Dfordoom's Reviews > The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft

The Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton
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Apr 20, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in September, 2005

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.
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