History

A History of Pagan Europe

Prudence Jones & Nigel Pennick
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This book gives a very nice overview of Pagan cultures throughout Europe, and despite its broad subject matter it manages to provide the reader with a good amount of detail on each topic. The authors have managed to keep their writing interesting and enjoyable to read whilst presenting a balanced and well-researched account of these old European Pagan cultures. This book would do well on your bookshelf as a guide to ancient Paganism with less bias and fewer inaccuracies than you will find in many other works.

Meaning of Witchcraft, The

Gerald Gardner
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This is a book which everyone should have on their bookshelf. This is Gardner’s explanation of the roots of witchcraft, from the stone age on to the future. While many people have criticised Gardner’s writings as being pure invention on his part, this book cannot be that easily disregarded. Even if the content is nothing more than a product of Gardner’s imagination, it’s valuable because of the importance which has been placed on it through Wicca, and because of the insight it gives you into Gardner himself.

Pickingill Papers, The

W. E. Liddell
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This is a collection of letters written by Bill Liddell which appeared in The Wiccan and The Cauldron between 1974 and 1994. They are accompanied by a commentary from Michael Howard, and have provoked a lot of controversy because of Liddell’s claim to have been associated with George Pickingill, and assertion that Pickingill had inducted Crowley into the Craft, and that in turn Crowey had passed this information on to Gardner, helping him write his Book of Shadows. Find this book and read it for yourself to make your mind up.

Rebirth of Witchcraft, The

Doreen Valiente
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This is a great history book if you want to learn more about the birth of Wicca, and the people involved in its inception. Valiente presents detailed accounts of individuals like Gerald Gardner, Alex Sanders and Aleister Crowley, as well as people you may not yet have heard of. She traces the rise of Wicca, covering the accompanying publicity as well as the off-shoot traditions. You should definitely buy this book for the valuable insights Valiente gives us into the early days and important people of Wicca, as well as the insight you get, through this entertaining and well-written book, into the lady herself.

Triumph of the Moon, The

Ronald Hutton
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This is the definitive book on the history of Wicca. Giving extensively researched information throughout, Hutton explores the factors that led to the creation of the religion, the sources which Gardner drew upon, and the forces which have shaped Wicca into the religion it is today.

Witches: A Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Killing of Women

Evelyn Heinemann
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Heinemann is a psychologist and a professor at the University of Mainz, in Germany. This book is a nice exploration of the Burning Times from an objective, scholarly viewpoint, covering the causes and facts of the witch hunts without indulging in emotive ‘see what they did to us’ arguments.

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