Reddit Reddit reviews Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America

We found 14 Reddit comments about Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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14 Reddit comments about Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America:

u/supajunebug · 18 pointsr/TrollXChromosomes

Hi, not Wiccan, but eclectic druid, which is also a subset of Paganism. There are loads of online communities to check out! Firstly, I'd say browse the r/wicca, r/pagan, and r/druidism (shameless plug lol) subreddits, as they're filled with loads of info and opinions. Be warned on r/pagan, since there are LOADS of different types of pagans, you'll get some wildly different opinions. There's plenty of other subreddits (r/witchcraft, for example), but those were the ones I started with.

I also love the Pagan channel on Patheos, which if you haven't browsed before, is a really interesting conglomeration of religious blogs. While I don't use it very often, WitchVox is also referenced as a really good online hub for finding local groups.

For books, this one is a fucking fantastic introduction to Paganism as a whole. It was my first real read on the topic. For Wicca in particular, Scott Cunningham is typically the one people point to for learning how to practice solitary. I also found Wicca for Beginners to be a super quick but useful intro. If you want a more general history of witchy goddess nature-worshipy religions, I am currently reading Drawing Down the Moon and love it.

Finally, if you have any Unitarian churches in your area, reach out-- they frequently have pagan or earth-centered study groups you can always visit!

Like I said before, I'm way more druidy, so if you want suggestions for learning about that (or just want to talk pagan-y things to admittedly a baby pagan), lemme know! :)

u/Fey_fox · 9 pointsr/pagan

Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games.

So on fun fact to note is from here on out you are in charge of developing your relationships with the Gods / Your higher power / Whatever. There’s no dogma. Even if you decide to go with a group or tradition or go it alone there’s no hie holy book or judgmental spirit that will damn you or tarnish you. There’s only the path you choose, and every direction holds lessons to learn if you’re open to it. Specific traditions do have rules you must adhere to to be a member, but you’ll also find there’s a lot of creativity. You don’t need to buy any expensive ritual gear or altar stuff, keep weird herbs or bedazzle yourself in pentacles and Birkenstocks (that’s still a thing right?)

So what to do now?

First thing, you read books. You’ll find plenty of reading lists (like in the side bar). When deciding on a book, check the index and look at the sources and probably the amazon reviews too. There seems to be a switch that flips in half of 5 year pagans where they decide to write a book about Wicca/magic and some actually succeed. Some have poor scholarship and others are just bad. Like I said there aren’t ‘rules’, but folks like to fudge historical facts. Paganism in general often involves learning mythology & the stories of the Gods, and lots of folks like to romanticize the history of Wicca, so you want books that have good scholarship. A book I still recommend to beginners to read first is Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America. It was last updated in 06 but still is useful in learning about the modern pagan movement and many of its flavors. It’ll start you off.

Learn the basics of the different types of meditation. Most rituals have a time where visualization is used, and group rituals often use [](guided meditation) as a technique. You decide how much or how little you do it in your own practice, but it’s a thing pretty much every tradition has in one from or another. It’s good to be aware of anyway.

Go for walks in nature, at least once a week if you can. Paganism and Wicca are nature based so, go outside.

I personally suggest you dig outside of pagan books for reading material also. I know, a lot of reading right? Wicca some say is called the craft of the wise, and since we drive our own spiritual busses we have to be proactive in knowing stuff. To point you in a direction there I’d suggest you start with Joseph Campbell, especially his ‘hero of a thousand faces and power of myth series. If you dig you can find full lectures of his on YouTube

Last pagan groups. Well there are all kinds and they’re everywhere. is still a place to poke around outside of Facebook. Lots of pagans are kinda off the grid a little so sometimes they can be hard to find. If there’s a local pagan or new age shop, pay them a visit. The clerk may seem standoffish, don’t take that personally. Lots of wackadoodles visit those places and become a huge annoyance or time suck for them. Usually just mentally ill folk that are pretty much harmless. All religions attract crazy people, but Wicca/pagans attract crazy fringe people that support each other in their delusions. It’s not anything to worry about,, just many shop folk have learned to be a midge guarded. Most are cool, and if you ask how to find resources and groups in your area they will point you in the right direction. Just don’t expect them to be gurus.

