :)

29-11-2010, 08:16 PM
Ty Norseman.