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21. Wicca 101: A New Reference for
22. Witching Culture: Folklore and
23. The End of Paganism in the North-Western
24. Researching Paganisms (The Pagan
25. The Paganism Reader
26. Paganism: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's
27. Modern Paganism in World Cultures:
28. Contemporary Paganism: Minority
29. Practical Paganism
30. Rites of Pleasure: Sexuality in
31. European Paganism
32. Paganism (Critical Concepts in
33. Christianity and Paganism in the
34. Twilight of a Great Civilization:
35. Signals of Belief in Early England:
36. The Truth About Neo-Paganism (Truth
37. Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity:
38. Craft of the Wise: A Practical
39. Voices from the Circle: The Heritage
40. The Virtual Pagan:Exploring Wicca

21. Wicca 101: A New Reference for the Beginner Wiccan: Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism: A Solitary Guide for the New Wiccan: Solitary Study for a Beginner: The New Practitioner of Wicca and Witchcraft
by Kristina Benson
Paperback: 216 Pages (2007-09-21)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$13.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1603320164
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The New Reference & Learning Guide for the Beginner Wiccan
In depth and current overview of the 1st Degree Studies A comprehensive guide for those people who are new to the Wiccan Way! Benson's book discusses what Wicca is and isn't, the five elements, the Wheel of the Year, Magick and spell crafting, ethics, philosophy, scrying, tarot, divination, tools, herbs, gems, and celebration of Wiccan holydays. She touches also on the different types of Wicca, the influence of Eastern ways on Wicca, and the ways in which Christians-and followers of other religions-have viewed this peaceful and oft-misunderstood way of life throughout the ages. The author also discusses the relative merits of practicing alone or with others, and what to expect should the novice attempt to join a coven. The complete beginner will be introduced to what it means to be a Wiccan, and what there is to gain from learning the ways of the ancients.

Other topics included in this guide are:
* Wiccan Names
* Sabbats
* Rituals
* Tea Leaf Reading
* Priesthood
* Why people choose this path and much more!
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Teenybopper wannabes?
This book should be called "Wicca for teenybopper wannabes". Not Wicca 101. There is nothing "101" about it. It merely explains what witches do, instead of what Wicca is, or why Wicca is. It is not for serious practitioners. So if you want real knowledge of Wicca, you should look elsewhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book for a beginner in Wicca
There are too many words to say How I love this book, its one of my favorites and I highly recommend it for a beginner in the path of wicca, it goes through everything in an easy way to follow..and the best part its not preachy as I found some other books.. its simple , easy and just a good read allin all, and the best part it is a book you will always go back to for a refresher.. I love this book so much I would give it to a fellow wicca friend if I didn't already bind it to my own Book of Shadows.

point being if your new to wicca , get this book. well worth the money..
~ blessed be

2-0 out of 5 stars Poorly edited
Sorry, but the substandard editing was a distraction and made the book less than worthwhile to me. It is full of misspellings, incorrect punctuation, repeated or skipped words throughout, and in one section Water is referred to as East when it's called West everyplace else! I couldn't appreciate the information because of this! I wish I'd had the chance to "Look Inside" before purchasing but it wasn't available.

5-0 out of 5 stars So ready!!!
I haven't read this book yet but it seems pretty informative and I'm a beginner so I really believe I can learn a lot from this book, thanks amazon!! ... Read more

22. Witching Culture: Folklore and Neo-Paganism in America (Contemporary Ethnography)
by Sabina Magliocco
Paperback: 280 Pages (2004-05-10)
list price: US$27.50 -- used & new: US$20.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812218795
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Taking the reader into the heart of one of the fastest-growing religious movements in North America, Sabina Magliocco reveals how the disciplines of anthropology and folklore were fundamental to the early development of Neo-Paganism and the revival of witchcraft. Magliocco examines the roots that this religious movement has in a Western spiritual tradition of mysticism disavowed by the Enlightenment. She explores, too, how modern Pagans and Witches are imaginatively reclaiming discarded practices and beliefs to create religions more in keeping with their personal experience of the world as sacred and filled with meaning. Neo-Pagan religions focus on experience, rather than belief, and many contemporary practitioners have had mystical experiences. They seek a context that normalizes them and creates in them new spiritual dimensions that involve change in ordinary consciousness.

Magliocco analyzes magical practices and rituals of Neo-Paganism as art forms that reanimate the cosmos and stimulate the imagination of its practitioners. She discusses rituals that are put together using materials from a variety of cultural and historical sources, and examines the cultural politics surrounding the movement--how the Neo-Pagan movement creates identity by contrasting itself against the dominant culture and how it can be understood in the context of early twenty-first-century identity politics.

Witching Culture is the first ethnography of this religious movement to focus specifically on the role of anthropology and folklore in its formation, on experiences that are central to its practice, and on what it reveals about identity and belief in twenty-first-century North America. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent examination
This is an excellent examination and introduction to the study of the Wicccan culture. Combining personal tales with more traditional folklore techniques and commentary she crafts a compelling exploration of many of the questions that those who are not primarily interested in belief systems per se are interested in.If you want to have insight into what Wiccans are interested in and how they relate this is the book.

If I have any criticism it is that she tends to narrow her focus to a few specific traditions. I was left wondering the changes that might be seen as the population of Wiccans changes from a tradition or coven centered to that of the more eclectic solitary population, and how are the "traditionalists" reacting to the changes.

This however is an easily overlooked concern as she covers the her topic well and with obvious relish as well as with the eye of the trained observer.

Very Well Done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Improves on Hutton and Pike. Well written and recommended.
Sabina Magliocco's "Witching Culture" is quite possibly the most significant volume on Contemporary Pagan Culture to have been written in several years. Magliocco, author of an earlier volume on Neo-Pagan Art and Altars, has filled in several gaps left by Ronald Hutton and Sarah Pike, authors of important recent works in their own right.

The real strength of Magliocco's approach lies in her combined historical and folkloric approaches to cultural formation. Nods to other theoretical approaches are made, especially in her discussion of Paganism as a culturally oppositional discourse (James Scott, Todorov, Gramsci) but for the most part her own theoretical approaches are interwoven with her content so as to produce a seamless integration.

As I noted, her attention to the categories of the Other, both as conceived from Christian heritage and the Enlightenment's 'God of Reason,' are set up as the early framework of the book, along with valuable summations of early Hermeticism, medieval ritual magic, Renaissance Humanism, and 19th C. Romanticism to show the contributions of each era to contemporary Paganism. In this she avoids Hutton's obsession with the British 19th century and yet misses much of Hutton's focus on cunning-folk and those more vernacular traditions. Magliocco's work is more concerned with those who wrote on those traditions, and how those writings (Leland, Murray, Gardner) were used as a crucible to create contemporary Paganism.

Excellent portions of the book also focus on energy, magic, naming and ritual, as well as the historical and folkloric contributions to the formations of these much-used categories by contemporary Pagans. In addition, this is the first volume I am aware of to treat music and song in such depth. Two main aspects of song are treated--ritual uses (echoing her earlier scholarly articles on the subject with Holly Tannen) and educational uses--that is, teaching modes of thought and interpretation common to Pagans. While these are not the only important functions of Pagan song, these are the most important aspects for her work, for she concentrates on community identity and maintenance. Partly because of her concern with boundary formation and maintenance, her work engages little with New Age religiosity, and instead concentrates on flash points such as cultural appropriation issues with indigenous peoples, especially Amerindians. Again, given the existing literature, this is a plus, rather than a minus.

If there are drawbacks to her work, they are similar to other important works in the field. Most of the book concentrates on Wicca, witchcraft, Feri, Reclaiming and New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn (NROOGD), all closely connected with dominant structures in the Eastern part of the U.S. Other facets of contemporary Paganism, such as Druidry, Pagan Vodoun, Church of All Worlds, and Asatru/Vanatru, draw significantly less attention. But as these are numerically proportionately less of the wider community, their comparative marginalization is understandable in a study like this.

5-0 out of 5 stars *Must Have, Double Bag!*
*Must Have, Double Bag!* is old school comic fandom's term for things that a fan _cannot_ live without--and have any fanboy or fangirl cred in the eyes of her or his fan peers.

And a perfect, to-the-point description of this book.

Written by a Gardnerian and Reclaiming practitioner who also happens to be a skillful folklorist and anthropologist, Magliocco is presently an assistant professor at California State University, Northridge.

Witching Culture is thoughtful, insightful, fruitful, grounded, and, maybe, provocative.

Witching Culture is well-crafted and a joy to read.

Witching Culture is one of the best ethnographies that I've read in a long time.

Magliocco manages to accentuate the participation in her participant-observations, but sustain a vibrant and keen postmodern theoretical analysis at the same time. She takes the reader *there* to a living experience of an alternative culture.

She addresses a broad range of topics shaping and challenging Neo-Paganism,especially Craft in the San Francisco Bay Area, from how magic is envisioned as a working relationship with world and deities to ritual art and artistry to Neo-Pagan shopping habits to identity construction and cultural borrowing, and more.

