Author: Patricia Telesco
Trade Paperback, 234 pages
Publisher: Crossing Press
Publication date: 2005
Price & More Info: Click Here
Over the years the series of "Chicken Soup" books have served as inspiration
for many people. Now there are inspirational stories for those of us who
walk the Pagan path. This book includes not only reflections, but spells
and recipes from some well-known Neo-Pagan Elders and teachers.
These folks share stories of activism and raising children, rituals and the
powers of nature. There are ideas to try as well as lessons to inspire.
You should be able to find whatever you are looking for within these covers.
Patricia Telesco has gathered together the thoughts and feelings, and a few
recipes, from folks as diverse as Margot Adler and Oberon Zell-Ravenheart,
Selena Fox and Starhawk.
Not all of these Elders and teachers are well-known. That isn't the point
of this book. Insight, wisdom, and the ability to inspire are not
restricted to those who are most notable. Many people feel intimidated when
meeting with "the leaders" of our community. Patricia has presented such a
variety of thought that it should be obvious that, first and foremost, these
are people who enjoy sharing stories with others.
Some of these stories she has collected seem to lack focus (that may simply
mean that I didn't need to, or wasn't ready to, connect with that story at
this time). Regardless of their seeming relevance, each of these stories
reveals something needed in the world - if not for you, perhaps for a
friend, covener or family member. There are stories of all types herein, as
I said earlier, and the range and breadth is quite amazing.
You don't need to read this book in a linear fashion. You can feel free to
pick and choose from any of the six chapters. Chapter One relates to
finding, and following, the path appropriate for you. Chapter Two relates
to forms of wisdom. Chapter Three reminds us of the guidance which is
available from nature. Chapter Four deals with community, which is
something which needs to be addressed in many areas. Chapter Five shares
rituals, while the final chapter deals with spells and other miscellaneous
items. Each of the chapters has about eight stories, representing the
offerings of over forty authors in total. The styles range from "chatty" to
This would make a good bedside book. Most of the offerings are short (none
of them over a dozen pages, and most ranging from two to four pages), so you
can take a few minutes before retiring into the arms of Morpheus to,
perhaps, inspire your dreams.
It appears to me that this is field which is ready to be explored in much
greater depth. There are now, and will continue to be, plenty of books in
the "How I came to the Path" vein, but not a lot of books of this type,
which is more of a "You may not believe this" vein. I'm sure there are a
lot of anecdotal stories out there that can illustrate the unexpected power
of our beliefs (heck, I can think of two in my own family right off the top
of my head). Sharing this kind of story may help to encourage others to
look for the power of the gods in unexpected places.
The gods know there are a lot of Elders out there who have knowledge to
share. It would be nice if that knowledge could be shared with the entire
community-at-large, instead of just the local community. I would like to
see further compilations of this type become available. It would provide a
major service to the Pagan community. I'm sure Ms. Telesco has enough on
her plate that she doesn't have time to revisit this topic, but surely there
are other authors who could pick up this thread and work with it. The raw
material is there, certainly. Anybody else want to take a stab at it?
Reviewed by Mike Gleason