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Author Topic: What Was Your 101 Book?  (Read 38977 times)
jenna1337
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« Reply #75: February 10, 2010, 09:54:36 pm »

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

Mine was Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway. It literally fell off a shelf for me at B&N!
From there I went to The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer

I love the history both books gave me!
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« Reply #76: February 11, 2010, 12:39:50 am »

Mine was Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway. It literally fell off a shelf for me at B&N!
From there I went to The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer

I love the history both books gave me!

A note of caution about DJ Conway:  Read Conway's books with a very large salt shaker handy.  Celtic Magic (which I read a long time ago and therefore don't remember well at all) contains substantial material that is simply factually inaccurate.  I just glanced over the history chapter, and was appalled all over again at the errors.

I don't think I've read any other Conway books, but I do know they are not highly regarded among most CRs.  Conway is on the CR FAQ's list of "authors/publishers should I absolutely, without doubt, avoid like plague fleas", as is Llewellyn, the publisher of Celtic Magic.  (http://www.paganachd.com/faq/readinglist.html#avoid)

Just sayin...  Smiley
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« Reply #77: February 12, 2010, 05:50:49 pm »

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

My "101" was actually a magazine article about Shirley MacLaine (gag) about the whole "new age" but it got me interested and questioning everything else about I had been taught up to that point (1980's). Sometimes it's just a nudge onto the path of a lifetime.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 09:37:20 pm by RandallS, Reason: quote fixed » Logged
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« Reply #78: June 18, 2010, 09:42:35 pm »


Mine was The Teen Spellbook (I think, and I can't remember the author). I read it and thought "Just how am I supposed to get a ruby, hmmmm?" Because every teenager has a ruby laying around  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #79: June 19, 2010, 12:01:08 am »

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

My first book that served as the big metaphysical boot to kick in the door, so to speak, was when I was a freshmen in highschool. In the library I stumbled upon, or rather had my attention drawn right to it by it sticking out of the bookshelf, a copy of E. Wallis Budge's The Book of Going Forth by Day, The Papyrus of Ani: The Egyptian Book of the Dead. I couldn't put the book down, I spent weeks and weeks reading it, from cover to cover. Now granted I know that Budge's translation was craptastical in parts, in hindsight, but that book was what woke me up to a much bigger world around me.

The first real, 101 type, book I ever did pick up though was Christopher Penczak's The Inner Temple of Witchcraft, about a year later. By that time I had a passing knowledge of what wicca was, and knew that it didn't feel right with what I believed, but that book really gave me some organization to my thoughts and how to start getting in better touch with the divine. Granted it is neo-wiccan in some of it's presentations but the facts are laid out in an easy to follow, step by step instruction with good resource/citations, a rather full bibliography, and the information is presented in the form of lesson plans that you work through. I highly recommend it to a newbie over anything that Aluminum Pidgeon-Pup ($RW) puts out in the general neo-pagan community.
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« Reply #80: June 27, 2010, 06:18:53 pm »

My first book about Paganism is the book called, "Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions"-Joyce & River Higginbotham.

I'm still not done with it, but I HIGHLY recommend it to beginners. It is my self help guide to paganism and what it means. It asks you questions about your spirituality, what you think of your beliefs now, and few other things.

Again I highly recommend it, it's very logical, not fanatical, and it's rich with facts. Cheesy

I agree with this very much. This was a great introduction, very easy to understand (I tend to get intimidated by a lot of the more intensive books and can't focus very well on reading if I can't identify it). It helped put everything into a much clearer perception for me, because it did try to connect with its readers and challenge them to think for themselves.

I just recently got around to going through their "Pagan Spirituality: A Guide to Personal Transformation" book, too, and it is a nice extension to the above mentioned introduction book Smiley
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« Reply #81: June 27, 2010, 08:54:34 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?

(I know it sounds awkward - I was tempted to ask, "What was your first book on Paganism, Wicca, or the occult?", but not everyone here is on a Pagan path, and I didn't want to exclude anyone, lol).

_______________________________________________________________

Even though I was raised on mythology and books on general occultism, the first book I read after I recognized that I was Pagan was a really, really bad book. I picked up Sarah Morrison's The Modern Witch's Spellbook. It was written in the 70s, and I was reading it in the early 80s. It's a spell cookbook at best, and at worst... well, Morrison writes spells calling on both Satan and Jesus Christ (thankfully not at the same time, hah), and her primary focus seems to be man-catching. She's more than a little racist and seems to espouse both women's lib and the 50's ideal of the white-picket-fence. Many of her spells have some delightful components like boiling live ants in oil to torment an enemy, or frying live spiders in candle flames. She also suggests winning a man by going out into a field under a full moon, picking wild mushrooms & adding them to the intended target's mashed potatoes. Morrison's magic is definitely not for the feint-at-heart (or the untrained mycologist!).

