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Author Topic: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons  (Read 1588 times)

beith

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Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« on: December 20, 2013, 11:30:34 am »
As a newbie, I have been trying to sift through the vast knowledge and resource collection lists in this site and my reading list is growing, but I am finding myself slightly overwhelmed.  I'm quite new to being open to the existence of more than only the God of Abrahamic religions, and as such have little to no knowledge of other gods and goddesses other than what I learned about the Ancient Greeks in high school.

So, since I don't even know where to start, I'd like to request the expertise of TC members in recommending overview books for the pantheons/religious practices of the following peoples.  I'd like something academic, meaning fact-based and well-researched with reliable sources listed, and as little personal interpretation by the author as possible.  Sort of dry, like a textbook, just to get my feet wet.  From there, I think I can start focusing on more specific aspects of the cultures and religions, but I need an overview first.

Specifically, I'd like to learn more about the pantheons and spiritual/religious practices of the following:

1) The Celts (my main interest is in present-day Ireland and Scotland)
2) Ancient Egyptians
3) The Ojibwa and the Ottawa

Thank you!

Aster Breo

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Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 01:57:32 pm »
Quote from: beith;133106
1) The Celts (my main interest is in present-day Ireland and Scotland)

Check out the fantastic reading list in the Hazel & Oak Celtic Polytheism SIG right here on TC. (Sorry -- I'm on my phone and can't post the link.  Just look in the Special Interest Groups folder.)

There's also an excellent reading list in the CR FAQ ( http://www.paganachd.com/faq/). Even if you're not a reconstructionist, the list will give you a great place to start learning about the Celts.

Good luck!
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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 03:05:07 pm »
Quote from: beith;133106
ASpecifically, I'd like to learn more about the pantheons and spiritual/religious practices of the following:

1) The Celts (my main interest is in present-day Ireland and Scotland)
2) Ancient Egyptians
3) The Ojibwa and the Ottawa

Thank you!

 
http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/showwiki.php?title=Book+Recommendations may be of use to you.

Also http://www.ecauldron.net/reconegyptfaq.php though I maybe should consider updating the damn thing sometime as I wrote it years ago.
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beith

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 08:09:53 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;133123
Check out the fantastic reading list in the Hazel & Oak Celtic Polytheism SIG right here on TC. (Sorry -- I'm on my phone and can't post the link.  Just look in the Special Interest Groups folder.)

There's also an excellent reading list in the CR FAQ ( http://www.paganachd.com/faq/). Even if you're not a reconstructionist, the list will give you a great place to start learning about the Celts.

Good luck!


Thank you!  I had browsed both those reading lists, but found it all a bit overwhelming.  I looked back though given your suggestion, and I think I'm going to start with Gods and Heroes of the Celts by Marie-Louise Sjoestedt and see how it goes.  If you (or anyone else) has a different suggestion for a starting point I'm open to it.  And thank you again for the links!
 
Quote from: Darkhawk;133125
http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/showwiki.php?title=Book+Recommendations may be of use to you.

Also http://www.ecauldron.net/reconegyptfaq.php though I maybe should consider updating the damn thing sometime as I wrote it years ago.


Thank you very much for these links.  The book suggestions are very helpful and I look forward to reading the FAQ (even if it's a little out-dated :) ).

Aster Breo

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Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 12:09:55 am »
Quote from: beith;133152
Thank you!  I had browsed both those reading lists, but found it all a bit overwhelming.  I looked back though given your suggestion, and I think I'm going to start with Gods and Heroes of the Celts by Marie-Louise Sjoestedt and see how it goes.  If you (or anyone else) has a different suggestion for a starting point I'm open to it.  And thank you again for the links!
 

Specific suggestions really depend a lot on what you want to learn about and what geographic area you're interested in. F'ex, do you want to learn about the history of pre-Christian Ireland?  Welsh myths?  Gaulish deities?  Scottish folklore?  Etc.

If you can narrow it down a bit, you might get more targeted recommendations.  
The book you mention is usually highly recommended and definitely worth reading.  Be aware, though, that it was first published in 1940, so some parts are likely somewhat dated.  Also, if I recall correctly, it had a strong, although not exclusive, focus on Ireland.  And I found it rather dry.  My biggest issue with it is that it doesn't have an index.

Another book that is often recommended as a good overview for people just starting out in the topic is _Celtic Mythology_, by Proinsias Mac Cana. While also a bit old -- first published in 1968 -- it is considered an important foundational text, and,  IMO, it's a better read.  Also, it has tons of beautiful photos, something the Sjoestedt book completely lacks.

