Old Teen Essays
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Article ID: 4533
Age Group: Adult
Posted: October 22nd. 2001
A Time for War, a Time for Peace and a Time to Browse the Bookstore
Sometimes you just have to take a break. After I convinced myself that the world would indeed go on if the television went off, I shrugged off that guilt and headed out the door. The sun was warm, the air was cool and the walk over to the bookstore was one of the most enjoyable that I can recall in what seems to be now a very, very long time. My legs were just beginning to ache from the brisk pace that I had set for myself- it HAD been too long since I had really stretched out those muscles! - when I finally pulled open the door to every booklovers idea of Shangri-La.
There is a strange brotherhood that exists amongst book lovers and literary aficionados. It's a strangely intimate relationship experienced amongst strangers. It's not unlike one of those soul-mate type marriages or long-time friendships. The people are in the same room; no one says a single word to another and yet they are obviously deeply connected at some inner level.
A good bookstore also provides- if you somehow can manage to keep a few high book stacks between yourself and the children's section- an oasis of peace and tranquility in an otherwise noisy and chaotic world. Everything has its own number, its own section and its own place. That's very reassuring in a satisfying tidy sort of way. Even to a Pagan who doesn't usually mind a little ambiguity in her life. Of course, this Pagan also sometimes thinks that all of those orderly novels and informative booklets and pop-up picture books hop off their shelves and run wild through the stores after the lights go out. Occasionally, I even can be heard admonishing a particularly respectable-looking tome, "You don't fool me, bucko. I know what you get up to when you think that no one is watching! You're just itching to toss off that jacket and get wild, aren't ya?" By the way, I'd advise checking the other side of the bookshelf first before you begin to talk to books in this fashion. On the few occasions when I neglected to do this, I did get some quite interesting offers to indeed 'get wild' in some quite interesting and innovative ways. And while it is quite flattering to get hit on by someone whom you surmise can actually read, books are the topic here and I have digressed..
Newer Releases: "Witch Crafting", Phyllis Curott's long-anticipated follow-up to 'Book of Shadows', is now available and just in time for the Samhain or Yule gift giving season. Good on the basics and well presented, the chapter topics include 'Real Magic', 'Nature', 'Secrets of Spellcasting' and a gutsy 'Witchcraft without Rules'. (Witch Crafting; Phyllis Curott; Broadway Books; ISBN 0-7679-0825-2; $25.00 US).
Also new is 'Wiccan Beliefs and Practices' by Gary Cantrell (Llewellyn; ISBN 1-56718-112-0; $14.95) which has a nice section on 'Mysteries and Rituals' as well as a humor section and a hefty listing of resources for further study. Gary says, "I elected to reveal my practice of witchcraft publicly simply because I personally feel that the time for intentionally hiding ourselves has come to an end. We are practitioners of a kind, gentle, and peace-loving religion. We are not the bloodthirsty or depraved, orgiastic fanatics all too often portrayed by the entertainment and news media. The general public has been misled about witchcraft for over a thousand years, and now with our numbers reaching an all-time high, possibly in excess of one million people worldwide, we need to stand up and set that record straight."
Other books of interest are three from the Pagan community's most prolific author, Patricia Telesco: 'The Wiccan Web' (with Sirona Knight; ISBN 0-8065-2197-X; $12,95), 'Labyrinth Walking- Patterns of Power' (ISBN 0-8065-217-8; $12.000 and 'A Floral Grimoire' (ISBN 0-8065-2221-6; $12.00). All are from Citadel Press.
Also worth a browse with an eye toward finding a gift for those on your Samhain/Yule/ Beltane shopping list: 'Morgan Le Fay's Book of Spells and Wiccan Rites' (Jennifer Reif; Citadel Press; ISBN 0-8065-2200-3; $12.00), 'Wiccan Magick for Beginners' (Lady Sabrina; Citadel Press; ISBN 0-8065-2153-8; $12.95), 'Handfasted and Heartjoined' (Lady Maeve Rhea; Citadel Press; ISBN 0-8065-2194-5; $12.95). Sister Moon's 'The Wiccaning- A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Modern Witch' (Citadel Press; ISBN 0-8065-2128-7; $14.00) and 'The Witch and Wizard' (Sirona Knight; Citadel Press; ISBN 0-8065-2213-5; $12.95).
