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Author Topic: What Was Your 101 Book?  (Read 38978 times)
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« Reply #15: December 25, 2009, 08:26:43 pm »

So, if you started out on your path by reading a book, what was your '101' book, so to speak?

Looking back on it, was it a good beginner book for your path? Would you, or do you, recommend it to people who are just starting out? Why or why not?


WHAT WITCHES DO BY Stewart Farrar.  It was the first book I ever read that stated that witchcraft was real and co-existent in the same time/space as where I lived, and that there was more to it than spellcasting.  It confirmed what I had always known.  I just hadn't known that anyone else knew it, too.   

I've gone through several copies; it's the book I give seekers to read.  How they react to it helps me decide if they are kin.

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« Reply #16: December 25, 2009, 08:53:05 pm »

So, if you started out on your path by reading a book, what was your '101' book, so to speak?
 

  For me it was Cunningham's "Wicca, a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner"  followed by Marion Green's "A Witch Alone".

  Both helped me begin to "see" things in adifferent way than i ever had before.....The journey continues today.....
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« Reply #17: December 25, 2009, 08:54:41 pm »

WHAT WITCHES DO BY Stewart Farrar.  It was the first book I ever read that stated that witchcraft was real and co-existent in the same time/space as where I lived, and that there was more to it than spellcasting.  It confirmed what I had always known.  I just hadn't known that anyone else knew it, too.   

I've gone through several copies; it's the book I give seekers to read.  How they react to it helps me decide if they are kin.



What Witches Do was my 2nd book.  The first one was The Spiral Dance.  Mom gave me both of them.  They drew me back to where I began.
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« Reply #18: December 25, 2009, 10:41:08 pm »

Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, and yes, I'd recommend today to others.

That wasn't my first book, but I wish it was.  I loved her work in that book.

I think my first book was Scott Cunningham's _Wicca_...and I think DDM as well.  Man, it's hard to remember! 
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« Reply #19: December 26, 2009, 09:52:14 am »

I picked up Sarah Morrison's The Modern Witch's Spellbook.

Oh my gods!
I had a copy of that one too.
To say it was bad, would be flattered. It is worse than just bad. I lack the vocab here.  Cheesy

Well after digging through the local library's occult corner (which was basically only a small shelf), my first 'real' book on the topic was 'Spiral Dance'.
As others have already mentioned, I recommend it too.

Really can't remember which books followed it. I have had a time where I got every book approximately looking witchy.
Some good, a lot bad, hardly one above 101.

Ansha - a German author - has quite good stuff out. Like her books.

But in retrospect, it was Starhawk who had the greatest influence on my path and getting me on it.
I performed my first 'real' spells and circle casting out of 'Spiral Dance'.
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« Reply #20: December 26, 2009, 11:16:33 am »

Oh my gods!
I had a copy of that one too.
To say it was bad, would be flattered. It is worse than just bad. I lack the vocab here.  Cheesy

I'm re-reading it now, and I think she was trying to kill her readers - or the recipients of her readers' affections. After picking wild mushrooms, now I'm on a spell involving sticking a gold key in your mouth before you go to sleep.

At least now, anything that stupid would involve about 10 pages of warnings and disclaimers, lol.
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« Reply #21: December 26, 2009, 11:31:43 am »


It's been a while, but isn't it this book where she advices how to obtain coffin nails by commiting grave desecration?
If she did not try to kill her readers, she at least brings them into jail.
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« Reply #22: December 26, 2009, 12:10:26 pm »

So, if you started out on your path by reading a book, what was your '101' book, so to speak?

Looking back on it, was it a good beginner book for your path? Would you, or do you, recommend it to people who are just starting out? Why or why not?


Originally I was doing research on different religions and checked out several books from the library on feminist spirituality, one was Womanspirit Rising by Carol P. Christ, which had feminist takes on different religions  another was The Absent Mother, about the divine feminine in Judaism & Christianity (both good books, though Womanspirit is from the '70's so a little dated) and also Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler. Upon reading them, I discovered that paganism really fit with beliefs I already had. I would recommend Adler, it's a good survey of different kinds of paganism in the U.S, though some complain that it's a bit dry.

For my particular tradition, I'd say read Essential Druidism by Isaac Bonewits and The Apple Branch by Alexei Kondratiev (also published as Celtic Ritual)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 04:24:15 pm by SunflowerP, Reason: fixing quote code » Logged
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« Reply #23: December 27, 2009, 12:10:33 am »

Well, if we want to get into fictional initiations... mine was, naturally, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Same here! Smiley

Around the same time I read that, or perhaps a bit before, I was researching fluffy Wicca stuff on the internet, but I knew that wasn't really what I was going for. I remember lots of pages with black backgrounds with fluorescent-colored fonts. ha.

