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Paganism Today: Wiccans, Druids, the Goddess and Ancient Earth Traditions for the Twenty-First Century
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Group Reads > June/July 2012 - Paganism Today

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message 1: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) The non-fiction selection for June/July 2012 is Paganism Today: Wiccans, Druids, the Goddess and Ancient Earth Traditions for the Twenty-First Century by Graham Harvey.

Please post your thoughts, discussion and opinion on this selection here.


message 2: by Sara (new) - added it

Sara I just ordered a copy of this book, and look forward to reading it. Hopefully I'll even get a comment posted in the June/July window.


Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments I'm going to read mine again too - it'll be interesting to see what you think of it.


message 4: by Angela (new)

Angela (bachini) I've got my copy of this from Amazon. I've done a few classes with one of the contributors so thought I'd better read his essay at least!


Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments That's great, Ma - did you enjoy the classes and find them useful?


Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments How is everyone getting on? I'm reading this one for the second time, although I've dipped in now and then since I bought it - it's useful for reference as well as everything else, but I can't help feeling that it would be good if non-pagans would read it too.

I like this para in the introduction by Charlotte Hardman, which quotes Margot Adler's 1985 questionaire for pagans regarding The Most Important Thing You Want To Tell People. More than half wanted to say...

We are not evil. We do not worship the Devil. We don't harm or seduce people. We are not dangerous. We are ordinary people like you. We have families, jobs, hopes and dreams. We are not a cult. We are not weird. This religion is not a joke...


Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Having written the above though, I wonder how many pagans consider their own form of paganism an actual religion. To me, the word implies belief in a particular philosophy and/or devotion to one or more Deities. It also seems to suggest something fixed. Personally I'm happier with the word 'spirituality'.

Nell (Free Spirit):)


message 8: by Angela (new)

Angela (bachini) Hi Nell, I did enjoy the classes and would do more if I hadn't moved away. I studied Mythology, Folklore and Witchcraft on one course, the Celts on another, also Magicians of the West (lots of Alchemy and Hermeticism) and also attended a small private group that covered a wide range of subjects. And the tutor was always threatening practical workshops but never got round to them! The reading lists for the classes were always very long...


message 9: by Nell (last edited Jun 20, 2012 08:20AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Ma, the classes sound interesting - I often wonder if perhaps I ought to go to these things, then I pick up another book that sets me off on a journey or begin a new art or writing project and the fancy flies off somewhere...


message 10: by Sara (new) - added it

Sara I've started reading this book, though I confess I was a bit put off by the introduction. What she writes about felt very Celtic-centric to me, and that isn't applicable to my practices. Also, so far, it feels a bit dated. I'll keep going with it, though.


message 11: by Nell (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Sara, I guess it is a little dated, but there are some decent essays - don't let the intro. put you off.


message 12: by Sara (new) - added it

Sara Nell wrote: "Sara, I guess it is a little dated, but there are some decent essays - don't let the intro. put you off."

Oh Nell, I shall keep going with it. It's got to be absolutely dreadful for me not to finish a book I've started. Besides, I will be interested in discussing it with others who've read it. Thanks for the encouragement.


message 13: by Nell (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments It's not dreadful, Sara, promise...:)


message 14: by Nell (last edited Jul 04, 2012 08:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments It was a while ago that I read this, and having just re-read The Book of English Magic, it feels somewhat dull. The essays vary greatly in both interest and flow, depending on the author, but on the whole this is maybe more of a reference book or one to give someone with a vague interest in becoming pagan or making a choice of traditions, or to friends and relatives with the desire to understand more about paganism.

In the para. below Michael York answers the question: "What is religion?" (in his essay on New Age and Paganism), with a broad definition. It struck me as food for thought.

"Firstly, a religion is something which is shared. The etymology of the English word 'religion' is debated to this day and is still unresolved. The Latin predecessor is relgio which carries the meaning of 'the bond between humanity and the gods' - deriving possibly from religare 'to bind back, to bind together'. A religion of one is at best a personal faith and at worst a form of schizophrenia. But when that faith is shared with another such as one's partner, we can see already the beginnings of religion. Coupledom, with its shared ways of looking at things and its semi-private language between two persons, we can identify as 'quasi-religion'. True religion then, is that which is shared between three or more individuals."


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