Chas S. Clifton - The Paganism Reader

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Aug 13, 2004 (Updated Sep 11, 2004)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Besides the excellent articles, the 'Further Reading' section is essential.

Cons:None as I can see.

The Bottom Line: Original, diverse, inspirational, well thought out, excellent reference and a must have exploration of Pagan spirituality.


Sometimes we do not need 'how to' books because our need is not 'how to' but 'why'. Sometimes we need reminders of why we are, as opposed to who we are or what we do. Sometimes we need books that inspire us, or give us a reason for our lives.

The Paganism Reader is a well put together volume that provides us with material that offers inspiration, gentle teachings and insights into the very nature of our spirituality.

Mr. Clifton and Mr. Harvey have put together various works, classified by the time of their writings (classical, proto-revival, revival and diversification) that touch the heart of what it is to be pagan. The material is fresh for the most part, well chosen for content and it's appeal to the pagan reader in a variety of applications. The material can be read as individual pieces, or taken as a whole. It can be used for private meditation or as a group exercise for study.

The classical is represented by various excerpts; from the 'Book of Jeremiah' to 'Pliny the Elder' and material from the 'Irish Cycles' to Geoffrey of Monmouth. The material covers a wide range of myths and mysticism.

The proto-revival material is characterized by excerpts from 'Aradia', Aleister Crowley's 'The Book of the Law', Margaret Murray on 'Witchcraft' and Rudyard Kipling's 'A Tree Song', to name a few.

Revival and diversification contains material selected from the writings of Doreen Valiente, Gerald Gardner, Robert Heinlein, Marion Bradley, Mr. Clifton and others. There is also a 'Further Reading' list that is quite in depth and a well thought out Index.

The material presented is as diverse as the many paths of paganism. The book offers to the general pagan some wonderful material that will provoke discussion as well as contemplation.

A must have book on your library shelf, it should be included in your 'must read' lists and is a very useful tool for any teacher, as well as a book I would consider a primer for anyone looking at the pagan path. boudica


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