Book Review – Drawing Down the Moon (Part 3)

Margot Adler 8

Margot Adler. Photograph copyright Randall Gee Photography.

The fourth and final section of Drawing Down the Moon begins by exploring the demographics associated with neo-Pagans.  Alder tells us, based on her many interviews and surveys, for instance that neo-Pagans tend to be urban technophiles who care about ecology.  Beyond this she provides few generalizations, reflecting the fact that Pagans come from all walks of life and can harbor radically differing views on politics and social issues.

The remainder of this section is a miscellany of Pagan related topics.  She discusses the availability of Pagan studies, inter-faith relations, Paganism on the Internet, and Pagan festivals.  This last topic is greatly expanded in the 2006 revision and contains not only comprehensive historical information, but delves into some of the questions that the spectacular rise in popularity of these festivals raises.  For instance, are these festivals promoting a homogenisation of Pagans at the expense of individual paths?  In this, Adler does a commendable job of providing both sides of the story and leaving her readers to ponder the answers themselves.

The book finally ends with a beautifully written epilogue.  In it, Adler compares archaeologist George Mylonas’ quest to discover the secrets of the Eleusinean Mysteries with the neo-Pagan desire to experience the mysteries that lie on our own spiritual paths, mysteries that we will only discover through experience, not intellect.

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