• Title: Not In Kansas Anymore
  • Author: Christine Wicker
  • ISBN: 9780739467305
  • Page: 119
  • Format: None
  • Not In Kansas Anymore Wicker soon set out to discover what was so compelling about the philosophy and practice of magic or witchcraft From the moment she introduces a group of self professed vampires who challenge her as
    Wicker soon set out to discover what was so compelling about the philosophy and practice of magic, or witchcraft From the moment she introduces a group of self professed vampires, who challenge her as to whether she is a victim, she sweeps us into some seriously cobwebby corners of the American psyche Impeccably researched and filled with details on the prevalence of magWicker soon set out to discover what was so compelling about the philosophy and practice of magic, or witchcraft From the moment she introduces a group of self professed vampires, who challenge her as to whether she is a victim, she sweeps us into some seriously cobwebby corners of the American psyche Impeccably researched and filled with details on the prevalence of magic throughout American history, the book could be ponderous and freaky, but that Wicker s delightfully self abnegating tone never allows When she attends a ritual in Salem, Massachusetts, where historic witch burning is the basis of a profitable commercial cult, her over the top costume makes it hard for her even to walk Offered a chance for some good mojo to spice up her sex life, she decides to let well enough alone Wicker never mocks the magicians and witches beliefs or their sometimes extreme personal habits but rather constantly seeks the reasons for belief and the context for personal choice.

    One Reply to “Not In Kansas Anymore”

    1. I really disliked this book for several reasons. First, the author seems to believe that the different subcultures she portrays ("vampires," "otherkin," Hoodoo practitioners, Wiccans) are somehow all part of a unitary magical culture, an assumption which she never openly clarifies and which I think many members of these groups would resent.Second, for each chapter she apparently chose the weirdest, most colorful representative of that group that she could find. (In a couple of cases, the individ [...]

    2. This book was way more about the author than it was about magic, so it really wasn't what I was looking for. She met a lot of interesting, weird folks during her explorations, but I think her skepticism was too much in the forefront; it didn't help her to be objective, but instead, I believe, got in the way and closed her off to many possibilities. Her view of what constitutes magic is a little (a lot!) off, too, I think; if her idiosyncratic perspective is to be believed, then the fact that I w [...]

    3. I expected this book to be interesting and it is. I found out that there are people all around the country who believe themselves to be vampires, werewolves, elves, fairies. I also finally found out the difference between hoodoo and voodoo. And what a root worker is. The author did a great job tracing the roots of magic all through American History. I don't know if I agree that anthropomorphizing computers and machines and some other superstitions is magical thinking, as the author says. But may [...]

    4. I was fascinated by the concept of this book and also a little uncertain about its premise. She notably omitted Wicca or what I'd think of as credible alternative religions that include magic in their practices, and perhaps deliberately went for whacky, out-there stuff.

    5. Stumbled onto this book a few days ago. Did nothing to break down my stereotypes of New Age weirdos, though, I'm afraid ;)A handful of the people interviewed in the book believed themselves to be "otherkin" (a catch-all category for Elves, Vampires, Werewolves, etc. -- anyone non-human). I felt those parts of the book probably hurt it more than it helped.A large chunk of the story revolves around hoodoo, rootwork, and voodoo. There were a few interesting stories, but a lot of it just sounded lik [...]

    6. A cute little book about a journalist who goes out and meets people who practice Hoodoo and other forms of magic and/or believe they're vampires, elves and werewolves. Its cute, and she does a good job of being friendly and open-minded about what is going on out there. She’s not a believer (well a little) and she’s not an outright skeptic so it’s a nice, low-key examination of several of the magical subcultures out there right now. A whole lot more readable than works by proponents (Gerner [...]

    7. I found Wicker's book to be a fascinating look at the world of paganism from an outside perspective. Neither fully critical of paganism, nor ever fully embracing it, she straddles the fence excellently, and at points this lack of integrity towards either side can become irritating, preventing me from giving this book a full set of stars. However, there are numerous excellent quotes and moments in this book. I'd recommend it to pagans, but would NOT recommend it to those who are merely interested [...]

    8. Truly fascinating. I think this book works because the author is a skeptic, but not a close-minded one. So she doesn't quite believe in all the things she investigates, but she doesn't completely discount them, either. Many of the things are kooky and out-there, but others are intriguing. I really enjoyed this and the questions it raises about how science, religion, and magic play their parts in culture.

