The Meaning of Witchcraft

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Thought to be the father of modern witchcraft, Gerald Gardner published The Meaning of Witchcraft in 1959, not long after laws punishing witches were repealed. It was the first sympathetic book written from the point of view of a practicing witch. The Meaning of Witchcraft is an invaluable source book for witches today. Chapters include: Witch's Memories and Beliefs, The Stone Age Origins of Witchcraft, Druidism and the Aryan Celts, Magic Thinking, Curious Beliefs about Witches, Signs and Symbols, The Black Mass, Some Allegations Examined. The Meaning of Witchcraft is a record of witches' roots-and a tribute to a founding pioneer with the courage to set that record straight.
 

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This book discusses many aspects of belief in witchcraft and the naysayers with anecdotal encounters and examples. The bibliography and grounds for further research are likely invaluable for anyone who desires further understanding upon the nature of witchcraft and the persecution of witches. What is truly fascinating is the approach to understanding the nature of the waves of action against witchcraft and the discussion of its hardiness. Although there are likely more current books upon the subject for the latter decades, this is a worthy starting point. It sheds light on many misunderstandings and misinterpretations, as well as their sources. 

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Contents

THE WITCH CULT IN BRITAIN
1
WITCHES MEMORIES AND BELIEFS
15
THE STONE AGE ORIGINS OF WITCHCRAFT
29
SOME RELIGIOUS IDEAS OF EARLY BRITAIN
39
DRUIDISM AND THE ARYAN CELTS
57
WITCHCRAFT IN ROMAN AND SAXON TIMES
69
MAGIC THINKING
83
MAGIC THINKING CONTINUED
97
THE BLACK MASS
169
SOME ALLEGATION EXAMINED PART I
195
SOME ALLEGATION EXAMINED PART II
207
SOME ALLEGATION EXAMINED PART III
213
THE FUTURE
237
THE MAGICAL LEGEND OF THE WITCHES
245
THE STEDINGERS
247
SIGNIFICANT DATES IN THE HISTORY OF THE WITCH CULT WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO BRITAIN
251

WHY?
111
CURIOUS BELIEFS ABOUT WITCHES
135
WHO WERE THE GODS OF BRITAIN?
143
SIGNS AND SYMBOLS
157
THE FORGERIES OF THE CANON EPISCOPI AND THE MALLEUS MALEFICARUM
259
APPENDIX V
267
BIBLIOGRAPHY
269
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Gerald Brosseau Gardner (1884-1964) has been called the father of modern Wicca. His published works are supposedly the teachings of a coven in which he was a member - teachings passed down by word of mouth since early pagan times. Along with his written legacy, he was also the founder of the Museum of Witchcraft.

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