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Home > Chat Logs > Pagan Research and You (27 May 2003) Search

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Pagan Research and You


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This is the log of The Cauldron's May 27, 2003 chat on how best to use libraries and the internet to research Pagan topics, presented by Jenett. This log may have been edited to remove extraneous comments.

Jenett: Oh, yeah, my background: research is a longtime hobby of mine, and my profession: I'm currently working as a library paraprofessional, but I'm 2/3 of the way (and stalled) on my Master's in Library/Info science.

Jenett: Which in practical terms means I know a lot of library-related tricks, and I've got a professional reason to keep picking them up :)

Koi: I'm working towards a master's in theology so I know a fair bit about tracking down religion-related resources, but I"m no librarian. :)

JackalsVision: cool.

Jenett: So... I can either spout some tricks and tips, or people can ask questions. Or both.

Koi: and those of us with supplemental knowledge will add our deep thoughts as appropriate

Caesoninus: *waits for the tricks* :)

empire10001: And I'm purely amateur, here mostly to learn some new methods/tricks.

Caesoninus: As am I.

Jenett: *nod* supplemental knowledge very welcome indeed.

Shadow: well, why don't we start with what "Pagan" research is, and what makes it different (if anything) from other forms of research?

Jenett: *ooh* Good question.


Jenett: IMO, what makes it different - and more difficult - is a combination of it not being very well handled by both the major cataloging systems (at least in the US and Canada), some practical issues relating to the fact that certain books tend to disappear from the shelf... [more]

Mattie: Hello!

Shadow: hey, Mat. Current topic: Pagan research

Jenett: .. And the fact that a) you're often talking about experiential stuff (which is hard to document/footnote) and b) there isn't a good history of people documenting/footnoting as something that it is assumed that authors do.

empire10001: Hmm ... I would think a lot of it is done on line, because small libraries have so little Pagan material ... so how to find reputable on-line sources would be important.

Koi: (hello mat)

JackalsVision: is anyone going to log this conversation?

JackalsVision: I may miss parts of it.

Koi: it's being logged, yes

Mattie: Hi, Koi.

Jenett: I have some advice about interlibrary loan stuff, Empire...

Caesoninus: I mostly look for my pagan information online, also.

Koi: Are there some obvious ways to tell good pagan sources from bad?

Jenett: I don't consider the online stuff to be quite so separate from other online research (i.e. the same problems exist as with other topics)

Koi: Or certain types of online sources that tend to be better or worse?

Mattie: I find that online research is a good jumping off point, but often I find that the information online isn't as accurate as I would like.

Mattie: Larger sites devoted to a specific topic tend to do a better job than personal "vanity" sites, overall.

Jenett: *nod* Basically, with any online source, you want to look at who is writing it (what's their background), *why* they're writing it (are they documenting something? Explaining something? Do they have an agenda?) and then what they say.

Caesoninus: Online, people can basically just write whatever they want, so I like to put my faith in sites with good documentation (footnotes, etc..)

Jenett: Do they provide references to other sources when that's appropriate (obviously, if they're talking about their personal experiences, you either believe them or you don't.)

empire10001: Interlibrary loan is fine if you live in a large town or small-or-greater city, but if you live in the country, it isn't too practical, from my experience.

Mattie: Definitely look for referances.

empire10001: And find someplace to check the reliability of the references.

Jenett: I also tend to look for general site design: clean sites that make it easy to read text tend to have more reputable text. This isn't an absolute in either direction, but it's usually a good rule of thumb.

Koi: *blinks* ... you're absolutely right ... I never thought of that! the red-on-black sites are never very good, are they?

empire10001: LOL! If it's red on black, I figure it's hopeless!

Jenett: *grin* Generally not, no. Or those that have thousands of little animated thingies.

Shadow: people that want people to READ their content make it legible, IMO. one of the things I like about the Cauldron

Mattie: They tend to be vanity sites, where someone is trying to make themselves look "ookie spookie" and stuff.

Jenett: There's also some topics I look for, if I can't evaluate something directly: what does that person say about stuff like the Burning Times, use of herbs or essential oils, the origins of Wicca, or whatever other big bugbears exist.

Caesoninus: Or lots of cheap computer background music :D

empire10001: Good point, Jenett.

Jenett: I have a mental list of about 10-15 things I keep an eye out for: failing the test on any of those means I look at the whole site a lot more closely and cross-check everything.

Koi: for people unfamiliar with those bugbears who might read the log - what are some of them?

Koi: (and I know exactly what you mean ... I have a similar list for evaluating Biblical sites)

Shadow: why herbs?