Note on that. Remember you are ultimately your own teacher, and never to accept the word of anyone blindly, even if it sounds good. No writer, teacher, coven leader, or grand poobah has ‘the way’. Anyone who says they do, ignore them. I personally have never ran into any cults in the last 20 years of being in the pagan community, but there are shysters that will take advantage of the naive. The Isaac Bonewits cult o meter (also a pagan author) is a handy tool for groups. In all things though follow your gut. Someone or a situation feels creepy, trust that. If someone asks you to do something, like give you money or pushes you to be naked in rituals when you aren’t comfortable with that, know you don’t have to and you have the right to say no. I have not ever ran into that personally but it has to people I know. Pagan culture likes to challenge people to be themselves and will tap at comfort zones because in challenging ourselves we grow, but pagans are also HUGE on consent. Trust your instincts. You have them for a reason.

I don’t mean to squick you with warnings, most folks are cool. The neopagan movement is a vast group with a mishmash of different subcultures, and Wicca is a mishmash of different traditions within paganism. Nobody is in charge, so sometimes you find assholes, as you would in any group. Only with paganism you get dicks who claim they’re a powerful shaman taught by some sorcerer Native American chief who is also the reincarnated soul of Alister Crowley n they have a coven that uses ritual circle jerks to increase their psychic powers to to battle on the ethereal plane where they fight demons and shit. Also for them to be your high priest/ess you need to give them 10 bucks. I’m mostly joking, but yeah ther are some weirdos out there.

Anyway. Lots to chew on. Enjoy the rabbit hole! Most folks are pretty awesome really. You’ll never find a group more accepting. Good luck.

u/mtvisdead · 6 pointsr/Wicca

You have a tiny fraction of the bases covered, but you're better off than many people. Some people only read Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide and call it a day.

You really ought to learn of the history of religious witchcraft in the 20th century, the many layers of symbolism and tradition in Gardnerian and Alexandrian witchcraft of the 50s and 60s, then the spread and change of the newly arrived Pagan and witchcraft scene of the 70s and 80s in America, which leads to Dianic Wicca, Eclectic Wicca, and finally the form presented in Scott Cunningham's books and most, if not all books published in the past ten years (and continuously) by Llewellyn.

Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler:

Then eventually learn of the history not of the religious traditions of witchcraft which have caught on by many, but the figure of the witch as a religious follower (as opposed to an evil baby-killer, a Halloween decoration, or something dreamed up in the minds of the Catholic church with no foundation in actual religion).

Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by Charles Leland:

Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath by Carlo Ginzburg:

The Witch Cult in Western Europe by Margaret Murray:

and then, in a timeline-fashion,

Witchcraft Today by Gerald Gardner:

Then learn how religious witchcraft, as presented by Gerald Gardner and his covens, was and is practiced, the meaning behind the practices, and why the meanings matter.

A Witches Bible by Janet and Stewart Farrar:

Also inserted in this section might easily be Buckland's Book of Witchcraft, but I don't personally recommend that book as it does stray from Gardnerian tradition in many respects, sometimes changing whole chunks of traditional texts to a more Pagan or celtic format, and conveniently brushes over the use and symbolism of an important tool, the scourge, in witchcraft. But there are many good pieces of knowledge in that book.

Its also important to read up on influential figures in the Craft movement, and their thoughts, opinions, and reasonings behind their beliefs.

Firechild by Maxine Sanders:

King of the Witches by June Johns:

And there's so much more, probably more books than anyone could ever read and find all of.

And one of the best sources of knowledge of the Craft is an experienced High Priest(ess) within a coven that knows their stuff. Much of witchcraft's knowledge comes from its mysteries, which must be experienced to understand.

Good luck on your journey.

u/kat5dotpostfix · 6 pointsr/witchcraft

Check out Drawing Down the Moon for a good primer on the history of modern witchcraft. Here's the description

>Almost thirty years since its original publication, Drawing Down the Moon continues to be the only detailed history of the burgeoning but still widely misunderstood Neo- Pagan subculture. Margot Adler attended ritual gatherings and interviewed a diverse, colorful gallery of people across the United States, people who find inspiration in ancient deities, nature, myth, even science fiction. In this new edition featuring an updated resource guide of newsletters, journals, books, groups, and festivals, Margot Adler takes a fascinating and honest look at the religious experiences, beliefs, and lifestyles of modern America's Pagan groups.

u/BranCerddorion · 3 pointsr/pagan

> Is this really offensive? If it is, please explain it to me. It's not enough to tell me it is, I've got to know why.

