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The Visual Culture of Pagan Myths, Legends and Rituals

Ethan Doyle White


A clear, concise and detailed historical analysis of the eclectic and beautiful visual and material culture of paganism

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For more than a thousand years, a diverse range of peoples, from Ireland to India and from the Andes to Australia, have been labelled ‘Pagan’ by the Christians who encountered them. Since the twentieth century new groups have emerged – wiccans, druids, neo-shamans and heathens – who openly call themselves Pagans. But who are these Pagans and what do they believe? Which gods and goddesses do they revere? Do they worship nature? Do they practise divination and magic?

From sacred plants imbued with supernatural powers to hand-carved amulets that repel evil, and from mischievous spirits of nature to holy mountains, Pagans find divine value in the natural world and spiritual significance in the material universe. Delve within these pages and examine the myriad paintings and sculptures, shrines and ceremonial objects that reveal the stories, symbols and rituals of Paganism.


'A beautiful book … provides the reader with a very comprehensive picture of Paganism and the many different forms it can take'
Alexander Alich, University of Birmingham

'This exploration of non-Abrahamic religious traditions has such visual punch that art lovers will be quickly converted'
RA Magazine

'Corrects misconceptions and explains [Pagans’] intricate belief systems and rich histories, some stretching back to the dawn of civilization... Some of the book's most intriguing material focuses on practices that are nearly extinct today'
New York Daily News

'Visually stunning ... but it’s not just an attractive picture book; the text is solidly scholarly as one would expect from Ethan Doyle White'
Fortean Times

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 24.0 x 17.0 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 449

Publication date: 27 April 2023

ISBN: 9780500025741

Contents List


Ancient Ways
1: Goddesses + Gods
2: Myths + Legends
3: Numinous Nature

1: Sacred Sites
2: Witchcraft
3: Oracles + Divination

1: Festivals
2: Embodied Faith
3: Journeying

About the Author

Ethan Doyle White is a writer and researcher interested in the religious beliefs and practices of early medieval England as well as contemporary Paganism and related forms of occultism. He is the author of Wicca: History, Belief, and Community in Modern Pagan Witchcraft and co-editor of Magic and Witchery in the Modern West. Other publications have dealt with topics including modern Pagan activity at Britain’s archaeological monuments, the revived worship of the god Antinous, and the occult films of Kenneth Anger.