Jenett: *hmms* Mine are heavily Wicca-specific, since that's where I do the bulk of my research. However: Wicca as an ancient religion. Anything that says 'All' or 'Every' or 'Noone' or 'No' (absolutes tend to be inaccurate).

Koi: ---questions flying thick and fast, lol---

Jenett: Anyone mentioning 9 million people being killed in the Burning Times.

Koi: lol

Jenett: Herbs because often people put the info up, but don't include safety information. Ditto for essential oils. If they either put big warnings up, or big notices to cross-check a reliable herbal, they tend to be more trustworthy.

Koi: one I look for in Pagan sources is confusion about the Inquisitions and the witch trials

Koi: for example, someone who blames witch trials in protestant German areas on the Catholic Church is not the brightest bulb

Shadow: good point .. I know casual herb use drives me crazy.

Jenett: I tend to check what they say about chamomile, and then something like pennyroyal. (The former can cause problems for people who have ragweed allergies: they're closely related). The latter is .. erm, dangerous.

Koi: and there's a general vast confusion between the Inquisition and the Spanish Inquisition

deano2016: *PART*

Jenett: Something that sounds like it's out of a fantasy game (quick hint: try seeing if there's something that looks like a group or game name in there, and try a search on that. Or anything that gives exact radiuses or costs for spells.)


empire10001: I'll go along with that, Jenett ... pennyroyal is =not= good for pregnant women, for instance!


Koi: welcome, katnipp

Caesoninus: Heya Kat.


Jenett: *nod* at Koi. Erm. I think that's my quick list. I am writing up a 'online research' guide to go with my book one (which has been on the Cauldron site for over a year now), but it's not quite done. Hopefully this month, and I'll announce it on the forum when it is.

empire10001: Please do! I think that would be extremely useful.

Jenett: Oh, yes, and in Wicca, any 'my grandmother' stories. Some of them actually are true, but the vast amount don't have any kind of documentable validity, either in terms of actual physical documents, or people actually being able to demonstrate the skills they claim to have learned

Jenett: *nod* at Empire. It's rather longer: I think it's currently something like 10 sections, covering different aspects, including stuff like how to use a search engine efficiently, and such.

Phouka_Da_Mare__Da_S: *JOIN*

Caesoninus: Hallo.

Koi: hey Phouka

Tan: hey phouka

phouka: hey there folks./

Shadow: hey, Phouka!

Shadow: how do you feel about correspondance charts, Jenett? are they a red flag to you?

Jenett: Hey there. (Erm, ok. I seem to have stopped typing frantically.)

Shadow: I always find them a good sign of superficiality, if there's nothing to back them up

Jenett: Hmmm. I don't usually look at them, honestly. In a site that was otherwise solid, I think they'

Jenett: ...... they're neither good or bad, but you're right., they do make me a bit suspicious. Spells *definitely* do.

Koi: I have oodles more questions, but maybe some other people would like get Jenett's wisdom on their questions first ... ?

Koi: (and why do spells make you suspicious?)

phouka: what is the current topic?

phouka: never mind...

Shadow: Pagan research and You! like it says, even! :)

Shadow: {{{{{{Phouka}}}}}}}

Jenett: Spells because most people who actually manage to get spells to work know they need to personalise them - it's not going to work as well if the symbology someone used doesn't speak to you.

phouka: phouka is trying desparately to dry out after her soggy, muddy weekend.

Jenett: It's not a 'I'd never refer to this site at all' thing, but it's a 'examine very closely' thing.

JackalsVision: ((( i hate being at work... i am missing this whole thing)))

Koi: ah. that would be largely beyond my experience, so I wouldn't think to look at it

Jenett: Jackal: also feel free to bug me by email (or anyone else, for that matter) if you want, later.

clem76: do you all reprsent the devil in this room.

Jenett: *nod* Collections for informational purposes don't bug me as much, for example. (I know the Cauldron has some up, for example).

JackalsVision: hi clem... and "no" is the answer to that one.

clem76: o.k

Caesoninus: That was slightly random

Jenett: Let me do my quick Interlibrary loan spiel, and then more questions, maybe?

Shadow: sounds good

phouka: go for it.

Jenett: Ok. Interlibrary loan is a method by which you can get books from other libraries. How well it works depends a *lot* on what state you're in, in the US - Minnesota has an excellent system, other states aren't so good. (I know the Minnesota one well, because that's part of my job.)

Koi: .ACTION peeks over jenett's shoulder at madly typing fingers.

clem76: sorry

Jenett: It also depends a lot on the library: it does cost libraries money to request books (they generally get mailed), so some libraries charge a fee to help cover the costs, and to discourage people requesting stuff they don't use.

phouka: New York's is pretty good...I've gotten some hard to find books that way.

