Witches of America by Alex Mar
By Alex Mar
"Witches are gathering."
When most folks pay attention the note "witches," they suspect of horror movies and Halloween, yet to the approximately a million american citizens who perform Paganism this present day, witchcraft is a nature-worshipping, polytheistic, and extremely actual faith. So Alex Mar discovers while she units out to movie a documentary and unearths herself drawn deep into the area of present-day magic.
Witches of America follows Mar on her immersive five-year journey into the occult, charting sleek Paganism from its roots in Fifties England to its present American mecca within the San Francisco Bay region; from a meeting of greater than one thousand witches within the Illinois woods to the hot Orleans department of 1 of the world's so much influential magical societies.
Along the way in which she takes half in dozens of rituals and turns into concerned with a wild array of characters: a central authority worker who founds a California priesthood devoted to a Celtic goddess of conflict; American disciples of Aleister Crowley, whose intricate ceremonies flip the Catholic mass on its head; second-wave feminist Wiccans who perform a thorough separatist witchcraft; a becoming "mystery cult" whose initiates hint their rites again to a blind shaman in rural Oregon. This sprawling magical group compels Mar to confront what she believes is possible-or hopes may perhaps be.
With prepared intelligence and wit, Mar illuminates the area of witchcraft whereas grappling in clean and unforeseen methods with the query underlying each religion: Why will we decide to think in whatever in any respect? no matter if evangelical Christian, Pagan priestess, or atheist, every one people craves a approach of aspiring to provide constitution to our lives. occasionally we simply locate it in unforeseen areas.
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We saw that W most of us are afraid, and that fear prevents initiative because it makes us cling to people and to things as a creeper clings to a tree. We cling to our parents, our husbands, our sons, our daughters, our wives, and to our possessions. That is the outward form of fear. Being inwardly afraid, we dread to stand alone. We may have a great many saris, jewels, or other property; but inwardly, psychologically, we are very poor. The poorer we are inwardly, the more we try to enrich ourselves outwardly by clinging to people, to position, to property.
There are those who say the state is all-important. If I live in such a state and do anything contrary to the official ideology, I am coerced by the state—that is, by the few who control the state. There are two parts of us, the conscious part and the unconscious part. Do you understand what that means? Suppose you are walking along the road, talking to a friend. Your conscious mind is occupied with your conversation, but there is another part of you which is unconsciously absorbing innumerable impressions—the trees, the leaves, the birds, the sunlight on the water.
To think out things for yourself, and not follow, is very important; because following indicates fear, does it not? The moment somebody offers you something you want—paradise, heaven, or a better job—there is fear of not getting it; therefore you begin to accept, to follow. So long as you want something, there is bound to be fear; and fear cripples the mind so that you cannot be free. Do you know what a free mind is? Have you ever observed fear prevents initiative 31 your own mind? It is not free, is it?