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The Witch-Cult in Western Europe

by Margaret Alice Murray


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The Witch-Cult in Western Europe was the first book in which Margaret Murray developed her controversial literal interpretation of the Witch trial evidence. This work is of importance because it is a source-book of the Witch trials, with extensive quotes from the original documents, presented in the original Elizabethan English, French and German. The names of hundreds of accused witches are given in an appendix, a somber roll call of the 'burning times.' The main body of this work aims to show that the consistent narrative of the cult is evidence of a wide-spread, underground pagan religion existing in Europe up through the Renaissance. Murray, as if not having stirred things up enough, adds appendices with her controversial take on the Fairies, Joan of Arc and Gilles de Rais, as well as one truly dangerous recipe. This book is one of those crucial works which every scholar of Neopaganism must come to terms with, one way or another.--J.B. Hare, April 2009.

PRODUCTION NOTES: This was one of the first texts I scanned for the site back in 2000, and I remastered the HTML in 2009. Footnotes are interspersed with the text in brackets. This was the first-ever posting of this book on the Internet.

Title Page, Preface, Contents, Introduction
Chapter I. Continuity of the Religion
Chapter II. The God
Chapter III. Admission Ceremonies
Chapter IV. The Assemblies
Chapter V. The Rites
Chapter VI. The Rites (continued)
Chapter VII. The Organization
Chapter VIII. Familiars and Transformations
Appendix I. Fairies and Witches
Appendix II. Trial of Silvain Nevillon and Gentien le Clerc
Appendix III. Names of Witches in Covens
Appendix IV. Joan of Arc and Gilles de Rais
Appendix V. Flying Ointments