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Free, pagan, transgressive: worshippers of Pan, devotees of Diana. The men and women who meet under a full moon in the wild woods danced, sing, made music, and made love; in the home they make potions and mutter spells, be it to curse or cure. The witch image infused the European imagination down the centuries, appearing in court records, prose, and poetry. The impulse the literature described finally became a practiced mystery religion in the twentieth century, in the form of Wicca as it coalesced in the New Forest in the 1930s and 30s. The poems and passages in this book illustrate the supportive imagination of the New Forest Coven and its most famous initiate, Gerald Gardner. They date from the late medieval period through the Edwardian age, and all were instrumental, influential - inspiring early pagans, and hopefully, too, readers today.

 

Christina Oakley Harrington is Treadwell’s founder and presiding spirit. She was voraciously interested in spirituality and magic since childhood, and grew up in West Africa, Burma, and Chile, only moving to the West at the age of fifteen. In her early twenties, she was heartened to discover Europe’s own native religious traditions and has been a pagan ever since. A former academic, she left university life in 2001 to establish Treadwell’s. These days she serves as a consultant for programs and projects but is usually at the shop. She is the author of two books and numerous articles and was co-founder and literary editor of Abraxas: International Journal for Esoteric Studies.

Dreams of Witches

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