Not in Kansas Anymore

A Curious Tale of How Magic Is Transforming America

By Christine Wicker
(HarperOne, Hardcover, 9780060726782, 275pp.)

Publication Date: October 2005

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Description

Magic has stepped out of the movies, morphed from the pages of fairy tales, and taken root in the modern mind. Soccer moms are getting voodoo head washings in their backyards, young U.S. soldiers send chants toward pagan gods of war, and a seem-ingly normal family has determined that they are in fact elves. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are turning toward the supernatural in new ways, blending the ancient and the modern for a hyper-charged spirituality. They are reaching back in time to powers that have sustained the human imagina-tion for thousands of years.

For many of us, magic is taking hold in less obvious ways. Almost unconsciously we find ourselves noting mysterious synchronicities that point to a plan for our lives. We are heeding premonitions, marking good omens, scrutinizing our dreams, and interpreting visions as direct communications. Thinking we might be called crazy, most of us never utter a word to anyone.

But others of us are bolder. The community of Wiccans, witches, and pagans is growing faster than any other religious group in America. Voodoo, hoodoo, and Santeria are attracting middle-class believers across the country.

National bestselling author and award-winning religion reporter Christine Wicker leaves no talisman unturned in her hunt to find what's authentic and what's not in America's burgeoning magical reality. Her investigation leads her from the voodoo temples of New Orleans to the witches' covens of Salem to a graveyard in north Florida as she probes the secrets of an underground society and learns lessons she never dreamed could be taught.

Her new teachers are an odd crew: Myrna the Death Puppet, Tracy, Queen of the Vampires, and Siva, a tenderhearted satanist, along with people who truly believe they are fairies, werewolves, and dragons. The reporter in Wicker listens harder than she ever has, and she doesn't let herself roll her eyes -- not even once. What she learns repels her, challenges her, and then changes her in ways she never could have imagined.

And if you let it, it might change you, too.

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