I got my first Amazon review of Neo-Paganism: Historical Inspiration & Contemporary Creativity recently. It’s very positive and I wanted to share it here.
Well-written, making an excellent case for Neo-Paganism as a specific modern pagan path of its own and providing a history of how Neo-Paganism came together. The book discusses what differentiates Neo-Paganism from other common modern pagan paths, such as Traditional Wicca, Heathenry, as well as the New Age Movement and Christianity (though some Wiccans, heathens, and other pagans and witches may follow a path that blends well with Neo-Paganism). Though it does not detract from the book at all, it might have been interesting to have a comparison of Neo-Paganism with eastern religions and philosophies. The author goes through the theology, mythology, ethics, practices, and other important aspects of Neo-Paganism. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in modern paganism, and pagans and witches looking for a very nature-based path will especially appreciate.
I found the suggested rituals less than inspiring, but that may be because the author takes a more naturalistic pagan and Unitarian-Universalist CUUPs approach. However, these rituals are offered more as a starting point and the author encourages adapting them or as ideas to write your own. The book pulls more toward naturalistic paganism, but, as someone who practices magic, and is a cautious believer in the paranormal, life after death, etc., I still loved the book and found it useful in considering my spiritual beliefs and practices and what it truly means to revere nature as part of a pagan witchcraft practice. Furthermore, the author makes clear that some Neo-Pagans do indeed practice magic and have a more literal belief in gods.
I have enjoyed the author’s Neo-Paganism website and blogs for a long time, and am quite happy to have all the information from the web sites, and more, in book form. Highly recommend!!!
Your welcome! My name is actually Laura (I posted my review on my husband’s account as mine was underfunded). I still regularly pick up “Neo-Paganism” and read through parts. I truly meant what I said – this is a landmark pagan book! For pagans and witches who care more about gazing at the full moon than offering (apparently) literal, powerful deities human food, while some people go hungry (not to mention the horror of a few modern pagans wishing to offer killed, “sacrificed” animals ), “Neo-Paganism” is a goddess-send. Truly, we can have all the mystery, awe and reverence of our pagan ancestors while living and worshiping in ways that are sensitive to the environment, respectful of all life, and intelligent, and “Neo-Paganism” points the way. The only area of “Neo-Paganism” that is no longer entirely accurate is the discussion on Satanism. While I agree entirely with your critique of LaVeyan Satanism, there is now a new and more popular Satanism in town – The Satanic Temple. TST has a strong left-wing bent, encourages community engagement, non-theistic religion, and works to promote justice, empathy, and compassion toward all living creatures.
Regardless of the satanic section, “Neo-Paganism” is a phenomenal book and I eagerly await your next book on archetypes and Jungian psychology!