Download Embracing the Witch and the Goddess: Feminist Ritual-Makers by Kathryn Rountree PDF

By Kathryn Rountree

Embracing the Witch and the Goddess is an in depth survey of present-day feminist witches in New Zealand. It examines the appeal of witchcraft for its practitioners, and explores witches' rituals, perspectives and ideology approximately how magic works. The e-book offers an in depth portrait of an undocumented component to the growing to be neo-pagan stream, and compares the designated personality of latest Zealand witchcraft with its opposite numbers within the usa, nice Britain, and Australia.Kathryn Rountree strains the emergence and background of feminist witchcraft, and hyperlinks witchcraft with the modern Goddess circulate. She studies scholarly techniques at the learn of witchcraft and bargains with the most important debates that have engaged the movement's adherents and their critics, and eventually offers what Mary Daly declared used to be lacking from so much historic and anthropological examine on witchcraft: a 'Hag-identified vision'.Based on fieldwork among witch practitioners, Embracing the Witch and the Goddess is a vital contribution to the rising profile of present-day witchcraft and paganism.

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Extra resources for Embracing the Witch and the Goddess: Feminist Ritual-Makers in New Zealand

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At the beginning of this chapter I suggested that one reason why most historians and anthropologists have approached the study of witchcraft in the ways that they have is that they do not believe ‘real’ witches exist or have ever existed. One might further suggest that this is because of the ultimate survival of the ‘wicked witch’ myth over the goddess-following, nighttraveller myth. We know that the wicked witch stereotype was a cultural construction and that there were never real women who conformed to the stereotype.

In some societies, for example the Effutu, 18 APPROACHES TO WITCHCRAFT the Banyang and the Ashanti of West Africa, this projection on to an individual is powerful enough to induce the suspected ‘witch’ to confess (Jackson 1989: 93). While academics have interpreted the witch as ‘other’ in relation to her own society, as a marginalized or deviant individual, they have themselves also treated the witch as ‘other’ by choosing to focus on witch-accusers or on social relationships between witches and their accusers, rather than on witches themselves.

Despite this range of popular meanings, Thomas himself chooses to restrict the term ‘witch’ to those accused of acting out of malevolence towards others. In doing so he conforms to the authoritative academic definition of witchcraft, but narrows the term from how the people of the day, by his own admission, defined it. Almost 30 years later ‘traditional witchcraft’ is still being defined in solely negative terms: ‘Traditional witchcraft is centred around harm’, writes de Blécourt (1999: 151). Like most historians, anthropologists have tended to concern themselves with understanding the nature of beliefs about witches and with the relationship between accuser and accused (Marwick 1970).

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