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By Kathryn Rountree

Embracing the Witch and the Goddess is an in depth 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 e-book presents an in depth portrait of an undocumented element of the growing to be neo-pagan stream, and compares the distinctive personality of recent Zealand witchcraft with its opposite numbers within the usa, nice Britain, and Australia.Kathryn Rountree strains the emergence and historical past of feminist witchcraft, and hyperlinks witchcraft with the modern Goddess flow. She studies scholarly methods at the examine of witchcraft and offers with the most important debates that have engaged the movement's adherents and their critics, and finally offers what Mary Daly declared was once lacking from so much ancient and anthropological learn 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

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I know at that point Esther Harding, Toni Wolfe and some of those Jungian women had talked about some of those archetypes. We would use goddesses’ names if we knew some, but it was more like exploring different aspects of the feminine was the basis of our model. It was extraordinarily powerful! It was just amazing, I suppose because it was so fresh. Most of us had no idea of the power of those symbols! We would come with these symbols and then, after creating the sacred circle, it was amazing what would come out.

Like an underground movement. And I’m very happy for it to be like that, because that’s the way it will gather its power. (Juliet) When the Sociology Department at the University of Chicago fired a radical feminist professor in 1969, the department was showered with hair-cuttings and nail-clippings by local Chicago witches (Spretnak 1982: 428). On Hallowe’en, the year before, a coven of wand-waving, masked and costumed New York witches converged on Wall Street on the stroke of noon ‘to pit their ancient magic against the evil powers of the Financial District – the center of the Imperialist Phallic Society’ (Morgan 1978: 75).

From the 1950s onward, Wicca spread rapidly. Its central tenets were its equal emphasis on both genders within both the human and divine realms; its celebration of the natural world, the earth’s cycle, personal freedom and pleasure; and its system of initiation and training and inclusive participation of all coven members. In the 1950s Solstices and Equinox celebrations were added to the seasonal calendar to create eight Sabbats. Over time other elements were added to create the broader umbrella religion of Paganism: aspects of Native American religion (totemic animals, vision quests, medicine wheels and sweat lodges) and Hinduism (meditative techniques, mandalas, chakras, and the Third Eye), along with aspects (myths, deities, rituals) of other ancient and indigenous religions.

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