Like the Neo-Pagan bricoleurs she discusses, she takes advantage of theories and insights borrowed from a number of disciplines and discourses, putting the mix to good, understanding use.

Magliocco considers Neo-Pagan culture to be oppositional to dominant culture, postmodern in its world view at a time when the dominant modern culture offers little beyond materiality, consumerism, alienation, oppression, and spiritual--
if not economic--impoverishment. She traces some roots of this oppositionality to sources in the Romantic and European nationalist movements. And provides a good account of Neo-Paganism's cultural creativity in shaping magical ritual, even
political action, from these sources, among others.

Her approach to the creative and enculturating role that song plays in today's Neo-Paganism alone makes the book worthwhile.

Witching Culture is a *Must Have, Double Bag!* book that all of us should be proud to add to our libraries.

Note: I am Sabina's friend, and the *Pitch* in the book. All I can assure you is--as an old-school comic guy--if the book sucked, I'd say so. Far from it--Witching Culture shines bright!
... Read more

23. The End of Paganism in the North-Western Provinces of the Roman Empire: The example of the Mithras cult (British Archaeological Reports (BAR) International)
by Eberhard Sauer
 Paperback: 125 Pages (1996-12-31)
list price: US$80.00 -- used & new: US$80.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0860548163
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The decline of Mithraism in the fourth century AD is used as a case-study for understanding the end of other classes of `paganism' in the Roman western provinces. The author reviews epigraphic and numismatic evidence to date the final uses of Mithraea. He then discusses examples of wilful damage to Mithraic monuments. Drawing all this archaeological evidence into a historical framework, Sauer argues that rather than losing its social function as the Roman army became splintered, Mithraism was a healthy religion with active shrines until the very late fourth century. Rather than fading away, its desecrated monuments indicate that the religion was the victim of a sustained Christian attack which was also directed at other established faiths in the western provinces. ... Read more

24. Researching Paganisms (The Pagan Studies Series)
by Jenny Blain
Paperback: 256 Pages (2004-09-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$28.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0759105235
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"Researchers of Paganism from a variety of disciplines examine how they have been affected by their contact with this nontraditional religion, how this religion has been affected by academic researchers and what this reveals about participative research methods." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good guide to research issues academics may face.
This is a collection of articles by a variety of scholars doing research in Paganism. It is by far the book I wish I had access to during my grad school days. In this book, the various writers deal with the issue of identity, specifically identity as academic and identity as pagan, the pressures that academia can impose in terms of presenting "objective" research, and offer there own thoughts on such matters can be dealt with.

What I find particularly refreshing is the focus on doing academic research that allows a person the validity of having a pagan/occult identity alongside the academic persona. It should be noted that the majority of the authors did their work either in Europe, which tends to be further ahead in research trends as compared to American academia. Additionally, what was refreshing was the admittance of choosing to do research in this field because it has soemthing to offer to the careers of these people. Such honesty about why they are researching is very much needed.

While this volume does expose some of the issues in research, in terms of academia, it doesn't fully draw out how pagan/occult culture is negoiated with, how the identity of an academic is explained and accepted in that context. I would've liked to have seen more focus on that facet of research issues.

4-0 out of 5 stars A solid place to begin
Researching Paganisms successfully portrays the multiplicity of its subject matter. This collection provides a solid place to begin one's explorations of pagan studies and--at the same time--addresses theoretical and methodological issues that will inform future discussions about the role of the academy in the study of contemporary religious traditions as well as the relevance of religion in contemporary societies. Contributions are all first-rate."-Stephen D. Glazier, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

4-0 out of 5 stars Nerdy
This book is part of a forthcoming collection of essays by Pagan academics which talk about the ways Neo-paganism is being studied and how the studies can be improved. If you are new to Paganism, then this book is not for you. Rather, it is part of a larger discussion which has relevance mostly to MA and PhD students. It is not, I repeat, NOT intended for laity. That being said, non-students might find it interesting to know what academics are saying about their practices. Most of the articles in this book are ways that the field study of Paganism should be improved. For example, the idea that sociologists and religious students can't become involved emotionally involved in the things that they are studying makes it difficult to get a full understanding of what Pagans are doing because so much of what we do must be internalized individually. The authors of the articles all are post-gradute students or tenured professors at colleges and universities from around the world. I used this book in an academic study of Paganism and found it essential to my research. The type of Paganisms covered in this book may seem too broad for many Neo-Pagans because they cover larger issues such as feminist ecology and neo-shamanism, among other things. You will find that this book does not answer so many questions as it asks, and calls for more interdisciplinary aproaches to Neo-pagan studies.

2-0 out of 5 stars Academic Tedium
This book typifies one of the problems in the social sciences today: endless banal banter about methodology. I have great respect for many of the scholars in this volume and cite their work often, but in this volume, they are at their worst. Collectively, these essays cover routine methodological issues in tedious detail, but issues that are also basic and which should be familiar to researchers. I can't imagine that anyone other than an academic could find this book at all interesting. As a researcher of (neo)paganism myself, I bought this to converse, in a sense, with colleagues I have never met, but these essays offer nothing new. They might be useful in an undergraduate research methods class, or the stuff of conversation over drinks at a professional conference, but not beyond that. ... Read more

25. The Paganism Reader
Paperback: 400 Pages (2004-04-27)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$38.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415303532
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Paganism is not only a contemporary faith movement of increasing popularity, but also an area of considerable interest to scholars in a number of disciplines. The Paganism Reader provides a definitive selection of primary sources in Paganism, ranging from its ancient beginnings to its 20th century reconstruction and revival. Giving full coverage of Paganism's diverse forms and alerting readers to critical academic debates, this is an invaluable guide to Pagan origins and practices. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beth
If you are interested in the historical, philisophical, and cultural dimensions of Paganism, Clifton's book is the best on the market.Relevant to Wiccans, Reconstructionists, Hermetics, and everything in between, this book will add real depth and color to your spiritual practice.The Paganism Reader is a lovely alternative to academic works about paganism written 'from the outside.'Chas Clifton is Pagan himself and is sensitive to our issues and experiences.An excellent book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Find a place for this book in your library
Sometimes we do not need 'how to' books because our need is not 'how to' but 'why'.Sometimes we need reminders of why we are, as opposed to who we are or what we do.Sometimes we need books that inspire us, or give us a reason for our lives.

The Paganism Reader is a well put together volume that provides us with material that offers inspiration, gentle teachings and insights into the very nature of our spirituality.

Mr. Clifton and Mr. Harvey have put together various works, classified by the time of their writings (classical, proto-revival, revival and diversification) that touch the heart of what it is to be pagan.The material is fresh for the most part, well chosen for content and it's appeal to the pagan reader in a variety of applications.The material can be read as individual pieces, or taken as a whole.It can be used for private meditation or as a group exercise for study.

The classical is represented by various excerpts; from the 'Book of Jeremiah' to 'Pliny the Elder' and material from the 'Irish Cycles' to Geoffrey of Monmouth.The material covers a wide range of myths and mysticism.

The proto-revival material is characterized by excerpts from "Aradia', Aleister Crowley's 'The Book of the Law', Margaret Murray on 'Witchcraft' and Rudyard Kipling's 'A Tree Song', to name a few.

Revival and diversification contains material selected from the writings of Doreen Valiente, GeraldGardner, Robert Heinlein, Marion Bradley, Mr. Clifton and others.There is also a 'Further Reading' list that is quite in depth and a well thought out Index.

The material presented is as diverse as the many paths of paganism.The book offers to the general pagan some wonderful material that will provoke discussion as well as contemplation.
A must have book on your library shelf, it should be included in your 'must read' lists and is a very useful tool for any teacher, as well as a book I would consider a primer for anyone looking at the pagan path.

5-0 out of 5 stars As diverse as nature...
Routledge Press has a strong reputation for putting out fine scholarship and helpful editions for students, scholars, and other interested readers, as this book on Paganism, edited by Chas S. Clifton and Graham Harvey, is no exception to that tradition.This is a reader; it is not a single narrative-strand history nor is it simply a collection of works under the guise of scholarship but really saddled with an agenda.There are three primary sections, largely based on historical division - Part One introduces classical texts from the ancient world, Part Two looks at what are called `proto-revival' texts, and Part Three looks at the revival and diversification of paganism over the past century or so.

The Classical Texts draw on literature from many different cultures (British Isles, Nordic/Icelandic culture, and ancient Egypt as well as the more well-known Israel, Greece, and Rome).There was no one systematic religious framework called `paganism', as these texts indicate, but rather Paganism is a term used to cover a wide range of religious and spiritual ideas.These texts include a diversity of literary forms - autobiography, poems, narrative stories, histories, and even an epistle/letter.

The proto-revival texts include texts that reawaken to a celebration of the natural world and the spirituality inherent in it during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.Again, the motivations are diverse (Romantic views of nature, a disillusionment with progress and urbanism, etc.) as well as the types of literature - included here pieces from Rudyard Kipling, Robert Graves, Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grahame, among others.There is also the entry written by Margaret Murray for the 1929 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica on witchcraft, a rather sympathetic account of the history of witchcraft, making it something very different than it is popularly envisioned.

