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Flyby Stardancer

Thinking About Paganism And Wiccans...

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I'm thinking about becoming pagan, and trying to do some research on it... All the books the public library has focus on Wiccans, though. Is there any books that you guys/gals might recommend? Also: any times for finding a group of them either at home or at school?

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Wicca is most popular Neopagan religion, closely followed by pagans who follow no path in particular. I'd recommend poking about a bit on the internet, if I were you. That's how I learned the basics of what Neopaganism is. Do some Google searches on the subject. If you happen to see some branch of paganism that you like, then look for some books on it at the local library, bookstore, or even Amazon. Personally, I've been looking closely at Asatru, the reconstruction of Northern European paganism. (Think Odin, Thor, etc.)

 

If you want to learn more about Wicca, I'd recommend going to Wicca: For the Rest of Us. It avoids the fluffy outlook that a lot of pagans have.

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I wanted to point you to the online copy of Our Troth (once found at www.thetroth.org), but that has been taken down "until further notice". You might try to find it via a web archive site. The current site offers some info on Asatru anyway.

Aside from that, there's that book by Freya Aswynn "Leaves of Yggdrasil". Mainly deals with runic magic, but also has a section about the deities et al. And perhaps you can find an English version of Wolfgang Golther's "Germanische Mythologie" (title translation should be trivial)...

 

...I won't specifically mention the Poetic Edda. That's too obvious. :)

 

*grins and pats himself on the shoulder for having proselytized :crazy: *

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NNNOOOOOO!!!!

 

I was going to suggest a correspondent link relevent to the one HadouKen24 posted, but--but....

 

Not only has the domain for the funniest (and coolest, IMO) "wiccan" page on the net expired... It's been Christianized! :crucified: *sob*

 

The internet just got a little bit darker. :lonely:

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Ah, jebus of borg is back, eh? :banghead:

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I'm thinking about becoming pagan, and trying to do some research on it... All the books the public library has focus on Wiccans, though. Is there any books that you guys/gals might recommend?

 

"The Witches bible" by Janet and Stewart Farrar

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Flyby,

 

Check out Wicca on Wikipedia - they have some good, objective things to say. I'm not much of a Wicca fan myself, and would just echo Thurisaz' recommendations personally if you want a more "authentic" Pagan approach.

 

If you can spare the $25, Our Troth is available through Amazon. I've just ordered it myself :)

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Ah, so you want to become Pagan.

 

Be prepared to study. Start picking up books-- or webpages-- on the branches of the Pagan faith that interest you.

 

But, more importantly, let Nature talk. Go out, study Nature. You can only know that Hawk is sending you a message if you know what a hawk looks like and preferably what its normal habits are. My only half-joking response to newbie Pagans is to go get a degree in Ecology or at least Biology because you will learn so much. (I have a BA in Biology and an MS in Agronomy) Go meditate in the shade of a tree.

 

Some books that I like... "The Elves of Lilly Hill Farm" by Penny Kelley. "Shamanism" by Michael Harner, "Shamanism" by Mircea Eliade. None of these are remotely Wiccan. The first one is close to my heart as a lady learns to live with the land, and with the elves that she has discovered live in her production vineyard. I think it bespeaks how to learn to LIVe a Pagan lifestyle without the emphasis on the religious details and nitpicking. My first teachers were from the spirit realm, so I understand her doing about the same thing. The other two are classics in the field of shamanic practice, which I found very helpful.

 

Finally, if you can-- go live in the country. Some of my strongest lessons took place on 5 acres of High Plains scrub in rural Colorado. There's a reason we're called Pagans-- the old indigenous pagan traditions lasted far longer in the country than in European cities because people still felt the pull of Nature in the rural areas!

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If you are interested in Classical Paganism, then look at the dialogues by Plato: "Timaeus," "Gorgias," and "The Republic." Also look at writings by Pagan mystic Plotinus.

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If you are interested in Classical Paganism, then look at the dialogues by Plato: "Timaeus," "Gorgias," and "The Republic." Also look at writings by Pagan mystic Plotinus.

 

Yah, good books. But don't forget Ovid's Metamorphoses. It's a wealth of information about Classical mythology.

 

I'd also like to echo Thurisaz' mention of the Poetic Edda. It may be difficult to understand a translation that tries to stay in the original verse form, but I think it's worth the effort, myself. But then, I've always been a fan of poetry in general.

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When I got into it, I went with Scott Cunningham's "Wicca" and "Living Wicca" series.

