Help needed - books on paganism?

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Help needed - books on paganism?

Postby kit » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:56 pm

I've had a lovely e mail from a reader who's just finished Solstice. She's interested in finding out more about paganism in general and asked me to recommend any good reading on the subject. I think that the majority of people who read Stonewylde aren't pagan (in fact I know several who are devout Christians) and it's wonderful to me that people of all creeds and beliefs can enjoy the series without feeling I'm on a mission - which of course I'm not!! It just happens that the story is set in a pagan community. And that the pagan way of life is integral to the story.

So please if any of you can recommend any particular books which would be informative for someone interested in finding out more, do reply to this new topic and share your recommendations with all of us.

Bright blessings xxxx
Visit the Stonewylde website at www.stonewylde.com and my blog on www.moongazygirl.blogspot.com
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I like these:

Postby Felicity » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:42 am

Green Witchcraft: Folk Magic, Fairy Lore and Herb Craft (Green Witchcraft) by Ann Moura and Aoumiel

Hedgewytch by Rae Beth.

Both lean more towards witchcraft rather than paganism in general, but both are informative. Hedgewytch especially talks a lot about the Wheel of the Year, which I learned a lot from.
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Postby iWitch » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:45 pm

For a general overview of the various traditions, with a bibliography for further reading should anything take your fancy, Pete Jennings has written a book called: "Pagan Paths". Pete was at the Halloween Festival, Kit and gave a talk, too, and is quite a prolific author by UK pagan standards.

This books gives a brief overview of wicca, heathenism, druidry, reconstructionist and a few other paths besides.
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Postby Carprimulgidae » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:09 am

The Modern Pagan by Brian Day isbn:184413294-3 £14.99
how to live a natural lifestyle in the 21st century.

worth a look, it gives a genral veiw of everything so probably a good starting point although not cheap for a paper back.

Also info on sources and contacts in the back of the book, get it for xams :lol:

Good luck on the quest for knowledge I been looking for a good Pagan book for years :roll: plenty on food in fact a bit of everything

I had mine in ottakars now Waterstones follow this link http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesw ... ku=4632619

Hope this helps :wink:
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Postby iWitch » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:02 pm

The book by Brian Day is about green/organic living and says in its synopsis: "true pagans do not worship deities". A surprise to me and my fellow pagans, I can tell you. :lol:

The book by Pete Jennings is about the various paths within paganism (which do involve deities, etc.), so perhaps Kit you could be more specific about what kind of paganism you are referring to, so we can offer more precise recommendations? Is the querent interested in green issues, or in the type of paganism that involves religious and spiritual aspects?
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Postby kit » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:18 pm

I've just looked at the e mail she sent and what she actually said was, "Can you recommend any good books on paganism as I find it very interesting." So it's pretty general - I think what you're all doing is great, as it will give her (and others who may read the thread) a good general reference list. I'm sure we've all got different interests and slants, and so a wide list is good, as I think this lady doesn't really know what she wants to find out at this point. I do actually get quite a lot of e mails from readers who know nothing about paganism but after reading Stonewylde, want to find out more. So this thread will be very helpful to them. It's great that the series will help enlighten the general reading public a little and show them that this natural religion or whatever you like to call it isn't evil or sinister, but something that resonates within a great many people whatever else they believe in. Of course Stonewylde is just one interpretation and representation, so it's important that nobody thinks this is the definitive version. Thanks everyone who's taken the trouble to contribute to this thread. Keep going! :D
Visit the Stonewylde website at www.stonewylde.com and my blog on www.moongazygirl.blogspot.com
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Postby Carprimulgidae » Tue Dec 25, 2007 5:01 pm

I think the paths are so many it does not matter so much which one she follows, they are all going in the same direction.
Do searches online and read as many books as possable then "maybe" she will find her own way. Hope we can help in some small way!

The book I mentioned was a start, there are much better ones ( as were pointed out) but I seen this in almost every book shop I been in so thought it would be easy to find, if she needs more detailed books another (better one) is:-
Exploring the Pagan Path isbn 15641417886

Not everyones cup of tea but worth a look :wink:
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Postby Sujee » Wed Dec 26, 2007 9:43 pm

I have got Brian Day's book and thought it would be a useful tool to dip into on my spiritual journey.

I think what he means about true pagans not worshippind deities is that beforetimes, when man was young they only wanted the year to progress and did not link what they did to encourage either the sun to return or the crops to grow with an actual spiritual being. I interpreted it that they worshipped and respected the earth, sky, weather and seasons only. I may be wrong but that is one way of looking at it. Of course, at some point someone must have thought 'why' and 'who' and from then on worship as a form of 'religion' was born...

