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  2. The Triumph of the Moon, by Ronald Hutton
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  5. The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft

Wiccas roots are in freemasonry, crowleyish occult b. Once you get past where its roots lie it gets even worse. Wicca has absolutely nothing to Hutton more or less aproached the book as an unbiased historian instead of going out of his way to critique Wicca. Wicca has absolutely nothing to do with true Heathenry. Its more or less a bunch of made up crap.

I look at Wiccans as borderline retarded goofballs and roleplayers. I don't spend much time worrying or thinking about them, but I hate that most peoples perceptions of Celtic Heathenry comes from wiccan non sense and that they are making inroads into the Asatru community. View all 3 comments. Jun 12, Ken rated it it was ok. I can't give a clear recommendation for this book. It seems to be rather fixated on refuting an absolute connection from old pagan religion towards neopaganism. On the very narrow line the author follows that refutation can be justified, and for that I suppose it has some use.

On the other hand it tends to ignore broader connections that are the source of some of the revivification of older religions. Traditional dances, carnivals that have figures associated with pagan diety, and symbols that su I can't give a clear recommendation for this book. Traditional dances, carnivals that have figures associated with pagan diety, and symbols that survive. Instead the author attempts to connect the whole mess through an odd tradition of 'cunning men.

Feb 06, David rated it it was amazing. Terribly interesting to read in it's own right, this book will level the head of any new neo-pagans and aspiring witches. Follow it up with "Drawing Down the Moon" and you'll have your spiritual cap screwed on tight enough to withstand the sea of occult books out there that seek to do little beyond part you with your money. I wish this book was around when I was a teen. This isn't to say I wish I hadn't become a pagan or that I regret any of my past. But a scholarly shot in the arm would have pr Terribly interesting to read in it's own right, this book will level the head of any new neo-pagans and aspiring witches.

But a scholarly shot in the arm would have prevented the let down I experienced as the realities of what magick really is and the real history of modern paganism unfolded. So in lieu of copy-pasting I'll just say I loved this book - not as much as Stations of the Sun which I just about revere but it's so excellent at giving an extremely rigorous account of how current WooWiccans got to where they are. It also respectfully gives plenty of space for people trying to practice Paganism realistically without the Woo.

Which I found rather wonderful of him. Gave much more credence to everything he said, because he was always respectful and considerate, even tearing down possibly dearly held beliefs. Was glad to see that there are a lot of modern witches who completely understand the real and actual history and still practice and believe. No harm in it at all.

Also vastly relieved to see so many people in the reviews here to reject all the woocrap that's been passed around since those damn Romantic poets ; Apr 14, Sundus rated it it was amazing. If you are interested in witchcraft or paganism then it's a must read for you. A highly informative and thoroughly researched book. View 2 comments. Jun 19, Mary Catelli rated it really liked it Shelves: history-modern , folklore. An interesting look at the influences and currents prior to, and their culmination in, the developments of modern pagan witchcraft.

In Great Britain, and somewhat in the United States. The first part I found the most interesting. The Victorian writers treatment of pagan gods and goddesses. How Minerva and Juno passed out of favor in poetical allusions, and while Diana and Venus kept it, they also turned into goddess of the wild. Plus the addition of the Mother Earth only loosely based pagan sourc An interesting look at the influences and currents prior to, and their culmination in, the developments of modern pagan witchcraft. Plus the addition of the Mother Earth only loosely based pagan sources. How all the Greek gods popular in early allusions gave way -- Apollo had a brief upsurge, only to give way -- and how Pan rose to prominence.

The continuation of "high" magic traditions from the Renaissance and earlier, and their mutations -- the pentagram only acquired a definite meaning in the middle of the Middle Ages, and there it was divine, and a protection from evil spirits. The actual practitioners of folk magic -- the cunning folk who were expected not only to be literate, but to own books, the charmers who works a simpler magic and generally refused payment and while many accepted gifts, often of food, one was known to reject even thanks on the grounds that healing with his charm was a God-given duty. The secret societies, like the Horseman's Word, which arose when draft horses became standard in Britain, and their sometimes conscious diabolism.

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And their claimed ancient roots. And then he dealt with the convergence of all this in a modern matrix. Which I found less interesting than the earlier parts, but is full with stuff and facts for those more interested in the actual development. View all 4 comments. Apr 20, Dfordoom rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction.

