Articles/Essays From Pagans
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
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What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
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What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
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June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
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My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Magic in Sentences
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
A Supplemental Reading List for the Well-Read Pagan
Article ID: 13610
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,575
Times Read: 8,092
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Author: Bronwen Forbes [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 3rd. 2010
Times Viewed: 8,092
There are quite a few, say hundreds, of Pagan books out there. Between the books and some hands-on ritual experience, you can have a very satisfying spiritual life. But there is information out there that could enhance your practice that isn’t technically “Pagan” at all.
I recently had the opportunity to ask several Pagan authors what top three Pagan books they’d recommend and why – which got me thinking: what sort of non-Pagan-specific books would *I* suggest all Pagans, regardless of number of years in the community, read if they haven’t already?
This information is particularly relevant to young people who aren’t old enough to join a coven and/or who may also still live at home. Mom and Dad may have issues with you reading books with “Witch” or “Wicca’ in the title, but would be thrilled to see you with your nose deep in a book on one of the following subjects:
Okay, I am the first to admit that I am severely scientifically challenged. I have made grown men literally cry with frustration at my complete inability to understand how and why a tape recording works (and please don’t e-mail me with an explanation. I guarantee I won’t understand it.) . However, I understand string theory about as well as any former liberal arts major can.
String theory states that every single thing in the Universe vibrates at some level, and that vibration makes a sound, even if we can’t hear it – basically everything in the Universe vibrates with music all the time. If that isn’t magical, I don’t know what is! Imagine how much more you would appreciate the unique nature and properties of the various stones and crystals you use if you knew a little bit about basic geology, or how much better astrology would work for you if you read up on astronomy. The ways in which you can increase your understanding of the physical world the Gods made for us are endless.
This sounds obvious, but it’s so often overlooked. Reading the myths and stories of various cultures gives you a greater understanding of the nature of the God (s) you worship, especially if you are just beginning to walk your Pagan path. Try Bullfinch’s Mythology, Robert Graves, ’ The Greek Myths, or a good translation of The Mabinogion (Welsh) or The Kalevala (Finnish) . If the Arthurian legends float your spiritual boat, have you read Sir Thomas Mallory’s Morte D’Arthur?
In the Don’t Let This Happen To You category: I am married to a history teacher. While teaching an American history class, he once gave a pop quiz on the previous lecture –about the Salem witch trials. In answer to the question, “What side of town did most of the people accused of being witches come from and why?” one clever student answered, “The east, because that’s where all the witch stores were.” (Correct answer: The east, because the rich people tended to live on the east side of town and were also the majority of the accused, according to the book Salem Possessed.)
A basic understanding of American history, not only the Salem witch trials but the process our Founding Fathers went through to ensure our right to worship as we choose can only make us better spiritual practitioners. An equal foundation of ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian history will give you an excellent context in which to worship the Gods that came from those times and places. My heart goes out to anyone who feels called to delve into Irish history, particularly Irish history since, oh, 1500 or so; it is one convoluted mess.
That’s right, cooking.
First of all, if you attend ritual with a group of people on a regular basis or even think you might want to attend ritual with a group of people on a regular basis in the future, after-ritual feast food is a great way to acknowledge the changing of the seasons. Think of being able to make and bring a loaf of homemade bread to a Lammas ritual – the time of year when the “first harvest” (grains, mostly) is celebrated, or an apple pie you made from scratch to Mabon or Samhain. There are entire cookbooks devoted to getting you in touch with the foods that are in season – and teaching you what to do with those foods.
Cookbooks can also help you with spellwork. As you cook more and more, you become more adept at following a recipe and then adjusting the recipe to fit your personal tastes. You can then transfer your recipe following and recipe modification skills to creating workings that accomplish pretty much what you need them to. You may even find that cooking becomes a whole new way for you to eat well and perform spells at the same time!
Finally, cookbooks are an excellent way to better understand your God (s) if they happen to be from a culture not your own. For example, I am not Greek, nor am I of Italian ancestry. However, if I wanted to properly honor Greek or Roman Gods at a post-ritual feast, I would head for the nearest ethnic cookbook shelf at my local public library and read up on Greek and Italian cooking. Even if I chose not to follow the recipes, I would at least have a better understanding of the common ingredients found in the culture’s cuisine.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a large population of people from the same country as your God (s) , go to any street fair they may have. You may just find the ritual jackpot – a collection of holiday recipes and folk customs compiled by the women in the community and reprinted in a nice spiral-bound book. If you find one, grab it!
I mentioned the library, and I will again – your local library may not stock much in the Pagan books section, but even a small town library will have a cookbook section, some history books, and mythology books and some science basics in the kid’s section. Being a well-read Pagan doesn’t have to cost a dime!
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
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