Caesoninus: Do you know about Quebec's?

Jenett: A local city librarian told one of my classes that about 75% of the stuff that's requested doesn't get picked up. That's pretty large.

Koi: wow

Jenett: I don't know a whole lot about Canadian stuff in general - but I can tell you how to find out :)

Caesoninus: Excellent. :)

Jenett: Basically, you want to go to your reference or information librarian, and ask what the general procedure is. Usually they have a form or something, or sometimes, now, you can request it online, using the catalog computers. They can also tell you about any policies that are involved.

clem76: *PART*

Caesoninus: Thankies, Jenett.

Jenett: The most common of those are that rare books or books in poor condition won't be available, really popular books (like bestsellers) won't be available, that other media might not be (CDs, videos, etc.) and that materials out under Interlibrary loan generally can't be renewed.

Caesoninus: Must leave now. Thanks for all the help. Take care everyone. :)

Caesoninus: *PART*

Jenett: Then you figure out which book you want (ideally, tell them where you found it: like if I know something's available at the Universty of Minnesota, I tell them that), and the relevant info (author, title, a specific edition if you need one, etc.) and you put in the request.

Koi: what about local universities? don't most have some sort of provision for members of the community who aren't affiliated with the uni borrowing?

Jenett: Hopefully, they can get the book, and then they let you know it's come in. How long it can take depends a lot on the specifics, and on where the book is coming from.

JackalsVision: if you're an alumni , then they should let you.

Shadow: not necessarily. my Uni doesn't have alumni borrowing privs.

Jenett: *nod* at Koi. In Minnesota (and I'd suspect in most other US states), because the public universities are funded by tax dollars, they usually allow state residents to get access. You may not be able to check things out (sometimes you can pay a yearly fee to do so), but you can usually go in and work in the library, and photocopy stuff or take notes.

Jenett: HEre, you can even get access to the rare book collections - just by walking in and making the request, when they're open.

hyplar: *JOIN*

Koi: *nods* ditto at both private unis I've been at, and both had some sort of procedure by which you could apply for a card to allow you to checkout

empire10001: When I was in HS, back in the late 50's/early 60's, you could at Penn State. Don't know if that's still true.

Shadow: hello. current topic: Pagan research and you

Koi: but checkout times were only, like, a week for non-university-affiliated individuals

Jenett: Private schools may have alumni agreements - or the college I went to had an agreement where all residents of the town had some basic access, and you could apply for more.

Jenett: Sometimes, if a school has an evening course program, that can be a relatively cheap way to get a library card, too. (I got access to the Harvard libraries two summers in college because I was doing language courses there. The Harvard collections are notoriously hard to get access to, but a card issued as part of a course gets you in with no hassles.)

phouka: I think the only thing I'm going to miss in NYC is the HUGE reference library on 5th Ave.

Celeste621: *JOIN*

Shadow: wb

Celeste621: thanks, sorry i'm late

phouka: They had just about anything you could want...or they could get it.

Jenett: Also, interlibrary loan can get you articles, as well as books. Which isn't usually as applicable for Pagan stuff, but might be.

Jenett: *pause for questions*

Raging_Bear: *JOIN*

Raging_Bear: Hello

Tan: Ciao, got to do some stuff

Koi: hello, raging bear. we're discussing pagan research

Shadow: hello. current topic: Pagan research

Koi: cya tan

Celeste621: bye, tan

Shadow: byes, tan

phouka: bye tan.

Jenett: Bye, tan, and Hi, Raging bear.

Shadow: I don't have any questions about interlibrary loan, no. hmm

phouka: hi raging bear

JackalsVision: and of course i don't have any questions yet.

Tan: *PART*

Jenett: New questions also welcome :) I think I've covered everything that can be talked about generally: see your library for specifics.

Jenett: RE: interlibrary loan, that is :)

Raging_Bear: Research can be tricky, especially to someone who is new at the path, but not part of any coven or group.

Shadow: I've got one. When researching Deities, are there any things you would look for in particular?

Shadow: or are there things that are an automatic "bad sign"?

Jenett: *hmm* That the source I'm looking at has more than 3-4 lines about them? *duck*

Raging_Bear: I mean, what type of person would I be if I started out my education on Silver Ravenwolf/

Shadow: heh. there is that.

JackalsVision: i've used interlibrary loan... and it's great if you don't mind waiting.

Shadow: but is there anything, without already having a solid grounding in the material, that can work as a quick red-flag?


Koi: jack would like to know where he could find info a one-eyed cat god. :) (no, really, he's just walking all over my keyboard!)