 

Now before I get pounced on about how "fluffy bunny" and "basic" Cunningham is, I'll say that I was just getting out of Christianity at the time and really freaked out at the idea of turning "pagan." I didn't want to be a christian anymore but I was still scared of getting a lightening bolt in the head and going to Hell. He might be fluffy bunny, but his writing emphasized most importantly that I wasn't going to be cosmically punished for reading those books, and that's what I needed most at the time.

 

So, if you're feeling a bit wiggy about the whole thing, I recommend Scott Cunningham. I think his books are a good start for the curious and especially religiously abused, but pagans in general strongly emphasize thinking for yourself and seeking knowledge wherever it can be found. You've got a lot of other great book recommendations, so I suggest you check them all out and start forming your own beliefs that way. A well rounded perspective is most often the best one. Good luck.

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NNNOOOOOO!!!!

 

I was going to suggest a correspondent link relevent to the one HadouKen24 posted, but--but....

 

Not only has the domain for the funniest (and coolest, IMO) "wiccan" page on the net expired... It's been Christianized! :crucified: *sob*

 

The internet just got a little bit darker. :lonely:

 

WWS ...before it got Jesu-fied. Courtesy of the WayBack Machine.

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Wicca is most popular Neopagan religion, closely followed by pagans who follow no path in particular. I'd recommend poking about a bit on the internet, if I were you. That's how I learned the basics of what Neopaganism is. Do some Google searches on the subject. If you happen to see some branch of paganism that you like, then look for some books on it at the local library, bookstore, or even Amazon. Personally, I've been looking closely at Asatru, the reconstruction of Northern European paganism. (Think Odin, Thor, etc.)

 

If you want to learn more about Wicca, I'd recommend going to Wicca: For the Rest of Us. It avoids the fluffy outlook that a lot of pagans have.

 

Poking about on the internet was the first thing I did! lol The main site I found was wicca.com. Thanks for the link!

 

I wanted to point you to the online copy of Our Troth (once found at www.thetroth.org), but that has been taken down "until further notice". You might try to find it via a web archive site. The current site offers some info on Asatru anyway.

Aside from that, there's that book by Freya Aswynn "Leaves of Yggdrasil". Mainly deals with runic magic, but also has a section about the deities et al. And perhaps you can find an English version of Wolfgang Golther's "Germanische Mythologie" (title translation should be trivial)...

 

...I won't specifically mention the Poetic Edda. That's too obvious. :)

 

*grins and pats himself on the shoulder for having proselytized :crazy: *

 

LOL *adds to her list of things to read* What sometimes throws me is that my first experience with Thor was as a comic character. >_> That's still what I think of first when I hear "Thor", even though I've only read one comic that he's in, and even then he's a fairly minor character...

 

"The Witches bible" by Janet and Stewart Farrar

 

Thanks! *adds*

 

Flyby,

 

Check out Wicca on Wikipedia - they have some good, objective things to say. I'm not much of a Wicca fan myself, and would just echo Thurisaz' recommendations personally if you want a more "authentic" Pagan approach.

 

If you can spare the $25, Our Troth is available through Amazon. I've just ordered it myself :)

 

Unfortunately, I'm a poor college student going to a Very Expensive Private University. I'll see if I can get it through the university's library though, once I get back up there.

 

Ah, so you want to become Pagan.

 

Be prepared to study. Start picking up books-- or webpages-- on the branches of the Pagan faith that interest you.

 

But, more importantly, let Nature talk. Go out, study Nature. You can only know that Hawk is sending you a message if you know what a hawk looks like and preferably what its normal habits are. My only half-joking response to newbie Pagans is to go get a degree in Ecology or at least Biology because you will learn so much. (I have a BA in Biology and an MS in Agronomy) Go meditate in the shade of a tree.

 

Some books that I like... "The Elves of Lilly Hill Farm" by Penny Kelley. "Shamanism" by Michael Harner, "Shamanism" by Mircea Eliade. None of these are remotely Wiccan. The first one is close to my heart as a lady learns to live with the land, and with the elves that she has discovered live in her production vineyard. I think it bespeaks how to learn to LIVe a Pagan lifestyle without the emphasis on the religious details and nitpicking. My first teachers were from the spirit realm, so I understand her doing about the same thing. The other two are classics in the field of shamanic practice, which I found very helpful.

 

Finally, if you can-- go live in the country. Some of my strongest lessons took place on 5 acres of High Plains scrub in rural Colorado. There's a reason we're called Pagans-- the old indigenous pagan traditions lasted far longer in the country than in European cities because people still felt the pull of Nature in the rural areas!

