The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft ePUB –

Huttonor less aproached the book as an unbiased historian instead of going out of his way to critique Wicca Although just stating the facts in itself makes wicca look silly I d recomend reading this book As much as I dislike Wicca the history and evolution of it is interesting Wiccas roots are in freemasonry, crowleyish occult b.s and well meaning but flawed writers like Yeats, Frazer and Graves Once you get past where its roots lie it gets even worse Wicca has absolutely nothing to do with true Heathenry Itsor less a bunch of made up crap I look at Wiccans as borderline retarded goofballs and roleplayers I don t spend much time worrying or thinking about them, but I hate that most peoples perceptions of Celtic Heathenry comes from wiccan non sense and that they are making inroads into the Asatru community. Well, I wrote quite a long winded and spoiler ish review here in lieu of copy pasting I ll just say I loved this book not as much as Stations of the Sun which I just about revere but it s so excellent at giving an extremely rigorous account of how current WooWiccans got to where they are It also respectfully gives plenty of space for people trying to practice Paganism realistically without the Woo Which I found rather wonderful of him Gave muchcredence to everything he said, because he was always respectful and considerate, even tearing down possibly dearly held beliefs.Was glad to see that there are a lot of modern witches who completely understand the real and actual history and still practice and believe No harm in it at all.Also vastly relieved to see so many people in the reviews here to reject all the woocrap that s been passed around since those damn Romantic poets I can t give a clear recommendation for this book It seems to be rather fixated on refuting an absolute connection from old pagan religion towards neopaganism On the very narrow line the author follows that refutation can be justified, and for that I suppose it has some use.On the other hand it tends to ignore broader connections that are the source of some of the revivification of older religions Traditional dances, carnivals that have figures associated with pagan diety, and symbols that survive.Instead the author attempts to connect the whole mess through an odd tradition of cunning men While seeming to ignore both Helenist Roman influences and local tribal religions. Terribly interesting to read in it s own right, this book will level the head of any new neo pagans and aspiring witches Follow it up with Drawing Down the Moon and you ll have your spiritual cap screwed on tight enough to withstand the sea of occult books out there that seek to do little beyond part you with your money I wish this book was around when I was a teen This isn t to say I wish I hadn t become a pagan or that I regret any of my past But a scholarly shot in the arm would have prevented the let down I experienced as the realities of what magick really is and the real history of modern paganism unfolded. An interesting look at the influences and currents prior to, and their culmination in, the developments of modern pagan witchcraft In Great Britain, and somewhat in the United States.The first part I found the most interesting The Victorian writers treatment of pagan gods and goddesses How Minerva and Juno passed out of favor in poetical allusions, and while Diana and Venus kept it, they also turned into goddess of the wild Plus the addition of the Mother Earth only loosely based pagan sources How all the Greek gods popular in early allusions gave way Apollo had a brief upsurge, only to give way and how Pan rose to prominence.The continuation of high magic traditions from the Renaissance and earlier, and their mutations the pentagram only acquired a definite meaning in the middle of the Middle Ages, and there it was divine, and a protection from evil spirits.The actual practitioners of folk magic the cunning folk who were expected not only to be literate, but to own books, the charmers who works a simpler magic and generally refused payment and while many accepted gifts, often of food, one was known to reject even thanks on the grounds that healing with his charm was a God given duty.The secret societies, like the Horseman s Word, which arose when draft horses became standard in Britain, and their sometimes conscious diabolism And their claimed ancient roots.And then he dealt with the convergence of all this in a modern matrix Which I found less interesting than the earlier parts, but is full with stuff and facts for thoseinterested in the actual development. If you are interested in witchcraft or paganism then it s a must read for you A highly informative and thoroughly researched book. Here Is A Book That Brings Witchcraft Out Of The Shadows The Triumph Of The Moon Is The First Full Scale Study Of The Only Religion England Has Ever Given The World Modern Pagan Witchcraft, Otherwise Known As Wicca Meticulously Researched, It Provides A Thorough Account Of An Ancient Religion That Has Spread From English Shores Across Four