It is a pleasant surprise to find that someone has been saying good things about you behind your back. I don’t often look at my book listings on Amazon to see if there’s a new review. Not every day. Or every week. Or every month. Hardly ever, actually. So it made my day to discover, by accident, Mr. Newmoon’s praise of my work. I found him on FB, friended him, and thanked him. It also occurred to me that it might be salutary to share what he has said, along with a couple of reviews by others who wish me well.
Inventing Witchcraft by Aidan A. Kelly
By william newmoon on September 25, 2013
Dr. Aidan A. Kelly has written a historical, religious, and evolutionary study of Gardnerian Witchcraft. In his writing he has assumed the reader has an extreme interest and knowledge of the subject and a library to match. He has confirmed conclusions and shared detailed insights into Gardner’s personality and genius. He also gives credit to Doreen Valiente, where credit is due. I am satisfied with his results, although some of his blunt assumptions want more work, but with passage of time and lack of data it’s hard to tell how. This book belongs on the shelf of any serious student or sage of the craft, whether the sage or the student agree with Kelly’s thesis or not.
By william newmoon on September 12, 2013
I am glad Aidan Kelly put together this book. He provides pieces of a WITCH puzzle when put together produce a CRAFT history of this particular period and place. He also shares poetry and rituals as part of his service. Well done!
Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away
By Altapi, March 15, 2011
Having a personal interest in Dr. Kelly’s book I found the writing clear and the memories expressed far beyond what I remember. . . . If you’re interested in the craft and in NROOGD, this is a good place to read about the roots of the organization and how it developed from a potluck, beer, and dancing group into an ongoing organization that has lasted four plus decades. Fast read. Lots of background information on the first rituals and their development over a short time. If read closely you’ll be able to figure out the players. All in all, if you are interested in the west coast scene in the and early 70s, read the book.
By william newmoon on October 3, 2013
How does one review another person’s emotions, images, and words? It’s the words; they get you to the other two: images, emotions. And three: either you ‘like’ a poem, or you don’t. With this collection, I LIKE the vast majority of the whole. . . . I will say that Kelly’s poems had me feeling: I laughed, I cried for joy, I cried for sadness, or just became totally entranced in a cocoon of empathy. I’ve found it exceedingly difficult to put the book down. End note: there were also Goddess musings, Craft and God lore, NROOGD ritual text, and much much more. Good show Aidan! Good buy!Merri-Todd Webster on December 5, 2012
Aidan Kelly said years ago, when Margot Adler interviewed him for her book Drawing Down the Moon, that the Goddess desires poets, not true believers, in her service. Kelly collects four decades of service to the Lady in this volume; his work is romantic, philosophical, pagan, skeptical, mystical. If you tire of poetry about treeless midwestern vistas or hardworking fathers with callused hands, poetry that’s narrowly focused on the poet’s personal history, give Kelly’s work a try. (P.S. He also has a blog.)
By william newmoon on May 27, 2014
This is an interweaving of American Witches claiming their being within the tapestry of the Otherworld. It is a history of their efforts to birth a philosophy and religion and operative Witchcraft in America. I endorse Aidan A. Kelly; he has done his work well.
[Some reviewers of Tapestry complained that it wasn’t as much fun to read as Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon or Chas Clifton’s Her Hidden Children. No, it’s not, because it is primarily a reference book. Margot was and Chas is an old friend, and I too loved their books—but they were not what I think a history ought to be: chronologically organized (as far as possible, considering that everything in the Craft in America is entwined with everything else) and citing the primary documents as much as possible; so that is what I have tried to do with Tapestry, Vol I, and will continue to do with Volumes II and III. I have heard through the grapevine that some sagacious persons are already using Tapestry as a source for their theses and dissertations. Yes, that is exactly what I have hoped for.]
Goddess Murder: A Tale of Love, Witches, and Gnostics by Aidan A. Kelly,
By william newmoon on October 22, 2013
If any work can be considered a writer’s Magnum Opus, this is definitely his! Anyone familiar with his poetry, and his histories of modern Witchcraft, and how creative that musing Craft can be, will see immediately, he has gone just a huge bit farther in this book. Quite a bit beyond Extreme Left of Eden! Below GODDESS MURDER on the cover, it says: A Tale Of Love, Witches, And Gnostics – yep, plain, to the point – get ready for a trip. Aradia is alive and well in America.
I am grateful for Mr. Newmoon’s good opinion of this novel. It is no longer available, because it, and what I had thought would be a companion volume, The Books of the Sacred Marriage, have been synthesized into Aradia and the Books of the Sacred Marriage, which the Muse insisted that I complete as the novel as I had envisioned 20 years ago. Still, it has the same subtitle, and what Mr. Newmoon likes about Goddess is even more so in Aradia. Aradia will have two companion volunes: The Road of Excess, which will be primarily autobiographical, and Principia Metanoia, primarily philosophical. My hope is that this trilogy will be my Magnum Opus. Per aspera ad astra.