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Author Topic: 'Pagan Classics' ...  (Read 3158 times)

Asch

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'Pagan Classics' ...
« on: September 13, 2012, 08:42:49 am »
I'm curious about texts and such that were / are so 'iconic' or classic that they've become a sort of assumed factual aspect of most modern Neo-Pagan experiences or have had a vast influence on same.

I'm thinking things like The Spiral Dance or Drawing Down the Moon etc. Good or bad throw 'em up and let me / us know what you think of them, what impact you've observed / experienced, and whether or not they're still useful texts in and of themselves or now serve as a historical point of interest.

Jenett

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 01:39:39 pm »
Quote from: Asch;73783

I'm thinking things like The Spiral Dance or Drawing Down the Moon etc. Good or bad throw 'em up and let me / us know what you think of them, what impact you've observed / experienced, and whether or not they're still useful texts in and of themselves or now serve as a historical point of interest.

 
I think there's a series of books that are necessary reading if someone is intending to interact with the broader community (outside their own specific path) as a teacher or event organiser - and yeah, that includes the ones you mentioned.

(My own list would be Spiral Dance (in the most recent annotated version), Drawing Down the Moon, Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, To Ride a Silver Broomstick, Triumph of the Moon, and Her Secret Children.)

I think all of those (and a few more, but those are the key ones) are important pieces of the puzzle of how the English-speaking Pagan community got where it is. (This is, of necessity, a US focused list because that's where I live: I have thoughts on what I'd suggest instead for the UK/Europe/Australia, but they're a little more amorphous.)

Do I think everyone needs to read them? Nope. And these days, I generally don't recommend people start with any of them, at least without someone who's available as a resource on what's changed since their publication. But there's a point at which if you're doing things in the larger community, they suddenly become very very very handy.
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Agonistes

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 11:32:28 pm »
Quote from: Asch;73783
I'm curious about texts and such that were / are so 'iconic' or classic that they've become a sort of assumed factual aspect of most modern Neo-Pagan experiences or have had a vast influence on same.

I'm thinking things like The Spiral Dance or Drawing Down the Moon etc. Good or bad throw 'em up and let me / us know what you think of them, what impact you've observed / experienced, and whether or not they're still useful texts in and of themselves or now serve as a historical point of interest.

I'm going to be "that guy" here and say that the Odyssey, Aeneid, Iliad, and Theogony are my favourites.

But, more on to what you're getting at, Witchcraft Today by Gardner is always a good read. As is Margaret Murray's The Witch-Cult in Western Europe, even though it's a highly controversial book, I still enjoyed it regardless.

True Magick by Amber K. is a lovely book that I found very informative for someone looking for a companion to magical workings within a Neo-Pagan environment. I've recommended this book to a few people interested in folk magic.

Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft, yes I'm going there. I really enjoyed this book, even though it's plastered with Seax-Wicca the outlines/rituals presented are a great starting point for group coven work. I also like all the workbook materials he threw in, mine has writing ALL in it.

If you're interested in starting a coven with some friends, but can't find resources or perhaps you feel astray, Covencraft by Amber K. is a lovely book. I've used it for numerous pagan gatherings just because it has interesting things to do with other like-minded people, and not just for covens specifically.

I think I've talked enough now, but I also enjoy Cunningham's work, and The Spiral Dance is inspirational.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 11:33:05 pm by Agonistes »

Adaire

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'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 11:52:19 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;73808


Her Secret Children

Who is the author of this one? I recognized the other books on your list but not this.

Asch

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2012, 02:11:51 am »
Quote from: Adaire;73980
Who is the author of this one? I recognized the other books on your list but not this.

 
Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca And Paganism in America by Chas Clifton? If not that then IDK.

I appreciate all the posts so far it's been quite interesting. I find it can be pretty helpful to at least become familiar with some of these works when out among the wider pagan world helps spot the origin of some thinking and such. Thanks all!

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2012, 03:23:44 am »
Quote from: Asch;73989
Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca And Paganism in America by Chas Clifton? If not that then IDK.

 
Thank you, yes. What I get for posting without double checking my titles.
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Asch

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 07:03:20 am »
Quote from: Jenett;73999
Thank you, yes. What I get for posting without double checking my titles.

 
My pleasure, I always look forward to your posts and invariably find them to be thoughtful, clever, and very explicit and detail oriented. Least I can do :D

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 07:31:06 pm »
Quote from: Agonistes;73975
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft, yes I'm going there. I really enjoyed this book, even though it's plastered with Seax-Wicca the outlines/rituals presented are a great starting point for group coven work.

