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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Friday, March 07, 2003

Who and where are the Pagans

Sociologist Helen A. Berger, author of A Community of Witches: Contemporary Neo-Paganism and Witchcraft in the United States, has a new book coming out in July, written together with Evan Leach and Leigh Shaffer.

The title is Voices from the Pagan Census: A National Survey of Witches and Neo-Pagans in the United States. Like her first, it was published by the University of South Carolina Press.

I plan to post a fuller review after I have read it. The "census" referred to was distributed by Berger and by Andras Corbon of Earthspirit Community. The authors claim that (this time) they reached more than just the festival-going Pagan crowd.

According to the catalog, "The scholars . . . identify variations within the Neo-Pagan population, including those related to geography and to the movement's multiple spiritual

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Thursday, March 06, 2003

By the banks of Hardscrabble Creek

Since it has been several years since I have published any of the print versions of "Letter from Hardscrabble Creek," I am creating this blog to talk about the process and progress of writing and also to comment on what I think are the best new books on contemporary Paganism and nature-based spirituality.

I will also be posting updates on my work in progress, a study of the Pagan revival in America, which has the working title of HER HIDDEN CHILDREN and which will be published by AltaMira Press.