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Author Topic: Introducing a friend to paganism  (Read 7845 times)
Diannaskye
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« Topic Start: March 15, 2007, 12:59:55 pm »

Okay.... Well, you see, I have this boyfriend-type person who I'm wanting to introduce to Paganism. Not in a I-think-he-should-become-Pagan sort of way, but more of a I-want-him-to-know-more-about-my-path sort of way. Unfortunately, while we have plenty of good books, they're all from a Wiccan point of view.

I want to show him what Paganism is, itself, and not Wicca. What I'm looking for is a book that will have short definitions of some of the different paths and a description of the term itself. I know the Pagan Primer on the previous website would be useful, but I'm hoping for something on-paper, as that would make it simpler for both of us (and if I emailed him a link, he checks his email once a month or so, so I would have to wait a while to hear back from him on it).

If you have any recommendations (especially ones that might be in the library), I would be much obliged.
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« Reply #1: March 15, 2007, 01:17:42 pm »

Okay.... Well, you see, I have this boyfriend-type person who I'm wanting to introduce to Paganism. Not in a I-think-he-should-become-Pagan sort of way, but more of a I-want-him-to-know-more-about-my-path sort of way. Unfortunately, while we have plenty of good books, they're all from a Wiccan point of view.

I want to show him what Paganism is, itself, and not Wicca. What I'm looking for is a book that will have short definitions of some of the different paths and a description of the term itself. I know the Pagan Primer on the previous website would be useful, but I'm hoping for something on-paper, as that would make it simpler for both of us (and if I emailed him a link, he checks his email once a month or so, so I would have to wait a while to hear back from him on it).

If you have any recommendations (especially ones that might be in the library), I would be much obliged.

What path do you follow?  It might be more helpful for us to know a little more about your practice (as it is) before we can recommend anything, cause as you know, there's a whole lot of stuff out there.

Of course, you could just always write your own "pagan primer"...  Roll Eyes
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Diannaskye
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« Reply #2: March 15, 2007, 01:46:32 pm »

What path do you follow?  It might be more helpful for us to know a little more about your practice (as it is) before we can recommend anything, cause as you know, there's a whole lot of stuff out there.

Of course, you could just always write your own "pagan primer"...  Roll Eyes

I'm an ecclectic. Mostly Shamanic/Dianic with a little bit of Norse and Kemetic thrown in along the way...

And yes, I know that is an odd combination.

Writing one of my own... that'd take forever. And I'd be writing fifteen gazillion drafts so it'd take a while. It's something I'd rather him know about sooner than later.
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« Reply #3: March 15, 2007, 01:48:17 pm »

What I'm looking for is a book that will have short definitions of some of the different paths and a description of the term itself.

Honestly, I don't think one exists. Undecided I haven't seen much in the way of defining multiple religions, especially without a particular bias or another, besides the Pagan Primer.
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« Reply #4: March 15, 2007, 02:01:52 pm »

I want to show him what Paganism is, itself, and not Wicca. What I'm looking for is a book that will have short definitions of some of the different paths and a description of the term itself. (...)

If you have any recommendations (especially ones that might be in the library), I would be much obliged.

While I agree with Finn that a short description of your own path might be useful I have a few books I found useful in getting a better grasp on Pagan religions and spiritualities:

There is of course the ever-popular "Drawing Down the Moon" by Margot Adler, which is an overview over the Pagan subcultures and has been in print since 1977. She brought out a new and updated edition just last year and, although I have not yet bought the new edition I recommend you get this. Warning: This is a big book and may seem rather dry in places.

Apart from that, I recommend "Being Pagan" by Ellen Evert-Hopmann. This collection of interviews was published in the early 90s and forms a nice bridge between the second and third editions of "DDtM". It covers a lot of kinds of Paganism and some rare ones as well, though the Reconstructionists are mostly left out here as well, like in most books.

These are the non-fiction books I would recommens regardless of your path

In terms of fiction I heartily recommend the so-called Bast Mysteries, which ring very true to me in terms of characters and description of possible Pagan interactions. But this may be just me, who has not been to a Pagan event yet, so have the salt handy.

Hope this helps, until the more widely-read people who can give practical advice jump in Smiley

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« Reply #5: March 15, 2007, 02:39:30 pm »

I want to show him what Paganism is, itself, and not Wicca. What I'm looking for is a book that will have short definitions of some of the different paths and a description of the term itself.

You may want to check out "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism."  It's not perfect by far and away, but it does define commonly used terms many Pagans will encounter, and it very briefly defines quite a few of the Pagan religions.  It's not all-encompassing by far, but it's not all that terrible.  Might be just what you are looking for to show your boyfriend-type person.