Raging_Bear: "Get Rich Quick" by magick books?

JackalsVision: I have a silver ravenwolf book.

JackalsVision: i reference it..

phouka: Well, I've always used the mythologies as the start of my research.

Jenett: More seriously: I'd look for stuff that talks about actual original sources, whether or not they agree with the interpretations. (Looking at, say, the Mabinogion, there's a Christian overlay to some parts which makes interpretation more tricky)

phouka: Yep...that's what I've done.

phouka: It's a much better jump off point than say DJ Conway.

Jenett: For a web example of the kind of thing I mean: - it gives you citations and references that you can then move foward with.

hyplar: *PART*

Jenett: isn't terribly detailed (and the quality varies quite a bit), but it's also a good place to start. Often you can get some idea of other names, characteristics, to do more research with.

JackalsVision: QUESTION:> How much in pagan research do you stick to when inquiring about a deity and how much do you incorporate in terms of personal spells? I have a few books of spells and stuff, but generally follow their format and write my own.

Shadow: Pagan doesn't equal spells, Jackals .. I'm Pagan, but almost never do magic, for instance

empire10001: On original sources ... how do you find a good translation, if it's not your native language? I'd like to find more on Ganesha, but I don't know either Hindi or Sanskrit.

Shadow: so that's really two different issues .. one for researching a deity, and another for doing spellwwork

Raging_Bear: I do magick, but rarely do spells.

Koi: Ann, one thing I do is do a search for the book and see if I can pull up a college syllabus

Jenett: Let me take these one at a time: research vs. personal experience, then spells, then translations, ok?

Shadow: sure

Jenett: *nod* at Koi. It turning up on academic resources is a good sign.

Koi: they usually have a translation aprofessor likes and that's a good place to start

Koi: (sorry, out of order! gak!)

Jenett: For me, ... ergh. I'm currently stuck with a deity I'm having a lot of trouble researching. So I'm not the best example. (I'm convinced it's meant to be like this, now, to teach me that research isn't everything.)

Jenett: However, before I'm comfortable doing much work with a deity, I want to be able to write up at least a page worth of stuff about them - major myths, associations with other deities in their pantheon, stuff they're associated with, special notes (things they like, things that they don't like.)

JackalsVision: well... in that instant.. neopagan.. i supose... and i suppose it's mostly magick/ spellwork with god/goddess invocations to power it up.

JackalsVision: jenett:> solid advice.

Raging_Bear: I would also feel it neccesary to actually communicate with this diety, you may like them, but do they like you?

Jenett: This is a running assignment in the group I work in, too - we have a deity to research each month. If your library has Man, Myth and Magic, that's often a good resource.

JackalsVision: i hate missing this conversation cuz i 'm stuck at work.

JackalsVision: :(

Shadow: ooh? *scribbles title*

Jenett: Raging Bear - I only move on to that step after I've done the basic research. After that, I start with some basic meditation work - not invoking them in ritual, just doing meditation and getting a feel for them. Then I move on from there.

Jenett: Shadow: It's a multi-volume encyclopedia, and it's common in most mid-sized or larger libraries. It also has some really nice glossy photos.

JackalsVision: gotta run.. stuck at work.

Jenett: So, that's deities. Spells. Spells, I don't do a whole lot of, other than workings we do in a coven setting (and that's not all that often: maybe once every three months) Those are researched by whoever's writing the ritual.

JackalsVision: is there going to be a copy online.

JackalsVision: ?

Shadow: YES, Jackals, there IS.

phouka: Folks, I'm going to head out...I've got a LOT of reading to do...after 5 days offline.'

JackalsVision: thanks. :)

JackalsVision: *PART*

Raging_Bear: One of my problems, which makes my path hard to learn on by books, is that I align myself with no diety.

phouka: Night.

phouka: *PART*

Koi: as long as we're kinda on the topic ...

Koi: Returning to the idea that Paganism is largely a very personal religion with personal revelatory experiences, when you look at personal piety books ... what makes them good or bad?

Jenett: In general, I think looking at resources and then writing your own is a good idea: like I mentioned earlier, I think the symbology works better if you look at what a spell is trying to accomplish, and then create your own with the appropriate symbols.

Celeste621: bye, phouka

Jenett: *mm* at Koi. I think honesty about which the person is talking about. If they cite the factual stuff, and then provide some clear information about their own experiences, I think that's good. (IT's what I try to do myself, too.)

Celeste621: oops, she left already. still getting the hang of this room. ^_^;;


Koi: relo katnip

Jenett: I think Judy Harrow's "Devoted to You" is a great model, too. (She edited it: four people writing about deities they work closely with.)