Here's a classic quote: Marriage-minded ladies are to be found everywhere, but especially in large cities where they tend to live in ghettos.... Wtf?

Or how about: Nurses, of course, headhunt among the doctors staffing hospitals, and regard all other females who find doctors interesting, too, as intruders on their private reserves... /facepalm

Uh, needless to say, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone - unless they're looking for a good laugh. What's embarrassing about this particular tome is that I actually performed some of the spells (although not any involving frying insects or unidentified fungi) - and had some minor successes.

I didn't really have a "101" book that definitively started me out on a Pagan path, because in my becoming Pagan, I actually started doing Pagan practices and Magic and having "Pagan" beliefs, and what I might call "The SOul of a Witch" quite a while before I identified myself as a Witch with confidence.  When I was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in 1983, I was for a time calling myself a Witch and trying to create meaning for that identity, after getting inspired by Starhawk, and trying to combine a Witch identity with "creative" acts of social rebellion.  HOwever, I didn't stay identified as a Witch from that point.  I needed to go some other directions first. 

The one thing that finally led to me identifying myself as a Witch, was not a book but a poem, Doreen Valiente's The Charge of the Goddess, adapted from a poem in Acadia: The Gospel of the Witches by Charles Leland.  I had formerly read many books about Paganism and Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy and the Occult, but the problem with most of the "Witchcraft 101" books I was reading, was that I had trouble accepting the "whole system", or the general "tone" that was presented, so it was hard to identify as a witch.  The book that comes closest to presenting a whole system that I can feel aligned with, is Marian Green's A Witch Alone, which someone else mentioned. 

Curious to me how many people mentioned Drawing Down the Moon or Cunningham's book! 
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« Reply #82: July 04, 2010, 05:23:29 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?

(I know it sounds awkward - I was tempted to ask, "What was your first book on Paganism, Wicca, or the occult?", but not everyone here is on a Pagan path, and I didn't want to exclude anyone, lol).

_______________________________________________________________

Even though I was raised on mythology and books on general occultism, the first book I read after I recognized that I was Pagan was a really, really bad book. I picked up Sarah Morrison's The Modern Witch's Spellbook. It was written in the 70s, and I was reading it in the early 80s. It's a spell cookbook at best, and at worst... well, Morrison writes spells calling on both Satan and Jesus Christ (thankfully not at the same time, hah), and her primary focus seems to be man-catching. She's more than a little racist and seems to espouse both women's lib and the 50's ideal of the white-picket-fence. Many of her spells have some delightful components like boiling live ants in oil to torment an enemy, or frying live spiders in candle flames. She also suggests winning a man by going out into a field under a full moon, picking wild mushrooms & adding them to the intended target's mashed potatoes. Morrison's magic is definitely not for the feint-at-heart (or the untrained mycologist!).

Here's a classic quote: Marriage-minded ladies are to be found everywhere, but especially in large cities where they tend to live in ghettos.... Wtf?

Or how about: Nurses, of course, headhunt among the doctors staffing hospitals, and regard all other females who find doctors interesting, too, as intruders on their private reserves... /facepalm

Uh, needless to say, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone - unless they're looking for a good laugh. What's embarrassing about this particular tome is that I actually performed some of the spells (although not any involving frying insects or unidentified fungi) - and had some minor successes.

that books sounds horrifying! i thin i'd like to read it just as a novelty, haha.

i was still a kid when i first discovered wicca and my mother and i looked up websites. one i remember using as my main resource was silvermoon.net and i think it was run by a girl named Catala. The page was purple and silver and it had TONS of information on it. unfortunately the website is gone now Sad otherwise i would definitely recommend to someone looking into wicca.
another one was actually a fiction novel about wicca called The Circle of Three: So mote it Be. although this was much later i was still a wiccan at the time and I really loved that book and it got me interested in wanting to practice as a group (unfortunately i didn't get the chance until much later)

i've actually read the entire circle of three series recently and it wasn't bad. that's definitely something i'd recommend to beginners.
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« Reply #83: April 17, 2011, 04:36:10 pm »

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

Earth Magic, by Claire Nahmad.

