Heathens, Pagans and Witches discussion

Is this group still active?

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message 1: by Santina (new)

Santina (littlesaintina) I just joined the group but noticed some other than one post 10 days ago, there hasn't been much activity since 2007. Just wondering if anyone is still out there?

message 2: by Santina (new)

Santina (littlesaintina) I guess not...that's too bad.

message 3: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Well, I just joined, yesterday. So it might be just me and you, LittleSaintina. :) Do you have any suggestions for books to read?

message 4: by Bad Tim (new)

Bad Tim (badtim) | 3 comments i'm here, but i don't think any of my pagan friends who joined goodreads at the same time signed up for groups. we chat each other to death on yahoo groups. i'm definitely interested in book related topics.

here's one: what's a good introduction to hinduism?

message 5: by Mike (new)

Mike | 3 comments I am here too. i just dont get on as much as i used too, because of work. A series of book i would recommend if "The Divine Cicrle" by Riccio,
the frist one is "Circle of Five". they are fiction, but it is the only book that I cried when I read it. Iy was the third one in the series that did it.

Let me know what you think if you decide to read them


message 6: by David (new)

David | 13 comments hi there dundee dave here i joine goodreads as it ws the ideal place to post biiks read and what you got from the book all my rewiews are indavidual so many others are like sheep lost.. all reading the same book. like sheep in a feld
not reviewing it just i have read it tell me what do i read next..it is the same with this group i was sure that there was going to a indepth look at not just paginism..but others forms of perception.. meditiation, occult rites
bu iit would seam that all they are interestsed in is getting drunk, being sick,..takeing drugs,
and violence for some one to mention that quote.."i have to kill someone in order for me noticed"...reek's of (a mental disorder) "nothing more".. if you abused a lab rat it would do just the same thing..ie.. turn on its handler.. to quote a t.v series..ANGEL...you would not know evil if it jumped up and bit you in the throat.
it is not instant action...it is slow and constant. yaeh like the idiot bush.. you all stand at a concert and do the two horned salute
with either hand.. "man you do not have a clue"

message 7: by David (new)

David | 13 comments Who is Janette Copeland?

Janette Copeland (the main name she uses these days and the default one for this essay) has used about a dozen different aliases over her career — and I do mean aliases, not “Craft names” — including Janette/Jeannette Gordon, Laverna Gordon, Laura Garcia, Laurie Garcia, Gerri Garcia, Laverna Copeland, Geraldine Gumm, and “Queen Druid.” Law enforcement agencies in over a dozen states have files on her under these various names. One former member of the DCSG told me, “I was witness to several of her ‘name changes’ that she did in just one day at a local notary public.” Janette’s date of birth has been variously listed by her as 2/7/40, 7/2/40, 2/7/42, and 7/2/42.

(Important correction to earlier versions of the above paragraph: “Jeanette Eileen Wilson” is not one of Janette’s many alias, but another person entirely, who was a member for a brief while and has been on her own separate religious path for several years since. Many people, including myself, confused her name with that of the “star” of this essay, and I apologize to her for the error. A visit to her website will make it clear that she is a very different person!)

Every public claim that Janette has made about her background and training, secular and religious, that was capable of being checked has proven to be a lie. We’ll start with the nonreligious claims.

What are Her Secular Credentials?
According to Domi O’Brien, former Preceptor of ADF and dedicated tracker of purported credentials,

“Although Janette has claimed to be a registered nurse who served in Vietnam, no record was found of her having attended nursing school, having licensure or registration as a nurse in any state in which we know she has ever lived or which she has mentioned, or serving in the military. According to one MD, formerly of DCSG, she showed [in the early 1990’s] complete ignorance of the most elementary medical terminology and practices. [Other] former members have noted that many of her tales about service in Vietnam seem to be taken directly from Elizabeth Scarborough’s The Healer’s War.”

Janette also said that she had been a nurse in Vietnam during a time period when there were no female military nurses there. So we are left with some simple questions that should be easy for her to answer: Where did she get her nursing degree, what kind was it, where was she stationed in Vietnam and what was she doing there? In the (10/96) letter, she rephrased the statement about having been a nurse and having been in Vietnam, to allow them to be separate events, still without revealing anything checkable about either claim.

Let’s look at another secular claim, this time for her mother — who is (or was) Janette tells us, “senile” (7/2/91) and thus conveniently unable to explain any discrepencies in her daughter’s words. (This is relevant primarily because it sets up claims about when Janette was supposedly in England.) Domi writes:

“Janette has claimed that her mother was an American registered nurse who became pregnant with her while serving in England during WWII. A birth certificate that appears to be Janette’s, in Texas, gives 2/7/40 as her birthdate [well, it’s one of the ones she uses!]. After checking with Army historians at Ft. Lewis, WA, I confirmed that she was not only conceived but born before any American women were mobilised for WWII. Additionally, those US nurses mobilised were not sent to England — since England was an allied country with fully-trained English speaking nurses, drivers, secretaries, etc .”