Jenett: This is also an art, as much as a science: how do the experiences come across to you? Do they feel honest? Do they seem forthright? Or does it seem like someone's trying to blow up their own ego, or is faking?

Raging_Bear: I would say to listen to your heart, deeply, meditatively... let your spirit be your guide.

Shadow: and common sense. anyone that finds a God in a CrackerJack box, and treats said God like a Genie, isn't a trustworthy source

Jenett: *nod* Using the same skills you'd use if a co-worker or someone you knew slightly but not really well probably is a good guideline.

Jenett: You can always file stuff into a mental box (or notefile) labelled "I've been told this, but I'm not sure I believe it" That way, you can keep it in mind if you find stuff later that supports that, or disproves it, or whatever.

empire10001: Sorry, folks ... I've gotta go. Sorry -- this has been fascinating so far, and I want to read the log when it gets posted.

Shadow: no problem! byes!

Jenett: Night!

Celeste621: bye

empire10001: Take care, all!

empire10001: *PART*

Raging_Bear: I actually keep notes on that sort of thing.

KATNIPP59: I've found that alot of literature on Paganism and Witchcraft parrot each other they tend to say the same things over and over

Jenett: *nod* at Katnipp. There's a lot of 101 type books that cover the same ground. I tend to collect them, because these days, I tend to get asked for recommendations or comments, but I don't think most people need to do that.

Shadow: and so many of the websites just plagarize Cunningham, too. :(

Raging_Bear: I would take a look at the mini-biography of the author.

KATNIPP59: I've got a bit of a collection too Jennett, now I find myself looking for more original work

Raging_Bear: I saw one that said "After he was abducted by aliens, and had a near death experience from it, Angels from another universe started talking to him and telling him the truth about the universe..."

Jenett: *nod* Looking for stuff that sounds new (without sounding completely wacky) is probably another good tool. If it talks about stuff you haven't seen discussed before, look closer. (unless like me, you just like being able to have them handy for commentary as needed.)

KATNIPP59: The websites I've looked at seem to be doing the same thing

Jenett: I also don't look completely by publisher, but it's something I keep in mind. There's the occasional good Llewelleyn book, but there are other publishers I take a bit more seriously (ECW, Citadel, in particular.)


Shadow: also lineage. if someone claims to be lineaged in an oathbound tradition, and is publishing on it, odds are good there are problems with the book

Jenett: *nod* There is stuff that can be said about oathbound traditions without breaking oaths, but if they're talking speciifc practices, there's quite possibly a significant problem. (For those who read my journal, you'll notice I stick to public ritual stuff you'd see if you were in ritual, or my own impressions/feelings/opinions.)

Raging_Bear: I look for good notes, proper histories, experience, and things that can tie the person into a system that says "At least this guy has a clue.

Jenett: *nod* There are sometimes good reasons to not include that (I don't mention the exact tradition name in my web stuff, for example, because it's a local tradition most people probably haven't heard of.)

Shadow: what about solitaries? Some people really do come up with their own traditions or understandings, I don't think one should exclude them because they're not in a trad

Jenett: However, if someone asks me directly, I'll share it. Which is another note: reliable thoughtful authors should be open to polite reasonable email. (Not asking for spells, not wacky stuff, but a "I'm curious about where you found X on page [address]". If someone isn't, that's another warning sign, if it's a webpage.

Jenett: *nod at Shadow*. And really, trad doesn't help you that much, when it comes down to it: people can lie about their background, especially online. But stuff like "Been doing this for 5 years" can at least give you some idea, or some idea how to evaluate other things they've written.

Raging_Bear: No, but what are thier experiences, what research did they do? What about bibliographies, and proper notes on history and so fourth? I look for, and demand those out of a book on learning.


Celeste621: wb katnipp

Jenett: Raging Bear: That works fine if you're talking factual information: but that brings us right back to the problem of fact versus personal experience.

KATNIPP59: maybe I can stay awhile now

Shadow: good luck! :)

Raging_Bear: Then the question would be of time.

Jenett: I can't cite stuff on my specific tradition: there's no book about it, and a lot of the specific factual stuff is oathbound, to boot. I *can* write about my experiences with it, with various deities, and other stuff: but I can't produce a neat little bibliography on that.

KATNIPP59: if the internet grimlens will let me :)

Jenett: Again, art more than science.

Raging_Bear: If a person says "Been doing this for about a year" vs. "Doing this for about 35 years"

Koi: .ACTION kicks internet gremlins.

