Review: Witchcraft and the Shamanic Journey: Pagan Folkways from the Burning Times

Confessions of a Geek Queen

Witchcraft and the Shamanic Journey: Pagan Folkways from the Burning Times
Witchcraft and the Shamanic Journey: Pagan Folkways from the Burning Times by Kenneth Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book suffered from the lousy scholarship that characterized its time period, but I am intrigued by the author’s theory, which is that the beginnings of the most active period of witch persecutions in Western Europe happened as a result of a “crisis cult” of Renaissance witchcraft that emerged in response to the crisis of collapsing medieval social order in the aftermath of the Black Death; and that the “witchcraft” itself was a syncretic faith that grew out of Western demonology, folk practices and superstitions, and a genuine “shamanic” desire to communicate with the Otherworld to seek guidance. He likened the early Renaissance “witch cult” to the syncretic crisis-cults of history that have led to revolutions of varying success, such as Voodoo and the Haitian Revolution and the Great Ghost…

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~ by Sable Aradia on August 16, 2014.

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