Author: Anthony Paige
Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Citadel Press
Publication date: September 2002
Price & More Info: Click Here
Over the last several years, a number of books have been published aimed at Wiccans in middle and high school. Most of these books haven't been so much about how to be a Wiccan in a middle school or high school setting as they have been typical Wicca 101 books aimed at the teen market. When I saw Rocking The Goddess: Campus Wicca for the Student Practitioner I thought, "Oh no. Now we have Wicca 101 books aimed at the college age market. Just what the world does not need -- yet another Wicca 101 book." Judging a book by its cover (or its back cover marketing hype) isn't always a good idea. Rocking the Goddess proves this rule.
My first impressions were wrong. Anthony Paige hasn't written yet another Wicca 101 book. While there is enough basic information on the Wiccan religion that someone unfamiliar with it could follow this book, teaching Wicca isn't the author's main goal. Instead, he has written a book on being Wiccan at college. Going to college is a major change for just about every young adult. One is quite suddenly an adult and often away from home and on one's own for the first time. Navigating a college bureaucracy can be hard enough without adding membership in a somewhat misunderstood minority religion to the mix.
The style of this book reminds me of Adler's Drawing Down the Moon in many places. There are lots of interviews and reports of how Wiccans do things on various college campuses: the problems and successes they have had. You'll find out why many people are Wiccan and how they adapted to college life. You'll also find out about Pagan student associations (and how to form one if there isn't one at your college), deciding whether to be in or out of "the broom closet," working around dorm limitations when trying to do ritual, using Internet resources, dealing with college officials, and much more.
The author is well-qualified to write on this subject. He wrote this book while a student at Purchase College in the State University of New York system. While there, he founded Campus Coven U.S.A. His book is an informative and enjoyable read.
If you are Wiccan and in college or planning to go to college, you will probably find this book invaluable. If you are a non-Wiccan Pagan, this book is still worth a look as much of the information on college life will still be useful to you -- although the information on Wicca will not be. Paige proves one can take a tired idea, Wicca books for the young adult, and breathe new life into them. Rocking the Goddess is apparently his first book. Hopefully, it will not be his last.
Reviewed by Randall