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

Nicole Crawford

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

196 Downloads (Pure)


[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
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008

Take-down notice

  • This thesis has been made available in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository as part of a UWA Library project to digitise and make available theses completed before 2003. If you are the author of this thesis and would like it removed from the UWA Profiles and Research Repository, please contact digitaltheses-lib@uwa.edu.au


Dive into the research topics of 'Witches write history : remembering the Old religion and constructing a historical imaginary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this