The pagans I know (myself included) use deities, although I try to use Goddess and God to describe them rather than call on specific deities.

Another author who is a gentle read is SCOTT CUNNINGHAM. I know not everyone likes his style but his books are easily accessible and easy on the mind and there are many in his library. They are available on amazon and in many UK bookstores.

Also recommend Rae Beth and Marian Green and Glennie Kindred who illustrates her books beautifully.
Love and Light

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Postby Robin » Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:29 pm

I've been becoming increasingly interested in Paganism for a good few years now, and from what I can gather it seems to make a lot of sense to me on a personal level - I have always found myself to shun organised religion, and so I'm still slightly reluctant to associate myself with it as a religious movement, although I'm starting to re-consider as I find out more.

I shall certainly be buying a few books that have been recommended here, and thanks to those who suggested them.

I was wondering if any of you could recommend any books to do with Paganism from a historical point of view rather than as a modern movement - I'd like to gain a nice amount of knowledge on all aspects of this fascinating subject, but can't seem to find any historical references.

Thanks! :D
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Postby iWitch » Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:54 pm

Robin wrote:I was wondering if any of you could recommend any books to do with Paganism from a historical point of view rather than as a modern movement - I'd like to gain a nice amount of knowledge on all aspects of this fascinating subject, but can't seem to find any historical references.


A Brief History of the Druids by Peter Berresford Ellis
Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits: Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic by E. Wilby
Cunning-Folk: Popular Magic in English History by Owen Davies
The Druids: A History by Ronald Hutton
A Guide to Britain's Pagan Heritage by David Clarke
Harvest of Festivals by Marian Green
In Search of Lost Gods by Ralph Whitlock
Looking for the Lost Gods of England by Kathleen Herbert
Lost Gods of England by Brian Branston
Masks of Misrule: Horned God and His Cult in Europe by Nigel Jackson
The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy by Ronald Hutton
Popular Religion in Late Saxon England: Elf Charms in Context by Karen Louise Jolly
The Religion of the Ancient Celts by J.A. Macculloch
The Sacred Isle: Belief and Religion in Pre-Christian Ireland by Daithi O Hogain
Singing with Blackbirds: The Survival of Primal Celtic Shamanism in Later Folk-Traditions by Stuart A. Harris-Logan
Twilight of the Celtic Gods: An Exploration of Britain's Hidden Pagan Traditions by David Clarke

To be fair, you are probably best starting off with Ronald Hutton, a professor who is gaining a fair reputation amongst pagans.
Last edited by iWitch on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Robin » Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:01 pm

Thanks :-)
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Postby Beantighe » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:07 am

Wow, iWitch, that's certainly a comprehensive list! There are so very many books out there, and it's really very confusing when you're a newcomer and you can't tell the wheat from the chaff! I think that's an excellent list that iWitch has suggested, and many of these books will have a suggested further reading list at the back, to lead you further and further in, should you so wish.

Wishing all of you who are just setting out on your Path of discovery,

Love, luck, light, many blessings and good company on your Journey!

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Postby greenwitch67 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:30 am

Hi

Craft of the Wild Witch by Poppy Palin - is more towards the nature/pagan than it is the witchcraft and is very helpful.

Edain McCoy - 'Sabbat's - An approach to living the old ways' - is very good also - gives a very good historical background to all the Sabbat's and their meanings etc

Ali :D
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Postby greenwitch67 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:48 am

The Pagan Federation is a very good place to start learning from too .. their website can be found at

http://www.paganfed.org/intro.php

Ali x
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Postby Ebany » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:46 pm

I quite agree, the Pagan Federation is an excellent place to start, well documented and researched.
Pete Jennings has also been suggested, an excellent writer and also a very good person to be around. The advantage of his Pagan Paths is that it explains in an unbiased way just what it means to follow a particular path for example what is the difference between Gardnerians and Alexandrians?
Marion Greens Calendar of festivals is unfortunately no longer available, but almost anything written by her is (imho) very good.
Another author well worth looking out for is Vivienne Crowley.
There really is so much choice these days that it is not always easy to know which books to choose, hopefully the suggestions made here might go some way to helping a newcomer.
One other suggestion to a newcomer, don't limit yourself to books, get out there and meet people! Go to a local moot, a PF conference, a Pagan gathering. The first time is always a bit scary, but there are thousands of us who've taken that step and not regretted it!
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