Continents For Centuries, Pagan Witchcraft Has Been Linked With Chilling Images Of Blood Rituals, Ghostlike Druids, And Even Human Sacrifices But While Robert Hutton Explores This Dark Side Of Witchery, He Stresses The Positive, Reminding Us That Devotion To Art, The Natural World, Femininity, And The Classical Deities Are Also Central To The Practice Of Wicca Indeed, The Author Shows How Leading Figures In English Literature WB Yeats, DH Lawrence, And Robert Graves, Just To Name A Few Celebrated These Positive Aspects Of The Religion In Their Work, Thereby Softening The Public Perception Of Witchcraft In Victorian England From Cunning Village Folk To Freemasons And From High Magic To The Black Arts, Hutton Chronicles The Fascinating Process By Which Actual Wiccan Practices Evolved Into What Is Now A Viable Modern Religion He Also Presents Compelling Biographies Of Wicca S Principal Figures, Such As Gerald Gardner, Who Was Inducted Into A Witch Coven At The Age Of , And Recorded Many Clandestine Rituals And Beliefs Ronald Hutton Is Known For His Colorful, Provocative, And Always Thoroughly Researched Studies On Original Subjects This Work Is No Exception It Will Appeal To Anyone Interested In Witchcraft, Paganism And Alternative Religions Ronald Hutton s The Triumph of the Moon A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft turned out to be a fascinating read I found the first half especially interesting, where he traced the various strands such as the revival of ritual magic, Theosophy, the increasing interest in ancient paganism, the survival of traditional magical practices like charms emerged during the nineteenth century and then came together in the 20th to form what was effectively a new religion The second half then traces the actual histories of the various strands in modern pagan witchcraft, and the various personalities involved I m told that not all pagans were happy with this book, but it really seems to me to be extremely sympathetic to its subject matter Although Hutton argues that many of the beliefs about the history of this religion held by its adherents are dubious or even fanciful, he still seems to have a great deal of respect for witchcraft I was especially intrigued by the account of the complex and very mixed relation betweens witches and the mass media back in the 1950s and 1960s And the stuff about the cunning folk in the 19th century was absolutely wonderful it s something I knew nothing whatever about An exceptionally well written, stimulating and interesting book. This is the near definitive account of the new religions that emerged, largely from the UK, in the last century Hutton is sympathetic but rigorously academic, and has swept away the traditionalist claims of some founders whilst ensuring respect and dignity for practitioners It is the founding text for understanding the context for any further reading in this field. Intruigued by Mr Hutton s assertion that Wicca meaning the wiseones is the first all British religion given to the world, I approached his book The Triumph of the Moon as my first serious study of Wicca and Witchcraft with an objective attitude and without any preconceived perspectives on the matter As anyone who has read any Hutton will already know, his books are academic, copiously refferenced and invariably not a light read.Of The Origins of Modern Perspectives On Wichcraft, Wicca and Paganism In Britain Restricting his research to Great Britain, the book opens with an exploration of prevailing attitudes towards Paganism in the late 19th early 20thC, asserting that Wiccan belief and practice owe much to the scholars, novelists and poets who resurrected Pan and the Goddess in the Victorian and Edwardian culture, and identifiying the four key perspectives of the period First, a belief that all Pagans, both of European prehistory and of contemporary tribal peoples represented a religious expression of humanity s ignorance and savagery Second, that derived from the religion and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome, the Pagans were noble and admirable people but essentially remained inferior to Christianity in their ethics and spiritual values Third, that some writers considered Paganism superior to Christianity, being a life affirming and joyous alternative approach to religion which respects all of nature and seeks to integrate our lives with it.Fourth, that a number of thinkers, writers and poets with connections to the Romantic movement such as Shelley, Leigh Hunt and Thomas Love Peacock, considered Paganism a remnant of a great universal religion of the distant past, elements of which were to be found in all the major religions practice by civilized humanity, from which contemporary NeoPaganism is descended Hutton then explored in greater depth the various strands of Romantic literary Paganism, the Frazerian Anthropology, Folklorism, Freemasonry, Theosophy, the revival of Ritual Magic and of Ceremonial magic, Thelema, and Woodcraft Chivalry, among others.I found his research into the varieties of Cunning Folk and other groups including The Toadmen still around