kat--how much does Walker cite Murray, though, I wonder? (Or at least, how much does she cite Murray-infuenced scholarship or other Murray-quoters?) Problem is, you can't really venture into this area without running smack into Margaret Murray, for better or worse. And Murray's theories have been greatly discredited. Unforunately, unbiased skeptical inquiry into the histories of alternative belief systems is hard to come by; seems everyone has an ax to grind. Research that supports the ancient Goddess cult tends to be from sympathetic neopagans, and research skeptical of it tends to be from conservative Christians or atheist cranks for whom their skepticism has become as much of a rigid agenda as any religion.
Obviously, something was there before Christianity, and even before the Druids and their counterparts in other cultures. But I don't think we have nearly as clear a picture of what that something was as a lot of neopagans would like us to believe.
Just my $0.02,