By Mike Gleason
The Practical Pagan: Commonsense Guidelines for Modern Practitioners, by Dana D. Eilers
Career Press, 1-56414-601-4, 2002
As I began reading the Introduction to this book, I felt a twinge of irritation. I had begun working on a possible book myself within the past year, and here was someone who had already done much of what I hoped to accomplish. That didn’t last long, as I began to truly appreciate the effort Ms. Eiler put into this work.
This book is, truly, filled with practical advice – not just for Pagans, but for everyone. Do not make the mistake of picking up this book, browsing a couple of pages, and thinking “But, everybody already knows all this.” Take the time to read this book, and evaluate your behaviour (and that of your Pagan friends and associates) to see how they stack up.
My only problem with this book has nothing to do with the subject or the presentation. It is, quite simply, that there are a large number of grammatical and typographic errors. I caught ten of them, and may have missed a few. Having said that, I must also honestly say that if I wasn’t reading the book for review, I might not have noticed them.
Dana Eilers writes the kind of book I truly enjoy reading – she clearly differentiates between opinion and fact; she offers common sense approaches to a variety of subjects; and she shares enough “real world” anecdotes to show the reader that her (or his) experiences are not unique.
This is one of those books that I feel should be on the bookshelf, and the recommended reading list, of teachers everywhere. It isn’t just about Paganism. It is a good source for common sense living.
When you see this book in your local bookstore, or at your on-line shopping sites, pick up a couple of copies. You will definitely want to be loaning it out, and you will definitely not want to be without a copy if, as frequently happens, that “loaner” fails to return.