Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Reprinting "Crafting the Art of Magic"

A round of discussion on the Nature Religions Scholars Network e-mail list about the desirability of reprinting Aidan Kelly's book on the origins of Gardnerian witchcraft, Crafting the Art of Magick Book 1 (there was no Book 2), which came out a decade ago from Llewellyn Publications. Although primarily based on textual criticism applied to the Book of Shadows, the book did make some strong points about the 1940s-1950s Wiccan revival, particularly the point that Gerald Gardner and friends were creating a new religion and that that was something that humans do. On the other hand, apparently valuable parts were edited out of the Llewellyn edition, there were editing errors, etc.

I may check with the editorial director at Llewellyn to see if she would entertain the idea, but I suspect I will hit a stone wall, based at least partly on how personally miffed Carl Weschcke seemed to be back in 1992 that Kelly had not delivered the ms. for the sequel. And despite the publication of Gus DiZerega's Pagans and Christians, there is still that Llewellyn prejudice against "scholarly" books.

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