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Thread: Books Beyond the Introductory

  1. #1
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    Books Beyond the Introductory

    What sort of books would you like to see written for people who are past the beginning level? What would you like to find out about?

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    After I built my library of introductory books, I was more interested in learning about developing spiritually rather than magically. It was, and still is, a challenge to find books such as these.

    My favorite is a little-known book called "Earth Time, Moon Time" by Annette Hinshaw. Annette played a large part in establishing the Tulsa pagan community and her book was not published until after she died. The book goes through the thirteen moons, explains their place and purpose in the wheel of the year, and lists questions for self-exploration and growth. The book is undated and can be used year after year.

    Others I have liked are "Goddess Meditations" by Barbara Ardinger and "Be A Goddess" by Francesca DeGrandis. Although I'm very interested in some of the new introductory books that have come out, I resist spending my money in that area because I feel I own enough books with spells, correspondences and the like. I only use them for reference anyway.

    Sad to say that I'm not surprised that you haven't gotten a big response to this thread. When I was a moderator in the Magic and Rituals forum here. nearly every thread that I started beyond the introductory level died. Even a thread that I started on women's moon lodge attracted posts about cramps and PMS when it wasn't about that at all. It bothered me that most of the interest seemed to be focused on spells and magic rather than on spiritual growth.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freyja
    After I built my library of introductory books, I was more interested in learning about developing spiritually rather than magically. It was, and still is, a challenge to find books such as these.
    I really feel that this is where we have to go if Wicca is going to survive as a religion. As I see it, magic is a tool that it's useful to know how to use, but as the end goal of a spiritual path you could do much better. There's so much more to earth-based spirituality than spellwork - that's what I'd like to see more authors writing about. As an example, I think what mazagines like Sagewoman and Pangaia are doing is where we should focus - people integrating Pagan practice with their life experiences including the difficult ones, making their religion part of daily life. I've just started reading Dianne Sylvan's new book "The Circle Within" which focuses on this kind of stuff & am really liking it - she's used Christian and Buddhist monasticism as inspiration for building a daily Wiccan practice. Other things I enjoy reading are people's adaptations of the wheel of the year to their local area - I did a series of articles on that for my site and was amazed at how my perceptions of the whole cycle of celebrations changed when I actually started looked out my window rather than just doing things the "traditional" way. My (biased) opinion is that the women's spirituality community has done a much better job of getting this kind of stuff into print than other sectors.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freyja
    After I built my library of introductory books, I was more interested in learning about developing spiritually rather than magically. It was, and still is, a challenge to find books such as these.

    My favorite is a little-known book called "Earth Time, Moon Time" by Annette Hinshaw. Annette played a large part in establishing the Tulsa pagan community and her book was not published until after she died. The book goes through the thirteen moons, explains their place and purpose in the wheel of the year, and lists questions for self-exploration and growth. The book is undated and can be used year after year.

    Others I have liked are "Goddess Meditations" by Barbara Ardinger and "Be A Goddess" by Francesca DeGrandis. Although I'm very interested in some of the new introductory books that have come out, I resist spending my money in that area because I feel I own enough books with spells, correspondences and the like. I only use them for reference anyway. .
    Barbara Ardinger is a good friend of mine and I know she will be pleased that you have found her book to be such a help.

    However, by "advanced" books, I really am not talking about spells and such. Advanced books may increase your knowledge, like books on herbs, or history; or they may help you work on your inner growth and spiritual connections as do the books you mentioned. I must admit that I consider spell books "beginning level" books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freyja
    Sad to say that I'm not surprised that you haven't gotten a big response to this thread. When I was a moderator in the Magic and Rituals forum here. nearly every thread that I started beyond the introductory level died. Even a thread that I started on women's moon lodge attracted posts about cramps and PMS when it wasn't about that at all. It bothered me that most of the interest seemed to be focused on spells and magic rather than on spiritual growth.
    I'm new to the site but I'm gaining the impression that a good many of the more active participants are young in years and in the study of Paganism. So it is only reasonable that they are most interested in becoming very solidly learned at that level. It would be foolish of them to read or work ahead of their knowledge base!

    Like so much else in life, Paganism is a process with clear and definite steps which it's best to follow. Jumping ahead to more advanced magic working before a solid base of knowledge and practice is established is not only difficult, it's a bit foolish!

