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Article Specs

Article ID: 3483

VoxAcct: 99809

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 4,718

Times Read: 6,010

Seminal Books of Paganism

Author: Patricia Telesco
Posted: May 20th. 2001
Times Viewed: 6,010

Foundational books IMHO include those by Cunningham, Adler, Starhawk, Weinstein, Buckland (and others) who showed the world how to live magickally in everyday life (Scott), revealed magick to the world in a scholarly way (Adler), who brought women's spirituality to new levels (Starhawk), who remembered humor is good soul food (Weinstein), and who helped connect the continents spiritually (Buckland). Other books that have proven very important are not necessarily by "magickal" authors—they are collections of folklore, superstition, and chronicled texts that don't resort to revisionist history in their writings. In these tidbits of culturally-rich stories and beliefs we often find the remnants of magick, where it hid neatly when it wasn't safe to talk about such things.

In looking to the future, it is hard to say what books should be written—perhaps a better question is WHO should be writing them. Not everyone who wants to be a writer, should be a writer.. and not everyone who is presently a writer is an ethical one. We need writers with real depth in our community—people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty with something more than printer ink, people who stay in touch with the community they claim to serve. This isn't the time for playing the fame game or just looking for the big bucks. It's time for realness and mindfullness in what we produce, not siimply for those who are already practicing but for those who are curious, seeking, and open minded.

We need books that touch the pulse of our community in new ways—ways that teach us how to take our Path powerfully into the future without forgetting our past or neglecting our present. This balance includes a good dose of reality, and is nothng less than essential if we're to experience any level of real coherancy and public acceptance (as something other than a fad or a cult). Such teachers and leaders in the written word will be the ones who dare to speak about:

  • responsibility and the magick called "hard work",
  • the fact that life is not always rosey no matter how magickal or spiritual you may be,
  • the modern history of our beliefs (to dethrone our golden calves),
  • the fact that magick can be a lifestyle, philosophy or a religion depending on how one practices
  • the reality that magick isn't a cure all to life's bumps and bruises
  • men's spirituality (the god/dess movement has often neglected this)
  • that it's ok to teach our children our beliefs (every other faith does, why can't we?). Note I said teach - not brow beat
  • that magick isn't a bunch of fancy goodies, it's who we ARE and how we live (the "stuff" is only a psychological tool)

And so much more. They will also be the ones calling for some kind of continuity in what constitutes a neopagan religious system so that those looking from the outside in can say "ah, that's what they do and believe!"

I think most of us are "cooked" on the 101 books. Unless a writer has a really clever or unique way of presenting the same things that are in 2000 other books, my vote is—enough already! We have a couple generations of experienced Pagans who want more meat and potatoes in their diet. To provide that type of depth and nourishment, however, we also need publishers willing to take that risk and trust that the community as a whole has grown up enough to invest in those books. We need writers who are willing to step outside "hocus pocus" and beyond the secretive, and really knuckle down to the task of teaching advanced material in a responsible way (realizing that for every person who rightfully picks up any book of magick with "advanced" in the title, there will be ten who should NOT). And, of course we need the community to then truly support those books when they come to the market.

We also need a community (as a whole) to tell publishers and writers what's needed and wanted. It's not easy to come up with ideas just out of your hat —and if the community says "we want this"—then writers have a sound justification for proposing that concept. Additionally, how about saying what you DON'T like/want too? If no one voices this, then don't complain about what you get! Trust me when I say that publishers DO read forums like this one (in fact, I tell them where to look when topics like this come up!).

I am personally anxiously awaiting the middle of the month to check out Witchvox and see what you think is missing in our libraries, and what we think should have never made it there to begin with. The New Age is still big business, folks. That means there will be money changers in the crowd alongside the real folk. It also means that the consumer's voice counts. Talk with your computer, your pen, and your pocketbook!

Trish Telesco


Patricia Telesco

Location: Amherst, New York

Author's Profile: To learn more about Patricia Telesco - Click HERE

Bio: Trish Telesco is 41 years old, the author of 50 metaphysical books including Gardening with the Goddess and Magick Made Easy, and regular speaker on the east coast Neopagan gathering circuit. She lives in western NY with her husband, three children, and numerous pets. Her home page is and yahoo club at

Other Articles: Patricia Telesco has posted 39 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Patricia Telesco... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

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