The third part explores twentieth century scholarship as well as works written by and for Pagans.Some of the tensions that exist in the diversity that is Paganism have to do with the emphasis on nature versus the emphasis on the self and personal reflection/discovery.Another tension has to do with hierarchy - are there those with power and position or not?Among the many titles given to Pagans today are Witches, Druids, Shamans, Eco-activists, Goddess worshippers, and several others. Magic sometimes plays a role, but not always.Paganism is far from the kind of devil worship sometimes portrayed by church hiearchs.

In the introduction, Clifton and Harvey clearly state that it is not the intention of this collection to steer the reader in any particular direction regarding this texts; to that end, the introduction is but a few pages long, and the list of further readings is quite generous at the end of the book.Clifton does contribute a few articles in Part Three, on nature religion and Western shamanism.

A fascinating study. ... Read more

26. Paganism: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
by Teresa Moorey
Paperback: 125 Pages (1999-07)
list price: US$11.95
Isbn: 0340742496
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The second edition of this introduction to Paganism which considers the honour of the Goddess figure, witchcraft and wicca, shamanism, druidry, Celtic paganism, the Northern tradition, feminism and the men's movement and eco-pagans and cyber-pagans. In the A BEGINNER'S GUIDE series.Amazon.com Review
While it may not be everything you've ever thought to askabout Paganism, this compact guide captures the essence of the Paganway of life.The experienced Pagan may want to pass on this book, butif you are thinking of taking the first steps on the path, or justwant to know more about Paganism, Moorey gives some good ideas forpractice and references to more comprehensive sources of information. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I would have to say that this book gives a good starting point and covers a lot of basic stuff. I also got a few other books and that was helpful too. Its easy to read and broken up into sections so its easy to reference back and find what your looking for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, a beginners guide specifically for Pagans!
The sight of this book had me grinning.I'm a self-admitted "Pagan," and find that books on Wicca are aplenty, but books on a more eclectic pagan approach are rare books indeed.Moorey has put together a fantastic little book that is exactly what it claims to be: a beginners guide for those interested in Paganism.

It covers a wide variety of faiths, and does them all justice even though it is quite a small volume.Touching upon Wicca, Witchcraft, Shamanism, the Four Elements, Druidry, Celtic Paganism, Northern Traditions, and even a bit on Feminism and the newer Men's movements, the book is then rounded out with a small section on Cyber-Pagans, to boot (no pun intended)!This is a very rewarding, quick and light read that will supply a small taste of many traditions, encapsulated in a wonderful theme of Paganism.

Earth Religions have rarely been treated this well in reference literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for Beginners
The tone of the book was friendly and open.All of the information was accurate and put in a format which read easily and well.The only exception (extremely minor) - in the States a "Hedge Witch" isgenerally referred to as a "Kitchen Witch".Excellent material -a MUST read for all.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of modern paganism.
This thin volume gives an excellent overview of modern paganism.Ms Moorey covers a great deal of information in a personal manner which will be easily understood both by practicing pagans and by those who simply wish to learn more about this growing, but often misunderstood segment of society. Ms Moorey touches on witchcraft, wicca, druidism, shamanism, and Celtic paganism. She identifies the basic beliefs of each traditon, comparing and contrasting the nuances of each without going into unnecessarydetail.Each chapter includes bibliographical references for those who wish to pursue their studies ... Read more

27. Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives (Religion in Contemporary Cultures)
Hardcover: 382 Pages (2005-12-31)
list price: US$85.00 -- used & new: US$45.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1851096086
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Modern Paganism in World Cultures collects the work of specialists in religion, folklore, and related fields to provide a comprehensive treatment of the movement to reestablish pre-Christian religions. Detailed accounts of the belief systems and rituals of each religion, along with analysis of the cultural, social, and political factors fueling the return to ancestral religious practice, make this a rich, singular resource.

Scandinavian Asatru, Latvian Dievturi, American Wicca—long-dormant religions are taking on new life as people seek connection with their heritage and look for more satisfying approaches to the pressures of postmodernism. The Neopagan movement is a small but growing influence in Western culture. This book provides a map to these resurgent religions and an examination of the origins of the Neopagan movement.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Creating and inventing new faiths to live by
A topic widely misunderstood, here explained mostly by insiders who are scholars, this collects essays on European-American revivals, reinventions, and reimaginings of ethnically based, traditionally rooted, and nature-based polytheistic practices. Although aimed at the scholarly audience-- for all eight chapters come heavily documented and occasionally sound more like lectures than articles-- it's an accessible collection. The subject's a new one; before the 1960s counterculture, few had known of seekers who shared ambivalence to the dominant "Abrahamic" faiths and who, common with neo-pagans, found their inner dissatisfaction with common religions shared by a few dissenters and visionaries. The past couple of decades, despite the "satanic panic" of the late 80s & early 90s, a growing number have come out of what the U.S. military contributor, Stephanie Urquhart, calls "the broom closet."

Commonly jumbled with Wicca, neopagans interviewed here disdain this confusion. Many seek a Reconstructionist approach founded on what can be gleaned from the fragmented practices left behind after hundreds or thousands of years of Christian suppression of native faiths and more "natural" religions. The languages, the myths, the rituals all demand serious discipline. Those who follow this initiatory path may debate, as in Asatru, with those advocating an Eclectic approach-- more akin to Wicca in a multicultural, willfully varied, if less rigorously historic construction. Generally, those in this anthology appear more sober than some discordants featured in Margot Adler's "Drawing Down the Moon," (reviewed by me) which by the way would provide for the American background as with Ronald Hutton's "Triumph of the Moon" for British neopaganism recommended prior reading before this volume. The difficulty of reconciling "Folkish" with universalist philosophies presents an intriguing counterpart, as editor Michael Strmiska and Baldur A. Sigurvinsson note, to the never-ending arguments in Judaism over "who is a Jew" and about conversion.

Nordic paganism in Iceland and America provides contrasts between homogenous and diverse nations where neopagan adherents strive to connect with ancestral cultures while dealing with how to admit those outside a "native" lineage or ethnic ancestry. The contributors address this, especially with the Irish, English and Asatru contexts, openly and honestly. The difficulties with stereotyping by the media and the tension of associations with white extremists also gain investigation. Similarly, the continuing prejudice against pagans within the military and comparison and contrasts with Goth, neo-tribal, extremist, and sexual subcultures provide a topic that enriches one's understanding of a truly diverse America.

The majority of contributors balance well academic rigor with the personal attraction that interviews convey for those engaged in expanding and debating their "invented religions." "Celtic-Based spirituality" in the "Hereditary Druid Tradition" of the Hibernian Order of Druids serves for participant-observer Jenny Butler as an Irish case study. As an initiate she cannot divulge the higher levels of what's practiced-- this may slightly compromise the scope of her essay. Still, as with many contributors to this volume, we hear what otherwise would be inaccessible to the general audience which needs to listen to the opinions and facts here compiled. Butler diplomatically places claims of Owl Grove group in Co. Laois within larger contexts of the Celtic Revival and the spirited (if now, sadly, outmaneuvered) protests over the Tara-adjacent M3 motorway earlier this decade.

Despite some detours into lectern-types of recitation-- notably in entries on British Heathenry and sacred sites by anthropologist Jenny Blain, and on Ukrainian "Ridnovira" or Old Faith by environmental scholar Adrian Ivakhiv-- the chapters remain uniformly informative. Blain's employs theory; Ivakhiv's a densely encyclopedic style. Yet, as with Ivakhiv's conclusion which parallels the Ridno Vira within the reorientation of British Wicca after its own origin myths had been revamped by scholars, they too deserve a place for their own devotion to careful research. "Romuva" as Lithuanian paganism in its homeland and in America earns the most attention from Strmiska and Vilius Rudra Dundzila, nearly sixty pages. Yet, it wisely strives to integrate the voices of its practitioners with those of academics.

One shortcoming: the generic, stock maps are at so general a level, such as showing the 50 States or a silhouette of Iceland in relation to North America with no detail, that their presence confounded me. The countries of Europe are so tiny as to be nearly indecipherable, crushed into the corner so the U.S. can share a map page with them. Dotting a few large cities in the British Isles does not inform many readers needing to know, say, where Stonehenge might stand. Similarly, the photographs may be of sub-par quality, black-and-white snapshots lacking definition. Close-ups of ritual items can be fuzzy, a few practitioners in ritual dress seem more souvenirs for the writer than a helpful representation of practices themselves that beg, for the uninitiated, a visual explanation. One example: a 1908 postcard with the familiar, and now tainted, swastika as a good-luck symbol's shown, but on the same page, one wonders in vain (unless visiting the URL provided) what an "Algiz rune" looks like. For an expensive purchase, the quality and inconsistency of these informative elements disappoints by their paucity and simplicity. For an expensive purchase, the quality of these elements disappoints by their paucity and simplicity.