For some it will be, for others not so much.

If you asked me if you could approach paganism, but dropping the "supernatural" stuff from it, I'd say "Hell yeah!" because I do just that. I don't really have much use for divination or crystals or anything like that, so I just don't use them in my practice. I can see why some would use it and I understand how some use them practically, but I just don't feel the need for it.

For me, Paganism is really about the Natural world. The Earth is my Mother (My goddess, if you might like to say so), and the Sun is my Father (My god, if you will). I know a lot of other pagans do this do, but not all. Some pagans use pantheons for deity, but deity is not a necessity in paganism.

I still like ritual, though I don't do much pagan ritual in my personal practice, because the symbols used in it represent natural forces and things going on in the world. A "supernatural non-believer" could find use and spiritual meaning in ritual (as well as gods and crystals and magic), because to me (and surely others out there) they're just symbols, but symbols have a lot of personal power. They can help you change your mindset, help you understand things better.

Some will find calling things "supernatural" offensive, because some pagans do believe "supernatural" things exist, and don't view them as "supernatural." This is perfectly okay, to me, it's just not my way of approaching things.

TL;DR It will vary from person to person, and can be a sensitive topic for some. Not for all, though.

As for books without too much of a supernatural inclination about Paganism, I'd try out Ronald Hutton. His Triumph of the Moon is more about the history and roots of paganism, but he's very detailed and descriptive, as well as academic.

Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon is of the same vein as Triumph of the Moon. Both are pretty heavy and tome-like, but are filled with invaluable information.

If you're looking into Wicca theology, I found Bryan Lankford's Wicca Demystified to be a great in depth explanation, especially for an "outsider." A lot of the "beginners" books on Wicca you'll find are heavy on ritual and magic, and seeing how you don't have much fondness for it, I think Lankford's book might be better suited for you.

And I haven't read it, but Dana Eiler's Practical Pagan might be of interest to you. It seems to have the less "magicy-supernatural" and more of a mundane, practical approach to paganism. Not sure about it, though. You might find some good info in the amazon's review section of the book.

I feel like there's another book or two that I've read that taps into what you're looking for, but I just can't think of it. There are some cool anthologies full of essays of paganism in the real world, which I find are invaluable for their information, and not so heavy on the "supernatural side," like Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future and Celebrating the Pagan Soul.


>I'm use to kinda being primed to attack fundamentalism in Christianity and I've got little good to say about Islam at all.

I wouldn't be so dismissive of Christianity and Islam in general. Interfaith can be a very important. You don't have to agree with what they believe, but personally I know a few Muslims who are very kind and generous, and if they give credit to their religion for their kindness and generosity, I wouldn't say there's nothing good to say about Islam. But that's neither here nor there.

u/Kalomoira · 3 pointsr/Wicca

> I picked up my first book on religion from the school library. It's called "Gods and Rituals: Readings in Religious Beliefs and Practices." It is a collection of passages written by different authors on religions, mainly ancient religions. How should I go about my possible conversion to Wicca, assuming I keep the door open?

Is that the Middleton book? I think if you're interested in modern paganism that "Drawing Down The Moon" by Margot Adler would be of more use to you. It addresses the diversity among Neopagan religions and will give you a better handle on Wicca and other modern paganism.

There is also a reading list on the sidebar regarding Wiccan-related practices. I'd suggest also picking up "The Witches God" and "The Witches Goddess," both by Stewart and Janet Farrar. They're a good introduction to understanding deity from a Wiccan perspective. Their "A Witches Bible" also has useful information overall and is an example of coven-based practices.