I found the first half especially interesting, where he traced the various strands — such as the revival of ritual magic, Theosophy, the increasing interest in ancient paganism, the survival of traditional magical practices like charms — emerged during the nineteenth century and then came together in the 20th to form what was effectively a new religion. The second half then traces the actual histories of the various strands in modern pagan witchcraft, and the various personalities involved. Although Hutton argues that many of the beliefs about the history of this religion held by its adherents are dubious or even fanciful, he still seems to have a great deal of respect for witchcraft.

I was especially intrigued by the account of the complex and very mixed relation betweens witches and the mass media back in the s and s. An exceptionally well-written, stimulating and interesting book. Shelves: esoteric , five-star , religion-spiritual , cultural-studies.

This is the near-definitive account of the new religions that emerged, largely from the UK, in the last century. Hutton is sympathetic but rigorously academic, and has swept away the traditionalist claims of some founders whilst ensuring respect and dignity for practitioners. It is the founding text for understanding the context for any further reading in this field.

The Triumph of the Moon, by Ronald Hutton

Mar 23, Titus L rated it really liked it. Intruigued by Mr Hutton's assertion that "Wicca" meaning the wiseones is the first all British religion given to the world, I approached his book The Triumph of the Moon as my first serious study of Wicca and Witchcraft with an objective attitude and without any preconceived perspectives on the matter. As anyone who has read any Hutton will already know, his books are academic, copiously refferenced and invariably not a light read. Of The Origins of Modern Perspectives On Wichcraft, Wicca and P Intruigued by Mr Hutton's assertion that "Wicca" meaning the wiseones is the first all British religion given to the world, I approached his book The Triumph of the Moon as my first serious study of Wicca and Witchcraft with an objective attitude and without any preconceived perspectives on the matter.

Of The Origins of Modern Perspectives On Wichcraft, Wicca and Paganism In Britain; Restricting his research to Great Britain, the book opens with an exploration of prevailing attitudes towards Paganism in the late 19th - early 20thC, asserting that Wiccan belief and practice owe much to the scholars, novelists and poets who resurrected Pan and the Goddess in the Victorian and Edwardian culture, and identifiying the four key perspectives of the period; First, a belief that all Pagans, both of European prehistory and of contemporary tribal peoples represented a religious expression of humanity's ignorance and savagery.

Second, that derived from the religion and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome, the Pagans were noble and admirable people but essentially remained inferior to Christianity in their ethics and spiritual values. Third, that some writers considered Paganism superior to Christianity, being a life affirming and joyous alternative approach to religion which respects all of nature and seeks to integrate our lives with it. Fourth, that a number of thinkers, writers and poets with connections to the Romantic movement such as Shelley, Leigh Hunt and Thomas Love Peacock, considered Paganism a remnant of a great universal religion of the distant past, elements of which were to be found in all the major religions practice by civilized humanity, from which contemporary NeoPaganism is descended.

Hutton then explored in greater depth the various strands of Romantic literary Paganism, the Frazerian Anthropology, Folklorism, Freemasonry, Theosophy, the revival of Ritual Magic and of Ceremonial magic, Thelema, and Woodcraft Chivalry, among others. I found his research into the varieties of 'Cunning Folk' and other groups including 'The Toadmen' still around in and a Masonic styled secret society called 'The Horseman's Word' in the 19th century to be particularly enjoyable and informative reading.

To introduce them briefly, the 'Cunning Folk' were professional or semi-professional practitioners of magic active from at least the fifteenth up until the early twentieth century who practiced folk magic — also known as "low magic" — although often combined this with elements of "high" or ceremonial magic. In earlier times, the witch's power to harm people, livestock, and crops was greatly feared: for this reason country people consulted with the 'Cunning Men' and 'Wise Women' who had the power to negate their spells with counter-magic. Cunning-folk practitioners were also consulted for love spells, to find lost property or missing persons, exorcise ghosts and banish evil spirits.


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Ronald Hutton suggests that the 'Cunning Craft', rather than dying out, had changed character by being subsequently absorbed into other magical currents. The decline of the cunning craft in Britain was not however indicative of other European nations: in Italy for example, cunning practitioners continued operating right into the early twenty-first century. Nevertheless, the author portrays that through the increasing interest in ancient Paganism and survival of traditional magical practices like charms during the 19thC, there came about in the 20thC what ammounts to a new religion.

Of The Rise of Modern Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism in Britain; The second half of this book traces in greater depth the modern history of that new religion, of Paganism and Wicca, with particular focus on Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions of Wicca and examines the personalities involved in launching modern pagan witchcraft, including Gerald Gardner, Sanders, Valiente, the Crowthers, Pickingill and others.