What are Her Druidic or Pagan Credentials?
Janette claimed (7/2/91) to have been initiated into the British Circle of the Universal Bond in 1942, that her parents were members, and that she participated in their rites as a teenager. It’s unclear whether the 1942 initiation was one of the ones she referred to when she said (7/2/91), “I was initiated a Druid when I was nine days old, and then I was confirmed as a Druid when I was twelve years old.” What is clear is that the archives of neither The Druid Order, BCUB, nor those of any other Druid group now existing in England, has any record of her ever having been a member or of having been initiated. None of the older members of the Council of British Druid Orders (who would have been around in England’s then tiny occult community during the 40’s and 50’s) remember her or her parents as members. Further, none of their Orders allowed minors to participate in ritual until quite recently — let alone initiating them as either babies or twelve-year-olds.

message 8: by David (new)

David | 13 comments
In July of 1991, ADF sent out a Druid Alert about an
organization called the Divine Circle of the Sacred Grove.
she also did a series of books which got other thinking she as some one that she was not a member of this group recommend her books to me
i checked out for reviews first. there is so much bogus out there about perception , ways of creating it ,, really could harm others with there quack theory and rituals-could be harm full to impressionable people " its a bit like mills & boon " but not so romantic if you get my drift

message 9: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Seriously David, we're supposed to be discussing a book we want to read or are reading as a group. Any suggestions?

Mike, I added the Divine Circle books to the to-read bookshelf. Also, I added a couple suggestions. Now, I must admit, I'm a non-fiction freak. :)

For July? I vote we read 'A History of Pagan Europe' by Prudence Jones.

message 10: by David (new)

David | 13 comments hi htere i thought hat i was disscussing a book
in the last post i always look before i buy..
being on (welfare) i cana't just buy evey book reccomended those that were posted were good fiction like a d,v.d. if it can keep you enthralled for hour or two.. great..the

The Secret King contains:

A full-length biographical introduction about Wiligut’s turbulent life and exploring his magical worldview
Translations of all Wiligut’s major writings
Wiligut’s mysterious invocations, the “Halgarita-Sayings”
Translations of private documents Wiligut submitted directly to the Reichsführer-SS, Heinrich Himmler
Essays on Wiligut’s cosmology and traditions by other ariosophists of the past and present
Himmler’s own report of an SS name-giving ritual, attended by the inner circle of SS leaders and presided over by Wiligut
An exclusive interview with Gabriele Winckler-Dechend, Wiligut’s closest colleague from his period of service in the SS.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I had started reading 'A History of Pagan Europe' by Prudence Jones. It is a dry read- but a lot of good material. Are you ADF? That is one of the books on the dedicants list... which is why I had picked it up to begin with. But my studies have been a bit lax. I would love an opportunity to pick up my studies and read with a group- so I guess what I'm saying is I'll second that idea...

message 12: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth No, Shawnya. I'm not even sure what ADF is. I just like to read about religion.

'A History of Pagan Europe' sounds a little dry, so if anyone has any other suggestions, add them to the bookshelf. We should pick a book soon so we can go out and get it.

message 13: by W. (new)

W. (lyonmartin) I am reading 'Ritual Craft' by Amber K right now. It's a heavy tome and I can only take it in small bites. Lots of really good information in it though, even for someone who's been on the Path as long as I have. I recommend it.

message 14: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth So the two suggestions are

'A History of Pagan Europe' by Prudence Jones.
'Ritual Craft' by Amber K

Any others?

message 15: by David (new)

David | 13 comments This review is for A History of Pagan Europe

I have serious reservations about the academic value of this book. I thought this work looked promising at first sight as a concise overview of paganism in several areas and forms. However, although the book is split into areas such as Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, the Baltic and Russia, it is sometimes unclear as to which period of time the authors are referring in these areas. I also get the feeling that "paganism" is treated an homogenous whole over the entirety of time and space, which is not true.

More worryingly, and I found this is quite typical in the work, in the 'Baltic Lands' section, the authors talk briefly about the role of sacred groves in Finno-Ugrian paganism without citing any primary sources, any secondary sources or mentioning what period of time their paragraph relates to, until suddenly they inform their reader that in the nineteenth century sixty-four groves remained.

The lack of citation of primary and secondary sources is an outstanding flaw of the work. They do have endnotes but their use of them is wildly inconsistent and frequently unhelpful. Unfortunately this lack of citation also transfers itself to the bibliography, where they do not bother to list their primary sources on the grounds they are available in many editions. This in itself actually makes it more vital to know which translation they are using. And translations it must have been, unless the authors are able to read a wide variety of dead and modern languages, which I suspect is not the case.

