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The Cottage Midsummer 2003
Rowan's Reviews


The Origins of Modern Witchcraft

By Ann Moura 

Book Review By Rowan Canterbury 

No rating here. Why? I cant touch this woman. I admire her and respect her to the point of true hero worship. Trust me, thats saying something for me. Ann is real, she is factual, her writing not only educational but a challenge. In saying as much I have also purchased a number of her other books and will be doing reviews on them as well, with the humble hopes I do them justice.

The Origins of modern Witchcraft is a history book. As many books that replay history it is based on researched historical fact. Although it is writing by an eclectic wiccan, the book is fat with information on history from pretty much the very beginning. In her other works Ann admits to having a very mixed upbringing, flavored with social Christian beliefs but very traditional in the Green Craft, but at heart being a history buff, she proves it here.

Starting from India, sticking to the facts, she weaves a complicated path of humanitys search for the ever-controversial soul. She takes great pains to explain the reasons and meaning behind a menagerie of symbols and practices. In short she does her best to make sense of a very whirlwind topic. I have read this book 3 times by the way, and still learn something new every time.

In many ways I consider this book a sort of Bible if you will, for those of us Pagan in all forms. It recounts migration, culture, and evolution and in doing so provides a very strong understanding of what, why, when and where. It is a complicated read, but well worth the hair pulling. As a teacher of our path I highly recommend it to my students and friends if only for the reason of instilling the bread and butter of our faith to allow the people that I have the honor of growing with, a foundation to grow on.

Warning: It is a real eye opener and I have found that some of my students that read it, re-read it, then come back with a bit of a bee under their bonnet and a strong urge to flip out on all that is Christian. In truth I discourage this. We get nowhere replaying the past. We must learn from it and change the bad, hoping to build a new world where freedom of religion is indeed a fact and not just words falling from the lips of politicians and clergy to calm the masses. As well, it may leave you feeling a bit victimized. Fear not, knowing our past only opens doors to our future. I feel it is important to know the facts, uncolored and brash as they may be.

You will learn about the Gypsies, the Celts, and the ever loved Shakti and Shiva. You will understand the roots of the Bible like you never knew possible, and if you sit back and take it all in and then read it again, you can almost play it out in your head. Then you will sayOhhI get it now!

So, read, enjoy, and learn. That is all I have to say in this concluding paragraph. I cant give you the feeling of Moura, you have to experience her first hand.

As always, love and light to you all and Blessed Solstice!

Rowan Canterbury 

*Laugh with the Maiden * Love with the Mother * Learn from the Crone *