I can understand why it would be considered tame today, even more Christian than pagan, but I loved the folk customs and herb lore scattered through it, much more than any spells or goddess references. It's not that long ago that I was introduced to it, but I still read it today, rather nostalgically.
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« Reply #84: April 19, 2011, 08:25:14 am »

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The first book I can recall reading on the subject of Witchcraft, Paganism and the like was Drawing Down The Moon by Margot Adler. I would recommend it highly to both the newbie and the experienced both. And I also am not ashamed to admit that I do indeed read Llewellyn books, have one on my bookshelf upstairs, and would like to purchase a few more.
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« Reply #85: April 19, 2011, 11:56:00 pm »

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

The book I feel really gave me my beginning in Paganism isn’t actually a 101 book at all. I was interested in the Greek pantheon from an early age, but I feel as if I was never really in tune with them until I read Homer’s The Illiad.

Reading the “real” myths in their original form really had an effect on me, and still does whenever I read the work.

The only way I can describe it is that it was like riding a horse, we were new to each other and our movements and energies were out of sync, then after reading The Illiad, it was as if we clicked and were suddenly moving together.

So I guess it doesn’t qualify for this thread, but it is definitely the book that has affected me the most; especially the scene in which Apollo removes Patroclus helmet so that Hector can strike him down. For some reason the imagery of the god pulling away that helm has always stuck with me.

My first 101 book was probably D’aulries Book of Greek Myths, I can remember reading it when I was around 9-10 and being totally enamored of the gods and goddesses.

It was extremely basic, but most of the information was good if not extremely sanitized.
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« Reply #86: April 20, 2011, 10:29:09 am »

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

Mine was a book by Erica Jong called Witches, published in 1981.  I shudder to even think of how much I took from it as gospel at the time...and yet, I still have it.
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« Reply #87: April 24, 2011, 08:35:01 pm »

.
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« Reply #88: April 24, 2011, 08:47:50 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?

(I know it sounds awkward - I was tempted to ask, "What was your first book on Paganism, Wicca, or the occult?", but not everyone here is on a Pagan path, and I didn't want to exclude anyone, lol).

_______________________________________________________________

Even though I was raised on mythology and books on general occultism, the first book I read after I recognized that I was Pagan was a really, really bad book. I picked up Sarah Morrison's The Modern Witch's Spellbook. It was written in the 70s, and I was reading it in the early 80s. It's a spell cookbook at best, and at worst... well, Morrison writes spells calling on both Satan and Jesus Christ (thankfully not at the same time, hah), and her primary focus seems to be man-catching. She's more than a little racist and seems to espouse both women's lib and the 50's ideal of the white-picket-fence. Many of her spells have some delightful components like boiling live ants in oil to torment an enemy, or frying live spiders in candle flames. She also suggests winning a man by going out into a field under a full moon, picking wild mushrooms & adding them to the intended target's mashed potatoes. Morrison's magic is definitely not for the feint-at-heart (or the untrained mycologist!).

Here's a classic quote: Marriage-minded ladies are to be found everywhere, but especially in large cities where they tend to live in ghettos.... Wtf?

Or how about: Nurses, of course, headhunt among the doctors staffing hospitals, and regard all other females who find doctors interesting, too, as intruders on their private reserves... /facepalm

Uh, needless to say, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone - unless they're looking for a good laugh. What's embarrassing about this particular tome is that I actually performed some of the spells (although not any involving frying insects or unidentified fungi) - and had some minor successes.

The first book I bought was Drawing Down the Moon by Adler.  The second and one I am still reading for the second time through is Scott Cunningham's Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner.  That said I am still stunned by how much information there is in Eileen Holland's The Wicca Handbook.  It is worth reading for the correspondences alone.  I bought Oberon Zell's book for dd  titled Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard and must say it is excellent and far superior in the range and quality of infomation than much of the witchcrap cluttering any B and N store.  Not too heavy on theory but again how can one not love a book that has animal tracks, astronomy and a bit of ritual as well?? Truly I have read that cover to cover more than once and will hopefully find his book on ritual to be as informative and well reasoned.
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« Reply #89: April 25, 2011, 12:50:38 am »


Oldbefana,

A reminder:  Our rules generally prohibit editing after more than 2-3 minutes.  (Correcting typos or minor mistakes is OK, but don't forget to fill in the "Reason for Editing" box so that we know what's going on.)  This is because after that long, several people have already read what you've written, and they won't see the changes you make.  Because of that, they will have difficulty following the conversation when someone replies to your new, updated post.  You edited your post almost 20 minutes later, and that's unacceptable under the rules.

If you need to correct or add anything significant after those 2-3 minutes, you should just reply to yourself and give the correction or additional information in the new post.  Double-posting is not considered bad behaviour here, and this will help keep everyone on the same page, so to speak.

This isn't a formal warning, just a reminder.  No reply is necessary, but if you have questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact a member of staff privately.

Thanks!

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