If after reading Adler you find another form of paganism or witchcraft interests you, there are other subreddits to check out: r/witchcraft, r/realwitchcraft, r/pagan, and r/paganism. There are also subreddits that are for specific forms of paganism, like r/HellenicPolytheism.

u/WitchDruid · 2 pointsr/witchcraft

The Following list is taken from the Witches & Warlocks FB page. (This is Christian Day's group)

Witches and Warlocks Recommended Reading List
This is a collection of books recommended by our admins and participants in the group. Books must be approved by the admins so if you'd like to see one added to the last, please post it in the comments at the bottom of this list and, if it's something we think is appropriate, we'll add it! We provide links to Amazon so folks can read more about the book but we encourage you to shop at your local occult shop whenever possible! :)


Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft
by Raymond Buckland

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America
by Margot Adler

Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch: Mastering the Five Arts of Old World Witchery
by Raven Grimassi

The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development
by Christopher Penczak

The Kybalion: The Definitive Edition
by William Walker Atkinson (Three Initiates)

Lid Off the Cauldron: A Wicca Handbook
by Patricia Crowther

Mastering Witchcraft
by Paul Huson

Natural Magic
by Doreen Valiente

Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick
by Ellen Dugan

Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days
by Raven Grimassi

The Outer Temple of Witchcraft: Circles, Spells and Rituals
by Christopher Penczak

Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment
by Laurie Cabot

Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation
by Silver RavenWolf

Spirit of the Witch: Religion & Spirituality in Contemporary Witchcraft
by Raven Grimassi

Witch: A Magickal Journey
by Fiona Horne

Witchcraft for Tomorrow
by Doreen Valiente

Witchcraft Today
by Gerald Gardner
The Witches' Craft: The Roots of Witchcraft & Magical Transformation
by Raven Grimassi
The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill
by Robin Artisson


Aradia or The Gospel of the Witches
by Charles Godfrey Leland

Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints & Sages: A Guide to Asking for Protection, Wealth, Happiness, and Everything Else!
by Judika Illes

The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Etruscan Roman Remains
by Charles Godfrey Leland

The God of the Witches
by Margaret Murray

The Weiser Field Guide to Witches, The: From Hexes to Hermione Granger, From Salem to the Land of Oz
by Judika Illes


Blood Sorcery Bible Volume 1: Rituals in Necromancy
by Sorceress Cagliastro

The Deep Heart of Witchcraft: Expanding the Core of Magickal Practice
by David Salisbury

Teen Spirit Wicca
by David Salisbury

Enchantment: The Witch's Art of Manipulation by Gesture, Gaze and Glamour
by Peter Paddon

Initiation into Hermetics
by Franz Bardon

Letters from the Devil's Forest: An Anthology of Writings on Traditional Witchcraft, Spiritual Ecology and Provenance Traditionalism
by Robin Artisson

Magical Use of Thought Forms: A Proven System of Mental & Spiritual Empowerment
by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowick and J.H. Brennan

Magick in Theory and Practice
by Aleister Crowley

The Plant Spirit Familiar
by Christopher Penczak

Protection and Reversal Magick
by Jason Miller
Psychic Self-Defense
by Dion Fortune
The Ritual Magic Workbook: A Practical Course of Self-Initiation
by Dolores Ashcroft-Norwicki
The Roebuck in the Thicket: An Anthology of the Robert Cochrane Witchcraft Tradition
by Evan John Jones, Robert Cochrane and Michael Howard

The Satanic Witch
by Anton Szandor LaVey
Shadow Magick Compendium: Exploring Darker Aspects of Magickal Spirituality
by Raven Digitalis
The Tree of Enchantment: Ancient Wisdom and Magic Practices of the Faery Tradition
by Orion Foxwood
The Underworld Initiation: A journey towards psychic transformation
by R.J. Stewart


A Compendium of Herbal Magic
by Paul Beyerl

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
by Scott Cunningham

The Enchanted Candle: Crafting and Casting Magickal Light
by Lady Rhea

The Enchanted Formulary: Blending Magickal Oils for Love, Prosperity, and Healing
by Lady Maeve Rhea

Incense: Crafting and Use of Magickal Scents
by Carl F. Neal

Magickal Formulary Spellbook Book 1
by Herman Slater

Magickal Formulary Spellbook: Book II
by Herman Slater

Crone's Book of Charms & Spells
by Valerie Worth

Crone's Book of Magical Words
by Valerie Worth

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells
by Judika Illes

Everyday Magic: Spells & Rituals for Modern Living
by Dorothy Morrison

Pure Magic: A Complete Course in Spellcasting
by Judika Illes
Utterly Wicked: Curses, Hexes & Other Unsavory Notions
by Dorothy Morrison
The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook
by Denise Alvarado

