The Real Witches of New England

The Real Witches of New England : History, Lore, and Modern Practice

3.54 (24 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.54 (24 ratings by Goodreads)
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Reveals the origins and history of the New England witch hysteria, its continuing repercussions, and the multilayered practices of today's modern witches

New England has long been associated with witches. And while the Salem witch trials happened long ago, the prejudices and fears engendered by the witchcraft hysteria still live on in our culture. What forces were at work that brought the witch hysteria quickly from Europe to the new American colony, a place of religious freedom--and what caused these prejudices to linger centuries after the fact?

Weaving together history, sacred lore, modern practice, and the voices of today's witches, Ellen Evert Hopman offers a new, deeper perspective on American witchcraft and its ancient pagan origins. Beginning with the "witch hysteria" that started in Europe and spread to the New World, Hopman explores the witch hunts, persecutions, mass hysteria, and killings, concluding that between forty and sixty thousand women and men were executed as witches.

Exploring how the perception and practices of witches has evolved and expanded over the centuries, Hopman also includes in-depth interviews with 25 modern-day practitioners from a variety of pagan faiths, including druids, wiccans, Celtic reconstructionists, and practitioners of the fairy faith. Emerging from their insights is a treasure trove of practical information on the sacred calendar, herb lore, spells, and magical practices. Bringing together past and present, Hopman reveals what it really means to be a "witch," redefining the label with dignity and spiritual strength.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20mm | 531g
  • Destiny Books,U.S.
  • Rochester, United States
  • English
  • 58 b&w illustrations
  • 162055772X
  • 9781620557723
  • 1,020,820

Table of contents

Foreword by Judika Illes

Preface: Druids, Witches, and the Birth of This Book

History of Witch Persecutions

Who Was Targeted and Why

Underlying Reasons for the Witch Hysteria

Timeline of Persecutions in Europe

Witch Panic Comes to the New World

Practices and Traditions of Real Witches

Accused Witches in New England and Interviews with Their Descendants

"Half-Hanged Mary," the Witch of Hadley, Massachusetts Interview with Steven R. Dunn
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Review quote

"The Real Witches of New England offers illuminating insight into contemporary witchcraft's place in New England's larger Pagan community. Following an introductory section tracing the devastating evolution of the Western cultural construct of conspiratorial 'witchcraft,' Hopman conducts two series of interviews that mirror the divide between the historical persecution of purported Satanic 'witches' and today's self-identified beneficent witches. This will appeal to both those who are simply curious about this widespread yet covert subculture and those who, having observed American Paganism from its youthful beginnings in the 'Occult Revival' of the 1970s, will see how adherents of today take up the cause now that the movement's pioneers are in retirement or have passed on." * Jim Baker, author of The Cunning Man's Handbook * "The Real Witches of New England is a truly fascinating and original approach to the subject. Hopman gives us a wide-ranging overview of the topic that covers not just historical witches but also their descendants, both actual family and some of the notables who practice Witchcraft in New England today. In someone else's hands this might have been a dry recital of facts, but instead it is a fun and entertaining read from start to finish." * Deborah Blake, author of Everyday Witchcraft * "Hopman mixes a historian's curiosity with a journalist's zeal, resulting in a monumental achievement that bridges our own world with that of America's earliest witches." * Thomas Hatsis, author of The Witches' Ointment * "A fascinating read and a brilliant and creative approach to American witchcraft--with moving portraits of America's first accused 'witches,' fascinating interviews with their descendants, and thoughtful insights from modern New England witches who redeem the label with dignity and spiritual depth. Who we remember will never die." * Phyllis Curott, Esq., Wiccan priestess, author of Book of Shadows * "Ellen Evert Hopman took a discerning eye to accomplish this tome of knowledge. In our age of accountability this book is of its time, an account of the oppression of women and the incredible knowledge they so willingly shared. Witches all, we celebrate our heroes of the past." * Lady Rhea, author and creator of The Enchanted Candle * "A detailed and very well researched book focusing on witches and witchcraft in New England. Primarily dealing with Salem, Massachusetts, and historical and present-day links thereto, Ellen Evert Hopman has opened a window into some of the occult practices in this part of the country. An excellent read!" * Jane T. Sibley, Ph.D., author of The Way of the Wise and The Divine Thunderbolt * "Most books examining history fail their readers. Either they err on the side of accuracy and burden the reader with excruciatingly dry facts and footnotes or they fall prey to a juicy story that doesn't hold up to critical scrutiny. The Real Witches of New England: History, Lore & Modern Practice succeeds where others fail by weaving a rich, detailed, and fascinating narrative reaching back to 1400BCE and connecting it to current witches and their practices." * Lisa McSherry, Witches & Pagans Magazine * "The Real Witches of New England was fascinating and elucidating. I was especially intrigued by what contemporary witches believe and do. They are very much Earth oriented, listening to the spirits of the ancestors and the Earth, so in they are Pagan, though some venerate other deities, often Celtic or Egyptian. I closely resonate with these beliefs in my practice and teaching of ecstatic trance." * Nicholas E. Brink, author of Ecstatic Soul Retrieval *
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About Ellen Evert Hopman

Ellen Evert Hopman has been a Druidic initiate since 1984 and is a founding member of the Order of the White Oak, an Archdruidess of the Tribe of the Oak, and a member of the Grey Council of Mages and Sages. She is the author of several books, including Secret Medicines from Your Garden. She lives in Massachusetts.
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Rating details

24 ratings
3.54 out of 5 stars
5 21% (5)
4 25% (6)
3 46% (11)
2 4% (1)
1 4% (1)
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