Hutton says that Wicca was introduced by Gerald Gardener in the mid to late 's shortly after Britain repealed their anti-witchcraft laws. Gardener had claimed that he became acquainted with a group of Rosicrucian actors who introduced him to an ancient surviving craft and that Dorothy Clutterbuck, their priestess, initiated him into their coven. However, Hutton also argues that Wicca's origins go well beyond Gardener claiming that Gardener was influenced not only by Ancient Hinduism following his period of civil service in India, but also a diverse collection of sources including 17th and 18th century fraternal organizations, 19th century esoteric societies including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ordo Templi Orientis and Freemasonry from whom he borrowed Wicca's ritual structure, initiations, handshakes and passwords.

The author makes clear that Gardener also derived inspiration and some practises from the Occultist Aleister Crowley and Romantic literary authors including Yeats, Frazer and Graves as well as the Back-To-Nature movement. Despite Gardener's claimed introduction to an older craft group - which Hutton points out is contested, and because of Gardener's own subsequent gathering of sources and resources such as The Book Of Shadows, his forming of Covens and publicising of his new organisation, Gardener is nevertheless portrayed as the founding father of modern Wicca.

Whilst this early NeoPaganism may appear a socially or politically subversive movement, particulalry becuase of its secrecy and the reversal of cultural norms such as that some aspects of ritual were to be carried out naked, the point is made that at this stage the movement was not of a socialy minded reactionary nature at all.

Several of its founding figures were deeply conservative and politically Conservative , and their quarrel was not with social and economic status quo, but rather against the unnaturalness and destruction of traditional patterns of life and societies deep involvement with nature that characterized the rising industrial modernity. On the one hand then Hutton appears to make the argument that early modern Pagan Witchcraft did not stem from any unbroken lines of sucession and does not reprsent a survival of ancient forms of indigenous religious practise, but equivocally he also states that various forms of earlier practise such as the Cunning Craft, Wise Women and others had been subsummed and evolved into the new forms of neo Paganism and Wicca Of the Modern World View and American Feminist Remodeling of Paganism and Wicca; Moving on to consider the more recent developments in Wicca and Paganism, Hutton presents the modern world phenomenon of Witchcraft and of Paganism as having developed in Great Britain and been exported to USA where they were taken up by feminist pagans who massively popularised the concepts as well as imbued them with a more socialistic communal minded orientation.

After this socialization the author says a "new and improved" Wicca made the jump back across the pond to England in the early 's, that Paganism and Wicca have returned with greater prominence and popularity to Great Britain in large part via the books of such authors as Starhawk, Z.

Budapest and others who have provided a number of self initiation and guide books for the growing number of solitary practiotioners or hedge witches. The author rounds out his voluminous research with an interesting personal account of what in his view the principle precepts of modern Paganism and Wicca entail. Of the Authors Conjectural Conclusions And Their Ultimate Uncertainty; Despite the apparent academic objectivity of Ronald Hutton's research which I have thoroughly enjoyed in a number of his studies, I found in this work an ambivalence and lack of clear resolution on a number of occassions.

Mr Hutton seems to present an evidence based case as far as it would go and then implies the ensuing conjcture without the definitive evidence for the the implied conclusions, a practise which he points out in others as imaginative if accademically erroneous. I find myself further intruigued by such deft footwork from an academic author and because of these missgivings I have looked about for other reviewers opinions. Of the many such reviews that I found among those who were not too overwhelmed, like myself, by all the cross refferences and closely written and basically bewildering panoramic scope of fine details, some appear to see the wood through the trees, claiming that the authors main pitch in this work, that Wicca and NeoPaganism do not carry any unbroken lineage to antiquity, are partisan perspectives that the author has impelled his evidence to support.

These views of Ronald Hutton as expressed in The Triumph Ogf The Moon have then provoked a certain ammount of debate from both sides of the camp so to speak. In response to such perspectives, Hutton frequently hints that there is more to this story, but states that without definitive evidence we cannot be sure and then proceeds present to his own conjectured conclusion almost as a definitive orthodoxy.

Hutton had spent a decade studying the question of the relationship between modern Paganism and ancient forms of religion Hutton had reached the conclusion that no such relationship existed whatsoever, and that no one could be taken seriously who believed otherwise, explicitly including anyone who so much as "suggest[ed] that there might be some truth" in the notion of the Old Religion. The only problem was that the whole time Hutton had, now by his own admission, been systematically ignoring "certain types of ancient religion" which just so happened to be precisely the ones which most "closely resembled [modern] Paganism, had certainly influenced it, and had certain linear connections with it"!

