Having finished the first required book for the ADF Dedicant Path, on the topic of Indo-European Studies, it’s time to move on to the next.
The second topic to study is Modern Paganism. Michael J. Dangler writes that “the main idea is to help you understand where Neo-Paganism has been, because you will be part of where it is going through your work in ADF”.
The book I’ve chosen for this topic is The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft by Ronald Hutton. I’ve read some of Hutton’s works before, and highly recommend them, especially The Druids and The Stations of the Sun. Hutton is an academic historian at the University of Bristol with a deep interest in modern and ancient paganism and how it interacts with culture.
The book’s focus is British Wicca, and the reason I’ve chosen it from the reading list is that many of the other books focus on American pagan movements, which are not as relevant to me here in the UK. While I am not Wiccan, Wicca is the source of much of modern paganism, and its ideas and symbolism have percolated popular culture to an astonishing extent. Yet some of it is rooted in outdated scholarship and debunked theories of witch-cults and goddess-worshipping matriarchies.
According to Our Own Druidry, Hutton’s book “serves as a counter-balance to much of the information and theories that are likely to be encountered when reviewing Neo-Paganism in general”.
So, I just need to finish Joanne Harris’ Gospel of Loki, which is brilliant by the way (srsly go read it!), and then I’m going to work through this.