Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
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: 1,263
Times Read: 5,937
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Author: Bronwen Forbes [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 3rd. 2010
Times Viewed: 5,937
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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