    I'm going to do my best to start some threads which speak more to the basic learning process. After all, American Indian Ceremonies is very much an entry level book for those who want to understand something of the American Indian spiritual paths.
    Blessings

    Grey Cat
    Deepening Witchcraft: Advancing Skills and Knowledge
    American Indian Ceremonies: Walking the Good Red Road
    http://greycat.cc
    http://deepeningwitchcraft.com
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ari
    I really feel that this is where we have to go if Wicca is going to survive as a religion. As I see it, magic is a tool that it's useful to know how to use, but as the end goal of a spiritual path you could do much better. There's so much more to earth-based spirituality than spellwork - that's what I'd like to see more authors writing about..
    I can't help laughing a bit at this statement. It's not that long since it was really difficult to get people to discuss that sort of thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari
    I did a series of articles on that for my site and was amazed at how my perceptions of the whole cycle of celebrations changed when I actually started looked out my window rather than just doing things the "traditional" way. My (biased) opinion is that the women's spirituality community has done a much better job of getting this kind of stuff into print than other sectors.
    I don't have any sense of numbers, but I do know that a lot of formal Wiccan groups have done this. Most prominent, of course, are the groups in the Southern Hemisphere -- South American and Austrailia. However, I know that quite a number of traditional Wiccan groups in CA have made appropriate adjustments; most of the groups I'm familiar with in TN have done so also.

    Obviously I'm not familiar with the practices within groups of that many groups, it's not necessarily something people discuss unless asked to. It's an interesting question and I hope that people who work with such a group will let us know if they have done something of this sort.
    Blessings

    Grey Cat
    Deepening Witchcraft: Advancing Skills and Knowledge
    American Indian Ceremonies: Walking the Good Red Road
    http://greycat.cc
    http://deepeningwitchcraft.com
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Cat

    I'm new to the site but I'm gaining the impression that a good many of the more active participants are young in years and in the study of Paganism. So it is only reasonable that they are most interested in becoming very solidly learned at that level. It would be foolish of them to read or work ahead of their knowledge base!
    This brings up a question ~ is it assumed that the majority of the audience that pagan writers are addressing is young?

    There are many of us who are here as the result of many, many years of spiritual work and searching, and it seems that we are in our thirties to fifties and beyond. Some of us came into it knowing that this is our path after working in related areas - for instance, my search really began when I gave up on the medical profession and started searching for spiritual methods to healing. Most of what I studied for seven or eight years, such as Wayne Dyer, Caroline Myss, Louise Hay and others, is basically magic and I realized that I'd actually been pagan for a long time before I even knew it. I came into this already understanding that magic is far more than spells....

    There is very little in the pagan genre that addresses people like me and most writing seems to be directed at "new" pagans and the younger population.
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    I Proudly And Lovingly Accept This Banner On Behalf of Our Beloved Flar7 for his poem, "The Chase." It Was Truly How He Lived.



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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freyja
    This brings up a question ~ is it assumed that the majority of the audience that pagan writers are addressing is young?

    There are many of us who are here as the result of many, many years of spiritual work and searching, and it seems that we are in our thirties to fifties and beyond. Some of us came into it knowing that this is our path after working in related areas - for instance, my search really began when I gave up on the medical profession and started searching for spiritual methods to healing. Most of what I studied for seven or eight years, such as Wayne Dyer, Caroline Myss, Louise Hay and others, is basically magic and I realized that I'd actually been pagan for a long time before I even knew it. I came into this already understanding that magic is far more than spells.....
    Right now there are a huge number of teens with some interest in Paganism. Better yet, they are a pretty undemanding market, something publishers pray for. The books for beginners are going to get jazzier covers and often preference in ads. Teens after all, don't have to pay rent and buy food. ALL their money is free to spend as they like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freyja
    There is very little in the pagan genre that addresses people like me and most writing seems to be directed at "new" pagans and the younger population.
    Actually, I see a great many books written on a more advanced level. Just the ones sitting here for me to review include Judy Harrow's Spiritual Mentoring and Devoted to You; Dana Eiler's Pagans and the Law, Laura Perry's The Wiccan Wellness Book, Laura Wildman's What's Your Wiccan IQ and Wiccan Meditation; Yasmin Galenorn's Sexual Ecstasy and the Divine, and Building a Magical Relationship , Amber Liane Fisher's Philosophy of Wicca, Emma Restall Orr's Ritual and Druid Priestess and Medicine Hawk Wilburn's Urban Santuria.

    Those are simply the books sitting by my desk!! There are many more.
    Blessings

    Grey Cat
    Deepening Witchcraft: Advancing Skills and Knowledge
    American Indian Ceremonies: Walking the Good Red Road
    http://greycat.cc
    http://deepeningwitchcraft.com
    http://greycat.cc/ceremonies/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Cat
    Right now there are a huge number of teens with some interest in Paganism. Better yet, they are a pretty undemanding market, something publishers pray for. The books for beginners are going to get jazzier covers and often preference in ads. Teens after all, don't have to pay rent and buy food. ALL their money is free to spend as they like.