Yet, this subject has no comparable equivalent. Turn here next to find out more, especially about the European adaptations after the less-ethnic Americans in Adler and the insular English in Hutton. It's not quite a "World"-encompassing treatment (and the editor addresses this and countless other questions in his excellent introduction) but it opens up the Baltic, Norse, and to a lesser extent Italian and English-based movements. I came here first for the Irish material, and it does summarize much valuable scholarship in a cogent treatment.

Sabrina Magliocco's survey of "stregheria" and its tense relationship with Wicca speaks well for the challenges and excitement felt by many within these faiths as they are conceived and created. "For many second-, third-, and fourth-generation Italian Americans, the word 'strega' and the traditions surrounding it became little more than whispers in family legends-- decontextualized, marginalized, silenced, but still powerful fodder for the imagination. They were, in short, ripe for revival." (75) Magliocco's direction opens the book; Urquhart's panorama closes it with a complimentary range into a fascinating presentation of many non-ethnically grounded, multicultural and democratic campaigns to earn respect for pagans in the service. ... Read more

28. Contemporary Paganism: Minority Religions in a Majoritarian America
by Carol Barner-Barry
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2005-03-02)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$60.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1403964416
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book explores the legal bias in the United States against Paganism and other non-Christian religions. Despite being one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world, the U.S. legal system developed when the population was predominantly Christian. Built into the law is the tacit assumption that all religions and religious practices resemble Christianity. Using the Pagans as a case study, Barner-Barry shows how their experiences demonstrate that both the law affecting nondominant religions and the judiciary that interprets this law are significantly biased in favor of the dominant religion, Christianity. This creates legal problems, as well as problems of intolerance, for religions with significantly different practices. Special attention is given to a series of Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Freedom of Religion Clause in terms of neutrality and interpreting the Establishment Clause loosely and its impact on nondominant religions in the US.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking read on religious discrimination
I was amazed by this book, I never realized the plight of the modern day Pagan in the United States.Being a member of a majority religion I had never really considered that others do infact receive maltreatment over their personal religious beliefs.In the United States our religious makeup is changing from a Judeo-Christian background to other religious. While we as a nation profess a nation of religious freedom for all, in reality this does not always apply to all people.

If you are looking to support paganism from a religious standpoint this book is not for you.If you are looking for ways to declare paganism as a false religion, this book will not support that conclusion either.While the book is mostly written from a neutral standpoint, I think it may offer members of the Pagan community some ideas and thoughts when trying to navigate through a Judeo-Christian world.

Carol Barner-Barry does an excellent job of pulling together a variety of legal cases, and examples of members of the Pagan community and their plight.She pulls together many examples of people who lost their job for doing something as simple as wearing a necklace that demonstrated their religious faith, to parents who have lost custody of their children over their religious choice.

One assumption is made readily and quickly, and it can apply to other religions.Paganism should not be confused to talk show guests that profess Satanism.Members of those sects are in the minority, and have often created their own beliefs and try to claim everyone else shares their beliefs.Paganism while different than many other religious does have legal status as a religion in the United States.While others do not have to agree that anyone's individual religion is correct, we should agree to equal protection under the law.

I found this to be an excellent read.It was extremely eye opening in that religious freedom isn't always for all individuals.As the population in the United States changes the religious make up may change when this happens.Laws and regulations should be sensitive to the needs of others who do not share beliefs of our own.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent new resource for members of 'minority' religions
I've just finished reading Contemporary Paganism: Minoritarian Religions in a Majoritarian America, by Carol Barner-Barry, and I've gotta tell you, ya oughta read it!

Beautifully researched and nicely documented (without the reader feeling like the notes are 'in the way', as sometimes has happened). The author paints a chilling picture of twenty-first century "religious freedom" as not-practiced in places across the US ... with a few glorious examples of how it Could and SHould be practiced in some other places, including a couple of heart-warming moments when pastors of 'majoritarian' churches have stepped forward in support of the rights of Hindus, Pagans, and other "non-monotheists" to practice religious observance.

Excellent disquisition on the perils of "facially neutral" laws (you know, the kind that equally prohibit carnivores and vegetarians from eating meat in a vegetarian restaurant, or that prevent Jews and Seventh-Day ADventists from working on Sunday)... and many other kinds of "we don't get it" -type legislation and/or court rulings.

Oughta be required reading for local Ecumenical Councils (or equiv). And it's a bit of a cautionary tale about stepping out of the broom closet without careful planning.

My two complaints are practical and small, rather than substantive: I wish the typeface had been one size larger (though I sure am grateful for the whitespace between the lines), and I suspect the book could gather a wider readership if the title and the subtitle (or what DO you call the part after the colon?) were reversed. Even with its focus on Pagan religions there's enough mention of inappropriate discrimination of Native Americans, Jews, Buddhists, and others to have a more ecumenical title.

So, buy the book. What are you waiting for?

... Read more

29. Practical Paganism
by Anthony Kemp, J.M. Sertori
Hardcover: 224 Pages (1996-08-01)
list price: US$32.50 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0709057873
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Paganism is a religion rooted in the past that has adapted itself to the needs of today. Based on our ancestors' beliefs it is a fusion of Celtic Nordic Druidic and Wiccan traditions. Modern Paganism as a spiritual path is being followed by ever-increasing numbers of those seeking an alternative to traditional religion. In this exploration of just what Paganism is the Author shows how we can find a deeper moral purpose in our lives. He also offers a selection of simple rituals to celebrate the seasons and to re-awaken the old gods and goddesses of nature in our consciousness and explores new topics such as Pagan parenting and rites of passage. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

This book is useful to all those that want to learn about Paganism. The author dicusses holidays, gods and goddesses, along with other things that pertain to Paganism. I found thatthis book doesn't really go into enoughdetail about these subjects though. Good reading material for begginers butI personally don't recommend it to those who know some about Paganism. ... Read more

30. Rites of Pleasure: Sexuality in Wicca and Neo-Paganism
by Jennifer Hunter
Paperback: 240 Pages (2004-10-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$1.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0806525843
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Bold & necessary treatment, if uneven in its scholarship & tone
Researching academic studies on neo-paganism, the title naturally intrigued me, so I checked this out. It's not scholarly but popular in its direction, although endnotes and sources are dutifully cited. A general survey interspersed with 22 accounts from (all but one) American "Witches, Wiccans, and NeoPagans," the result's certainly not nearly as sober or somber as other introductions to this charged and potent topic.

The subtitle's "Sexuality in Wicca and NeoPaganism." But it's not an anthropological treatise of a little-known subculture. It's meant to reassure those already inside (or peeking into) the emerging tradition. It's written in a very breezy-- if for me rather nudge-nudge, wink-wink tone of "we've all been there, we're all in this together" against the system-- tone of solidarity. Understandably given the caution that kept me, reading this at my workplace, to conceal the cover. The supportive, here rather coy, there very explicit style of the presentation may not surprise, on the other hand, the intended audience for this brisk work. I sympathize with the difficulties faced by those popularizing not only marriage and "fluid-bonded" relationships but "condom compacts," a "play party," polyamory and similarly if even more daringly open-minded sexual expressions among those long feeling persecuted for their right to pursue pleasure in life-affirming, yet dramatically subversive or imaginative new-old ways. Hunter's fair-- more than earlier reviewers on Amazon US may have given her credit for-- in appealing to everybody on the continuum from celibates to sex workers; she keeps in mind risks and challenges for all involved.

The author of two books previously on Wicca, Hunter reminds us how rare a religion which encourages open sexuality for all remains. As a researcher, that brought me to read this. That novelty accounts for interest many may have in this subject. Symbolism, relationships, rituals, magic, body-positive thinking, ethics and safety, gender issues, poly & queer paganism, and rites of passage follow a quick history of sacred sex. She tends towards works by pagans themselves but includes scholarship from primarily feminist and sexuality authorities also. Websites, a glossary, and the often frank comments from the informants themselves help orient the reader.

As I've mentioned, the book, despite its rapid pace, tends towards a compendium for practitioners and, it seems, experienced pagans rather than newcomers or academics. I think that the sources for what remains historically an elusive subject to account for solidly-- due to the prejudice and bias heaped upon it for millennia-- could have been stronger, but in time, a more subdued, less giddy text may follow. Hunter writes for her fellow circle, and this is a first start towards a needed conversation and elucidation of sacred sex past and especially present in a nature-based, magically and spiritually flexible context. That being said, the readership for it may be narrower or broader than I'd expected-- but in either case more than the esoteric sociological monograph I'd figured this for unseen, to be sure.

3-0 out of 5 stars nothing new
It seems to me that the people interwievedin this book have a somewhat similar take on sexuality. I would have enjoyed a more diverse group of voices that also exist in the pagan community like someone who think BDSM isopressive, someone who think polarity and male/female coupling is the only form of true wicca, someone who belives you should be legally handfasted to have sex or kids, celibacy etc. This book as it is now just gives me nothing new. Sad on such an interesting subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent work!
I really, really, really liked this book. I've pretty much been reading anything I can get my hands on as far as BDSM and sex magic goes, and so the chapter in this book on that topic was what first attracted me. I'm not surprised I like it, though-I think that her 21st Century Wicca is one of the best (and most underappreciated) Wicca 101 texts out there (and you know it has to be good to impress me ;)

This is definitely a unique book in the existing corpus of knowledge regarding paganism and sexuality in general. Rather than a how-to guide for sex magic, it's an excellent discussion of ethics and the role of sex and sexuality in the pagan community. You want your paganism 201 material? Here it is, with intelligent, mature discussion of what can sometimes be sticky (literally and figuratively) subject matter. Hunter punctuates her writing with quotes from a wide selection of interviewees ranging from Annie Sprinkle and Dossie Easton to Donald Michael Kraig and Raven Kaldera.

