The ancient cult of witchcraft is flourishing in today's world. This book tells how and why.
A unique addition to an ever-growing body of literature, this is a lively survey of witchcraft in contemporary America by a writer who began as a nonbeliever in the occult and ended "if not believing, then not disbelieving." Certainly Professor Fritscher believes most definitely that witchcraft is a strong force in today's popular culture. This force, he demonstrates, has had a powerful influence on our popular music, movies, television, advertising, and other fields in which the ancient art is viewed as a marketable commodity.
In the course of his research for this book, the author made the acquaintance of many witches and attended the rites of many covens. Much of his research was aimed at separating the various levels of witchcraft, at making a firm distinction between White witchcraft (called by some "the Old Religion") and Satanism, and at finding the fine dividing line between true belief and commercial exploitation. As a result of his probing, he came to a conclusion that will astonish many: that "no longer do the Christian churches monopolize American spirituality. The occult seems to answer men's spiritual needs with understanding that the...churches have more or less denied."
Professor Fritscher interviewed scores of practicing witches, and the book includes remarkably candid statements by such prominent figures in the witchcraft movement as Dr. Leo Louis Martello, Frederick de Arechaga, and Anton LaVey, the present doyen of American witches.
This is a work which sifts through the legends of sorcery and witchcraft, not neglecting its lores and legends, including the casting of spells and incantations. But the main focus of the book is on the growing role of witchcraft in our popular culture; running the gamut from a guaranteed love philtre to a sado-masochistic advertisement in an underground newspaper.
This is a truly new look at witchcraft today which will be of immense interest both to members of the craft and to the general reader.
Jack Fritscher interviews: Anton Levay, High priest of the Church of Satan, San Francisco; Frederick de Arechaga, Gay High Priest, Chicago.
"...a major contribution to the study of mass culture in the United States." --Fate magazine
First Publication: 1971 by Bowling Green University Press
Second Publication: 1973 by Citadel Press, a division of Lyle Stuart Inc.,
Library of Congress Catalog Number: 73-84152