By Kathryn Rountree
Embracing the Witch and the Goddess is a close survey of present-day feminist witches in New Zealand. It examines the appeal of witchcraft for its practitioners, and explores witches' rituals, perspectives and ideology approximately how magic works. The publication presents an in depth portrait of an undocumented part of the starting to be neo-pagan circulation, and compares the distinct personality of recent Zealand witchcraft with its opposite numbers within the usa, nice Britain, and Australia.Kathryn Rountree strains the emergence and heritage of feminist witchcraft, and hyperlinks witchcraft with the modern Goddess circulation. She reports scholarly ways at the research of witchcraft and offers with the major debates that have engaged the movement's adherents and their critics, and eventually offers what Mary Daly declared used to be lacking from so much ancient and anthropological examine on witchcraft: a 'Hag-identified vision'.Based on fieldwork among witch practitioners, Embracing the Witch and the Goddess is a crucial contribution to the rising profile of present-day witchcraft and paganism.
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Extra info for Embracing the Witch and the Goddess: Feminist Ritual-Makers in New Zealand
These groups are rooted in Wicca, but are often more open about their practices, less hierarchical in their organization, and more creative and spontaneous in their rituals than traditional Wiccan covens. 35 FEMINISTS AND WITC HES Starhawk emphasizes that the witches’ God is very different from the Christian God and ‘is radically different from any other image of masculinity in our culture’ (1989: 108). He is the Hunter, the Dying God, the God of Love, Lord of the Dance, the Sun Child, untamed yet sacred sexuality, wild, free, gentle and tender.
The implicit logic is that if beliefs about witches are not real, witches are not real either – this despite the fact that, as Jackson (1989: 96) points out, ‘general beliefs about witchcraft and particular experiences of selfconfessed witches are seldom congruent’. Even where a witch confesses to having been instrumental in causing some misfortune, the anthropological interpretation has tended towards functionalism, focusing on the interpersonal relationships between the confessor and members of her society in order to explain why an individual would make such a claim.
The early Christians, understandably, saw the powerful, ubiquitous Artemis/ Diana as a threat to Christianity and eventually, over a number of centuries, her worship declined as Christianity increased its power in Europe. The subjugation of Diana, goddess of the wilderness, is interpreted by Duerr as symbolizing the growth and dominance of the increasingly complex civilization of Renaissance Europe. Since pre-Christian times, there had been those situated metaphorically on the boundary between civilization and the wilderness who had developed their ability to cross the line at times (Duerr 1985: 45).