I don’t normally use MOTO for simple linking, but for those who have not seen this Interview with Professor Ronald Hutton on the excellent Necropolis Now blog, you really should scoot on over and have a read. I first bumped into the the blog’s author, Caroline Tully back in the early 90s as part of the consolidating Pagan/Magical community in Australia. Even back then she was a cut above most of the writers on the subject, and she displays admirable and deft interviewing skill in this post, keeping the subject on track with perceptive questioning. Caroline’s various articles are always worth reading and she is ‘one to watch’ for future publications 🙂
Anyway, the full interview is here: Excerpt below 🙂
If modern Pagan witches do not represent a continuation of a religion that survived the Witch Hunts and can be traced back to the pre-Christian era, then what is our lineage?
Most notably in a chapter in a collection entitled Paganism Today, published in 1996, I have taken direct issue with the view generally held by academics that there were no links between ancient and modern paganism at all. In reply I identified no less than four cultural streams which connected the two: ritual magic, cunning craft, folk rites, and (above all) the persistent love affair of Christian culture with the art and literature of the ancient world. All these streams of images and ideas were, certainly, maintained between the early medieval and modern periods by people who were at least nominally Christian, but none the less they were preserved. The great development of the modern age was for them to be filtered back out of general Christian culture and recombined with an active allegiance to pagan deities to produce a revived and viable set of Pagan religions. This essay in Paganism Today was my manifesto for Triumph of the Moon and intended to be read in conjunction with it, which in Britain it certainly often was. Abroad, however, the essay tended to be unknown and the book read outside of its vital context.