11Murray, Margaret A. The Witch-Cult in Western Europe. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1921. 20-21.
The author believed that the witches who were tried in the 16th and 17th centuries were the inheritors of the pagan religions extant before Christianity. ""The witch-cult being a survival of an ancient religion, many of the beliefs and rites of these early religions are to be found in it."
However Aubrey Burl wrote that "The fancies of the late Margaret Murray need not detain us. They were justly, if irritably, dismissed by a real scholar as 'vapid balderdash." Burl was there quoting Hugh Trevor-Roper, The European Witch-craze of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.(Burl, Aubrey. The Stone Circles of the British Isles. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976. 85.) It is probably safe to say that witchcraft preserved some pre-Christian beliefs and practices (although transformed and mutated by the centuries of transmission).