    9. A skeptic interviews various “magical” subcultures including wiccans, hoodoo and voodoo practitioners, and vampires. There’s even a section on Otherkin—people who believe they are real elves and werewolves. The author attempts to be open-minded about her subjects although at times seems a bit tongue-in-cheek. Overall a curious read especially for anyone interested in seeing what’s just outside of mainstream.

    10. It was in turns inspiring and infuriating. She really didn't pay much attention to the people she was talking to, with the possible exception of the hoodoo folk. Being a "magical" person, myself, there were some glaring inconsistencies, and I really didn't like the ending. It's a good read, but take it with a grain of salt.

    11. Once, during my senior year of college, when I was immersed in the study of early American Puritanism, I came as close as one can to experiencing the inner lives of our ancestors, people who really believed not only that our lives had some higher meaning, but also that that meaning could be known, that it was made manifest in signs and omens. Stomping along, lost in thought, I wondered what it might have been like to hear in the crackling leaves behind you the creeping of Satan, or to expect the [...]

    12. Overall carries an "encouraging" tone, a "you do you/whatever melts your butter" kind of vibe, though occasionally threaded with a tone of gentle Southern condescention.What I wanted more of, though, were facts and history and science, rather than the sociological storytelling and personal histories and narratives.

    13. "My magical experiences were too little to convince me and at the same time too much to ignore." Wicker visits and talks with various individuals and groups involved in some sort of magic/fantasy environment -- including attending a Vampires and Victims ball, taking hoodoo classes from a rootworker (a good chunk of the book), and observing several Wiccan rites -- throughout, she keeps an open, yet skeptical mind, drawing her own conclusions about what the participants are getting from their invo [...]

    14. This book has a certain charm about it — the writing is pleasant enough; it reminds me of the type of journalistic reports one might find in with-it magazines and journals, purporting to provide insights into modern trends and ideas. The subject here is supposed to be “magic”, and the type of people currently apparently immersed in its practice, at least in America. The Main title comes from The Wizard of Oz of course, and would suggest that the worlds occupied by the groups of people Wick [...]

    15. I wanted to give this book five stars just because the author used the word "kairos" in it. But sadly I had to actually review it on all of its merits, not just the particular use of a word. And having read Wicker's "Lily Dale" I had high expectations going into this book that just weren't fulfilled.Not In Kansas Anymore attempts to explain how magic is invading America (or maybe already has been completely submersed in the culture). Wicker travels around the country attending parties of vampire [...]

    16. Book Summary: This was a pretty interesting book that takes a look at those who practice the "other" religion/belief systems out there. The author takes a respectful look at those who consider themselves werewolves, elfs, magicans, vampires and other magically inclined creatures. While doing research for this book the author is forced to consider her notions of what is good and evil, what is right and wrong and whether or not these people have a few gears lose. What she finds is quite simply tha [...]

    17. Christine Wicker set out to investigate alternative magical religious practices in the United States. Noting that the popularity of magical belief is growing, and turning up in unlikely places, Wicker's book seeks to understand how and why magic is turning up in unlikely places. The result, Not in Kansas Anymore, is part travelogue, part personal reflection, and part religious study. Wicker takes us through Voodoo, Wicca, Vampirism, and other magical traditions currently practiced in the United [...]

    18. This book had a bit of a "blind leading the blind" feel to it. To her credit, the author transparently represented herself as a skeptic and a novice, but her biases and (worse) her shallow knowledge of the space she was working within limited what could have been a much better book. If I had to name a single flaw, I would call out Wicker's apparent lack of journalistic judgment. She made missteps with several prominently featured figures (the Hoodoo priestess she interviews is a white Jewish cur [...]

    19. It almost seems like the couple of 1 Star reviews on this book box themselves into their particular magical belief system and discredit the author based on the fact that there are indeed other belief systems out there that also incorporate magick. Being a practitioner of several 'brands' of magick, I can say that, in my view at least, polarization is the worst enemy of anyone who wants to be a successful magician. I started off this way myself, choosing to only subscribe to this view/system or t [...]

