Triumph of the Moon

By Ronald Hutton
Holy crap, I finally finished it. Never thought I’d see the day. Now, don’t get me wrong: I really like this book. It should be required reading by anyone looking to call themselves Wiccan, maybe even anyone looking to call themselves pagan at all. There’s so much misinformation out there about the history of Western Witchcraft that it’d do some real good if more people read this book.
But ye gods, it’s dense as all get out. The type is tiny, the paragraphs are long, the language is complex. Hutton has a delightful dry wit, which I quite enjoyed, but this isn’t the sort of book you curl up with for a few relaxing hours. It’s slow going. Fascinating, but not at all a quick read.
Anyway. Hutton traces the modern pagan movement in the UK back to its roots and examines what, exactly, its actual history is. Lots of good stuff here, though fans of the “OMG, once upon a time, everyone was MATRIARCHAL and it was UTOPIA and then evil MEN came along and wrecked it all, and all the witches went into hiding until Gerald Gardener brought the tradition back into the public eye! NEVER AGAIN THE BURNING TIMES!” history may be rather distressed to find that’s a load of hooey.
Interestingly, Hutton’s dissection of the actual history behind Wicca and other modern pagan traditions doesn’t negate their spiritual validity at all, just the validity of the histories people like telling. Good stuff.
Book 3 in 2009.

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