In the past few years I read my first actual book, which (like many here) was Starhawk's Spiral Dance (the 20th anniversary edition). I can't really remember a whole lot from it, and I can't say it was totally a fit for what I was doing then or now. But I enjoyed reading it. And I would recommend it if someone was interested in the New Age, Goddess-centered thing.
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« Reply #24: December 27, 2009, 02:34:41 pm »

So, if you started out on your path by reading a book, what was your '101' book, so to speak?

My first pagan book was The Witches Bible by Janet and Stuart Farrar.  I still heartily recommend it to anyone Wicca-minded.  I read Spiral Dance around the same time, so I got off to a pretty good start, I think. 

I read some really terrible ones after that, however!  I went through a period where I would read anything and everything to do with paganism.  Fortunately, this was back when that wasn't many.

Quote
Sarah Morrison's The Modern Witch's Spellbook

This was one of them.  I can't remember if I tried anything out of it, though.
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« Reply #25: December 27, 2009, 04:10:36 pm »

So, if you started out on your path by reading a book, what was your '101' book, so to speak?

Looking back on it, was it a good beginner book for your path? Would you, or do you, recommend it to people who are just starting out? Why or why not?

My '101' book was Egyptian Paganism for Beginners by Jocelyn Almond. Looking back, I would say it was an all right book for my beginnings, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else. I could look at what she was trying to convey and convert into something work-able for myself, however, as I go back and look at it now, I can't help but think to myself: What a crock! As an example, she talks about casting a circle like it's an ancient tradition taken straight from the ancient Egyptians themselves, but in all of the historical books I've looked into, I've never found this to be true. She also spouts that having an altar as one of the most important things necessary for someone practicing Kemetic paganism and I don't find this true, at all, as I have never had an altar. Would I like to have one one day? Sure! However, I don't need one to commune with deities.

After that, I did a lot of research (coming here quite frequently, actually) and looked at all of the Temples found now for the Kemetic path. I took a few things from the book (mostly circle casting when I'm with my die-hard circle-casting sister) and threw the rest away. I still have the book and only look at it now in fond nostalgia.
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« Reply #26: December 28, 2009, 12:38:46 am »

So, if you started out on your path by reading a book, what was your '101' book, so to speak?

It was so long ago that there really wasn't much out (that I could find as a teenager, anyway), plus I don't really remember.  This was back in the mid-late 70s, pre-internet.

I'm pretty sure Drawing Down the Moon was the first nonfiction pagan book I read.  I don't recall it that well, but I think the new edition is probably still a good resource for people interested in Wicca.

I read The Mists of Avalon during an Arthurian Legend binge, and I loved it.  I still think it's a great novel, and it did provide me with some useful imagery, as did some of the pre-quels

To be honest, I can't remember what my first Celtic book was.   Embarrassed
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« Reply #27: December 28, 2009, 06:55:13 pm »

So, if you started out on your path by reading a book, what was your '101' book, so to speak?

Looking back on it, was it a good beginner book for your path? Would you, or do you, recommend it to people who are just starting out? Why or why not?

Conversely, looking back, are you embarrassed about it, and do you try to avoid mentioning it, or do you warn people away from it? And once again, why or why not?

Seeing as how I'm still in the '101' stage now, I love these kinds of posts!  Grin

It's been a while since I've read any books on the subject, but I think my first wicca-esque book would have to have been a Silver Ravenwolf one - The Silver Broomstick one I think? It was recommended to me by a friend. I remember thinking it didn't look like a very serious book, but I think it was good enough to give me a general idea of what Wicca was all about. I know she's written a few books, but that one was the only I've ever read by her.
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« Reply #28: December 29, 2009, 11:14:43 am »



Non-fiction?  When I was maybe 12 or 13 I picked up a non-fiction book from the library called Witchcraft (or some such - this would have been 1969 or 70).  It was SO NOT Wicca - very much eye of newt and toe of frog - wish I had a copy today!

But the original glimmering that maybe there was something else there?  Fiction, well, I was an avid fantasy reader (LOTR at 11), so picking the point where the light bulb appeared - and maybe showed light?  No can do.
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« Reply #29: December 29, 2009, 11:24:05 am »

But the original glimmering that maybe there was something else there?  Fiction, well, I was an avid fantasy reader (LOTR at 11), so picking the point where the light bulb appeared - and maybe showed light?  No can do.

I know that there are pagans and witches and other people on alternative paths, that don't like fantasy or sci-fi and things.

But I do Smiley and yes, there were a few fiction books that added to me being me.
Sometimes I wonder if this is just a personal disposition that it is fantasy and being witch/pagan or if there is something underneath that coherency - at least for some of us. And I'm aware that the fantasy loving witch is a cliché, but I don't mind it at all.  Grin

Oh but I'm rambling again, sooorry, did not mean to derail this thread.  Cheesy
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance. You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

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