Witches write history : remembering the Old religion and constructing a historical imaginary

Nicole Crawford

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated] Contemporary Goddess worship (also known as feminist witchcraft) is a small but expanding neo-Pagan spiritual path. Practitioners believe in an immanent female deity (the Goddess), they consider the earth to be sacred, and they celebrate the female body and its cycles. As a result, the religion is woman- and nature-centred. Goddess worship emerged from the broader counter-cultural milieu of the 1960s and 70s. Writers of Goddess texts (referred to as Goddess writers) conceptualise their movement's origins in prehistoric, pre-patriarchal times, with the advent of patriarchal polytheistic and monotheistic religions signifying a "fall". During this imagined period, formerly peaceful, civilised, matricentric societies became hierarchical, violent, and patriarchal. Vestiges of the pre-patriarchal Goddess religion, however, managed to survive underground for millennia until the atrocities of the early modem European witchcraft persecutions. In recent decades the Goddess has been awakened from dormancy and the Goddess religion is (re)emerging. It is this narrative, from prehistory through to the present and future, that is the focus of this study.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
DOIs
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008

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