Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca And Paganism in America
The history of any religious movement can get murky. But the history of American Paganism--with so many invented lineages, so many solitary practitioners, so much resistance to staid definition, so much hiddenness--is especially hard to decipher. But here in Her Hidden Children Chas Clifton tells many never-before-told stories of the origins of Paganism and Wicca in the United States. The people, publications, and organizations that allowed Paganism and Wicca to set roots down in American soil and become "nature religion" are revealed in delicious detail. With a timeline, glossary, and photos of important figures,Her Hidden Children is compelling and important for any student of Paganism or American Religion.
Amazing Scholarship to Contemporary Paganism
By Edward Wolfe - June 28, 2006
I found this book among many in my local bookstore and purchased it on the fact that the cover was eerily close to a vision in a dream I had over a year ago. I have never been happier to have had such a dream! This book, I found, was completely amazing.
While many books on Paganism focus on practice, perhaps a few focusing on philosophy, very few focus on any actual scholarship. This specific book focuses on the history of contemporary Paganism, from Gerald Gardner to more modern influential groups, such as the Church of All Worlds. The depths the author, Mr. Chas S. Clifton, provides for anyone interested in history and Pagan academia runs deeps.
The author begins with examining Gerald Gardner and the beginning of British Wicca, looking at both Gardner's claims of a long-line of witches and historical evidence to this claim. Following this, the author discusses how Wicca came to America and how it spread.
The second chapter focuses on the change... read more
A must-have for all American Pagans.
By Jason Pitzl "Jason Pitzl-Waters" - September 15, 2006
Since the release of Ronald Hutton's "Triumph of The Moon" back in 2000, I have yearned for a book that would take an in-depth look at the history of modern Paganism in America. So I was more than a little excited and hopeful when I heard that Pagan academic Chas Clifton was rising to the task in his new book "Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America". Finally a book that would take a look at how modern Paganism and Wicca took root in American soil and became one of the fastest growing faiths in the country.
Clifton - knowing that he could in no way cover everything that has happened from the 1930s to the present - has chosen with this book to lay down some basic parameters for talking about modern Pagan history in America. First he concentrates on Wicca: it being the largest and most influential modern Pagan religion in America. Secondly, when moving out from Wicca he generally stays with groups that claim to follow "nature" or "earth" religions. Not... read more
A fascinating study
By Michael Rohm - January 4, 2008
I read Mr. Clifton's blog, which is where I first heard of this book. It's a wonderful and amazing study of the origins of Wicca in America - while the history of Wicca in England is a necessary topic to cover in a book like this, Clifton thankfully doesn't go into much detail about it (plenty of books can be found covering that subject. The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft is the essential book for that subject).
I only have one complaint - too short! I wish it was longer, much longer. Great book, but I wish the topics were covered more indepth. Still, it's a great history of paganism and "nature worship" in the states and definitely worth a read and a place on any pagan or comparative religion bookshelf.
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