    Actually, I see a great many books written on a more advanced level. Just the ones sitting here for me to review include Judy Harrow's Spiritual Mentoring and Devoted to You; Dana Eiler's Pagans and the Law, Laura Perry's The Wiccan Wellness Book, Laura Wildman's What's Your Wiccan IQ and Wiccan Meditation; Yasmin Galenorn's Sexual Ecstasy and the Divine, and Building a Magical Relationship , Amber Liane Fisher's Philosophy of Wicca, Emma Restall Orr's Ritual and Druid Priestess and Medicine Hawk Wilburn's Urban Santuria.

    Those are simply the books sitting by my desk!! There are many more.
    LOL, why not go where the money is, right?

    I do a great deal of my book browsing in the bookstore. Here in Oklahoma, we are fortunate to even have a magical studies' section. Both of the large chains, Borders and B&N are Christian-owned. I'm aware of Amberlaine's book and have never seen it on a shelf here - I've been looking since it was published, and Yasmine's "Sexual Ecstasy" is on my wish list. I've never seen any of the others you mentioned on our shelves here. I don't do online ordering since I don't do credit cards and I also don't like to pay shipping charges if I can avoid it.

    Still - Amberlaine is 26 years old......what I'm trying to convey is that authors who share the same life stage and experience seem to be rare. Most authors do not speak to me in a way that indicates that they do. I'm very fortunate to have access to many people IRL within my age group, but that group is still smaller than the younger group. While I love young people, there are times when I prefer to interact with people my own age.
    My adopted smilies:
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    I Proudly And Lovingly Accept This Banner On Behalf of Our Beloved Flar7 for his poem, "The Chase." It Was Truly How He Lived.



    Come Dream With Me...


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    Well, I've got the message - stay among the living - Stevie Nicks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freyja
    LOL, why not go where the money is, right?

    I do a great deal of my book browsing in the bookstore. Here in Oklahoma, we are fortunate to even have a magical studies' section. Both of the large chains, Borders and B&N are Christian-owned. I'm aware of Amberlaine's book and have never seen it on a shelf here - I've been looking since it was published, and Yasmine's "Sexual Ecstasy" is on my wish list. I've never seen any of the others you mentioned on our shelves here. I don't do online ordering since I don't do credit cards and I also don't like to pay shipping charges if I can avoid it.
    Many bookstores are quite happy to do "special orders" to bring in specific books that they don't currently have on their shelves. All you need to do is ask. (At Borders and Barnes & Nobles stores, those shelves you see behind the cash register are usually stocked with books either special-ordered or being held for specific customers who asked for them.)

    When it comes to finding titles and authors worth looking for, I find that the bibliographies in books I already have and found useful to be goldmines. Sometimes an introductory book on a topic that you already know can turn out to be really helpful because of the bibliography included. I often check the bibliographies of books in the library too as a way to track down further material to research.

    There really are a lot of intermediate and advanced books already out there in print. The thing is that to be intermediate to advanced, the books by definition are rarely ever "survey" sorts of books that cover a lot of general material. They usually are focussed very specifically on one limited topic, and rarely are written for exclusively a Wiccan or even occult market.

    To find books at an intermediate to advanced level it really involves deciding what topic to focus on, and then researching what it out there. There's usually a lot more than we might think until we go looking for it. And that's when you start to realize how little we individually really know about that specific topic (which is usually a sign that one is REALLY starting to get into the meat of the topic!)

    Ben Gruagach
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Gruagach
    Many bookstores are quite happy to do "special orders" to bring in specific books that they don't currently have on their shelves. All you need to do is ask. (At Borders and Barnes & Nobles stores, those shelves you see behind the cash register are usually stocked with books either special-ordered or being held for specific customers who asked for them.)

    When it comes to finding titles and authors worth looking for, I find that the bibliographies in books I already have and found useful to be goldmines. Sometimes an introductory book on a topic that you already know can turn out to be really helpful because of the bibliography included. I often check the bibliographies of books in the library too as a way to track down further material to research.
    I know, and I'm often not up to waiting in line to deal with a salesperson who stumbles around trying to find the book on their computer. We also live 60 miles away from Tulsa, where the bookstores are located. I still find it puzzling that we live in a college town and there are no decent bookstores here. I should break down and do some online ordering, especially since it seems that there are some good buys available on used books.

    Yes! Probably about half of the books I own were suggested by bibliographies. I appreciate your suggestions, but I'm just not finding much out there that excites me much these days. When I do get time to browse in bookstores, I find myself leaving empty-handed more and more often - I never thought that would happen!

    I'm blessed that the pagan community in my area has grown rapidly just in the past three years. While I am still basically solitary, I no longer have to rely on books. But it is nice to run across something that I can't put down and read cover to cover.
    My adopted smilies:
    Joe and LaGina

    I Proudly And Lovingly Accept This Banner On Behalf of Our Beloved Flar7 for his poem, "The Chase." It Was Truly How He Lived.



    Come Dream With Me...


    Oy! My Goddess! Creations
    COS9 is the Goddess of Banners!
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    Well, I've got the message - stay among the living - Stevie Nicks

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