 
Having read both The Complete Book of Witchcraft (aka "Bucky's Big Blue") and The Tree (which is pretty much a complete Seax-Wica BoS), I disagree.  There's very little of Seax-Wica in Bucky's Big Blue.

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Annie Roonie

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 10:31:46 pm »
Quote from: Asch;73783

I'm thinking things like The Spiral Dance or Drawing Down the Moon etc. Good or bad throw 'em up and let me / us know what you think of them, what impact you've observed / experienced, and whether or not they're still useful texts in and of themselves or now serve as a historical point of interest.


I am not experienced or well read enough to say if something has had a long standing bad or good influence. I trust the words of others more experienced on that. I have been reading The Spiral Dance though and I can say that this book has got to be one of the most influential based upon how often and how much of it has been referenced in more current works.

Every few pages I come across another idea that I've already come across in a more recent work. I think to myself, "Yeah, yeah. I know that concept." and then realize that I learned it from someone else who got the idea from this book. It's a weird kind of mental whiplash.

I am enjoying it. The tone and times were different then and I find it  relaxing to read of them.

Agonistes

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 11:03:33 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;74063
Having read both The Complete Book of Witchcraft (aka "Bucky's Big Blue") and The Tree (which is pretty much a complete Seax-Wica BoS), I disagree.  There's very little of Seax-Wica in Bucky's Big Blue.

Sunflower

 
I never said Seax-Wicca was bad, actually I respect Buckland a great deal from helping solitaries get their "witchcraft on," (lol) and actually allowing solitaries to follow his tradition.

I've never read The Tree, it's going to the top of my buy list.

Waldhexe

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 04:34:07 am »
Quote from: Asch;73783
The Spiral Dance

I'd also say 'The Twelve Wild Swans' are well-known outside Reclaiming. It's not that old, but it might become a classic or already be one.

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2012, 07:16:38 pm »
Quote from: Agonistes;74079
I never said Seax-Wicca was bad, actually I respect Buckland a great deal from helping solitaries get their "witchcraft on," (lol) and actually allowing solitaries to follow his tradition.

I've never read The Tree, it's going to the top of my buy list.

 
And I never said you said that.  All I said was that I disputed your claim that Bucky's Big Blue was "plastered with Seax-Wica".

Since you've never read The Tree, my surmise is that you found Bucky's Big Blue to be plastered with something, and assumed that the something must be Seax-Wica.  Since I don't know what your own preferences of practice are, I can't really guess what that "something" would be - though there are several things that might fit the "plastered with" description, depending on the individual reader's predilections (my own predilections go in the direction of "plastered with Bad History").  So I'm not even disputing the "plastered with" part.

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dionysiandame

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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2012, 01:18:48 pm »
Quote from: Asch;73783
I'm curious about texts and such that were / are so 'iconic' or classic that they've become a sort of assumed factual aspect of most modern Neo-Pagan experiences or have had a vast influence on same.

I'm thinking things like The Spiral Dance or Drawing Down the Moon etc. Good or bad throw 'em up and let me / us know what you think of them, what impact you've observed / experienced, and whether or not they're still useful texts in and of themselves or now serve as a historical point of interest.


I would say A Witches Bible by Janet Farrar, Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson, and The Power of the Witch by Laurie Cabot.

As much as I hate to say it, To Ride a Silver Broomstick and Teen Witch are classics purely because the books introduce(d) so many to eclectic Wicca.

I must have reread The Power of the Witch quite a few times, but for some reason much of the material escapes me. I do remember seeing somewhere that she dressed in the garb of "traditional witches."

A Witches' Bible was so difficult to read I never really made it all the way through. It read like gobbledy gok to me and that's probably because I didn't have the benefit of an initiatory group to help explain and material and give me some form of perspective. Since I haven't touched any of these texts in 7+ years, maybe I should try rereading them to see if I can gain a better understanding.
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Re: 'Pagan Classics' ...
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2012, 05:30:03 pm »
Quote from: Asch;73783
I'm curious about texts and such that were / are so 'iconic' or classic that they've become a sort of assumed factual aspect of most modern Neo-Pagan experiences or have had a vast influence on same.

I'm thinking things like The Spiral Dance or Drawing Down the Moon etc. Good or bad throw 'em up and let me / us know what you think of them, what impact you've observed / experienced, and whether or not they're still useful texts in and of themselves or now serve as a historical point of interest.


Great thread..really useful stuff here.  When I first started ( and in many ways I still am) I read Buckland ( natch), Cunningham (quite useful), had my copy of Drawing Down the Moon handy...you know, the "basics", or at least what I thought were the basics.  Now I know what I really need to get my hands on.  So much thanks to all.  :-)
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