Just my $0.02, of course.  YMMV.
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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 01:17:55 am »
Quote from: beith;133106
Specifically, I'd like to learn more about the pantheons and spiritual/religious practices of the following:

1) The Celts (my main interest is in present-day Ireland and Scotland)

 
Mainly Christian.

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beith

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 10:42:20 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;133187
Specific suggestions really depend a lot on what you want to learn about and what geographic area you're interested in. F'ex, do you want to learn about the history of pre-Christian Ireland?  Welsh myths?  Gaulish deities?  Scottish folklore?  Etc.

If you can narrow it down a bit, you might get more targeted recommendations.  
The book you mention is usually highly recommended and definitely worth reading.
...
Another book that is often recommended as a good overview for people just starting out in the topic is _Celtic Mythology_, by Proinsias Mac Cana. While also a bit old -- first published in 1968 -- it is considered an important foundational text, and,  IMO, it's a better read.  Also, it has tons of beautiful photos, something the Sjoestedt book completely lacks.


Yes, part of my issue is I know nothing, so it's hard for me to narrow down where to start.  Names and information about the gods and goddesses of the ancient peoples of Ireland and Scotland is about as narrow as I can even get it in my mind.

Thank you for the info about the book I'm considering and the additional book suggestion, I will check it out.
 
Quote from: SunflowerP;133194
Mainly Christian.

Sunflower

 
Sigh...yes.  Either I can't edit my original post to improve clarity or I'm too stupid to find the edit button.

1) The ancient Celts that resided in the areas that are present-day Ireland and Scotland.

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 03:16:47 am »
Quote from: beith;133234
Sigh...yes.  Either I can't edit my original post to improve clarity or I'm too stupid to find the edit button.

1) The ancient Celts that resided in the areas that are present-day Ireland and Scotland.

 
We have a time limit on editing - the convo is much clearer when people make a new post with clarifications rather than editing a post that might have already been read and replied.

Yes, that's much clearer. I'm sorry if I was abrupt; I was low on resources, but wanted to make sure it was addressed because there are people who intellectually know that Ireland and Scotland are Christian, but emotionally have a conviction that those lands are full of Celtic Pagans - I was surprised to see you phrasing it that way, since you've seemed very sensical, but emotional convictions are unpredictable things. Glad to see it was just sentence-structure issues!

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EmissaryOfMinong

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2013, 04:51:06 am »
Quote from: beith;133106
3) The Ojibwa and the Ottawa

Thank you!

For Ojibwa/Ojibwe, Basil Johnston's book The Manitous is a good introduction. *disclaimer* I am not Native American and do not know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's 100% accurate, *but* the author is Anishnaabe, is involved in cultural preservation efforts, is highly recommended in a lot of places online, and this book will give you a very broad overview of the mythology. It's presented in short story form.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 04:51:50 am by EmissaryOfMinong »

Raincloud

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2013, 08:12:50 am »
Quote from: beith;133106
As a newbie, I have been trying to sift through the vast knowledge and resource collection lists in this site and my reading list is growing, but I am finding myself slightly overwhelmed.  I'm quite new to being open to the existence of more than only the God of Abrahamic religions, and as such have little to no knowledge of other gods and goddesses other than what I learned about the Ancient Greeks in high school.

So, since I don't even know where to start, I'd like to request the expertise of TC members in recommending overview books for the pantheons/religious practices of the following peoples.  I'd like something academic, meaning fact-based and well-researched with reliable sources listed, and as little personal interpretation by the author as possible.  Sort of dry, like a textbook, just to get my feet wet.  From there, I think I can start focusing on more specific aspects of the cultures and religions, but I need an overview first.

Specifically, I'd like to learn more about the pantheons and spiritual/religious practices of the following:

1) The Celts (my main interest is in present-day Ireland and Scotland)
2) Ancient Egyptians
3) The Ojibwa and the Ottawa

Thank you!

 
Check out ADF's reading list for the Celts.

https://www.adf.org/training/resources/reading.html

Allec

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2013, 11:22:07 pm »
Quote from: beith;133106


1) The Celts (my main interest is in present-day Ireland and Scotland)


Tairis has The Big Book List. Being that the site is ran by a Gaelic Polytheist who is vice president of a recon group, I trust this list. I'm sure there are other books to get, but that list is super helpful for me.

I just got Celtic Gods and Heroes by Marie-Louise Sjoestedt and it's really excellent at introducing the themes of Celtic Mythology. I'm really enjoying it so far~

You can also find a lot of primary sources on Mary Jones Encyclopedia. It's the best "encyclopedia" (eh) that does justice to describing the Gods and mythological figures in a brief, encyclopedia entry. The site also has transcripts from the Christian Monks who wrote down the Gaelic myths (which is as close as we get for a primary source.)
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beith

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 10:23:38 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;133517
We have a time limit on editing - the convo is much clearer when people make a new post with clarifications rather than editing a post that might have already been read and replied.