 

Studying, I've started. The book I'm reading now is Spellcasters by Pauline Bartel... I have some more books at my grandma's house that I got from the public lifestyle. As for college degrees... Already on my way. I'm going to be starting my junior year, and I pretty much started off as a biology major at the university. lol

 

As for moving... Don't know if I'd be able to handle it. I'm a weird dichotomy between a pure-bred city girl who loves nature but can't stand being without some 'convenience' items... For one thing, I suck at camping... Never could handle it. Now, living next to the ocean, that I can do...

 

If you are interested in Classical Paganism, then look at the dialogues by Plato: "Timaeus," "Gorgias," and "The Republic." Also look at writings by Pagan mystic Plotinus.

 

Yah, good books. But don't forget Ovid's Metamorphoses. It's a wealth of information about Classical mythology.

 

I'd also like to echo Thurisaz' mention of the Poetic Edda. It may be difficult to understand a translation that tries to stay in the original verse form, but I think it's worth the effort, myself. But then, I've always been a fan of poetry in general.

 

Thanks both, for the recommendations! *adds*

 

Is it easier or harder than Shakespeare? I never had a problem understanding his stuff...

 

When I got into it, I went with Scott Cunningham's "Wicca" and "Living Wicca" series.

 

I almost grabbed one of his books at the library! Only, it was the second book, and I wanted to try to find and read the first book before I got to the second one...

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Which mythologies speak to you? British Isles, Scandinavian, Russian, Chinese, Greek, African, other? Make sure you include your favourites in your research. There's a paganism for every place on Earth.

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Flyby...

 

I am allied in meat.space with many of the euro-centric "pagan" people in my area. Think "Occidental Zen".

 

Where I do not give a fuck about the religious end of things, goddess worship (still another mythical being to me, not disrespected like the hebrew versions, just not worshipped) leaves me as cold as any other.

 

The Big However is the practical end of a loosely allied community of persons, families that take care of each other. We know each other well, learn, love and live our live with a closness much like *church*, sans the "leaders", the clergy.

 

Think "anarchy" within a system that is closing in on us, taking privacy and personalness, and being gentle warriors of Freedom and Individalness.

 

My position in this loose confederation is that of an Instructor, "Dark Arts" so to speak. I tend to things that deal in immediate violence and avoidance or abatment of same.

Folks learn how to use their hand and feet, firearms and the legal system to their advantage from me.

 

In a more perfect paganesque world there would be little need for a old broken down flat footed *warrior* teaching the assembled.

However in this world where the majority of persons hate those of we who will not line up pretty at the entry to the X buildings, it is prudent for those inclined to learn to be able to protect themselves.

 

In my experience with twenty odd years of Community, you will learn and meld into the things that you find interesting. Finding someone, preferably many someones who are dedicated, serious and availible will aid your Walk.

 

The Path is just the start of your Journey, it is not the end of where you seek.

 

kevinL

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Is it easier or harder than Shakespeare? I never had a problem understanding his stuff...

 

Eh, about the same. The Poetic Edda is a little hard to compare to Shakespeare, though. Very different kinds of writing.

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I started with Cunningham's Wicca for the Solitary Practicioner as well, good introduction for a complete newbie (you have to start somewhere), I'd just recommend taking the theology with a grain of salt.

 

If you are looking at a pagan-type path, then keep your eyes open, your ears open, and realize that if something smells like bullshit, it probably is. A lot of the stuff out there is an exercise in critical reading. And while there are signifigant personalities, there really isn't a central leader (unless you join some kind of tradition that has one).

 

On a more advanced note, I would agree with Gaura that knowing your world is important, but don't discount the synthetic either. I would like to point out that things shaped by the hands of man are just as much a part of this world as any pristine mountaintop, the substance is still the same when you get down to it, and cities have their own ecology and patterns. You can't notice that something is wierd in a city unless you know what normal for that city (and that neighborhood, even) is. It shouldn't be discounted.

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Flyby--

 

When I said "live in the country" I didn't mean "camping out and really roughing it" while some Pagans (a minority) have done that and I know one or two of those who have done some variant of that for some time (six months or more), modern life does work so much better when you have something like a house. I lived in a modular house (but a nice one) and we even had super-fast Internet out there. Yeah, we were 10 miles from even a gas station, but it was soooo worth it. I've now been in the city for 2 1./2 years and I am seriously getting the rural itch again, to live on 2-10 acres and to have a property secluded enough that it would feel completely private. Oh, and I have absolutely nothing against living near the beach. Hey, if you can find an affordable place that isn't stacked up against the other like cliff swallow nests, then consider yourself lucky. I know a few quiet houses like that still exist even in SoCal, and probably elsewhere.