Jenett: Also, "I've been doing this [long time]", just as a note, is not always reliable. Someone might mean 'I've been reading stuff that involves magic' for that time, while someone else who might say it might mean 'actively practicing, vigorously researching, constantly challenging myself as much as possible'.

Jenett: If someone asks me how long I've been reading about Wicca, the current answer is about 8 years. But I've only been doing regular ritual work for about 2.5, and only in formal training for about 18 months.

Mattie: IME, even time practicing isn't always a good indicator, though if someone mentions how many years they've spent in the Craft repeatedly, I tend to tune them out, because they obviously feel that the number of years they've been practicing is gonna impress me.

Raging_Bear: Right, what exactly have they been doing? How long, any other people doing this, or something similer?

Jenett: So.. new question, as I think we've probably hit all the main points on this one?

Mattie: I'm afraid I'm unimpressed with how many years someone has been doing this. Show me the goods.

Shadow: that works in person, but people lie in books all the time .. especially if they're going for a *look*

Raging_Bear: Then look at the theme, if it involves instant prosperity, success, getting rich, getting love, things like that, then it most likely won't really help you.

Jenett: *PART*

Shadow: erp? we lost our presenter, folks, I hope it's just a glitch!

Raging_Bear: Do what I do, I go to the bookstore, grab about a dozen books that interest me, and skim through and read some of them, it may take some time, but it saves money and headache.

Mattie: I'm sure she'll be right back.

KATNIPP59: Or if it claims to be able to teach you a centuries worht of knowledge in 300 pages ...beware

sailor_tech: *JOIN*

Shadow: heck, to me, anything that claims that the *truth* was in the past, and now we've lost it, is a problem.

Shadow: hello!

sailor_tech: hi folks

Mattie: I agree, Shadow.

Mattie: If it's all in the past, then why bother?

Jenett: *JOIN*

Koi: did jenett say she might have thunder storms tonight?

Koi: oh, there she is!

Jenett: Sorry about that.. IE crashed.

Celeste621: wb jenett

Mattie: wb

Jenett: And took my computer with it..

Shadow: and why downplay/ignore all that humanity has done since? whatever has changed OBVIOUSLY does some good to the people that changed it!

sailor_tech: *PART*

Shadow: heh. know how that is

Shadow: ooh, bouncy connection night

eretant: *JOIN*

Jenett: Ok. Anything I missed?

Mattie: Hi, ere

eretant: Hi there!

Raging_Bear: I also open my empathic vibes, and carefully try to "feel" the books.

KATNIPP59: The past is great to learn from but anyone who says it was "better back then" probably did live it

Shadow: hey, Ere, current topic, Pagan research

KATNIPP59: did'nt

Koi: you missed peter bouncing :D

eretant: Thanks Shadow.

Mattie: Truly so, Katnipp.

Mattie: I mean, sure, there were great things in the past, but who here would give up their washing machine? Or their indoor toilet?

Shadow: next question! :)

Jenett: *grin at Shadow*

sailor_tech: *JOIN*

sailor_tech: browser crashed

eretant: What specifically about pagan research......?

Shadow: wb

Koi: uh oh, the gremlins are going around!

Mattie: *PART*

Jenett: Koi, do you want to go back to the translation question, or do you think that's been mostly answered? And Ere - questions, whatever.

Shadow: you had to say it? ;)

eretant: MAttie, I've lived w/o a washing machine but ....oh well shit ya left.

Koi: sure, let's go back to it :)

ldavidk: *JOIN*

Jenett: *grin* Koi already gave good advice about translations: see if you can find an online syllabus.

ldavidk: hello

Shadow: hello. Current topic: Pagan Research

Jenett: Also, different translations may be better for different things: the translation you may want to look at a really close reading of the text for specific details may well be a different translation from the best one to read to simply enjoy the work.

ldavidk: how can i get my real name off there and go with my chat name

ldavidk: if i may ask

ldavidk: please

eretant: David...I don't have a clue. *s*

Raging_Bear: It can only be done if you have delphi advanced or plus.


Jenett: *edit* Translation you may want to look at *for* ...

eretant: Mattie, I was typing a response to you and you up and fell thru the floor. *s*

Mattie: Oops.

ldavidk: ok thank you

Mattie: I went to see who was in another room and accidentally opened it in this window.

ldavidk: take care

ldavidk: mp

eretant: Anyway I was saying that I've lived w/o a washing machine but I'm not giving up my toilet...*s*

Shadow: byes

Mattie: :)

ldavidk: *PART*

eretant: Oh sure...likely excuse. *giggles*

Mattie: I've lived without both, and I would rather not.

Shadow: are there other questions?

eretant: Shadow I'm still trying to think of one.....I have limited brain cells ya know.

