Never Again The Burning Times Paganism Revised by Loretta Orion

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Waveland Press, 1995. 

'This ethnography was written to give the readers an opportunity to learn about the magic, or 'craft‘ of witchcraft and the people who participate in what is called Wicca. Many say that witchcraft is simply a revival of the European pre-Christian religion, Wicca. This religion has become the core to many other pagan beliefs, magical systems, traditions and other religions.

Throughout this ethnography, one is able to explore the many different facets of witchcraft practiced by those who call themselves witches and magicians. Those who believe that they are indeed witches and/or magicians believe that they can heal people and that the witchcraft they practice is harmless or benevolent magic. Orion‘s ethnographic work took place in America and her anthropological research is both sociological and historical.

Orion‘s research is based on extensive analysis of various literature, fieldwork and interviews. Her purpose is to answer question of why there are those, in American society, who resort to such practices when most don‘t. The book includes the descriptions of many intricate details and the history of the old Wiccan religion, giving an overview of Gerald Gardner‘s idea of Wicca. Gardner was a central figure of the Wicca as he and his cult of practitioners celebrated the old festivals and worshiped their pagan gods among other old Wiccan religious traditions. He is considered to be the most celebrated English witch and his books were used as guidelines in the establishment of many covens in Great Britain and as a way to preserve the ‗Old Religion.‘ Orion continues to discuss the old religion, including the legends of Wicca, the pantheon, magic and love, etc. Although Gardner practices and has tried to preserve the ―Old Religion,‘ his revival of Wicca is the most recent of the many revivals in Western culture.'

Category Anthropology