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Witches of America de Alex Mar
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Witches of America (2015 original; edició 2015)

de Alex Mar

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2005106,360 (3.54)3
"Witches are gathering." When most people hear the word "witches," they think of horror films and Halloween, but to the nearly one million Americans who practice Paganism today, witchcraft is a nature-worshipping, polytheistic, and very real religion. So Alex Mar discovers when she sets out to film a documentary and finds herself drawn deep into the world of present-day magic. Witches of America follows Mar on her immersive five-year trip into the occult, charting modern Paganism from its roots in 1950s England to its current American mecca in the San Francisco Bay Area; from a gathering of more than a thousand witches in the Illinois woods to the New Orleans branch of one of the world's most influential magical societies. Along the way she takes part in dozens of rituals and becomes involved with a wild array of characters. This sprawling magical community compels Mar to confront what she believes is possible--or hopes might be. With keen intelligence and wit, Mar illuminates the world of witchcraft while grappling in fresh and unexpected ways with the question underlying every faith: Why do we choose to believe in anything at all?--Adapted from book jacket.… (més)
Membre:asclibrary
Títol:Witches of America
Autors:Alex Mar
Informació:New York : Sarah Crichton Books- Farrar, Straus and Giroux, [2015]
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Witches of America de Alex Mar (2015)

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Es mostren totes 5
What this book is: An interesting look into a writers mind as she explores a few of the various pagan religions out there.

What this book isn't: A book about magic. A detailed look at those various religions. If you're looking for the former, this is a great book to read. The author gives us a detailed look at her thought process and her emotions as she searches for something she just can't quite grasp.

Some parts of the book do fall flat. Especially when she's talking about the groups she didn't particularly click with. And the book suffers from some follow up on a few things that felt like they were just left hanging.

On top of that the chapter on the Satanic scare of the 80s/90s just felt shoehorned in. It didn't fit the tone of the rest of the book.

For all of that, it was still an interesting peak into the life of a well to do woman looking for something more to enrich her life than that of material possessions. ( )
  tebyen | May 27, 2020 |
This is sometimes entertaining, more rarely informative, and ultimately just kinda whatever: is it snarky? is it not? is it confessional? is it condescending? is it funny? I feel bad because the more the author shares about her life and her garden variety personal problems (sorry girl) the harder it is to like this book b/c she's the main protagonist & frankly, she's not freaky enough. Also she can't help but mention when the ritual food is from Costco which feels really classist to me, although I am fine with repeated descriptions of breasts as pendulous, I guess that's my bias.

When I get rich I am starting a writing fellowship for fat, freaky and/or broke-down women to write books, added incentive if you can't thank your parents. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
I picked this up from the library at the same time as Hutton's Triumph of the Moon, in the hopes that it would bridge the 1999-present anthropological gap. It didn't.

Uninspired writing, a weird obsession with bodies that reminds me of dark teenage ED thinking, and a totally disingenuous "seeker" narrative.

Overall vibe? Insecure 30 something wants to write a book that sells, has a lot of body and class hangups, and hopes that vaguely exotic topic will mask her frankly boring writing.

Alas. Shouldn't have expected academic tone from pop journalism. ( )
  urnmo | Jul 29, 2019 |
This is a perplexing book. It's partially investigative journalism but partially spiritual conversion memoir, and it does neither 100% well exactly because the author doesn't know herself which category her experiences fall into. This will be of interest to those who are interested in America's religious minority communities, but likely not to others. I would be interested to see where Alex Mar lands in her religious journey in another 10 years and what her take on this book is, then.

As a note, there is a disturbing section of this book that goes into a very dark subset of witchcraft including necromancy and graverobbing. I have read quite a bit about American Wicca and never came across anything like this before -- it's very disturbing and I truly hope we are reading the ravings of an unstable daydreamer rather than true acts (they are technically unverified by the author). This section is not for the squeamish. ( )
1 vota sparemethecensor | Dec 8, 2018 |
Through most of this book I am never certain whether I am reading journalism or spiritual memoir. The spiritual neediness of the author seems to be the major theme of the book, as she explores various options on the Neopagan spectrum without fully committing to any. Lack of such commitment, is not of course, a problem for a journalist seeking to give an objective account of the beliefs and practices of various groups. However, one cannot help but feel that the author's failure to find her path affects her ability to be objective. The groups she describes are the Feri tradition of Witchcraft, the Ordo Templi Orientis magical order, an unnamed group of necromancers who pray to Santa Muerte, and the Coru, a group founded by a former Feri priestess dedicated to the Celtic goddess Morrigan. The information in the book is interesting and seems accurate, but is so mixed in with personalities that it difficult to decide what is doctrine (if doctrine there be) and what is individual preference and quirk. Should probably be read by Neopagans and Wiccans, if only to be able to respond to questions about it.
2 vota ritaer | Sep 8, 2016 |
Es mostren totes 5
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Witches are gathering.
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

"Witches are gathering." When most people hear the word "witches," they think of horror films and Halloween, but to the nearly one million Americans who practice Paganism today, witchcraft is a nature-worshipping, polytheistic, and very real religion. So Alex Mar discovers when she sets out to film a documentary and finds herself drawn deep into the world of present-day magic. Witches of America follows Mar on her immersive five-year trip into the occult, charting modern Paganism from its roots in 1950s England to its current American mecca in the San Francisco Bay Area; from a gathering of more than a thousand witches in the Illinois woods to the New Orleans branch of one of the world's most influential magical societies. Along the way she takes part in dozens of rituals and becomes involved with a wild array of characters. This sprawling magical community compels Mar to confront what she believes is possible--or hopes might be. With keen intelligence and wit, Mar illuminates the world of witchcraft while grappling in fresh and unexpected ways with the question underlying every faith: Why do we choose to believe in anything at all?--Adapted from book jacket.

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