Druid Thoughts: Witchcraft Today – 60 Years On

This is a bit of a book plug, but it’s also an interesting moment in our history and an opportunity to reflect on just how far we’ve come. Sixty years ago, Gerald Gardner unleashed Witchcraft Today, bringing the idea of witchcraft into public awareness and replacing fairy tale clichés with a vibrant, modern, and living tradition.

A great many questions remain about whether the tradition Gardner represented was really that traditional (Ronald Hutton’s Triumph of the Moon is the book for this). However, whether you find yourself convinced or dubious about Wiccan history pre-Gardener, there’s no doubt that this sixty year anniversary is a very big deal.

In the last 60 years, witchcraft has spread across the globe and has expanded and diversified. Published in June 2014, Witchcraft Today – 60 Years On reflects on the breadth and diversity that has emerged in the various branches of witchcraft. So much has changed for Pagans in this time frame – we’ve become more socially acceptable, gained some legal protection, and grown massively as a community.

While witchcraft is not my path, it is no less a moment of community history for me. Gardner’s status as a semi-mythic figure to those of us who are younger–a ground breaker, a person whose story outlives his mortal life, and who seems destined to be a legend–is worthy of note.

The anthology features a number of writers including Philip Hestleton, Rachel Patterson, Harmonia Saille, and David Salisbury. Topics include Gardner, Alexandrian Witchcraft, Seax, Eclectic, Dianic, Hedge and Nature traditions.

978-1-78279-168-3 Paperback (187PP) $14.95 | £8.99 June 2014

Druid Thoughts is published on occasional Wednesdays on Agora. Follow it via RSS or e-mail!

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