Aradia, Gospel of the Witches, by Charles Godfrey Leland
The Witches’ Almanac, 9780982432358, 178 pp., 1899, 2010
Charles Godfrey Leland (1824-1903) was an American folklorist who published some twenty books on American and European folklore, Romani traditions, witchcraft, and other subjects. He is chiefly remembered today for his influence on the development of modern Paganism, primarily through the publication of Aradia. Continue reading
A Teaching Handbook for Wiccans and Pagans, by Thea Sabin
Llewellyn Worldwide, 978-0-7387-2710-3, 309 pp., 2012
It has been a number of years since I have read any of Thea’s writings. In fact, it had been so long that, when I saw a quote from my review of her previous work, I had to go back and reread that review. As I delved into this latest work, my original opinion seems to have been more than borne out. I was impressed by her practicality at the time, and I am even more impressed by it at this time. If there is one thing sadly lacking in the field of Pagan education (after discounting the lack of uniformity) it is common sense. Thea supplies that in abundance.
This is a collaborative effort. Ms Sabin approached numerous teachers of Pagan topics – those who teach in-person; those who teach online; those who have been teaching for years; and those who are just starting out as teachers – on a variety of approaches, techniques and pitfalls. You know those things which are “needless to say…”, she says them because since everyone knows them, we often forget to include them in our thinking and preparations. You know the kind of disaster I mean – you have all your media on a flash drive, but when you arrive at the location you discover that the files have been corrupted (or even worse, you grabbed the wrong flash drive)…how do you recover? Or you have that one student who seems bound and determined to wrest control of the class away from you…how do you deal with the situation? Continue reading
Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet, by Kerr Cuhulain
Spiral Publishing, 9780975540367, 302 pp. (incl. appendices and bibliography), 2005
Kerr Cuhulain is a twenty-seven year veteran of the Vancouver, BC, Police Department. He has seen, first hand, the results of the misunderstandings, both unintended and intentional, regarding Pagan beliefs – lives ruined, families destroyed, and religious agendas advanced.
The first few pages of this book are enough to frighten even the most jaded among us. From several “official sources” he cites evidence of occult activity to be looked for such as jewellery, gongs, audio/visual recording equipment, music with an occult theme, candles, silver implements, incense, needles, oil, seashells, and the list goes on. Amazing! If you use massage oils and candles to enhance your lovemaking you too can be considered a Satanist. Continue reading
Teachings of the Santeria Gods: The Spirit of the Odu, by Ocha’ni Lele
Destiny Books, 9781594773327, 270 pp. (incl. glossary and index), 2010
Teachings of the Santeria Gods centres on the diloggun, a method of divination involving cowrie shells cast on a mat. The backs of the shells are filed down, but the important thing is the “mouths” of the shells—how many are facing upward gives the diviner the number of an “odu.” Each odu comprises an almost-endless array of stories (the pataki) about particular orisha, or cautionary folk tales. This is what makes this style of divination so interesting; the choice of the story to be told to the querent, and the ebo (sacrifice to be made in order to banish the querent’s ill-luck, avert disaster, or appease angry spirits, among other things) to be made gives a diviner near-infinite possibilities. Continue reading
Sun of gOd: Discover the Self-Organizing Consciousness That Underlies Everything, by Gregory Sams
Weiser Books, 9781578634545, 232 pp., 2009
“The proposition is that Sun is a living, conscious being with an intelligence that dwarfs our own. […] it is a living being, aware of its self and its place in the Universe; that it is fully conscious and communicates with other conscious beings at its own level, and other levels; that its consciousness is so far beyond what we enjoy that it could be accorded deity status of a high order, and be recognized as a conscious being by atheists and agnostics, whatever spin they put on it.”
The above paragraph captures the essence of what Sams tries to explore in this book. Continue reading
The Three Rays of Witchcraft, by Christopher Penczak
Copper Cauldron, 9780982774304, 205 pp., 2010
This is the first offering from a new publishing venture, Copper Cauldron. The idea of publishing an offering from Christopher is a good one. With over a dozen books and a half a dozen CD sets under his belt, Christopher is not only prolific, but knows how to convey his information without talking down to his readership.
Christopher presents a triple-themed approach to his subject, which is less about Witchcraft and more about the relationships between the three main branches of evolutionary development as he sees it – the divine, the human, and the devas or demigods. Whether you agree with his approach or not, you will find yourself challenged by his writing. It is, in many ways, the antithesis of much modern “occult” writing, which tends towards obscurity and density. Christopher writes clearly and makes no attempt to appear superior to his readers. The information is conveyed clearly and succinctly. Continue reading