The topics covered include various sexualities (hetero, homo, bi, etc), polyamory, transgendered people and gender fluidity in the pagan community, BDSM and even sex work, among others. Hunter does an excellent job of treating every topic fairly and evenly. There's also a good chapter on sex magic and preparations thereof, making this a really good guide overall. And, I am absolutely pleased to say that she makes good use of endnote citations and has a wonderful bibliography. (Those of you who have been reading my reviews a while, or my journal, or talking to me in person, or...well...you get the idea, know that the lack of internal citations in pagan nonfic is one of my major pet peeves.)

Overall, I highly recommend this book to any pagan. Hunter offers a lot of food for thought that I think the pagan community really needs to be paying attention to, especially in light of recent social shifts towards the mainstream. As paganism gets more exposure from outside the community, other people will be asking about our views on sex and sexuality. This book addresses a lot of the controversial issues about sex and sexuality in paganism in a manner that not only can help the individual pagan get a better handle on hir own thoughts on the matter, but could even be offered as a text for non-pagans to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid, insightful book with shaky introduction
_Rites of Pleasure_ is a popular-press book written by a practitioner of contemporary Paganism. It includes a history of Pagan sexuality, Pagan sex gods and symbols, Pagan relationships, sexuality in the Pagan community, gender and queer Paganism, BDSM, sex work, and sex magic. Hunter treats all of these topics in a colloquial, sex-positive voice, supplementing her own thoughts with interview clips from other Pagan practitioners, some of them very well-known (including Carol Queen, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, Raven Kaldera, Judy Harrow, Don Kraig, Annie Sprinkle, and others).

Hunter shows a great deal of sophistication in many of the chapters. Her Pagan relationships chapter includes a balanced, common-sense introduction to polyamory, while also supporting monogamy as a legitimate relationship style. The chapters on BDSM and sex magic are both provocative and down-to-earth. Hunter emphasizes consent and safety while providing a strong theoretical framework for the use of sexuality and BDSM techniques for spellwork, to achieve ecstatic or visionary trance, for initiatory purposes, and to explore new depths of bonding with a partner or partners. _Rites_ is excellent in its treatment of safer sex, looking in depth at negotiation techniques among networks of lovers and exploring condoms and other latex barriers as magical tools. Finally, Hunter provides a theological grounding for the importance of sexuality within Pagan practice, giving clear explanations of the Pagan belief in immanent deity and providing models of how sexuality can be used as a devotional practice in contemporary Paganism.

The book is somewhat marred, however, by weak introductory chapters, which is where Hunter ventures outside her specialty (contemporary Paganism and sexuality) into history. Hunter gets academic points for pointing out that most narratives of prehistoric Goddess worship are speculation, and for her references to Ronald Hutton's excellent work on Pagan history. Her overuse of Riane Eisler (whose scholarship is notoriously flawed and biased), however, leads to a number of overgeneralizations. Hunter is alive to the diversity of contemporary Paganism; it is a shame she is not more aware of the immense diversity of Christianity and other world religions.

With the exception of these opening chapters, however, _Rites_ is a well-researched, intelligent, accessible book that deals with issues of sexuality in contemporary Paganism with insight and subtlety. I would whole-heartedly recommend it for anyone interested in sex-positive spiritual practice.

1-0 out of 5 stars What editor passed this?
"Some Netspeak is used in this book. If you see some strange 'punctuation,' or an acronym you don't recognize, just ignore it--and buy a computer at your earliest opportunity."

To be honest, this kind of attitude from a writer does not encourage me as to their ability to explain anything.While it is (regrettably) true that "Netspeak" has become nearly ubiquitous, it's hardly something to use as a way of putting oneself above the reader.Ms. Hunter would have been well-served to include a short lexicon in place of this "recommendation" which only serves to alienate. ... Read more

31. European Paganism
by Ken Dowden
Paperback: 392 Pages (2008-04-01)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$36.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415474639
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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European Paganism provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of ancient pagan religions throughout the European continent.
Before there where Christians, the peoples of Europe were pagans. Were they bloodthirsty savages hanging human offerings from trees? Were they happy ecologists, valuing the unpolluted rivers and mountains? In European Paganism Ken Dowden outlines and analyses the diverse aspects of pagan ritual and culture from human sacrifice to pilgrimage lunar festivals and tree worship. It includes:
* a 'timelines' chart to aid with chronology
* many quotations from ancient and modern sources translated from the original language where necessary, to make them accessible
* a comprehensive bibliography and guide to further reading.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Read parts online but can't afford it
I read parts of this excellent book online, courtesy of Google Books. What I read of it was wonderful. I was looking for info on Taranis and on the transition of paganism to Christianity. I was knocked out however by the second chapter on the landscape; the fact that "Once a sacred temple has been built, even when the building is destroyed, the place remains sacred" is also true of many other indigenous traditions including in the New World. It is sad for example that historic preservation bureaucrats pushing through permitting processes for development don't _want_ to understand that a site can remain sacred, for example, in Hawaii, even if the heiau (temple) is no longer there; that it is the SITE that was the reason the heiau was built in the first place.

I can't speak to the reason the other reviewer didn't like the book, that it tried to mash everything into one umbrella theory in the last chapter. I also didn't think it was that disparaging of the old beliefs-- for an academic. I personally love encyclopedic mishmashes of fact that I can't find elsewhere very easily. The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is that the price is way out of line for students and less well-off scholars; there should be a paperback available for around 30 bucks or so. There aren't any expensive plates so it just looks like needless price gouging. After all, I would think authors want to get their ideas out there, but at $125 a pop, that's pretty tough for many to buy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great erudition...but, basically, a Procrustean bed
It's hard to know how to react to Professor Dowden's book. On the positive side, it covers a great deal of ground, has an impressive bibilography, and features some of the author's own translations (from Old English, German, and Latin, among other languages) of texts that were previously unavailable in English. On the negative side, it tries to cover far too much ground, often holds a contemptuous tone towards it subject matter or the author's voice seems quite sarcastic, and eventually, the whole book collapses by the author's attempt to create a sort of a template of "Indo-European Paganism" that fails to convince this reader.

As Dowden himself admits, there's more than one "paganism" but rather a series of "paganisms."One can't hope to impose the straightforward narrative of one of the "revealed religions," i.e., Christianity, Islam, Judaism, upon a set of systems that varied very much, culture by culture and responded much to local conditions.The author admits this early, then reinforces it with repeated language to this effect later, but he then does the contrary in practice by trying to make everything fit an overarching general theory, step by step.

The earlier chapters begin with fascinating discussions of the sacred groves, sacred waters, the landscape itself, culture by culture.The author wanders from the Aesculetum near Rome and the Grove of Diana at Aricia all the way to Lithuanian tree worship with its generous libations of beer.Dowden continues for many chapters along this route, with a sort of catalogue of paganisms, and their common denominators.This is interesting, although, he seems to hold contempt for his subject matter, especially when discussing the nature of divination or of the gods and their relationship to humanity. I find this to be a disadvantage to an author's appreciation of his subject matter, but this may be entirely my own prejudice.

When the author reaches his penultimate chapter, he tries to tie all of the shards together, through linguistics and details to construct the following ideal template of Indo-European paganism:a council of elders (or of the people) meeting in a sacred grove every so many years (whether 5 or 7 or 9 or whatever) in order to conduct a series of sacrifices, especially human.I found his final denouement to be both unconvincing and trite: it largely fails his subject matter.As he himself admits, many of these pagan cultures had already either discarded human sacrifice or created symbolic substitutes (For example, the Romans outlawed human sacrifice by law in 97 B.C.E., while the Greeks regarded it as so taboo that they belived that Orpheus himself had legislated against it.).In my estimation, Dowden relies too heavily on Germanic and Lithuanian practice in order to enforce this viewpoint and is notably weaker in his arguments when dealing with Classical civilization.

Overall, I find this book to be a notable effort by a man of obvious intellect, but it still fails. ... Read more

32. Paganism (Critical Concepts in Religious Studies)
 Hardcover: 1056 Pages (2008-11-24)
list price: US$900.00 -- used & new: US$602.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415438314
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Contemporary Paganism emerged in Britain in the 1940s and 1950s as a new religious movement, although practitioners understood themselves to be participating in a witchcraft tradition extending back into medieval—if not prehistoric—times.

In recent decades, Pagan Studies has emerged through a plethora of sophisticated anthropological, sociological, and historical studies, and this new three-volume collection from Routledge’s Critical Concepts in Religious Studies series brings together the best foundational and cutting-edge scholarship in one ‘mini library’.

