Buckland’s ‘Tree’ and pseudo-history

11 06 2007

So here’s what gets me the most about ‘histories’ of Wicca. Take Buckland’s ‘Saxon Witchcraft’, newly reissued with a ludicrous cover depicting a cross-eyed, over-thin dreadlocked girl with a swan on her head on the jacket. He loses me right about the place the discussion starts about what the Saxons believed. It’s not my archaeology degree that makes me sceptical about conjecture of this sort. It’s just loopy. Think about it. We have enough problem accurately synthesising what our immediate ancestors did day-to-day. We can surmise what the Saxons may have believed, but there’s no way you could base a religion on it.

Where does the urge to provide a lineage come from? I believe, unfortunately, that it must at some time have been a reaction against the clear lineages of other world faiths. But I’d prefer to believe something fresh, newly minted, and not follow along because my ancestors did and it’s expected of me.

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