Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What I'm Reading

Yes!! I will admit it! My dark, dirty, pagan related secret: I don't read nearly enough about the philosophy and studies of my own set of beliefs. It's true, and I'm ashamed.

Obviously, we have no 'Bible,' here, no traditional, timeless tome of pagan ritual, philosophy and history to turn to when we have a question. So we have to hunt for our information. I firmly believe that as Pagans and Witches, it's up to us all to educate ourselves, to do research, to find out our paths and actually walk down them. And yet I'm a slacker. But I'm trying to make up for it.

By telling you, dear readers, what I fully intend to read this summer, I hope to strengthen my will to actually do so. Also, now you can nag me about my reading - do it!

Here's my summer reading list.

Drawing Down the Moon, by Margot Adler. Seminal and classic, this is an ethno/anthropological examination of the various kinds of paganism popular in America. I've been wanting to read this for a while, and finally picked up a copy. I'm an anthropologist at heart, and a field guide to paganism seems both intriguing and applicable to my own philosophies.

Wicca, A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham. This is considered a 'beginner level book,' and while I don't think I'm a beginner, I'm don't consider myself to actually be Wiccan, so I thought it would be good to really educate myself on the basic views of Wicca. I've read some of Cunningham's books on herbalism and other tools, and I appreciate his simple, friendly writing style. I know some people are critical of his casual approach to ritual, among other things, but I think I can roll with this.

Twilight of the Celtic Gods: An Exploration of Britain's Hidden Pagan Traditions by David Clarke and Andy Roberts. My own path takes a lot from neo Celtic paganism of different sorts - Celtic shamanism, Druidism, etc. However, a lot of handy reading that claims to be about Celtic traditions is really Wicca dressed up in the Celtic myths, or New Agey (I hesitate to use the word, but I have to call it like I see it:) silliness. This book, however, purports to be an anthropological look at how ancient traditions have survived in rural Britain. This is very exciting for people like me who are looking for a more traditional and historic look at Celtic beliefs. Now, this one I haven't actually purchased yet, so we will see if I can get my lazy self a copy.

And that's it. My summer beach reads, not exactly laid back reading, but works that will help me grow in spirit and in wisdom. Now, let the nagging begin!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I read the first two many years ago when I first started on the Goddess Path and they're worthy choices. Enjoy!

Wendilea said...

Scott Cunningham gave me the courage to practice what had been brewing for years. I still keep a soft spot in my heart for him after all these years. Happy Reading!

luna petunia said...

I want to read Margot Adler, too. I love Scott Cunningham. He had such a big heart & shared so much with so many timid, new witches. It is a testimony to his lovely spirit that he remains popular & well-loved. And his sales continue, too! This is a greta list of summer "reads."

Wendy said...

Drawing down the moon was one of my very first books when I started exploring womens spirituality. Good choices for books, I think you'll enjoy some of the books I'll be "reviewing" ;) Ty Lynelle

JJ Beazley said...

For heaven's sake, Lynelle, I don't think there's any reason to be ashamed. We reach points on our road when we get there, that's all.

Not sure about pagan practices in rural Britain. I've lived large parts of my life in rural Britain. It's fast becoming a dormitory for professional people with lots of money who are only interested in house extensions, hobnobbing with the landed gentry, and fitting as many SUV's as they can onto the newly tarmaced drive to impress the neighbours.

The Wizardess epi said...

So cool that The Spiral Dance & Drawing Down the Moon were both published the same year...both are still going strong.gftrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (kitty-cat typed that last bit, thought I'd leave in :)


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