Volume I addresses the emergence of Paganism as a religion. It collects scholarly analyses of the historical evolution of Paganism, and is organized under topics including debates of historical accuracy, influences on the development of Paganism, and the process of routinization in the religion. The second volume addresses the importance of environmentalism in contemporary Paganism, including work on how Pagans think about the natural world, environmental ethics, and related political activism. The final volume addresses the importance of gender issues and feminism in contemporary Paganism, and collects the best research on topics including immanence, embodiment, self-image, and sexuality.

Paganism is fully indexed and has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context. It is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop research and pedagogic resource.

... Read more

33. Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries
by Professor Ramsay MacMullen
Paperback: 288 Pages (1999-10-11)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300080778
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In this book, MacMullen investigates the transition from paganism to Christianity between the fourth and eighth centuries. He reassesses the triumph of Christianity, contending that it was neither tidy nor quick, and he shows that the two religious systems were both vital during an interactive period that lasted far longer than historians have previously believed. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

2-0 out of 5 stars BORING and ARROGANT
While this is a very good, concise look in to Late Antiquity, the author writes in such a manner that he comes across as arrogant. I say this because he "over does" the way he writes. It is as if he wanted to impress the academic community with his eloquent language. What you really get is a difficult to read version of history. If this was not an assigned reading for my graduate course, I would have NEVER purchased this book! I read historical books all of the time, I think some historians forget that they WANT people to read their book. It's painful to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Beware! Half the Book Contains the Author's Notes!
I love the content of the book, but it's way too much like a Master's Thesis and written in a way that is not for everyone.The style of writing really put me off and distracted from the content.I gave it 3 stars because of the convoluted, prosey, highbrow style.The content gets 5 stars.If you want to spend your evening sitting in a wing-back chair in front of a fireplace wearing a smoking jacket and smoking a Meerschaum pipe, this is the book for you; otherwise, don't bother. This book is referene material only.

5-0 out of 5 stars How joyous paganism transformed itself into stern monotheism
Much has been said here already about MacMullen's second book on Christianizing Roman paganism, like exhibiting both an extraordinary profound criticism on the processes at hand and a meticulously got-up documentation. Ground-breaking - sometimes fierce fully arguing - MacMullen investigates his subject from the viewpoint of paganism and the to be converted crowds, rather than that of the policymakers of the time or authors of remaining - mostly Christian - texts, at the same time stressing that Christianization has had its "costs". Some remarks here on this latter point. While convincing me about the harshness of post-Constantine's Christianity's propaganda- and recruitment system and the way this system overruled a non-propagandist, no defensive, let go offensive (for without "testing of the merits of my gods against yours") and loosely tight "substratum of rites", MacMullen also typifies the two opposing systems in a more or less surprising way. His outlook towards paganism is, to begin with, mainly positive. "Taken as a whole system, paganism worked", he states. All right with me, but in what way "worked"? Most elaborate on this issue MacMullen is not before his Summery: "In the worshipper's address to any immortal being - to the lord of the skies, or a divinized hero, even one's loved ones and ancestors - place could be found for the deepest thoughts and feelings, or the lightest, in awe-filled solitude, or amongst one's dearest neighbors, friends and family." In times of stress and sorrow needs of worshippers could be satisfied. Elsewhere MacMullen typifies paganism in his before mentioned, unusual way: "Joy was worship." Whatever rites had to be carried out, "it was an offering of faith to show one's happiness". Feasting, singing, dancing, drinking, staying up through the night, in short bliss in every respect, together with "a sort of sacred sociability", was "of the essence" of paganism. This aspect of paganism too had to be overruled by the Church. "Among strict Christians, of course, there should be nothing of a party mood in worship." This, according to MacMullen, can be demonstrated in facial expressions, depicted on artifacts from the era in question: "The down-turned mouth, the sorrowing, gabled eyebrows of Byzantine or medieval piety should replace the smiles of paganism." In particular this social-emotional aspect of the Christianization process met, as is comprehensible, with ongoing rebellion and malfunction in the centuries to come. What is most valuable about MacMullen's book as a whole to my opinion is, that by its innovative perspective it opens doors to a more weighed judgment about what he, I think accurately, calls "the grand event", than historicists have been able till today.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Rise of Christianity...
...is a more complicated subject than what most people suppose. The usual story is that people in the Roman Empire, upon seeing the superiority of Christianity, converted peacefully and immediately, and that this happened once Constantine tolerated the new religion. Further, most people think that Christianity, as a whole, sprang with its doctrines already intact. Ramsay MacMullen, Professor Emeritus of History at Yale and one of the best historians of the Roman Empire, exposes the flaws in these assumptions.

Since Justinian felt the need to take sever action against pagan religious practice, well into the 6th century, we see that paganism was alive and well for a while. Under Constantine, and then under Theodosius and others, the laws encouraged conversion to Christianity and discouraged staying pagan. Constantine's motivations are complex; he wanted to find one religion to unify his empire, but there's no evidence that he was not sincere in his conversion. After his conversion, church leaders and bishops were not happy with the persistence of the old religion. "Pagans danced in the very streets, as Augustine described them; in the theatres they laughed aloud at takeoffs on communion and martyrdom, as I mentioned a few pages earlier; they wrote open letters and speeches in their own defense, they even went to court to assert their rights- all this, far into the fifth century...Thus the imperative to which Augustine and others of the ecclesiastical leadership responded, utterly to extirpate every form of worship but their own, must resort to arms." (p. 25)

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is MacMullen's discussion of the assimilation of pagans into the church. Most pagan converts simply did not have a concept of praying to one supreme being for petitions, intercessions, etc. Rather, they each had their own god- one for harvests, one for employment, and so on. They thought that there was some vague "Logos" that was governing the world, but that it was unreachable by humans. The influx of pagans holding these views greatly influenced the cult of the martyrs and saints. Many converts made a simple substitute. Since there are records of Augustine and Jerome and others constantly making sermons against superstitious obsession with martyrs, we can safely say that assimilation was far from a smooth process. Moreover, according to MacMullen, aspects of paganism influenced the development of Christianity, despite the latter's hostility to the former.

This is a highly recommended work. Anyone wanting to know how Christianity got to where it is today should read this. It makes a good companion to "Voting About God in Early Church Councils" by the same author.

5-0 out of 5 stars The History Christianity Never Told
This is a very important book, one that every student of religious history should read. Ramsay MacMullen has undertaken the task of speaking on behalf of a people who were not allowed to speak for themselves: the pagans of the Roman Empire. He points out that the focus of history has been on Christianity; after all, Christians wrote the histories of that era. But he notes as well that the estimates on Christian numbers by Tertullian and Eusebius are "manifestly absurd", an expression "of the authors' zeal and their sense of the distance traveled by their church since the first century." What this amounts to, in MacMullen's view, is that "the Christians, not only in their triumphant exaggerations but in their sheer bulk, today, seriously misrepresent the true proportions of religious history."

Orthodox Christianity was not interested in voices raised in protest. What were seen as heretical writings were burned, as were non-Christian texts and "copyists were discouraged from replacing them by the threat of having their hands cut off." And Christianity's own historians were not interested in giving a balanced accounting of events. MacMullen comments that Eusebius "disclaimed the telling of the whole truth. Rather, he proposed to limit his account to 'what may be of profit.'"

This book attempts to set the record straight. MacMullen notes that previously scholars had thought that paganism had been defeated by the end of the fourth century and all converted to the new faith. This is not true, he tells us. "Stain Augustine did not live in a Christian world" he says and in the book's five chapters proceeds to demonstrate the truth of this assertion.

We see that paganism of the late Roman Empire was alive and well. "It used to be thought that, at the end, the eradication of paganism really required no effort" and that paganism had become a hollow husk. "But historians seem now to have abandoned this interpretation...The real vitality of paganism is instead recognized; and to explain its eventual fate what must also be recognized is an opposing force, an urgent one, determined on its extinction." And we see the extreme measures to which Christianity was willing to resort to stamp out all opposition: fines, confiscation, exile, improsionment, flogging, torture, beheading, and crucifixtion. "What more could be imagined? Nothing. The extremes of conceivable pressure were brought to bear." Nor was this violence restricted to pagans. Speaking of the fourth century, MacMullen says "more Christians died for their faith at the hands of fellow Christians than had died before in all the persecutions."

Like Pagans and Christians before it, Christianity & Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries must be read for the truth of the past to be understood. The facts have for long been misrepresented and misunderstood, and MacMullen brushes these obstructions away with a masterful hand to reveal the vibrancy of a pagan world scholarship has long consigned to oblivion. I cannot recommend it highly enough. ... Read more

34. Twilight of a Great Civilization: The Drift Toward Neo-Paganism
by Carl F. H. Henry
Hardcover: 196 Pages (1988-06-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$18.16
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Asin: 0891074910
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"A half-generation ago the pagans were still largely threatening at the gates of Western culture; now the barbarians are plunging into the... mainstream. As they seek to reverse the inherited intellectual and moral heritage of the Bible,... [we are] engaged as never before in a rival conflict for the mind, the conscience, the will, the spirit, the very selfhood of contemporary man." --Carl F. H. Henry

Twilight of a Great Civilization is a penetrating critique, by a distinguished Christian leader, of the moral and intellectual disintegration sweeping our culture. But more than this, it is a book of promise and possibilities--a ringing affirmation of the power of the gospel to transform hearts and minds, and to leave a lasting impact upon our age.

