Vol 13 No. 5 (2011) Issue Number 5, August 1998

Notes from the Underground

As ever, we eager minions have done our very best to bring you the finest writing in the Neopagan community today. Our headline article contains an update on the latest research being done on the Great Witch Hunt of the 14th-17th centuries.


Since the late 1970s, a quiet revolution has taken place in the study of historical witchcraft and the Great European Witch Hunt. While this revolution may not seem quite as dramatic as the development of carbon dating, many theories which reigned supreme thirty years ago have vanished, swept away by a flood of new data.
I n her corpus of twenty books and over 300 articles, Marija Gimbutas makes a comprehensive study of empirical archaeological data that serves as the basis for her challenging new theory of the cultural roots of Western civilization.
University of British Columbia
Is it possible that the God of Israel, in the popular religion of tribal and monarchical times, had a consort? The Israelite religion unequivocally represents itself as a strict monotheism that began with Yahweh’s original revelation to Abraham, although many scholars date the origin of Hebrew monotheism a few centuries later, during the days of the great prophets (Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess, 1967: 20)
The equation of the rose with secrecy goes back to Pagan Roman times, supposedly when Cupid gave a rose to Harpocrates, god of silence, to symbolize concealing the secrets of Venus. Hence early Christians rejected the rose as a decorative motif because of its associations with Roman depravity. Yet the rose crept back in, as in the ‘rose windows’ of many medieval churches, not to mention the rose hip’s utility as an inexpensive and ideally shaped material for making rosary beads--reinforcing its name, which comes from the Virgin Mary’s allegorical ‘crown of roses.’

Book Reviews

Writers of nonfiction often say that their books are made up of other books. That statement acknowledges the necessity of research. When it comes to herbalism, however, an unfortunate tendency at least three centuries old leads writers to take the saying too literally. Too many Pagan writers just recycle older published material without ever getting their hands dirty in the herb garden — or at least they convey that impression.