in 1938 and a Masonic styled secret society called The Horseman s Word in the 19th century to be particularly enjoyable and informative reading.To introduce them briefly, the Cunning Folk were professional or semi professional practitioners of magic active from at least the fifteenth up until the early twentieth century who practiced folk magic also known as low magic although often combined this with elements of high or ceremonial magic In earlier times, the witch s power to harm people, livestock, and crops was greatly feared for this reason country people consulted with the Cunning Men and Wise Women who had the power to negate their spells with counter magic Cunning folk practitioners were also consulted for love spells, to find lost property or missing persons, exorcise ghosts and banish evil spirits.Ronald Hutton suggests that the Cunning Craft , rather than dying out, had changed character by being subsequently absorbed into other magical currents.The decline of the cunning craft in Britain was not however indicative of other European nations in Italy for example, cunning practitioners continued operating right into the early twenty first century.Nevertheless, the author portrays that through the increasing interest in ancient Paganism and survival of traditional magical practices like charms during the 19thC, there came about in the 20thC what ammounts to a new religion.Of The Rise of Modern Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism in Britain The second half of this book traces in greater depth the modern history of that new religion, of Paganism and Wicca, with particular focus on Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions of Wicca and examines the personalities involved in launching modern pagan witchcraft, including Gerald Gardner, Sanders, Valiente, the Crowthers, Pickingill and others Hutton says that Wicca was introduced by Gerald Gardener in the mid to late 1950 s shortly after Britain repealed their anti witchcraft laws Gardener had claimed that he became acquainted with a group of Rosicrucian actors who introduced him to an ancient surviving craft and that Dorothy Clutterbuck, their priestess, initiated him into their coven However, Hutton also argues that Wicca s origins go well beyond Gardener claiming that Gardener was influenced not only by Ancient Hinduism following his period of civil service in India, but also a diverse collection of sources including 17th and 18th century fraternal organizations, 19th century esoteric societies including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ordo Templi Orientis and Freemasonry from whom he borrowed Wicca s ritual structure, initiations, handshakes and passwords The author makes clear that Gardener also derived inspiration and some practises from the Occultist Aleister Crowley and Romantic literary authors including Yeats, Frazer and Graves as well as the Back To Nature movement Despite Gardener s claimed introduction to an older craft group which Hutton points out is contested, and because of Gardener s own subsequent gathering of sources and resources such as The Book Of Shadows, his forming of Covens and publicising of his new organisation, Gardener is nevertheless portrayed as the founding father of modern Wicca Whilst this early NeoPaganism may appear a socially or politically subversive movement, particulalry becuase of its secrecy and the reversal of cultural norms such as that some aspects of ritual were to be carried out naked, the point is made that at this stage the movement was not of a socialy minded reactionary nature at all Several of its founding figures were deeply conservative and politically Conservative , and their quarrel was not with social and economic status quo, but rather against the unnaturalness and destruction of traditional patterns of life and societies deep involvement with nature that characterized the rising industrial modernity.On the one hand then Hutton appears to make the argument that early modern Pagan Witchcraft did not stem from any unbroken lines of sucession and does not reprsent a survival of ancient forms of indigenous religious practise, but equivocally he also states that various forms of earlier practise such as the Cunning Craft, Wise Women and others had been subsummed and evolved into the new forms of neo Paganism and WiccaOf the Modern World View and American Feminist Remodeling of Paganism and Wicca Moving on to consider therecent developments in Wicca and Paganism, Hutton presents the modern world phenomenon of Witchcraft and of Paganism as having developed in Great Britain and been exported to USA where they were taken up by feminist pagans who massively popularised the concepts as well as imbued them with asocialistic communal minded orientation After this socialization the author says a new and improved Wicca made the jump back across the pond to England in the early 1980 s, that Paganism and Wicca have returned with greater prominence and popularity to Great Britain in large part via the books of such authors as Starhawk, Z Budapest and others who have provided a number of self