As one of the noted Christian thinkers of this century, Carl F. H. Henry provides a perceptive diagnosis of America's spiritual malaise. From the decline in moral integrity, to "Christian Fundraising Heresies"; from the abandonment of rigorous education and clear thinking, to the affirmation of idealistic illusions in social and political matters--Henry shows how the wider culture, and many within Christian circles, have accommodated to the Spirit of the Age.

But beyond the careful diagnosis lies Henry's prescription and vision for recovery: Jesus Christ the Lord is coming! He has won the ultimate victory over sin and death; and He will come again in power and glory to reign forevermore. Therefore, the church of Jesus Christ is alive!--and by the power of the Spirit is called to "march and sing our faith in the public arena, in the streets,... on the mass media," and in the marketplace of ideas.

Henry provides here an invaluable resource to all who long for the light of Christ to shine with brilliance in this: "the twilight of a great civilization."

"The American Century is over; the world order is changing. But America's eclipse is not inevitable. In a country where people can choose... , the future... is a matter of choice." --Newsweek Magazine

"To the world we seem like Hogan's Army waiting for Godot. Can we take a holy initiative in history? Can we once more strike an apostolic stride? Can we put an ungodly world on the defensive again? Can we show men the folly of opposing Him who has already overcome the world, of rejecting fellowship with the coming King? Will we offer civilization a realistic option, or only a warning of impending doom? Will Christianity speak only to man's fears and frustrations, or will it also fill the vacuums in his heart and crown his longings for life at its best?" --Carl F. H. Henry

... Read more

35. Signals of Belief in Early England: Anglo-Saxon Paganism Revisited
Paperback: 208 Pages (2010-10-30)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$40.50
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Asin: 1842173952
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This volume will throw new light on the intellect of the earliest English - the way they thought, the way they viewed the world, and the way they viewed worlds other than this. Previous understanding of the topic, well-rooted in the ideas of its time, regarded the English as adherents of two consecutive religions: Paganism governed the settlers of the 4th-6th century, but was superseded in the 7th-10th century by Christianity. Of the two, Christianity, a religion of the book, documented itself thoroughly, while in failing to do so Paganism laid itself open to centuries of abuse, conjecture or mindless admiration. In developing new objectives, the papers here demonstrate that beliefs varied from place to place and were expressed in material culture. Through archaeology, therefore, these beliefs can be rediscovered. Aware of the fact that even the best archaeology provides no open access to the mind, the contributors record, and study, signals of belief rather than what was believed. The premise of this volume is that paganism was not a religion with supraregional rules and institutions, but a loose term for a variety of local intellectual world views. The same courtesy is extended to Christianity. Both religions are treated as sources on which local people - the true agents of Anglo-Saxon England - eclectically drew. A range of material culture and locations across Northern Europe are explored, looking at signals of belief from the landscape, water cults, burial rites, the hall and animals in life and art. Each author looks across the sea to Scandinavia, as well as to the woods and fields, mires and mounds of Old England, resulting in a new perspective on the intellectual preoccupations and anxieties of a crucial age. ... Read more

36. The Truth About Neo-Paganism (Truth About Series)
by Anodea Judith
Paperback: 64 Pages (2002-09-08)
list price: US$1.99 -- used & new: US$0.75
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Asin: 1567185673
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Neo-paganism is a religion which connects the worlds of myth and reality, persona and planet. But what is this movement, what is it based upon, and what effect might it have on the cultural and spiritual framework of the Western world? This book attempts to answer such questions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Just the basics
This is a good guide for those family & friends that have no idea, what your beliefs are or about. I let my mother read this and it helped clear up alot of misunderstandings for her. I had thought about Letting her read the book by Scott Cunningham. But the chapters on skyclad & sexuality would be to much for her, and this one left those subjects out.

1-0 out of 5 stars More enthusiasm than scholarship
The author lumps several un-related spiritual paths incorrectly under the "Neo-Pagan" umbrella.

"Neo-Pagan" refers to a group of revival-religions, and specifically does NOT include such religions as Hinduism & Budhism, which far pre-date Christianity.(These religions might legitimately be called Pagan.They cannot be called Neo-Pagan.)

One seeking information on this subject would be far better to read Margot Adler's work (which the author references on page 2). ... Read more

37. Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity: The World of the Acts of the Apostles
by Hans Josef Klauck
Paperback: 148 Pages (2003-09-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$10.75
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Asin: 080063635X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Many forms of magic and paganism were practiced at the time of Jesus. This text explains what they were and how the first Christians reacted to them. Included are accounts of the many experiences of the first Christians recorded in Acts such as Peter encountering the Samaritan magician Simon, and in Athens Paul finds the city full of idols but also discovers an altar "to an unknown god". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent study.
This volume, smallish but rigorous enough, may for some students be an insightful supplement to the study of Luke's Acts. However, it is interesting in its own merits, as history/ scholarship and as exegesis.
From Klauck's introduction: "[W]e now have the possibility of standing afresh in a situation that was a matter of everyday living for the first Christian generations. At the beginning, the Christian faith had to assert itself among the rival religious views which literally competed with one another on the market-place for the favour of the public."

"Like Philo and Josephus, Luke begins by presenting his material in a form which met the expectations of an educated Greek and Roman public." (p4) Luke, we recall, was a gentile and a scientist (a physician) -- the sciences of the Greco-Roman world being astronomy, mathematics and medicine. It is not surprising that Luke's interests engage the 'marketplace of ideas' in which Christianity grew in spite of resistance on all sides. While his approbation of the apostles is evident, his Acts of the Apostles is essentially documentation, it is not polemic. "The primary intention of the Acts of the Apostles as a book is not missionary, but it does portray missionary history, as an inspiration to the reader." (p121)

Klauck's many interesting considerations include Paul's discourse with the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in Athens, at the Areopagus, and encounters with practitioners of magic. In the author's summary words: "Acts employs dramatic episodes, verbal discourses, summary descriptions of the state of affairs, and narrative commentaries. . . the result is a broad and vivid picture. In the course of the narrative, we gradually encounter a whole series of . . . magicians, astrologers and exorcists . . . a king who does not distance himself sufficiently from the cult of rulers . . . a seer . . . devotees of polytheistic belief . . . philosophers whose curiosity is more noticeable than their academic training . . . kindly barbarians and some genuinely 'noble' pagans.
"Despite all the criticism of some defective forms, we do not find any heavily aggressive polemic. Instead, there is a subtle irony which occasionally takes the form of brilliant parodies." (p119)

The bibliography lists a wealth of resources essentially for the multi-lingual reader (German, English, French). ... Read more

38. Craft of the Wise: A Practical Guide to Paganism and Witchcraft
by Vikki Bramshaw
Paperback: 480 Pages (2009-11-16)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$21.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1846942322
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Bringing together both practical experience and innovative research, 'Craft of the Wise: A Practical Guide to Paganism & Witchcraft' communicates a balance of accepted Craft methods together with a wealth of information relating to the origins and beliefs of this particular esoteric path.

Vikki Bramshaw brings together factual evidence from the past and references it to modern practices, dispelling many common misconceptions of popular wicca and allowing the reader to grow in both wisdom and spirituality. Discover the early origins of the Craft, the nature of the elements, the true meanings of the magical tools and how to use talismanic symbols. Learn about the mechanics behind magic, cosmology, creation and manifestation, and the science of the Craft.

Based upon training methods used by the High Priestess of a BritishInitiatory Craft coven, this book explains the initial trainingpractices of Initiatory Esoteric Witchcraft based on Traditional Wiccaand ancient Mystery Traditions, and will appeal to both the beginnerand the existing practitioner alike. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars insightful common sense guide
Finally, an insightful book from someone who actively practices the Craft on an experiential level, and doesn't just talk about it! The author, a fully trained british witch and priestess who works 'up to her knees in mud' in the New Forest (home to such influential names as Sybil Leek and Gerald Gardner) writes from a position of her experience with various different covens and esoteric paths throughout the western mystery tradition.

I disagree with the previous reviewer who said that the title of the book is misleading; there are many different types of witchcraft from all over the world, and wicca is indeed one of them. What the author does do, is show how cunning folk practices and magical systems from the medieval grimoires (many of which are now considered as traditional witchcraft) have been influential on modern Wicca; a topic which both supports the older origins of wiccan practices, whilst also providing evidence as to the existence of cunning craft before the 1940's.

I found her approach to the whole system of Initiatory Craft refreshing - a serious, initiatory priesthood in which magick is a tool; a belief which she describes was similarly followed by the ancient egyptians, the mystery cults of Greece and the Shamanic Priesthoods of Northern Europe. She also openly admits to not being a follower of the new-age 'harm none', but presses the importance of transmutable fate and wyrd.

