Author: Loretta Orion
Publisher: Waveland Press
Publication date: January 1995
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I acquired this book from a very unlikely source, a Catholic friend at work. She and I have been friends now for 4 years, and is the only person outside of my immediate family who knows of my beliefs and truly accepts and embraces our differences, and similarities.
This book was written from the unusual perspective of the anthropological study, but from the viewpoint of the Wiccan/Neopagan, not from those who fear and revile that which is different. Only recently have anthropologists begun to explore through ethnographic methods subcultures within their own societies. This is causing a change in the way anthropologists approach their projects. No longer are they content to observe from without, but rather to become part of the culture that they study, and to participate in all of its aspects. As a result, Ms. Orion has become a member of the Minoan Sisterhood, and has become a valued member of our community.
This is not an easy read. For a young Witch or Neopagan who has no basic understanding of or grounding in anthropology, history, religion, cultural revitalization, or medicine, it would be quite boring and difficult. If you can make it through the first three chapters, there are many pearls of wisdom that I found helped me to better understand ritual and the overall creative process of those of us dedicated to the Goddess. This is a scholarly work, with great insight into the kinds of persons drawn to the Neopagan/Wiccan paths. It provides a very basic comparison between what I personally call "Structured" and "Non-Structured" paths.
She provides an enlightening overview of Gardnerian ("Structured") tradition and examines the Americanized versions of our Craft ("Non-Structured"). Ms. Orion has given me a greater insight into the depth of the path I have chosen, political, feminine, eclectic, ever changing, evolving. I very much liked this book, but it is not for everyone.
Reviewed by WhiteWitch