If he expresses interest beyond that, I'm sure others here would have a plethora of great Pagan-topic books for him to look into.
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« Reply #6: March 15, 2007, 04:17:25 pm »

There is of course the ever-popular "Drawing Down the Moon" by Margot Adler, which is an overview over the Pagan subcultures and has been in print since 1977. She brought out a new and updated edition just last year and, although I have not yet bought the new edition I recommend you get this. Warning: This is a big book and may seem rather dry in places.

I'll second this one, and repeat the caveat that it is a big, thick book (in relative terms), but that you probably won't be able to give anyone a good idea of the scope of "Pagan" without A Big, Thick Book.  The subtitle is Witches, Druids, and Other Neopagans in America Today, and that really is what it covers. 

I own a copy of the 1986 edition, but I flipped through the most recent edition in the bookstore a few weeks ago and was happy to see a more current and more accurate history of Wicca than the earlier editions had.  I don't know what it says about other flavors of paganism, but I'd expect them to be similarly updated.  After all, she was a journalist before she was a Witch.
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Diannaskye
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« Reply #7: March 15, 2007, 06:30:44 pm »

You may want to check out "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism."  It's not perfect by far and away, but it does define commonly used terms many Pagans will encounter, and it very briefly defines quite a few of the Pagan religions.  It's not all-encompassing by far, but it's not all that terrible.  Might be just what you are looking for to show your boyfriend-type person.

If he expresses interest beyond that, I'm sure others here would have a plethora of great Pagan-topic books for him to look into.

I will have to check that out. Not just to see if it has suitable info, but also because I love that name Tongue

We do have like *the* oldest version of Drawing Down the Moon, but I found it rather dull. And uninteresting. And other such things.
(Although I didn't find it nearly as hard to read as the Egyptian book of the dead. Sorry Egypt, that was rather dead reading.)
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Finn
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« Reply #8: March 15, 2007, 09:23:31 pm »

I'm an ecclectic. Mostly Shamanic/Dianic with a little bit of Norse and Kemetic thrown in along the way...

And yes, I know that is an odd combination.

Writing one of my own... that'd take forever. And I'd be writing fifteen gazillion drafts so it'd take a while. It's something I'd rather him know about sooner than later.

Haha... yeah, I know what you mean about writing your own taking forever.

I'd agree with Zahirah; The Complete Idiot's Guide was actually my first thought, but somehow I thought it a little... I dunno, "less" than what you were looking for.
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« Reply #9: March 16, 2007, 10:03:25 am »

Hey everyone,

This is my first post here. Anyway, one of the best all around Pagan books in my opinion is The Everything Paganism Book by Selene Silverwind: http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Paganism-Book-Traditions-Festivals/dp/1593371187

IMHO I liked it better than the idiots guide because I felt that it was a little too heavy on Wicca for a Pan-Pagan book.
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« Reply #10: March 16, 2007, 10:37:06 am »

Hey everyone,

This is my first post here.

Welcome to the Cauldron.
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« Reply #11: March 16, 2007, 10:42:55 am »

Hey everyone,

This is my first post here.

Welcome to The Cauldron, Rainsong!
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« Reply #12: March 16, 2007, 12:40:09 pm »

Okay.... Well, you see, I have this boyfriend-type person who I'm wanting to introduce to Paganism. Not in a I-think-he-should-become-Pagan sort of way, but more of a I-want-him-to-know-more-about-my-path sort of way. Unfortunately, while we have plenty of good books, they're all from a Wiccan point of view.

I want to show him what Paganism is, itself, and not Wicca. What I'm looking for is a book that will have short definitions of some of the different paths and a description of the term itself. I know the Pagan Primer on the previous website would be useful, but I'm hoping for something on-paper, as that would make it simpler for both of us (and if I emailed him a link, he checks his email once a month or so, so I would have to wait a while to hear back from him on it).

If you have any recommendations (especially ones that might be in the library), I would be much obliged.

Hmmm...there is the book Which Witch Is Which? by Patricia Telesco, which contains essays by folks who practice different pagan religions. It doesn't really give a lot of definitions per se, but it does give a short intro to a lot of different religions in the words of someone who actually practices.
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« Reply #13: March 16, 2007, 01:07:12 pm »

IMHO I liked it better than the idiots guide because I felt that it was a little too heavy on Wicca for a Pan-Pagan book.

The subtitle, "Discover the Rituals, Traditions, and Festivals of This Ancient Religion" doesn't make me think it's too awfully accurate.  Paganism isn't a religion.  It's a whole hairy mess of 'em.  Many of which aren't ancient.

If this book doesn't have a Wiccan bias, can you tell us which pagan religions it covers?

Brina
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« Reply #14: March 16, 2007, 06:16:45 pm »

This is my first post here.

Welcome to The Cauldron!
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