initiation and guide books for the growing number of solitary practiotioners or hedge witches Hutton portrays then the development of an essentially a politically conservative religious movement evolving into a liberal progressive movement prioritisng feminist issues, promoting a progressive social policy, and advocating self help group therapies The author rounds out his voluminous research with an interesting personal account of what in his view the principle precepts of modern Paganism and Wicca entail.Of the Authors Conjectural Conclusions And Their Ultimate Uncertainty Despite the apparent academic objectivity of Ronald Hutton s research which I have thoroughly enjoyed in a number of his studies, I found in this work an ambivalence and lack of clear resolution on a number of occassions Mr Hutton seems to present an evidence based case as far as it would go and then implies the ensuing conjcture without the definitive evidence for the the implied conclusions, a practise which he points out in others as imaginative if accademically erroneous I find myself further intruigued by such deft footwork from an academic author and because of these missgivings I have looked about for other reviewers opinions Of the many such reviews that I found among those who were not too overwhelmed, like myself, by all the cross refferences and closely written and basically bewildering panoramic scope of fine details, some appear to see the wood through the trees, claiming that the authors main pitch in this work, that Wicca and NeoPaganism do not carry any unbroken lineage to antiquity, are partisan perspectives that the author has impelled his evidence to support These views of Ronald Hutton as expressed in The Triumph Ogf The Moon have then provoked a certain ammount of debate from both sides of the camp so to speak In response to such perspectives, Hutton frequently hints that there isto this story, but states that without definitive evidence we cannot be sure and then proceeds present to his own conjectured conclusion almost as a definitive orthodoxy.Of The Debate over Authorial Objectivity in The Triumph Of The Moon For a balanced review of The Triumph Of The Moon, I have include a few quotes here from a well argued case against Ronald Hutton s conjecture that there is no ancient lineage of Witchcraft or Paganism in Britain, from the author of the website e g r e g o r e s under the title of The Recantations of Ronald Hutton In Triumph of the Moon, Ronald Hutton triumphantly claimed that the whole notion of the Old Religion had been swept away by a tidal wave of researchHutton had spent a decade studying the question of the relationship between modern Paganism and ancient forms of religionHutton had reached the conclusion that no such relationship existed whatsoever, and that no one could be taken seriously who believed otherwise, explicitly including anyone who so much as suggest ed that there might be some truth in the notion of the Old Religion.The only problem was that the whole time Hutton had, now by his own admission, been systematically ignoring certain types of ancient religion which just so happened to be precisely the ones which most closely resembled modern Paganism, had certainly influenced it, and had certain linear connections with it And why did he ignore the one place he should have been looking all along Because it was in every sense marginal to my own preoccupations Hutton was by his own admission preoccupied then with his own proposition that the paganism of today has virtually nothing in common with that of the past except the name In Conclusion As I have previously held no particular view over the ancient lineage claims for Witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism in Great Britain, and their authenticity or lack thereof, and because I have followed a largely intuitive path similar perhaps to that of a Hedge Druid in my relative independance of groups and traditions as regards my own awareness of Pagan and nature reverencing issues and of what I shall term Supernature and its apprehension in daily life, I have found this volume to be informative, enjoyable and unexpectedly provocative That there ensues some degree of partisan prejudice was almost to be expected, as the wider public may still hold various oppositional perspectives based on an until recently dominant Christian cultural ideology and its ensuing missinformation against Paganism and Witchcraft in particular That such views should apparently inform an objective academic in his choice of how to handle his subject matter is not a question that I am well enough equipped to consider I would surmise however by saying that I have learnt a lot by reading this work, both within the tome itself and further by becoming aware of sensible and informed dissent without For all of these reasons I recommend this study to any who would consider the origins and developments of Witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism in modern Britain today, with the caveat that there may indeed beto this story thn meets the eye or is rpresented here.So Mote It Be