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Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  6,294 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
Now fully revised-the classic study of Neo-Paganism

Almost thirty years since its original publication, Drawing Down the Moon continues to be the only detailed history of the burgeoning but still widely misunderstood Neo- Pagan subculture. Margot Adler attended ritual gatherings and interviewed a diverse, colorful gallery of people across the United States, people who fin
Paperback, 672 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Penguin Books (first published 1979)
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May 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Don't read this ('86) edition. Get the '06 version.
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 i ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pagan-related
I am sure there are far better reviews out there for this book than I could write but I'll say that you can believe the hype about this book. I had heard about this for many years but never actually took the time to read it and boy do I feel silly now after completing it. This is probably one of the best resources for Pagans and non-Pagans alike in terms of accurately representing the cultural resurgence of Goddess and Nature oriented religions. After reading this I truly feel proud to call myse ...more
Cathy Douglas
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A clearly written history of paganism in America, including witches, druids, heathens and the whole ungainly lot of us. The book was first published in 1979, and has undergone a couple major updates. I could wish that the revisions were better incorporated, but it would be almost impossible to keep up with the rate of change in the pagan community. She's made a fair attempt to keep current; still, half the internet links I looked up are now defunct. Some of the groups she covers in-depth sound p ...more
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's important to get the most currently updated version. I found the references section to be one of the most useful. It's not a "how to" book, or a B.O.S, it's more of a social study of paganism, the culture, history, beliefs, etc... It's definitely a worthwhile read, but it can be a difficult read. There is a lot of useful information to be found in it. As I said before, definitely get the most updated version you can find.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This gets 5 stars for influence.

A couple of years prior to this read I had a spontaneous spiritual emergency as I came out of a meditation sitting in the sand at Alki Beach in Seattle.

I was familiar by this time with Starhawk and Reclaiming and had met people at the pagan bookstores and had taken a class or two with some pagans.

This book was a matter of fact reading about who's who in the pagan subculture, some history and an introduction to paganism in general. I liked that it was a survey of a
This kinda felt like reading an NPR episode, which is fitting because Adler was a host. Sometimes the book dragged, but there were some really intriguing parts of the book, I particularly liked Adler's reflections, and the reflections and opinions of Devlin.

I read the most recent edition of Drawing Down the Moon, and I'm glad I did, as it would have been really out dated had I read a second hand edition. This edition allows the reader to see where Adler views the craft in 2006, compared to wher
Abigail Gustafson
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very thorough and comprehensive history and detailed explanations about all things Pagan. I found it really interesting and enlightening, as well as inspiring me, and confirming my dedication to uniting feminist, environmental, and political initiatives to restore balance and harmony to the earth.
You'll definitely have to be committed to this book though since it is quite long and not necessarily the easiest read. I read it over the course of a few months which allowed me to think about and dwel
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spritituality
An excellent look at alternative spiritual paths in contemporary America that are inspired by ancient pagan practices.
Steve Cran
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a classic, written in the 1980’s and has had several editions put out later. Due to the age of the book there may have been many developments in the Pagan arena , so some of the information might still seem dated. The authoress herself passed away on July 28, 2014.


Since Gerald Gardner birth the modern witchcraft revival, the Witch Craft Pagan community has grown by leaps and bounds. The most popular facet of the Pagan movement is the growth of Wicca, Gerald’s child. The face of the
Chris Godwin
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and became inspired by some solid arguments for a case against monotheism, which I hope to use to help produce a sound theory around. One thing I found interesting was that Margo Adler supports the idea that monotheism, as a minority practice, has been with humanity since the inception of religion.

I was really surprised how much of the Wiccan myth I didn’t know about. Authors like Margaret Murray and works like Aradia were unknown to me before I read this book. I didn’
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