Jenett: I have another bit of information folks might find useful... more library stuff.

Raging_Bear: Wanna see the longest word in the wolrd?

Shadow: no, Raging

eretant: supercalafragalisticexpialadotious?

Shadow: sure, that sounds helpful, Jenett

Raging_Bear: hee hee

Jenett: I mentioned back at the beginning that one issue with Pagan related stuff is that it doesn't fit well into library cataloging.

Celeste621: i'm not skilled with using the library as a resource, so whatever you have would be great

KATNIPP59: It does'nt even exist in my library

Jenett: Libraries in the US use either the Dewey system (three digit number, then decimal) or the Library of Congress (one or two letters, followed by numbers, followed by decimal point, and more numbers.)

Shadow: *PART*

eretant: I just always ended up in the Occult section...or religion but Borders is completely screwed.

Celeste621: ok

Shadow: *JOIN*

Jenett: In Dewey, 'witchcraft' (more on that in a sec) is 133.4 (also occult stuff in general). Mythology and other related stuff is in the 299 area.

eretant: Wb Shadow

Jenett: In the Library of Congress system, it's a lot more spread out.

Shadow: :)

Celeste621: oooh, thanks for that tidbit, Jenett

Celeste621: *scribbles that down*

Jenett: However, searching for Wiccan or Neo-Pagan material can be hard, because there's no formal subject heading for that yet. This is a pain, but adding new subject headings is a Big Deal - technically, if the Library of congress adds one, *all* libraries would need to go back and move items around, and redo the catalog information. Obviously, pretty much no library has the time and resources to do...

Jenett: Your best bet, if you're not sure how to search, is to search for a title you know your library probably has (Wicca for the Solitary Practioner by Scott Cunningham is probably a good bet). When you find the record for that (whether it's a card or a computer record), it should have some more subject information on it. You can then use that to find other books, or to figure out areas of the libr...

Raging_Bear: *PART*

Jenett: ... areas of the library to browse.

Celeste621: ah, makes sense

Jenett: *nod* It's fairly easy to work around once you know the problem, but it can be frustrating if you don't know that's what's going on.

sailor_tech: typical of a lot of info stuff. once you have a lead, it all comes out of the wood work.

Celeste621: i'll have to recheck my local library. i was out of luck last time i went and tried

sailor_tech: think of hte pagan web. once you find one site, you are much more likely to find Lots of sites.

KATNIPP59: I'll check mine again too

Jenett: As a note for history stuff, history is all in the 900s - European stuff is mostly in the 940s, ancient civlisation stuff is in the 930s, in Dewey.

Jenett: Also sometimes stuff in the 900-919 area (though that's a bit more physical geography, depending)

Koi: (sorry, i wandered off)

Koi: (phone calls. back now.)


Jenett: (For the curious: the library I work in uses Dewey, and I do all the shelving, which is why I can recite the Dewey stuff off the top of my head, and not the Library of Congress.)

Shadow: hello. current topic: Pagan Research

JSPEREIRA: Greetings, just thought I'd pop in.

Jenett: Hey :)

Celeste621: hi

eretant: Just I the only one getting the Love Sick Christian dating banner at the bottom of the window??? *s*

KATNIPP59: nope

Celeste621: thankfully not :) i'm getting the "the page cannot be displayed"

Mattie: I'm going to go. I need to do a few things before it's dark out.

Koi: i don't get no banners :D

Shadow: I pay to not get ads for a reason. :)

Shadow: g'night!

eretant: Bye Mattie

Celeste621: take care, mattie

Mattie: *PART*

Jenett: Good night. *nod at shadow*

KATNIPP59: tho currently I'm getting a "page cannot be displayed"

sailor_tech: I constantly get the Love banner. always very odd for this forum.

Jenett: I'm going to need to get going in about 20 min, just as a warning. (The problem with working for a school: I leave for work at 6:30, and I get up at 5.)

JSPEREIRA: Ah, just switched to that on mine..

eretant: 5.....uggggg

Jenett: Oh! Big important research tip...

Shadow: well, things do seem to be winding down. should we call it a night, or are there more questions?

Shadow: oh!

KATNIPP59: Jennett how hard is it for small town libraries to borrow material?

Sperran: *JOIN*

Jenett: Write down where you found stuff. Whereever you're taking notes. I write down the title, the author, the relevant page numbers, and what I was researching if it's not really darn obvious.

KATNIPP59: good idea

Sperran: hi guys. :)

Jenett: If I'm saving a webpage to my hardrive for later information, I go back in and edit the file or make some other sort of note with that information.

