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Thread: Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

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    Sr. Member loststarshine's Avatar
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    Question Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

    Any books and or authors you would recommend for someone still finding their path good book or author you want to share and why? No particular path in question just any and all. Is there a book or author you disagree with feel its incorrect and need to be brought to light? Please try to keep it friendly I hope this could be a usefull tool for those new or wanting to expand there knowledge.

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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

    Great idea for a thread! Subbing

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    Member Lady Fang's Avatar
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    Re: Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

    Newbies should avoid silver ravenwolf as she had a big tendency to be biased and/inaccurate at times. Onece a basis of knowledge has been achieved these issues can be easily spotted. However, she can be helpful for the teen/tween in coming out of the broom closet to reluctant or highly "orthodox" for lack of a better word, parents. I think she would be a better counselor than pagan author.

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    Supporter Torey's Avatar
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    Re: Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

    Oh, my. Well, there are a few books out there (on various subjects) that I don't mind or find helpful for newcomers - but there are probably more that I am not too keen on. I don't really have much bias towards particular authors per se, but the content of their writings can sometimes rub me the wrong way.

    I've always thought that Christopher Penczak is a decent author for those new to Neo-Wiccan paths. Most books, not just his, are 101-type books that touch upon the basics really - even the so-called "advanced" books that I've read are not actually advanced at all. Then again, it depends upon the path/tradition/practice which defines the book.

    For instance, IMHO, you'd be hard-pressed to find any "advanced" Wicca book full-stop - outside of being exposed to the Mysteries of an initiated tradition - no book on Wicca/Neo-Wicca can really claim to share advanced practices. A recommendation that I often make is the Witches' Bible by Janet and Stewart Farrar.

    However, if you're talking about Ceremonial Magic - there are plenty of good advanced books out there, IMHO. Much of what is written about in regards to CM is quite systematic and proscriptive as opposed to "low magick" such as practices within Neo-Wicca or earth-based traditions which tend to be more interpretive/intuitive and subjective. CM can be as complex as you like as much of it tends to be based upon early Grimoire texts and Kabbalistic traditions. Two modern authors whom I appreciate from this perspective are Lon Milo Duquette and Donald Michael Kraig. Of course, I prefer reading texts of the more classic authors such as Aleister Crowley and Israel Regardie.

    Books pertaining to Left Hand Paths tend to be more of a gray area for me - perhaps because I, myself, am an author in this field and it is a subject in which I am intimately familiar with on all levels. I try to remain unbiased and judge books on the merit of their content, however - but I can't say that I really have recommendations as far as authors go for this topic. Michael W. Ford is an author who writes prolifically on Luciferianism (even if it is his own "brand") and LHP themes - but I cannot recommend him as I have no respect for his integrity. Another author who dabbles in this realm is Konstantinos, and I have nothing positive to say about him or his work.

    I think that reading the works of a variety of authors within a particular subject is beneficial - but I think that people simply need to take care not to take one author's words as gospel.

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    Re: Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

    Don't take anything in most Llewellyn books as historically valid, just don't. The authors may have a decent knowledge of their personal creeds (maybe), they may have interesting ideas and interpretations but they tend not to be historians. When they try their hand at writing history...

    Ancient. Irish. Potato. Ritual.

    That is all I feel a need to say, move along.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
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    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



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    Supporter callmeclemens's Avatar
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    Re: Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

    I agree about Llewelleyn but they do seem to always do a good job of creating beatiful imagery with stories.
    “A lifetime may not be long enough to attune ourselves fully to the harmony of the universe. But just to become aware that we can resonate with it -- that alone can be like waking up from a dream.” - Br. David Steindl Rast

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torey View Post
    For instance, IMHO, you'd be hard-pressed to find any "advanced" Wicca book full-stop - outside of being exposed to the Mysteries of an initiated tradition - no book on Wicca/Neo-Wicca can really claim to share advanced practices.
    In terms of 'advanced' wiccan books, Kaatryn MacMorgan Douglas (founder of All one Wicca) has two advanced texts. Called "Wicca 333" and "Wicca 334" I believe. They're not bad.
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    That everything was shit.

