Eli's Reviews > Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and Other Pagans in America Today

Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler
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May 02, 2008

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bookshelves: nonfiction, reading-my-religion, 2008
Recommended for: Don't read this ('86) edition. Get the '06 version.
Read in May, 2008

One of the grandmamma books on modern Paganism. There's a lot of fascinating history in this book, but it's much more of a snapshot of 1979 Pagan America and England, plus a tiny bit of updating for the new edition. But the new stuff felt less like the reconsidering the subject deserves and more like "where are they now?" tack-ons to the original material. Many of the groups Adler profiled originally have dwindled or died entirely, and several groups and movements I know were active in '86 are ignored completely. Adler's psychological bias comes through strongly, as well. She gives primacy to the archetypal/metaphorical interpretation of deity, where the majority of Pagans I know are adamant that their gods are real. Might Adler have leaned toward the psychological interpretation even when her interviewees didn't espouse it? Or might she have been looking for people who had that interpretation from the beginning? This is an important book in the history of modern Western Paganism, and I respect it for that, but I don't consider it the indespensible read it might have been when it was first published in 1979. Maybe if I'd had the 2006 edition instead of the 1986 edition, I would've been more impressed.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Lundgren anderson We have so many resources now. You are right though, it is a great review of the beginning of the movement!


Bart Everson There's a 2006 edition? Doh! Wish I'd seen this review when you posted it!


message 3: by Eli (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eli Bart wrote: "There's a 2006 edition? Doh! Wish I'd seen this review when you posted it!"Heh, agreed. I wish I'd known the '06 editing existed before I started reading the '86 edition!


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