And why did he ignore the one place he should have been looking all along? Because it was "in every sense marginal to my own preoccupations.

The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft - Ronald Hutton - Google книги

That there ensues some degree of partisan prejudice was almost to be expected, as the wider public may still hold various oppositional perspectives based on an until recently dominant Christian cultural ideology and its ensuing missinformation against Paganism and Witchcraft in particular.

That such views should apparently inform an objective academic in his choice of how to handle his subject matter is not a question that I am well enough equipped to consider. I would surmise however by saying that I have learnt a lot by reading this work, both within the tome itself and further by becoming aware of sensible and informed dissent without. For all of these reasons I recommend this study to any who would consider the origins and developments of Witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism in modern Britain today, with the caveat that there may indeed be more to this story thn meets the eye or is rpresented here.

Jul 28, Steve Cran added it. If one wishes to practice the craft then it makes sense that one should learn the history of the craft. Wicca was introduced by Gerald Gardener in the mid to late 's shortly after Britain repealed their anti-witchcraft laws. Gardener claimed that he became initiated into a coven in North Forrest England. His claims are subject to dispute. Mr If one wishes to practice the craft then it makes sense that one should learn the history of the craft. Gardner tried to set up OTO in London but he was not too successful. Many a people familiar with both Crowley's work and Wicca have noticed that Gardner plagiarized Crowley in many an instance and used his words in a construct that Crowley himself would not have used.

Doreen Vailente would later on re-write everything. Despite all this the author Ronald Hutton does make the statement that Wicca, meaning the wiseones, is a viable religion. Hutton is a historian who has written many books on Pagan movement and holidays in Great Britain.


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  • Hutton goes on to say that "Wicca" is the first all British contribution to religion given to the world. In order to fully get an understanding of Wicca one must get an overall picture of British history and the British mentality. These nationalities were thought off as being advanced and were praised for their many contributions to world civilization. The Greeks and the Romans were only thought to be lacking morals and the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Later on British literature would foster and cultivate a fascination with nature. The old pagans were thought to have a real closeness with nature. As history would progress several authors would write paens to Pan and how he would chase wood nymphs in the the forest. The Christian religion was felt to be too rigid at this time. Godfrey Higgins asserted that in ancient History that there was an ancient civilization that extended through out the known world. They were the ones who discovered writing and religion. Helena Blavatsky, s spiritualist, speculated that Atlantis was this society.

    In the Ancient world there was a Goddess for every aspect of civilization but not nature, however. The Goddesses had their own identity. Toward the end of the Pagan Period in a work called "Metamorpheisis" by Apuleius it was said that the moon goddess was said to embody all the other Goddesses. In literature and in Archaeology a view was starting to prevail that humanity worshiped a mother goddess.

    She is represented by the earth and the moon. She ended up embodying all the Goddesses and this is the current view of Pagan Witchcraft. For while Apollo was the favorite but soon he gave way to the horned God Pan. Pan was a favorite of the literary scene up until the 's. He represented nature, sexuality and playfulness. He was the exact opposite of Jesus. In the view of Robert Graves the horned God was the consort of of the Goddess and was both the lover and the offspring of the Goddess.

    Death served as a transition. Wicca borrowed their ritual structure from the Masons. The first Masonic Lodge was established in the late in North Scotland. They had initiations, handshakes and passwords. Many of which Wicca would come to borrow. In Medieval times there were guilds who had secret organizations. They too had a lot in common with the Masons but with more of a focus towards their craft or profession. Masonic craft was oriented towards spiritual perfection.

    To join a lodge one had to believe in a supreme being. Their ceremonies had 4 cardinal directions and they were connected with mythology. As more archaeological information became available about the Sumerians, Egyptians and Greek that information slowly got added into the Masonic lore. The Pentagram was one of the Masonic symbols, the masons also ended their ceremonies with "so mote it be" These element should be recognizable to those who practice Wicca.

    One Masonic type organization was called " The Horseman's Word" This guild of horse whisperers would mock Christ and Christianity and say parts of the Bible backwards. In a nutshell to cap things off, word has it that Gerald Gardener after returning from India in the became acquainted with a group of Rosicrucian actors who introduced him to the craft. Dorothy Clutterbuck was the priestess who supposedly initiated Gardner. Later he tried to bring to London with success along with a woman named Dafo.

