I chose to read the book Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, by Margot Adler, because I myself am a practicing Wiccan.
I began following this religion the summer before I entered high school. I have read many books on my religion, and I thought that this one would compliment the knowledge that I have on the subject.
I was raised a Roman Catholic, but I never felt truly comfortable with the teachings of the Catholic church. It always seemed a little off to me and I never felt like I belonged there. After I received the Sacrament of Confirmation, my parents stopped enforcing that I attend mass every Sunday. It made the transition a lot easier for me. Although, they did not and still do not approve of my religion, they understand that Catholicism is not for me.
When people hear that I am a “witch,” they automatically assume that I am either crazy, or a “devil worshipper.” Books such as Alder’s Drawing Down the Moon, are the only way to allow other people to realize that there are many facets to the term “Pagan.” They also make people realize that not all Pagan religions revolve around curses, crystal balls and sacrifices.
Although, I did not agree with everything that Margot Adler had to say, or with some of the interviews she chose to include in Drawing Down the Moon, I am happy that I chose to read it for my final paper. I do not feel that we cover enough about Pagan religions in our class, and this assignment gave me the opportunity to learn more about Pagan religions other than my own.
In America today, there are a myriad of “occult” or “magickal” groups. Some of these groups are small with maybe only 5 or 6 members, some have hundreds. The groups that I am referring to call themselves Pagans or Neo-Pagans. There are a wide variety of Pagans and Neo-Pagans. They can be animists, polytheists, pantheists, monotheists, or a combination of any of these. There are also many different classifications of Witches, such as: Gothic, Classical, Familial, Immigrant, Ethnic and Feminist. Each group is very distinct and different from the next. They do however share a common set of values.
Pagan religions are said to be a culmination of the creator’s own mind and a bit of old tradition such as rituals an scriptures from other Pagan religions in the past. In Margot Alder’s book, I was able to learn about a few types of Pagans, and some of the problems that face them. One of the main problems is that people do not understand certain terms used when referring to Pagan religions, and therefore make assumptions and associate negative things with anything “Pagan.” Adler clears up some of these bad connotations with definitions throughout her...