This lack of care in documenting source material is no where more evident in their section on 'The Later Celts'. Here they recount the story of Martin of Tours inspecting Northern Gaul and destroying pagan shrines and trees. They tell the tale of St. Martin being challenged by the pagans to perform a miracle: he could cut down their sacred tree if he stood under it as it fell. According to the authors, St. Martin declined their challenge and went elsewhere. Their citation for the story is not from a primary text, but rather from a secondary book, which they got in another book, which cites something else - and that does not appear to be a primary text either. Alas Jones and Pennick, this is not the version of the story the rest of the world interested in Martin of Tours knows! In the "Life of St. Martin of Tours" written by Sulpicius Severus, who begun his "Life" while St. Martin was still alive (he died in 397AD), the story is related clearly and in it Martin does stands under the tree, but rather than in it hitting him the tree miraculously sweeps round and almost squashes the pagans, which is more like it for a Saint's Life. There is no excuse for this kind of error or poor citation. I have just checked, and even the information on Wikipedia could have saved them!

So, read it this book if you must, but keep in mind the need to double check their citations for everything they bother to give references for, and to check and find sources for the many things they do not

message 16: by Mathilda (new)

Mathilda Craft (mathildacraft) | 12 comments Elizabeth, Santina... what kind of books are you looking for? I think narrowing your search into more specific topics of interest will help you out in the long run. History of a specific group? Divination? A more modern way of studying the craft? Beginners' guides? I have a couple favorites, as I'm big on Raymond Buckland and Scott Cunningham, myself. I guess it depends more on how in depth you want to go. I'm still furthering my studies.

message 17: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth You know, it doesn't really matter to me. I would like a good overview book to start off with. And I don't know much about the subject, admittedly. Any suggestions?

message 18: by Sorita (new)

Sorita | 4 comments Well, if you are looking for something which will be a good general introduction to the subject of modern paganism, with a bit of everything, I would definitely recommend Pete Jennings' book PAGAN PATHS. It provides an overview of a whole lot of different pagan traditions - so would be good for you to read as a first book, then from there you could investigate specific subjects in more depth.

Good luck!

message 19: by Zephrene (new)

Zephrene | 6 comments I recommend:

The People of the Earth:

A book of interviews that profiles different paths.

For the more scholarly review, the classic is of course
Drawing Down the Moon
although it is a bit dated, it gives a great historical context.

And if you have exhausted Scott Cunningham, perhaps try Jennifer Hunter, who is quite personable and her book quite readable:
21st Century Wicca:

I also recommend anything by Judy Harrow.

message 20: by Mathilda (new)

Mathilda Craft (mathildacraft) | 12 comments That's a great recommendation, Sorita.

When I first started out, I went with Scott Cunningham. He's very down to earth and more into the practical side of wicca. He's good for general overviews of the basics and I highly recommend his The Truth About Witchcraft Today, as well as his guide for the solitary practioner. Raymond Buckland is also a very good example to start out with. Searching the web online is also a very good way to start (hel, you can google it and it'll come up). There are many sites you can go to that will give reviews of books, as well, but be careful. Like most of the internet, a lot of the info out there is opinion, as are many books. Check to see if they have a reference page... and google one or two of them to see if they are accurate. Unfornately, with the way the book industry is going these days, just about anybody can write a book, truth or lie. And not all of them are creditable.

Full Contact Magick by Kerr Cuhulain is a favorite of mine, as is Ellen Dugan's Natural Witchery. Kerr talks about magick from a nonreligious stance, while Ellen Dugan is very personal about your relationship(s) with the divine, whichever deity you celebrate. I highly enjoy evolutionary witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle and Gerina Dunwhich is very informative, in general. Even The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft is a great book to start. It gives more details, but I was a little intimidated by it (the details), at least in the beginning.

I really want to get my hands on the Well Read Witch, but unfortunantly, I'm gonna hafta wait till next paycheck. :(

Hope that helps!

message 21: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Actually, Pete Jenning's book is great. It includes paths away from Wicca & Witchcraft, which seem to get the most publicity these days in pagan circles.

message 22: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) David wrote: "hi htere i thought hat i was disscussing a book
in the last post i always look before i buy..
being on (welfare) i cana't just buy evey book reccomended those that were posted were good fiction ..."

It is not necessary to purchase every book to be discussed, there is always the library for reading, and then purchase if you think you might want to own a book for future reference.

message 23: by Lavender (new)

Lavender (lavendercrystalbear) | 111 comments I live in the woods. The nearest library is 30 miles one way and many hooks would have to be orderd from another library. Amazon.com is my friend.

message 24: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Santina wrote: "I just joined the group but noticed some other than one post 10 days ago, there hasn't been much activity since 2007. Just wondering if anyone is still out there?"

Amazing how much this group has grown.

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