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Author Topic: Christopher Penczak  (Read 1842 times)

TheBespectacledNerd

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Christopher Penczak
« on: May 18, 2013, 05:30:43 pm »
I have an acquaintance who's been saying (a lot) that I should read Christopher Penczak's books.  I wanted to get some other opinions, though, mainly because this acquaintance isn't exactly someone I trust for book recommendations, especially in relation to paganism.

I've skimmed a couple of books, but they seemed kind of iffy to me.  And they seem a bit more Wicca-oriented than I'm interested in.

Any thoughts?  Good, bad, in-between?
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Lokabrenna

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Re: Christopher Penczak
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 05:39:51 pm »
Quote from: TheBespectacledNerd;109039
I have an acquaintance who's been saying (a lot) that I should read Christopher Penczak's books.  I wanted to get some other opinions, though, mainly because this acquaintance isn't exactly someone I trust for book recommendations, especially in relation to paganism.

I've skimmed a couple of books, but they seemed kind of iffy to me.  And they seem a bit more Wicca-oriented than I'm interested in.

Any thoughts?  Good, bad, in-between?

 
I have his book Spirit Allies: Meet Your Team on the Other Side
and it's a very New Agey take on Pagan-y things, and the list of deity correspondences is at times very, very silly, we're talking a few "keywords" for each deity.

I don't know if he's improved since then, but going off that book, I'd say give him a pass.

Rhyshadow

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Re: Christopher Penczak
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 06:48:31 pm »
Quote from: TheBespectacledNerd;109039
I have an acquaintance who's been saying (a lot) that I should read Christopher Penczak's books.  I wanted to get some other opinions, though, mainly because this acquaintance isn't exactly someone I trust for book recommendations, especially in relation to paganism.

I've skimmed a couple of books, but they seemed kind of iffy to me.  And they seem a bit more Wicca-oriented than I'm interested in.

Any thoughts?  Good, bad, in-between?

 
I went to his talk at Paganicon this year. Ya, he leans towards the New-Age side of things. If that's what you're looking for then go for it as he is very knowledgeable, but if you're looking for something with a little more bite to it, then give him a pass.

dionysiandame

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Re: Christopher Penczak
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 07:13:03 pm »
Quote from: TheBespectacledNerd;109039
I have an acquaintance who's been saying (a lot) that I should read Christopher Penczak's books.  I wanted to get some other opinions, though, mainly because this acquaintance isn't exactly someone I trust for book recommendations, especially in relation to paganism.

I've skimmed a couple of books, but they seemed kind of iffy to me.  And they seem a bit more Wicca-oriented than I'm interested in.

Any thoughts?  Good, bad, in-between?


I wish I knew which book this particular "high priest" was reading from but, essentially, he decided to read to a group of pagans an exerpt from one of Penczak's texts as an introduction to general paganism for the people in attendance.

This story was basically the myth of Hades and Persephone with "Hades" and "Persephone" ommited and replaced with "God" and "Goddess." Maybe I shouldn't have been miffed, but I was...extremely miffed, because if you can't be bothered to even learn the names of the deities within the story you recite? I have no time for you.

I think I had a few of his books "back in the day" but they were pretty quickly sold to a used book store. I'd go to him for cheddar bay biscuits, but I wouldn't consider him a main course.
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Re: Christopher Penczak
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 07:51:15 pm »
Quote from: TheBespectacledNerd;109039
Any thoughts?  Good, bad, in-between?


I haven't looked much at his later works but I found the first two volumes in his "Temple of Witchcraft" series to be very useful.  A little new agey and some dodgy history but it's minimal.  Mostly they're very "how-to" in their approach to teaching the basics, more so than other 101 type books in my opinion.
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Re: Christopher Penczak
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2015, 05:44:20 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;109052
I haven't looked much at his later works but I found the first two volumes in his "Temple of Witchcraft" series to be very useful.  A little new agey and some dodgy history but it's minimal.  Mostly they're very "how-to" in their approach to teaching the basics, more so than other 101 type books in my opinion.

I think his books are really good and awesome.  I have most of them, like his "Temple of Witchcraft" serie, which are really good.

Faemon

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Re: Christopher Penczak
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 11:41:37 pm »
Quote from: Nothingness;178419
I think his books are really good and awesome.  I have most of them, like his "Temple of Witchcraft" serie, which are really good.


My impression was that he is a creative thinker and an effective practitioner, because a lot of his techniques I've adopted for my own. They work well enough for me.

However, he doesn't seem to like making up his own words for things except for maybe Ascension Magick, so instead he does the New Agey Wiccan Shamanism Psionic everything but the kitchen sink thing that adherents to Volkergedanken would haaate with pitchforks and torches. Replacing "god and goddess" for "Hades and Persephone" was probably another one of Penczak's attempts at universalization.

I didn't find it too confusing, because I acclimatized to thinking that when he uses the word "shaman" or even "wicca" he, umm, obviously doesn't really mean that? I mean what he's trying to say isn't something I would understand from that word alone. All the other words around the ones he uses for a Thing suggest something else (that I'd easily accept as also a Thing but that's not the word for it.) If you want to hold him to all his words, though, his books are like a minefield of You Keep Using That Word.
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