Exploring the Pagan Path: Wisdom from the Elders (Exploring Series)
By Kristin Madden et al, New Page Books (Career Press)
Kristin Madden herds Pagans. Or something like that. In this delightful new book of essays from many well-known and respected Pagan Elders, Ms. Madden collects the accumulated wisdom and experience from many different Paths and Traditions.
The book brings together the accumulated experience of such authors as StarHawk, Dorothy Morrison and Grey Cat. Each one is an expert in his or her own field. The book is divided into three sections, Explore, Learn and Live. The reader learns what Paganism is, how to make a personal connection with Divinity and the basics of Magic. With that foundation the reader moves on to magical living, ritual design and tool creation. In the final section covens groups, activism and becoming public with your Path are discussed in depth. The book concludes with several appendices, all of which are very useful in either obtaining more information or expanding your knowledge of things Pagan.
I enjoyed most of the essays. There are a few that stuck out in my mind as not being quite up to par with the others in the book, but they were in the minority and didn’t subtract from the book’s focus or purpose enough to warrant removal. There was one essay I did find to be just shy of Christian bashing, which I found personally distressing.
This book reminds me of the workshops one might encounter at a big Pagan Gather. Lots of different voices collected together to teach and explain the many aspects of what being a Pagan can be. This book is a welcome addition to the Pagan library. It is more useful for those new to the Path, but the more experienced practitioner will enjoy reading the essays from authors they have not yet explored. If you ever wished you could have a mentor to guide you while learning, this book is the next best thing.