For the teens, there is 'The Teen Spellbook' (Jamie Wood; Celestial Arts; ISBN 1-58761-115-5; $12.95) and 'Teenage Witch's Book of Shadows-An Introduction to Sympathetic Magic' (Anna deBenzelle and Mary Neasham; Green Magic (UK); ISBN 0-9536631-5-9; $14.00).
Two more unusual offerings for just about anyone are: 'The Wicca Cookbook'- and just who wouldn't enjoy a big bowl of "Bejeweled Green Beans" or a hefty slice of "Pumpkin-Praline Pie"?- (Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt; Celestial Arts; ISBN 0-89087-995-8; $19.95) and '13 Lessons for Pleasing the Divine- A Witch's Primer' (Lady Raya; Weiser Books; ISBN 1-57863-245-5; $29.95). The latter primer comes nicely packaged and includes a CD of chants and poetry. Also available separately is the companion blank 'The Book of Dreams and Shadows' (ISBN 1-57863-250-1; $12.95) for your own personal entries and other secret stuff.
Some not-as-new but definitely worthy of a read: For the more academically inclined, there is 'Magic in the Ancient World'; (Fritz Graf; Harvard University Press; ISBN 0-674-54153-7; 417.95) and 'Pagans and Christians-The Personal Spiritual Experience'; (Gus DiZerega, Ph.D.; LLewellyn; ISBN 1-56718-228-3; $14.95). For research hounds, books like 'Dictionary of Nature Myths'; ( Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19513-677-2; $16.95) would be welcome. Also from OUP are 'The Dictionary of English Folklore' (ISBN 0-19860-398-3; $14.95) and 'Dictionary of Celtic Mythology' (ISBN -0-19869-157-2; $14.95) and all of these can provide helpful hints should you ever find yourself in one of those embarrassing "Wait! Don't tell me. I know this one!" moments. And for those who really want to sink their teeth into something meaty, I'd suggest gnawing on 'The Elementary Forms of Religious life' ( Emile Durkheim (Karen E. Fields translation); The Free Press; ISBN 0-02-907937-3; $19.95) or 'Mythography, The Study of Myths and Rituals' (William G. Doty; University of Alabama Press; ISBN 0-8173-1006-1; $24.95).
If you haven't read 'The Lord of the Rings' as yet- or at least not for years- the bookstores are prominently featuring the Tolkien trilogy in anticipation of the December 19th movie release. Also scheduled for a December release is the video-DVD version of 'The Mists of Avalon'.
There are many more good books out there, of course. There are always more, thank the Gods! (Give me a full pot of hot coffee, a bowl of Vienna Finger cookies and a stack of new books and I am one happy woman!) And that is why this week's Pagan Perspectives forum is dedicated to the books (and videos) that YOU particularly like or enjoy. If you would include the ISBN number of your personal selections, it will help others more easily locate or order a copy too. And we here at TWV don't get any sort of compensation for mentioning the books on the site- (Neither will you, by the way! LOL!)- but do list a few of the newer or more interesting ones from time to time merely as a helpful service to our readers.
So if you think that the world can muddle along without your direct input for an hour or so, do treat yourself to a mental and spiritual break. Take a day trip, go out jogging or just stroll aimlessly around a park. And while you are out should you find yourself 'accidentally' in front of the doors that open up into the universe of words and thoughts and ideas and books...well, I had nothing to do with it. Really. I've been sitting here in my chair all afternoon reading. Honest. Just ask the next hobbit that you meet. Oh? You've never actually met a hobbit before? Have you tried the bookstore? As I understand it, you can find just about anything there amongst the book stacks. Just don't let any of those books trick you with their oh-so-innocent looks. Books change the world if they happen to fall into the right hands. Books have always been just a little bit wild.
Walk in Love and Light,
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, October 22nd., 2001
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