Embracing the Witch and the Goddess is detailed survey of present-day feminist witches in New Zealand. It examines the attraction of witchcraft for its practitioners, and explores witches' rituals, views and beliefs about how magic works. The book provides a detailed portrait of this undocumented section of the growing neo-pagan movement, and compares the special character of New Zealand witchcraft with its counterparts in the United States, Great Britain and Australia. Kathryn Rountree traces the emergence and history of feminist witchcraft, and links witchcraft with the contemporary Goddess movement. She reviews scholarly approaches on the study of witchcraft and deals with the key debates which have engaged the movement's adherents and their critics, and ultimately presents what Mary Daly declared was missing from most historical and anthropological research on witchcraft: a 'Hag-identified vision'. Based on fieldwork amongst witch practitioners, and linking witchcraft to the contemporary goddess movement, Embracing the Witch and the Goddess is an important contribution to the emerging profile of present-day witchcraft and paganism.
Kathryn Rountree is a senior lecturer in Social Anthropology at Massey University. As well as publishing widely in academic journals on aspects of feminist witchcraft and Goddess spirituality, she has written texts on academic writing and a series of educational books on New Zealand prehistory.