A New History of the Craft in America

When I wrote Her Hidden Children, I definitely was not trying to tell the history of different groups, except in broad strokes and as that history helped the discussion of the larger questions that interested me, chiefly, “What do we mean by the term ‘nature religion’?”

Thanks to his earlier experiences with reference books on new religious movements, Aidan Kelly, one of the founders of the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn (a spoofy name that stuck) in the 1960s Northern California, is better able to do it.

He has released the first book of what he hopes to be three, A Tapestry of Witches, Vol. 1, which is available on Amazon.

He writes on his blog,

I was an active participant in many of the events and developments I describe, but I have tried to tone down the autobiographical details by unobstrusive (I hope) use of passive constructions and third person. Still, one reason the book is accurate is that I have first-hand knowledge of the decade from 1967 to 1977. However, I also as much as possible worked in information from letter, emails, and interviews that my friends shared with me. I have not ignored the Big Name Pagans–I couldn’t; many of them did much of the work, many were and are good friends–but I have also tried to give due credit to the many who worked hard without ever receiving public acclaim.

Having drawn on his earlier history of NROOGD’s beginnings, Hippie Commie Beatnik Witches, I look forward to reading the new book very much.


  1. Rummah says:

    Sounds excellent. His CRAFTING THE ART OF MAGIC is one of the best books I have ever read on the founding.

  2. Chas Clifton says:

    Crafting the Art of Magic was a good book. No one had ever applied principles of textual criticism to the Gardnerian Book of Shadows before. On the other hand, its title included “Vol. 1,” and Vol. 2 was never delivered to the publisher, Llewellyn.

  3. Robert Mathiesen says:

    I’ve read this book in manuscript, and it seems very good indeed. — As for volume 2 of _Crafting the Art of Magic_, as a life-long academic myself, it’s not at all rare for circumstances to overmaster one for years at a time, so that there is neither time nor tranquility nor energy to complete a promised book or article until long after the opportune moment has passed. That happened to me twice in my own career, once with a book, once with an important article. Duties to others, for instance, may override one’s lesser commitments for years at a time.

    • Chas Clifton says:

      It was the head of his publishing firm who was asking me over dinner if I knew where Vol. 2 was, as if I knew!

      Obviously, there had been a communications breakdown. Communicating is always good.