    20. This was an interesting book about an average person investigating magical folk. The author had a background in Christianity, so this book is from an outsider's perspective. The author writes about her experiences at a vampires/victims ball (fancy dresses & fangs included). She writes about Salem, MA and how some witches charge people to learn about witchcraft, take the money, and then don't deliver. She wrote about going to an Otherkin Convention, hoodoo/voodoo, chaos magic, animal sacrific [...]

    21. I loved this book. It was a totally fun read. Christine Wicker has a great sense of humor about herself and the world, and truly a kind heart. I've been immersed, deeply, in the alternative magical world for years, to the extent that I no longer enjoy reading about it. I've seen the light of it and the dark. It was really refreshing, and enlightening to read this naive perspective of the magical world. She was totally tuned into the the dark side of it, the wackiness, the neediness, the confusio [...]

    22. The autor did a great job of investigative journalism and went to scary places in order to obtain the required subject matter (magic rituals) for her book. It was fascinating to learn about vampires, leprechauns and hoodoo. The prose is entertaining and full of details.I feel that given the extensive cultural and religious diversity in the United States, this book fell short in terms of covering more types of magic, witchcraft or other similar religions? Perhaps there are so many that the author [...]

    23. Disappointing. It started off with a good thesis and investigative tone, then somehow the writer gets lost in the different characters of the Magickal community and loses the journalistic perpective she started with. What starts off as a very compelling investigation of modern magic, ends up being a taciturn diary of one persons experience of certain personalities. Though Wicker does cut through a lot of magickal fluff and states some magickal "secrets" as if they are already obvious and well-kn [...]

    24. I picked this up because I enjoyed Lily Dale so much. I found this book far better organised and just as enjoyable. Wicker walks a fine line between willing to believe and completely skeptical. Its a line I walk a lot myself, so I appreciate having her as a guide in these worlds.Hoodoo, witchcraft, pagans, vampires, otherkin -- these worlds are all explored. Wicker is both critical and kind to what she sees.Several times she mentioned things that had me turning to the internet for more informati [...]

    25. Belief in magic is not just for Wiccans, Pagans, and middle-aged women in gypsy dresses collecting crystals. Wicker points out the magical thinking involved in the belief, for example, in "the laws of attraction." She also looks at magical thinking historically, although not in scholarly depth. As a journalist, she was able to hold a position of openness (while acknowledging her own skepticism) that allows her to report on the sincerity and rationality of the people she interviewed, rather than [...]

    26. Christine Wicker uses a journalists eye to explore the weird and wacky world of magic. She befriends Wiccans and Hoodoo practitioners and tells their stories with respect and objectivity while referring to them as the magical people. I learned a lot about Hoodoo, which is not the same as voodoo, and got some insight into how thoughts about magic have weaved their way through western philosophy. She sums it up well when she says "I don't believe in magic, of course. Hardly anybody does, but we al [...]

    27. A fascinating, not terribly deep-delving book that touches on many of the darker corners of human belief and identity. I felt that the author honestly tried to "dip her toe" into many different paths, while trying not to judge anyone along the way. I especially liked her research into the vodou community, and what she learned about herself as a result. After reading both Lily Dale and this, her books feel to me like diary entries on a road trip through the world's alternative belief systems and [...]

    28. Yet another book that suffers from a lack of a clear point for its existence. A journalist sets out to "explore a theme" and instead leaves a mess. There are a lot of interesting stories here, but they just don't hang together into a book. I had the same problem with her last book, Lily Dale. She just throws bits and pieces in that are mildly relevant or interesting, yet nothing really happens and she doesn't make any progress towards a conclusion. An interesting topic, but your reading time (&a [...]

    29. Valuable for the insights the author has about the ways we all believe in magic, and for the historical anecdotes. Disappointing because it seems like she just wasn't up to the task of telling this story. It turns into the tale of her struggle to suspend her disbelief and allow something magical to happen to her -- Honest maybe, but disappointing for the reader. The final chapter left an especially bad taste in my mouth.

    30. A good, entertaining read -- unfortunately it is more about the author's personal issues than it is about the stated subject matter of the book. I recommend it anyway because she does give you a glimpse or two into several worlds not normally discussed over lunch -- people who still practice ancient African religions in modern America, people who believe they are elves, etc. etc. etc. I think I'll miss the vegetarian werewolves most of all

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