The Voodoo Doll Spellbook: A Compendium of Ancient and Contemporary Spells and Rituals
by Denise Alvarado

The Cauldron of Memory: Retrieving Ancestral Knowledge & Wisdom
by Raven Grimassi

The Mighty Dead
by Christopher Penczak

Speak with the Dead: Seven Methods for Spirit Communication
by Konstantinos
The Witches' Book of the Dead
by Christian Day

78 Degrees of Wisdom
by Rachel Pollack

u/LiberYagKosha · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon ( is an amazing look at Paganism and it's many iterations.

Richard Cavendish - The Black Arts ( is a really interesting look at the many facets and practices of the Occult.

I recommend those for laymen.

u/bukvich · 2 pointsr/occult

This is one subject I bet we have > 90% consensus on.

Natural flying herb recipes are obsolete in 2015. We've now got LSD and DMT. Progress is not monotonically increasing in all dimensions but in this one it is.

> Even the creation process is pretty dangerous.

There is a story in Margot Adler Drawing Down the Moon about a woman overdosing on beladonna while mashing it together and it got into her bloodstream through her skin. This I think is probably false but datura and it's ilk are poisons and people do die from ingesting them.

u/Runningfromskeletons · 2 pointsr/Wicca

Bonewits on Witchcraft and Wicca is probably an excellent start. It gives a detailed rundown on the history of Wicca, has a chapter on classifying different traditions, and is a great way to go for researching the different options out there. Adler's Drawing Down the Moon is also an excellent starting place. Either of those books will go a long way to familiarizing you with Wicca and helping you figure out where you want to go from there.

u/Farwater · 2 pointsr/pagan

There's not much unity within paganism. We're a constellation of different faiths, each with their own sometimes very different branches. If you really want to boil it down, then arguably the "Big Three" pagan religions are Wicca, Druidry, and Heathenry, the latter of them being sort of the flagship of the "reconstructionist" movement which is an umbrella of pagan faiths which includes non-Germanic cultures as well.

While I haven't read either of these books myself, I have heard that Bonewits's Essential Guide to Druidism and Drawing Down the Moon are reputable surveys of Druidry and Wicca, respectively, though they are probably a bit dated at this point (especially Drawing Down the Moon). I'm not sure if an equivalent overview of Heathenry has been published.

u/Steakturturd · 1 pointr/pagan

This is a really difficult question to answer, but it's still a totally fair question.

As others have said, paganism is an umbrella term for several specific traditions, and there are many different lenses through which to view and practice paganism. Some pagans are drawn to their religion out of concern for the environment, others want to connect with specific Gods, while others are seeking to honor their ancestors, and still others want to develop a variety of magical skills. Without knowing your specific interests it's hard to make any really specific recommendations. However, regardless of your interests I can pretty confidently recommend Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler and Seeking the Mystery. Both books give broad overviews of the history and world view of paganism writ large.

Thing is though, Paganism is about more than just reading books. I'd also recommend that you start trying out some simple rituals and meditations (Google is your friend here). You can make yourself a very simple alter with stuff you've probably got lying around the house. Finally, if you find that this is something that you want to continue to pursue, I'd strongly recommend trying to find some like-minded people in your area. Search, or if there is a metaphysical shop in your area just go there and start asking around. There are pagan communities absolutely everywhere, and it's worth getting to know the pagans around you.

u/rachyrachyrach · 1 pointr/Wicca

I'm 34 and finally diving into my spirituality after mom passed away. My parents were conservative Christian and did not like me owning tarot cards...or even Magic the Gathering Cards! I moved out in my early 20's but always felt guilty finding my own faith. [Drawing Down the Moon](Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America helped me figure out who I am. The Kindle version is updated with social information. I now live in a fairly large city with Wiccans, Druids and eclectic witches so I'm lucky to have that resource. helped me find friends who mentored. Try several ideas out! It is overwhelming because there are lots of information out there. Figuring out if you want to practice solitary or with a group is a good question to start with. I'm in between, I like to practice alone but discuss ideas with friends.