The only thing that would have improved the book in my opinion would have been an Index, which is sadly lacking; I have found myself constantly referring to this book, so an Index at the back would have been really helpful. But the pros certainly outway the cons in this well researched and practical guide.

2-0 out of 5 stars craft of the wise
If you are looking for....still another book...on wicca, you will love this one.The author calls it modern Initatory Craft, which is true - Gardnerian/Alexandrian Wicca.I must say, this book is very nicely done...it looks & feels good. And the publisher actually has a good editor (so lacking these days!) who was not asleep at the wheel, or out to lunch, when the manuscript was on their desk!Kudos for that!There is alot of information from the authur's own coven.I must also say, I was mislead by the title.There are intrinsic differences between Witchcraft and Wicca, both have their place.If you are looking for Traditional Old Craft and Paganism, read Robin Artisson, Nigel Jackson, Evan John Jones, Robert Cochrane, Nigel Pennick, Michael Howard. See also: The Witches' Sabbats by Mike Nichols.

5-0 out of 5 stars Witchcraft Primer second to none.
Vikki Bramshaw's new book is also out through O Books, but is better grounded in the realities of Witchcraft. Although it's aimed at the novice, there is an insight there and a depth that is lacking from the usual 101 type books. It's her first book, but she brings something out in the writing, and the teaching component to show she's actually listened to her teachers, and also developed their thoughts in a logical progressive way. She will be quite a force to reckon with in the near future, and for a first book, it's definitely one of the best initial offerings I've seen for a long time. Let's hope this isn't a case of beginners luck, although I very much doubt it is. Contrast it with some other recent releases from this publisher and you can see the vast disparity between this and the depth, originality and honesty of the rest. It's definitely a good, educational book, and having Aunty Bunty (Maureen Wheeler) as her teacher and guide, is definitely well grounded in the facts of a Traditional practice I only wish that something like this was around when I was initiated - I will however be recommending it as background reading for those with an interest in Witchcraft.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a keeper
I would recommend this book for someone who is just starting thier journey on what some call the crooked path. It covers everything you will need to know. I enjoyed the way Ms. Bramshaw kept it simple but was extremely clear. I enjoyed the meditiation she included and also the example stories. It made it personal. Craft of the Wise is great book that I highly recommend. ... Read more

39. Voices from the Circle: The Heritage of Western Paganism
by Caitlin Matthews
Paperback: 224 Pages (1990-10-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$24.95
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Asin: 0850307856
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Tales of Spiritual Growth from Seasoned Priest/esses
This is a collection of essays, written by priests and priestesses, abouttheir personal spiritual paths, including some times of spiritual crisis,and how they came to bring themselves back into balance. It also detailsmany different ways of worshipping the God and Goddess, broadening thereader's understanding of the Divine.

A perennial favorite! ... Read more

40. The Virtual Pagan:Exploring Wicca and Paganism through the Internet
by Lisa McSherry
Paperback: 192 Pages (2002-04)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$2.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578632536
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The World Wide Web. Its power rests in its ability to build communities, share information, and transcend great distances. And as practitioners of the craft have discovered, its cutting-edge technology has the ability to weave centuries' old magick with hyperlinks and fiber optics. For individuals interested in Wicca, The Virtual Pagan offers practical tools for getting connected via the Internet. As author Lisa McSherry writes, "Where once we were prevented from reaching out, for fear of prosecution, we are now free to worship in the safety and privacy of cyberspace. No longer are we bound by geography in our search for like-minded Pagans."Divided into three helpful sections, The Virtual Pagan explains to readers how to get online and find a group that meets their needs. The founder of her own online coven, JaguarMoon, McSherry also shares her insights into keeping the circle vital, techniques for proper email etiquette, suggestions for how to build a cyber altar, as well as steps to prepare for and conduct meaningful rituals online. From privacy to practice, software to Sabbat rituals, McSherry offers a wealth of resources, including organizational tips, and a glossary of more than 200 pagan and technological terms. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best gift for a newbie!
This is one of those books that has a definite audience. Whiel most of the information in it will be familiar to the majority of people reading this review, there are people for whom it is perfect. Those people are the ones who may or may not be new to paganism, but who are relatively new to the Internet.

The general overview of the book is that it's Wicca 101 + Internet 101 - the pagan internet 101. McSherry explains the basics of both Wicca and getting online with excellent detail--she thinks of pretty much everything. It's a good berginner's book just for that material.

However, where this book really shines is in online group dynamics. It's obvious she has the experience she claims, as her writing is thoroughly backed up by anecdotes. She's careful to explain how online communication differs from in-person communication, how misunderstandings can arise even easier, and how to deal with a setting that is more easily left than a HPS' home. She also guides the reader through reasons to (or not to) join up with an online group.

I only have two very minor quibbles. First, she uses Wiccan and pagan interchangably, and on p. 9 says that all pagasn follow the Wiccan Rede. That's not so--I and many other pagans follow neither the Rede nor any ethical statement like it. The other minor gripe is on p. 45, she says not to follow any group that accepts outlandish things like pop culture entities and the Illumunati as "truth". As someone who has worked my fair share of pop culture magic (and who is married to Taylor Ellwood, author of the book, "Pop Culture Magick") I do have to disagree that modern mythology is less effective *in practice* than ancient mythology. If we can use modern ritual tools to work with ancient beings, we can also use modern (and ancient) technology to work with modern mythology.

However, those two points are two very minor disagreements I have, and they do not take aweay from the quality or purpose of the book. If you know somebody who's just getting online, and they're pagan (new or not) pickup a copy of "The Virtual Pagan" for them. I really wish I'd had this back in the mid-90's when I first discovered paganism and the internet about the same time, becuase it *really* would have made my introduction a lot smoother--and probably helped me to avoid some of my early flame wars!

2-0 out of 5 stars Good Idea, Wrong Book
Here is a good idea that went astray.Sometimes good material can get lost amongst material that is highly controversial.

The idea of this book, to explore Wicca and Paganism on the Internet, was a good idea.There is material here which would have been good on its own; resources that the Pagan community on the Internet can use to further studies and make surfing interesting and educational.

Ms. McSherry provides information about pagan oriented email groups, chat channels and websites that would have made a good book if presented as a resource tool for Internet Pagans.Her discussion on how the internet works, email and chat room etiquette, flaming and witch wars shows she has much familiarity with the workings of Cyberspace and she did a good job on these topics.

What went astray was her inclusion of her own personal path of CyberCovens and her commentaries on Paganism. I defer to the passage on page 9, which almost set me to pass on reviewing this book:

"If you are new to Paganism, then you need to know a few things about this religion:

1. We all truly only agree on one thing:" An' it harm none, do what ye will."As a result, we do not take any action - magickal or otherwise - that would harm any person, including ourselves."

Paganism categorized as a religion, that Pagans agree on anything spiritual, that the Wiccan Rede is followed by all Pagans and that everyone has a "harm none" ethic makes me feel that Ms. McSherry should have stuck to the technical aspects of the Internet.

There is more in this book on Ms. McSherry's CyberCovens, and the value of connection without contact is something that has been touched on in many circles on the Internet. I believe Ms. McSherry has provided fuel here for some very heated discussions amongst both students and teachers of many paths who use the Internet as a tool for the Pagan Community.

While it is interesting to read, Ms. McSherry's personal path should have been presented as a separate book.The usefulness of this book as an Internet resource becomes muddled in her attempt to define Paganism and present CyberCovens as an alternative to real life experiences.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Reference and Guide
I was a computer illiterate!After exploreing the PC with the help of friends and family I felt better about my skill.I read this book and now, I am a 'thoroughly modern witch'. Not too bad for an old Crone. Thanks for writing this book so that even I can understand.

5-0 out of 5 stars Creating an online Pagan group, and keeping it vital
Lisa McSherry's Virtual Pagan provides a virtual map for getting online, creating a Pagan group, and keeping it vital. The basics of computer user, from email etiquette to building a cyber altar, are here to appeal to a mixed audience of beginners and those with some experience who want to translate the computer world to a meaningful spiritual environment.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Only Guide to Paganism on the Net You Will Need
This unassuming looking little book is a gem. As a twenty-one year veteran Witch, I have read and reviewed many books on the subject of Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism. Out of the three books out there on this particular subject, this one is the most concise, useful and practical book I have found.

McSherry gives perfectly sensible guidelines for how to get on the Net, how to find Pagans once you are there and what to do with them after you find them. Her chapters that discuss what a coven is and is not is useful for anyone who is thinking of joining one, whether in cyberspace or in the "real world," and her dos and don'ts for online communication should be emblazoned upon the hearts of everyone on the net. She accurately portrays various positive and negative Pagan archetypal personalities one may find on the Internet, and in doing so, gives the practitioner a taste for what the virtual Pagan community is like in an accurate, consise format.

If you only want one book about Paganism and the net, this is the one; the others, which I have also read are vastly inferior. ... Read more

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