    Later on she would leave and Gardner would recruit Doreen Valiente. Valiente upon looking over Gardners book of shadows noticed a lot of phrases taken from Aleister Crowley. Crowley himself was not really interested in Witch Craft which he considered a woman's religion. None the less Crowley did meet with Gardner times. Later on Valiente would part with Gardner and join with Robert Cochran. Valiente later left Cochran and wnet on her own. For those who practice Wicca I advise that you read this book. Not only does it tell the history and development of the craft but also what events and trends lead to it's birth.

    It is very scholarly and thorough.


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    • Mar 19, Wishmaster rated it really liked it. The first half of the book is incredibly dry and hard to get into. Things liven up comparitively anyway in the second part and this is where it becomes very interesting. I can understand why Ronald Hutton came under fire for his quite constricted presentation of the provenance of Wicca. There are hints of there being much more to the story, but without definitive evidence, he either sits on the fence and says maybe, or dismisses things that really deserved more attention. I'm torn. The book is e The first half of the book is incredibly dry and hard to get into.

      The book is exceptionally well researched and will put paid to the "burning times" mythos and fallacious claim for the ancient heritage of Wicca - at least in the context of it being derived from a single path. Yet, potential links to something older than the 's are largely ignored.

      Ronald Hutton

      An opportunity missed in some ways. The sad thing is, even after reading this book, some still insist that Wicca is a "revival" of some older Witchcraft cult or movement. It's not a revival at all. Wicca is an Earth based religion based on and drawing from a number of sources, from Crowley, Freemasonry, Kabbalah, Folklore, Greek, Norse and Roman mythology and others.

      In that sense, it has ancient roots spreading in many directions, but it is patently NOT a revival of an old religion. But, who cares? Does age make a religion less valid? Of course not. As with all religion, it's based on faith and belief, not verifiable facts and therefore each to their own. If it makes you happy and works for you, go for it and place whatever label you feel comfortable with on your belief system.

      Sep 02, Matt Fimbulwinter rated it really liked it Shelves: srs , pagan. A historical examination of modern Pagan Witchcraft. I've been reading enough non-fiction in the past few years to develop strong tastes. This was well suited to those tastes. The author is an academic, who strives to present arguments for and against various positions as they are presented, with evidence on each side. There are substantial notes. Where the author knows the people he's discussing, he works to declare his bias, and still presents criticisms of the subject.

      Similarly, when he clea A historical examination of modern Pagan Witchcraft. Similarly, when he clearly dislikes someone he is writing about, compliments and positive aspects are presented as well. I was hoping for a good grasp of the history of Paganism, especially Wicca in the age of Gardner and his successors. I certainly got that, and considerably more. This is one of those books that keeps bouncing around in my head as I correlate bits of information from it with stuff I've run into in my own life.

      I sort of want to dump out a big detailed review of all the cool bits of stuff I got from each chapter. Instead, I will just say that if you've an interest in the subject, this is definitely worth reading. In particular, I'd be interested in what those friends of mine who are either historians, or initiated Pagans, have to say on the book. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. October The fact that it claims to be a history and not the history is in itself significant, for this book represents the first systematic attempt by a professional historian to characterize and account for this aspect of modern Western culture.

      Triumph of the Moon is a book which neither Pagan nor scholar of Pagans should go without reading. For some, Triumph has become a cornerstone of faith, perhaps read alongside Hutton's other books on paganism. This section may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. Please help to create a more balanced presentation. Discuss and resolve this issue before removing this message. March Most of the points on which he tries to fault me are on detail, often trivial, and his hope is clearly that if he can put enough small cuts into my reputation for reliability, then faith in it will leak away.

      May Aloi, Peg Ambler, Rodney Journal of Contemporary History. Frew, Donald H. Hutton, Ronald Ryrie, Alec The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. Cambridge University Press. Dashu, Max Retrieved 20 November Lachman, Gary 13 May The Independent.

      Wiccan Book Recommendations: Classics

      Retrieved 30 September Lamond, Frederic Fifty Years of Wicca. Green Magic. Long, Asphodel Summer Wood and Water. O'Connor, Gina Lloyd, Michael G. Hubbarston, MAS. Stryder n. The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum. United States. Tully, Caroline; Hutton, Ronald subject May Necropolis Now. Whedon, Sarah Whitlock, Robin January — February Kindred Spirit. Whitmore, Ben Auckland: Briar Books. Wolfe, Lorena Pagan Network for the Inland Empire. Pagan studies. Paganism Contemporary paganism Nature religion Western esotericism.

      Pagan studies books. Categories : non-fiction books Academic studies of ritual and magic History books about religion History books about England Oxford University Press books Pagan studies books. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Languages Add links.

      The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft

      By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The first edition cover of Hutton's book. Religious history.