I am very happy to introduce a guest writer. HedonsDog graciously agreed to do a book review of Margot Adler's
Drawing Down the Moon.
With my thanks, here it is:
Drawing Down the Moon
Drawing Down the Moon was originally published in 1979. The author, Margot Adler, has made several revisions since then, but has made it a point to only make additions and corrections and has not "rewritten" the book in each revision. She has presented the content objectively, and did a very good job of giving all points of view when conflicts were identified.
The book contains 646 pages but the appendices start on page 461, so a good part of the book is reference material. Appendix 1 goes into some detail about the Scholars, Writers and Journalists. Appendix 2 is a description of Rituals, and Appendix 3 is a description of all of the resources used and referred to in the book.
The other 460 pages outline the history, the key people, the traditions, beliefs, and desires that she has found in Paganism in the last 30 years or so. Interviews and quotes are sprinkled throughout the pages, and the author tells of her own experiences along the way too. The chapters cover Paganism at the start, today, and in the future, Magic and Ritual, Feminist and Gay traditions, Reconstructionist, and even describe a couple traditions that were started as a joke and somewhere along the line, the joke caught hold and became serious traditions.
Having said that let me also say that this book contains a wealth of information about the history and ideals of Paganism and traces the history from the beginning through today, and into tomorrow. There is so much information contained in these pages that all of it cannot be absorbed in one sitting. After having read it, it will remain on my shelf as a reference book.