Yes, that's much clearer. I'm sorry if I was abrupt; I was low on resources, but wanted to make sure it was addressed because there are people who intellectually know that Ireland and Scotland are Christian, but emotionally have a conviction that those lands are full of Celtic Pagans - I was surprised to see you phrasing it that way, since you've seemed very sensical, but emotional convictions are unpredictable things. Glad to see it was just sentence-structure issues!

Sunflower


Hm...that's very interesting.  I had no idea there were people who felt that way.  Personally, from lurking around on this site and seeing posts from people from Scotland and Ireland, I'm under the impression that there are very few people who identify as Pagan in those countries.  Thank you for letting me know about this.

Sorry for my initial sulky reply as well.  I had been having a really, really, really tough time at work the preceding few weeks, and I probably shouldn't have responded so soon after another rough day.  But, I'm just now wrapping up a two week vacation, so I'm hoping for a slightly better mental state these days.
 
Quote from: EmissaryOfMinong;134038
For Ojibwa/Ojibwe, Basil Johnston's book The Manitous is a good introduction. *disclaimer* I am not Native American and do not know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's 100% accurate, *but* the author is Anishnaabe, is involved in cultural preservation efforts, is highly recommended in a lot of places online, and this book will give you a very broad overview of the mythology. It's presented in short story form.

 
Thank you for this recommendation, I'll be sure to check it out.

Quote from: Allec;134618
Tairis has The Big Book List. Being that the site is ran by a Gaelic Polytheist who is vice president of a recon group, I trust this list. I'm sure there are other books to get, but that list is super helpful for me.

I just got Celtic Gods and Heroes by Marie-Louise Sjoestedt and it's really excellent at introducing the themes of Celtic Mythology. I'm really enjoying it so far~

You can also find a lot of primary sources on Mary Jones Encyclopedia. It's the best "encyclopedia" (eh) that does justice to describing the Gods and mythological figures in a brief, encyclopedia entry. The site also has transcripts from the Christian Monks who wrote down the Gaelic myths (which is as close as we get for a primary source.)

 
Thank you!  I am glad to hear you are enjoying Celtic Gods and Heroes, I think I will make that my first book.  The encyclopedia seems interesting as well, especially its use of primary sources.  Thank you again!

WitchyOne

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 03:04:47 am »
For very basic intro to Egyptian Gods/Goddesses you might want to try Clive Barrett's book called The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses.  I think there are 32 listed!

Aniera

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 01:10:44 pm »
Quote from: beith;133106
As a newbie, I have been trying to sift through the vast knowledge and resource collection lists in this site and my reading list is growing, but I am finding myself slightly overwhelmed.  I'm quite new to being open to the existence of more than only the God of Abrahamic religions, and as such have little to no knowledge of other gods and goddesses other than what I learned about the Ancient Greeks in high school.

So, since I don't even know where to start, I'd like to request the expertise of TC members in recommending overview books for the pantheons/religious practices of the following peoples.  I'd like something academic, meaning fact-based and well-researched with reliable sources listed, and as little personal interpretation by the author as possible.  Sort of dry, like a textbook, just to get my feet wet.  From there, I think I can start focusing on more specific aspects of the cultures and religions, but I need an overview first.

Specifically, I'd like to learn more about the pantheons and spiritual/religious practices of the following:

1) The Celts (my main interest is in present-day Ireland and Scotland)
2) Ancient Egyptians
3) The Ojibwa and the Ottawa

Thank you!

 
For Kemetic I recommend these:

Naydler's Temple of the Cosmos

Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook Tamara L. Siuda

Eternal Egypt by Richard Reidy

Good luck in your research!
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DavidMcCann

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Re: Book recommendations for learning specific pantheons
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2014, 01:48:38 pm »
Quote from: beith;133106
Specifically, I'd like to learn more about the pantheons and spiritual/religious practices of the following:
1) The Celts (my main interest is in present-day Ireland and Scotland)
2) Ancient Egyptians
3) The Ojibwa and the Ottawa

For the Egyptians, I have (among others)
Ancient Egyptian prayerbook / T. L. Siuda
Complete gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt / R. H. Wilkinson
Temple of the cosmos / J. Naydler

I not a Celtic expert (despite the ethnicity), but I remember liking
Celtic Mythology /  Proinsias MacCana
(no relation, as far as I know!)
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