 

Nivek, it sounds like you live in Galt's Gulch or something. (and no, I'm not an Ayn Randian, just someone who has heard a few discussions on Atlas Shrugged)

 

Blue Giant, I do understand some of what you mean by the "ecology of the city" and I do recognize the need to know what comprises normal for that environment as well. Like, a Curlew Sandpiper or a Pacific Golden Plover on the LA River not 3 miles from the ports is not normal (but has happened). Likewise, a Washintonia filifera palm growing up out of a crack in the sidewalk is perfectly normal-- out here anyhow. (I actually have to weed them out of my garden!)

 

I guess I mention country living for two reasons: first, the patterns of Nature are frequently more obvious in the country, partially because Nature is more obvious to begin with. Second, while it is very possible with the right house equipment to live life in the city fairly oblivious to the patterns of Nature, you just can't do that in the country. It just isn't possible. The sky gets really, truly dark at night and even the best security pole lights only serve to punch holes in that darkness. Because there aren't 6' privacy fences every hundred feet, the wind and the weather are far easier to perceive. You'd be amazed at how city fencing cuts down on wind. Stuff like that. Also, something like the subtle energy patterns of the Earth are much harder to perceive with all the competing chaos of the city, and speaking of chaos, the peace and quiet of the country makes meditation much easier.

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I definitely agree that country life is superior to city chaos in terms of restfulness and good asthetic. Away from the noise, the sham-cultures, the violence, the rot of the cities, I know I find much peace and strength. There's no rest to be found in the urban toilets of the world.

 

And if one is pursuing a Nature-emphasizing religion, country life is also definitely the way to go. Nothing lets a person get in touch with Nature as much as country life. There is Nature to be found in the cities, though, and I have to make do with what little Natural asthetic I can, but to be surrounded in something is not to be replaced.

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There are two things that would keep me from living in the country. The first is the lack of broadband internet in a lot of places out there. Gotta have that. The second is that it's very likely I'm going to end up in academia, law, or public policy. All three tend to be generally pretty urban. If I can get off my ass and actually start writing, though, I might be able to make a career out of it. In which case living in the country would be very nice indeed.

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Well, Hadou, there's always the option of exurbia, living on the very fringe of metro areas, That way you could still be a lawyer and live semi-rural. Trust me, no matter your spiritual inclination, the peace and quiet of rural life is worth it.

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*Sigh*

 

I think a few missed the point. Anywho the conversation about urban vs. rural and whatever advantages one has over the other is definately for some place else.

 

I did have one other suggestion about books: if you ever consider getting anything by Silver Ravenwolf, her first book has a couple of decent lines in it, the rest of her books are pretty much money-grubbing crap, as far as I am concerned. I would not recommend wasting time or money on them (unless you are looking to be entertained).

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When I got into it, I went with Scott Cunningham's "Wicca" and "Living Wicca" series.

 

I almost grabbed one of his books at the library! Only, it was the second book, and I wanted to try to find and read the first book before I got to the second one...

 

I actually got the second one first then got the first one. They actually give a lot of the same information and I think they eclipse each other nicely. So feel free to pick up the second book first. You won't be missing out on anything.

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NNNOOOOOO!!!!

 

I was going to suggest a correspondent link relevent to the one HadouKen24 posted, but--but....

 

Not only has the domain for the funniest (and coolest, IMO) "wiccan" page on the net expired... It's been Christianized! :crucified: *sob*

 

The internet just got a little bit darker. :lonely:

 

WWS ...before it got Jesu-fied. Courtesy of the WayBack Machine.

 

Screw any kind of "savior" moment; that link is a much brighter beam of light into my world than virtually anything else could hope to be!

 

ED, you're my hero. Should we ever find ourselves together in meatspace, I owe you a drink. :grin:

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While being very Wiccan based, WitchVox has great information, including material on how to protect yourself.

 

I've been pagan for some time now and am still thinking, growing, learning, (evolving - heh :HaHa: ) take everything with a grain of salt and please try to avoid those who come of as "more pagan than thou".

 

Seems in Wicca, (I'm a wierd amalgam of Wiccan beliefs), there are those who are in it for the ego stroke. If your B.S. meter starts to redline, move on fast.

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