Shadow: hey, Sperran

eretant: Gonna go pass out hopefully. *s* Have a good night everyone!

eretant: *PART*

Jenett: That way, when you're going through stuff later, you know where it came from, so you can go back and look again if you need to. I also write down all that stuff on the back of photocopies, so I have it all handy.

JSPEREIRA: good idea

Jenett: Katnipp: It really depends on the library. Like I said, it can get expensive for them. It also depends a lot on the state: in Minnesota, at least at the moment, it's pretty accessible to every library that wants to use it. In other states, it's not as well/centrally funded, and that makes it harder.

Jenett: I'd suggest talking to the librarians sometime when it's not really crowded, and asking. Looking like you're doing serious research helps a lot.

JSPEREIRA: that's interesting...i suspect you'd get a better result if you went (for example) to the very well funded library next town over vs. the very mediocre library in my town

JSPEREIRA: i suspect = i had suspected

Koi: agree. my hometown library was tiny, but they were well-funded and had great ILL capabilities

KATNIPP59: I'll try that

Jenett: *nod* Depends on the state: here, most of the ILL stuff is funded through the state (actually making the requests and figuring out who has them and all that). But it varies a bit town to town, too.

Koi: they had a van that went around a group of 36 of them or something, every couple days, to do ILL within the regional system

Shadow: also, small libraries sometimes have takeout limits on specific topics .. only so many books on one topic at a time.

Koi: down here ... I have a much bigger library in a much bigger city and it's absolute crap. they have no funding

Shadow: it helps if you tell them it's not a school project. :)

Sperran: Having access to search databases of other libraries speeds up the ILL process somewhat also.

JSPEREIRA: some of this is state is freakish because because town by town funding actually matters

Jenett: *nod* Minnesota has a central database you can search in - I don't know about other states. When I put in requests for teachers or students, I cross-check the request there, andthen tell them where it's available. We don't always get the book from that source, though.

Jenett: *nod* Mostly, go and ask, if you're interested. At least then you'll know what applies in your town, and can work with whatever is available.

3pplin1: *JOIN*

3pplin1: Ok - someone wanna refresh my memory - again, on how to change my name?

Koi: "/name NEWNAME"

sailor_tech: night

Shadow: /nick actually

3pplin1: Nick? ah..LOL ok..

Koi: oh, sorry

sailor_tech: *PART*

Celeste621: hm

ierne: It kept telling me unknown command, and I coulda sworn it was /name...

Celeste621: hm

Celeste621: *scratches head*


Celeste621: not working for me

Shadow: only works if you pay Delphi. :)

ierne: I think it also depends on your account -

Celeste621: ah, forgot about that

Sperran: have to run; my ride is here

Sperran: *PART*

ierne: brb ya'll gotta pay the mower gal..*grin*

Jenett: Any more questions and stuff/

Shadow: well, it looks like we're winding up, actually .. Ierne, any questions before we close up?

Celeste621: not from me

KATNIPP59: I'm ok it was interesting Jennett

JSPEREIRA: i'll have to read the transcript

Jenett: And just a reiteration: I'm open for questions in email, if anyone wants to bug me (open to anyone reading the log, too.) I don't answer rude and nasty stuff, but pretty much anything else should get you a response.

Celeste621: i'll have to read the transcript too, missed the first half hour

Koi: thank you, Jenett

Shadow: also, asking questions on the forum is all good!

Celeste621: thanks, Jenett

Shadow: yes, thank you very much, Jenett!

Koi: shadow, when randall gets the log up, perhaps we can post a message with a link to the log

Shadow: .ACTION applauds.

Koi: so that those with further questions can ask them

Jenett: *nod* That too. And you're very welcome... this is the stuff I really enjoy doing.

Shadow: will do. :) already planning on it.


Koi: it's good to have experts like you around, jenett :)

Shadow: er .. that's 'cause i'm using your brain, Koi. :)

Koi: dammit, I knew it had run off again!

Koi: better watch out for the mad cow ...

ierne: back..

Jenett: I also (for the newcomers) am working on an online version of the 'how to evaluate books' article that I wrote a while back (it's linked from the Cauldron's New Pagan Primer) - it's almost done, just need to finish the page with specific issues to look for.

ierne: any mad cow is NOT my fault.. ;-)


Shadow: .ACTION sings "Cows with Guns".

KATNIPP59: I would be very interested in that

Celeste621: i enjoyed that article

ierne: Excellent jennett! I'm going to have to read that..

Celeste621: i'll be sure to check that out

Jenett: I'm hoping to get the online one (Thanks, Celeste. *beam*) finished in the next week or two. Really.

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