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Paperback Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions Book

ISBN: 0738702226

ISBN13: 9780738702223

Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions

A comprehensive guide to a growing religious movement If you want to study Paganism in more detail, this book is the place to start. Based on a course in Paganism that the authors have taught for more than a decade, it is full of exercises, meditations, and discussion questions for group or individual study. This book presents the basic fundamentals of Paganism. It explores what Pagans are like; how the Pagan sacred year is arranged; what Pagans do...

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Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Not for the faint of heart, PERFECT begginers guide.

This book has changed my perception of Paganism on so many different levels. It has challenged me to grow in my practice and as a human being. This book holds your hand as it challenges the way you think about your belief system. I loved everything, from the discussion questions, and journaling activities, to the mini history lessons that give a better understanding of where things stand today and why. If you are new to Paganism and want a beginner's guide to what this is, that is NOT "wicca washed" this is 100% the book for you.

THE Best Book I've Read to Date on Paganism...

There seem to be two types of books in the Paganism 101 level--those that emphasize giving you rituals you can do for every conceivable scenario, and those that seek to make your level of understanding of what it means to be Pagan, better. This is the type that brings you understanding and it's the type I prefer. In my mind, rituals are a personal process we must go through--pulling one from a book is a cop-out on that process. That being said, this book is amazing. It breaks down Paganism into its sub-genres (Wicca, Druidry, Shamanism, etc.) and then fits them back into the whole. It gives you exercises to heighten your awareness and asks the good questions that will help you, as a practioner, define for yourself what it means to be a Pagan. It helps you discover what YOUR beliefs are about the Divine, Magick, and the host of other terms bantered about in the Craft on a daily basis. I think this is the best Pagan Book I've ever read and I've been reading them going on 10+ years now. It's one of those books that changes as you do--you'll be able to read it 5 years later and rediscover how your views have changed and it will be just as valuable then. As High Priest of a local coven, this is must read material in my eyes....

A well-written primer

Maybe it's just my love for knowledge and workbook style books, but this book made a huge impression on me.The knowledge is straightforward and addresses two sides of every issue - IE in the Witchcraft v. Satanism issue. They don't simply say, "We don't worship Satan and anyone who says so is a Bible-Beating moron." They present a specific case where they had a conversation with a "fundamentalist," how they resolved it, and used that as a catalyst for their discussion in the book.I also found that the exercises and journal entries were particularly helpful. Sure, it may be a little "school-ish," but I really enjoy books like that (I always have). Having something in the book that made me THINK about the information I had just learned instead of just memorizing it was very helpful.I really enjoyed working through this book and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about Paganism, whether they're following the path or just curious about it.

A balanced and useful treatment

If you're a Pagan and your friends and relatives are questioning your choice, ask them to read this book. If they still want to think that you're hellbound, worship Satan or are just a little ditzy, it will put the ball squarely back in their court.And if you want some powerful reasons for incorporating a Pagan belief/ethical structure into your life, you'll find them very concisely arranged here.The Higginbothams have done an excellent job of explaining why more and more people today are choosing to follow an earth-centered path in their spiritual practices and daily lives. The book cites every religion from Catholicism to Sufi regarding mysticism, explores the scientific basis of the universal interconnectedness that Pagans claim to experience, and even manages to clearly explain that a Pagan worshiping Satan would be like a squirrel piloting a space shuttle.. context makes it impossible.This book is NOT another in the long line of shallow 'how-to' Pagan spell/workbooks. It does manage, however, to explain the 'why' of earth-centered spirituality extremely well.IMHO, the best 'Intro..' on this subject to come out in many Moons.

I Found Paganism to be Fresh and Full of Grace!

The authors whom are teachers themselves have taken earth-centered religions and explained step-by-step exactly what it is and how it works. Grasping other religions and their beliefs, while never shedding a negative point of view. The authors bring forth an air honesty and knowledge as they begin with "What is Paganism?" Continuing on with "You Are What You Believe," "A Pagan View of God," "What About Satan," "The Living Universe," "Magick" and "Ethics and Personal Responsibility." Each holding meditations and exercises so that you yourself can gain the confidence to decide what is best for you. I believe Paganism should be in every classroom, library, university and your home! Especially to anyone who is not involved in an earth-centered religion. Paganism is the perfect book to give to a family member or a friend when coming out of the proverbial broom closet, or if you yourself are asking questions and aren't sure which path you should follow. Paganism make the perfect stepping stone to gear you in the right direction, no matter the path you shall follow. ...

One of the Finest New Books On Paganism

As a veteran Witch who has been practicing for over twenty years, the new arrivals on the metaphysical shelves of the bookstores have been, of late, a disappointment. I find most shelves stocked with book upon book of superstitious claptrap, mechanistic models of magick and cookbook-style spellbooks which lower Neo-Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft to the lowest common denominator.However, when I picked up this book, I was pleasantly surprised, then delighted, to find that the authors wrote with calm, unemotional prose, with nary a foolishly rhymed spell in sight. Mature, insightful thought is the rule of the day in this book, something that I deeply appreciate, and the authors to go great lengths to anticipate and answer the many "whys" of Neo-Paganism in clear prose that neither talks down to the reader, nor dumbs down the topic.The topics that are covered include discussions of beliefs about Divinity and the nature of Divinity itself, a cosmology that includes the "New Physics", and a discussion of how magick works. All of these topics are covered thoroughly, intelligently, and ethically, with a no-nonsense view towards helping the reader come to their own conclusions on the subject matter. The "Satan" issue is covered with a thoroughness that surprised me, and included information that I have never seen portrayed in a Neo-Pagan work before.My only complaint is that the section on ethics was shorter than it could have been. I am one of those Witches who upsets people at Pagan festivals with my view that we need to talk about ethics at any opportunity and work at creating an ethical system that helps the incoming flux of new Pagans understand the behaviors our community does and does not promote. One of the reasons I am so adamant about ethics is because unlike Christianity, which is the religion most Pagans convert from, Paganism doesn't have a lot of do's and don'ts. That is a good thing, however, people who grew up with a lot of rules are not used to thinking for themselves, and often, simply -don't- think. They often wind up hurting themselves and others and hide behind the belief that they are "doing what they will, and harming none." A bit more discussion on exactly what "harm" means, and how to interpret the Rede more effectively would help people who are used to being told what to do learn to make good decisions themselves.Other than that one minor quibble, I would say that this is one of the least shallow beginner books on Neo-Paganism that I have read, and is certainly a book that I can wholeheartedly recommend to everyone, not just beginners. I hope that it becomes as influential as Starhawk's "The Spiral Dance," because it deserves to be that widely read.
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