Friday, January 4, 2013

Modern Paganism Book Review - Being a Pagan

            I did not know what to expect when I first picked up this book, but the first interview captivated my attention and fascinated me.  I love learning about the paths of other people and how they view the world, so this book was right up my alley.  Of course, it also helped a lot to be starting the book off with some very familiar names (Isaac Bonewits, Ian Corrigan, and Margot Alder, etc.) before moving on to areas and people that are less well known to me.  Reading Isaac Bonewits’ interview let me better understand the birth of ADF and what he say Druidism as, a combination of intellect, emotions, and artistic creativity.  He emphasizes the importance of scholarship in modern Paganism and the difference between Druidism and Wicca.  I was very impressed with this interview so I was thrilled to continue reading. 
            It was very interesting to see the different views that people had on such a wide variety of subjects.  There were so many groups introduced throughout the book, some of which I was very familiar with, like the Henge of Keltria and CUUPs, and others I had never heard of at all, such as the NROOGD and the Fellowship of Isis.  It was very informative and gave me a lot of different organizations to research and learn more about.  I was also quite impressed by the diversity of the people that were interviewed for this book.  There are men, women, and couples from many different cultures answering questions about what lead them to Paganism and how they would like to see Paganism in the United States. 

            The assortment of topics that this book touched upon was also very surprising to me.  Some areas were covered more thoroughly than others, such as potential problems in the Pagan community and the personal path that people took to get to their Pagan experience, however, the information definitely did not stop there.  The book touches across some very important topics in the life of modern pagans, such as what it is like to be homosexual in the Pagan community, the “burning times,” reincarnation, if clergy should be paid for their services, herbalism, sexuality, parenting, court cases that people have encountered, and so much more. 

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