Sunday, May 25, 2008

Book Review: Steart Farrar: Writer on a Broomstick

Title Stewart Farrar: Writer On A Broomstick, The Biography of Stewart Farrar
Author: Guerra, Elizabeth

Rating ****
Tags stewart farrar, janet farrar, witchcraft, paganism, writers, biography
The first two most public faces of modern witchcraft were Gerald Gardner and then Alex Saunders. Both of them, it must be admitted, were pretty much flakes, in large part because they insisted on claiming that their religion followed a tradition that was centuries old. These claims were demonstrably untrue, and damaged their credibility.

Stewart Farrar didn't become involved in witchcraft until he was in his 50s. He was a WWII veteran, journalist, and free lance writer when he interviewed Alex Saunders and converted to witchcraft. For the rest of his life, he devoted himself to the religion and was one of its most important writers. He met his wife Janet shortly after becoming a witch and they, along with Doreen Valiente, became some of the most important writers about the religion. Valiente had worked with Gardner and wrote some of the most beautiful rituals. Valiente and Farrar, in their books, were honest, first of all. They didn't feel they had to invent old traditions in order to give the religion validity. Instead, they believed the experiences of the religion gave it its validity, and in their writings taught new Pagans how to craft a religion that worked.

Guerra knew Farrar, and after his death was asked by Janet Farrar to write Stewart's biography. It is an enjoyable read about an interesting, creative, amazing man. Recommended to those interested in modern Paganism.
Other authors

Foreword – Stewart, R J
Contributor – Farrar, Janet
Publication R J Stewart Books (2008), Paperback, 232 pages
Publication date 2008
ISBN 0979140277 / 9780979140273

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