About Witchcraft




Notes and Citations



[i] A great deal of information and text from the article Modern Witchcraft by Richard G. Howe has been gratefully used in creating this article. Mr. Howe's original article is available at http://www.equip.org/articles/modern-witchcraft/ and is highly recommended as a fair comparison of witchcraft and Christianity.



[ii] Brooks Alexander, Witchcraft Goes Mainstream: Uncovering Its Alarming Impact on You and Your Family (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2004), 23.



[iii] The question of the origin and history of modern witchcraft is complicated. According to some researchers, Gerald Gardner (1884–1964) is almost single-handedly responsible for the modern phenomenon we now know as witchcraft. Whether Gardner invented or rediscovered the religion is disputed. For discussions on the matter, see Brooks Alexander's work cited in endnote 2; Ronald Hutton, Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); Jenny Gibbons, "Recent Developments in the Study of The Great European Witch Hunt," CoGWeb, http://www.cog/org/witch_hunt.html. For a response to earlier versions of Hutton's arguments, see D. H. Frew, "Methodological Flaws in Recent Studies of Historical and Modern Witchcraft," Ethnologies 1 (1998): 33–65. For Hutton's rejoinder to Frew, see Ronald Hutton, "Paganism and Polemic: The Debate over the Origins of Modern Pagan Witchcraft," Folklore (April 2000), http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2386/is_1_111/ai_62685559. Alexander concludes: "There has been no passing down of any tradition from medieval witches to anyone in our own time. There is no identifiable continuity between the witchcraft of the Middle Ages and the modern-day religious movement that bears the same name." (Alexander, Witchcraft Goes Mainstream, 127.) This is not to say, however, that there is no continuity between some of the concepts of modern witchcraft and ancient religions. As Donald Frew observes, "There is a genuine antiquity to many of the core theological concepts and linked liturgical practices, and…there is a traceable path of transmission from Classical antiquity down to the modern movement, but…this is not the same thing as a continually practicing group." (Donald Frew, e-mail interview by Richard G. Howe, October31,2004.)



[iv] For a defense of the role of natural law in the birth of the United States of America see Gary T. Amos, Defending the Declaration: How the Bible and Christianity Influenced the Writing of the Declaration of Independence (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth and Hyatt Publishers, 1989). For an examination of natural law theory in pluralistic America see Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, Legislating Morality: Is It Wise? Is It Legal? Is It Possible? (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1998) and Carl Horn, ed., Whose Values? The Battle for Morality in Pluralistic America (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1985).



[v] Scott Cunningham, The Truth about Witchcraft Today (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1988), 17.



[vi] Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, rev. and exp. ed. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986), ix.



[vii] Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess (San Francisco: Harper and Row Publishers, 1979), 14.



[viii] Donald H. Frew, "Pagans in Interfaith Dialogue: New Faiths, New Challenges," CoGWeb, http://www.cog.org/pwr/ don.htm.



[ix] Adler, ix.



[x] Janet and Stewart Farrar, A Witches Bible Compleat: Principles, Rituals and Beliefs of Modern Witchcraft, rev. ed. (New York: Magickal Childe, 1987), 2:135.



[xi] Shelley Rabinovitch and James Lewis, The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism (New York: Citadel Press, 2002), s.v. "Neo-Satanism Compared and Contrasted with Neo-Paganism," 185–86, emphasis in original.



[xii] See, e.g., Gavin Frost and Yvonne Frost, The Magic Power of Witchcraft (West Nyack, NY: Parker Publishing, 1976), 130.



[xiii] Farrar, 2:33.



[xiv] Adler, vii.



[xv] The emphasis on the God and the Goddess stems from witchcraft's worldview of the interplay in reality of opposites that seek balance. The Farrars explain, "All activity, all manifestation arises [sic] from (and is inconceivable without) the interaction of pairs and complementary opposites." (A Witches Bible Compleat, 2:107.)



[xvi] Adler, viii.



[xvii] The Bible, e.g., Ps.19:1 and Rom.1:20



[xviii] Frew, "Pagans in Interfaith Dialogue."



[xix] Cunningham, 65.



[xx] Frew, "Pagans in Interfaith Dialogue."