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History of the Craft
A person cannot
function effectively without having a memory. History is the memory of a
culture. So we work to gain a historical understanding and perspective of
Paganism in general, Wicca in general, and eventually Gardnerianism in
When researching general pagan history, there are plenty of bits that we find
in history books, like "it was
considered bad and pagan to picnic in a cemetery" that make little sense,
unless you happen to have the background knowledge
to understand them. We study history to understand how the different
aspects of the Craft have expressed themselves over time, and see how we
are still connected. This is a step toward being able to access those
Historical Reading Materials
- Images of the Past This actually is a college text,
we got our first copy from the University of Minnesota Libarary. This takes us
from prehistory to early man.
- History of Religious Ideas Part 1 by Eliade We
only use part 1 of this three volume work because the other two parts go very
much into Christian thought.
- History of Pagan Europe by Nigel Pennick.
Unusually for him, it's on the dry side.
- Witchcraft and the Shamanic Journey (formerly North Star Road)
by Kenneth Johnson. It is good, and touches on a lot of
perennial motifs, but jumps around a lot.
Historical Applications (oh yes, field trips :)
Meet other Pagans and eventually
other Gardnerians. Travel across the country, meet the elders and talk with
them. There are some really wonderful people out there that it has been a
great honor, as well as really fun, to meet and spend time with. This will
include trips to museums to look at historical and Craft-related items.
Historical Homework: The history of you
The primary paper here will be for you to research an in-depth overveiw of
some specific religious path (pagan or not) that you have roots connecting to.
Explore your family tree (most have a surprising number of branchings) and
get to know one of the paths that your people practiced. This forms a starting
point for a lot of interesting things.