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    Re: Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
    I agree about Llewelleyn but they do seem to always do a good job of creating beatiful imagery with stories.
    Agreed, they have some decent wordsmiths in their employ. This is part of what makes their historical fails more annoying. If their writing was as shoddy as their history then they wouldn't acquire such a decent chunk of the pagan market.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  9. #9
    Sr. Member lightdragon's Avatar
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    Re: Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Fang View Post
    Newbies should avoid silver ravenwolf as she had a big tendency to be biased and/inaccurate at times. Onece a basis of knowledge has been achieved these issues can be easily spotted. However, she can be helpful for the teen/tween in coming out of the broom closet to reluctant or highly "orthodox" for lack of a better word, parents. I think she would be a better counselor than pagan author.
    yeah. I did take a course from one of member of her coven/group. she did say the books were purposely misconstrued to make sure it would not be credible or workable. unless you had a working knowledge from other books. the only book that I am aware of that is good on it's own is the book on Samhain which is called Halloween.

    Quote Originally Posted by Torey View Post
    Oh, my. Well, there are a few books out there (on various subjects) that I don't mind or find helpful for newcomers - but there are probably more that I am not too keen on. I don't really have much bias towards particular authors per se, but the content of their writings can sometimes rub me the wrong way.
    you would be surprised on what people have issues with.

    I've always thought that Christopher Penczak is a decent author for those new to Neo-Wiccan paths. Most books, not just his, are 101-type books that touch upon the basics really - even the so-called "advanced" books that I've read are not actually advanced at all. Then again, it depends upon the path/tradition/practice which defines the book.
    never got around to looking at his books but they are an excellent alt. to the SilverRavenWolf books.

    For instance, IMHO, you'd be hard-pressed to find any "advanced" Wicca book full-stop - outside of being exposed to the Mysteries of an initiated tradition - no book on Wicca/Neo-Wicca can really claim to share advanced practices. A recommendation that I often make is the Witches' Bible by Janet and Stewart Farrar.
    some will consider the Witches' Bible a beginners book to advanced beginners.



    I think that reading the works of a variety of authors within a particular subject is beneficial - but I think that people simply need to take care not to take one author's words as gospel.
    THIS!

    Quote Originally Posted by MaskedOne View Post
    Don't take anything in most Llewellyn books as historically valid, just don't. The authors may have a decent knowledge of their personal creeds (maybe), they may have interesting ideas and interpretations but they tend not to be historians. When they try their hand at writing history...

    Ancient. Irish. Potato. Ritual.

    That is all I feel a need to say, move along.
    Llewellyn has a LOT of bad books. in fact most are bad. but they do have a few good ones. Ancient.Irish.Potato.Ritual that pertains to Edain McCoy's book on Witta which is a bad book.to say the least. she didn't actually say it was an ancient symbol of the Goddess. but a symbol. to be fair it was based on an Irish tradition. NOT ancient Irish but with blends of Nordic and English influences to it. and not as THE Irish trad. also she discusses the Maypole dance as a form of symbolic fertility. so when combining these Nordic(which raided Ireland) and English(which did a lot more than raid Ireland) it causes a lot of people to get upset. due to the fact this had to be explained is why this book is bad. it should have been included in the book.

    another one which is not as bad is Celtic myth and magick. pretty much is a book on Wicca but uses some aspects of Celtic culture in it to cite it is entirely Celtic which it s not. Which a lot of Llewellyn authors use which gives them the bad rep they have.

    one of her better books is Sabbats:A witch's approach to living the old ways. although another one Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life by Pauline Campenelli might be better.both are by Llewellyn but these are some of the better books by them.

    and another one to avoid is D.J.Conway as she pretty much does the same thing as McCoy did with Witta and Silver RavenWolf's books.
    Quote Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
    I agree about Llewelleyn but they do seem to always do a good job of creating beatiful imagery with stories.
    Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons, For You Are Crunchy And Good With Kethup.

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    Re: Books and authors? Helpful or useless?

    Ritual by Emma Restall Orr, Circle of One by Diane Sylvan, and Paganism by Joyce and River Higgenbotham
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

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