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Monday, 27 February 2006

European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages

European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages Cover

Book: European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages by Ken Dowden

This book has grown out of that experience in datacompression. I have always believed that smaller areas were best understood in larger contexts and in many ways the whole question of paganism in Europe requires the largest of views. The largest of views, however, takes more room and more time than one would ever imagine, and what started in the mind’s eye as a short book giving a good representative sample of the range of pagan phenomena has grown into a larger book which still seems to leave so much out. I would like a lifetime to write the real, encyclopaedic version of this book. But it might stretch to a volume or two...

My aim was not to write a history of pagan Europe—that has been done with real commitment by Jones and Pennick (1995) —nor to write a history of the decline and fall of paganism to Christianity, which is just as well as Fletcher has now written a glorious book (1997) on just that subject. Rather, I wanted to show paganism in action, see what it looked and felt like, let the reader see the evidence and listen to the authors, even boring old Caesarius of Arles and grumpy Maximus of Turin.

I have tried to focus on living paganism and the witness of the written word, I have been less interested but not uninterested in the deductions to be made from archaeology. I have cited archaeological material where it helps the picture under discussion but not gone back to prehistory. This has also dictated the time period that I have allowed. Wherever there is a written account of some aspect of paganism, I have wanted to be able to include it.

I hope that this book for all its shortcomings and omissions will give readers access to much more information and a much fuller view than they ever had before.

Download Ken Dowden's eBook: European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages

Suggested free e-books to read:

Anonymous - Beltane Pagan Ritual Of Interest To Neo Pagans
Ken Dowden - European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages

Thursday, 23 February 2006

If You Do Decide To Seek A Coven

If You Do Decide To Seek A Coven Cover If you do decide to seek a coven, there are some extra warnings you should keep in mind.

* Practioners of Witchcraft do not believe in Satan or satanic worship. We don't even believe in the existence of such an evil creature. But many "satanic cults" are structured like a coven. So be very careful and cautious as you search for a group to join.
* Witchcraft practioners believe in the sanctity of all life. Which means we do not believe in animal or human sacrifices of any kind. That includes torture, abuse or any other harmful act.
* The practices of Witchcraft are with positive intent and purpose, respecting all things. Which means you should never be asked to do something you don't want to do, or that 'feels' wrong to you. A priest or priestess who requires sexual interaction in order for you to attain a new level of spiritual enlightenment is a false spiritual teacher. This is not respect, it is harassment and abuse of power in my view. The GreatSpirits do not need us for physical gratification. There are covens who include an aspect of sexual interaction as a Representation of the joining of the God/Goddess. But in my humble view, this isn't needed.
* Trust is a very important part of a coven or even the Participation of a small group. 2 or more gathered together can accomplish just as much as a formal coven. No one should feel as though they are in danger, that your morals are going to be compromised or your principles will be condemned in any way.

Thankfully the 'burning' days are over and society is beginning to recognize that the craft in what ever form is of a positive nature and not something to fear or condemn. Because of this, many covens are forming or coming out of the shadows all over the world. You can start by doing a little research on your own through the web, or local spiritual stores in your area to find a coven or even just a group of people who meet for tea and coffee.

Choose your path with thought and reverence, with positive intent and with a open heart and mind. May the light of the Divine be shown upon your path as you find your road to travel.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Keith Thomas - Civility And The Decline Of Magic
Anonymous - Witchcraft A Guide To Magic
Isaac Bonewits - An Open Letter To Selena Fox

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Monday, 13 February 2006

Witches Wives And Mothers

Witches Wives And Mothers Cover

Book: Witches Wives And Mothers by Louise Jackson

Witches, Wives and Mothers: witchcraft persecution and women’s confessions in seventeenth-century England by LOUISE JACKSON.

The confessions made by the Suffolk women charged With Witchcraft in 1645 indicate that, in many cases, accused women were contextualising their own Experiences within a wider Demonological framework. Often they were judging themselves in their roles as wives and mothers – the witch, after all, was the behavioural opposite of the stereotypical role model of the ‘good wife’. There are noticeable references to infanticide, suicide and possible abuse. It could well be that women who possessed no other language to describe certain traumatic experiences took on the conceptual framework of demonology as a way of explaining events. Witch-hunting was a method of behavioural control in which women as victims (in many senses of the word) were themselves participating because they had no other framework of reference.

Download Louise Jackson's eBook: Witches Wives And Mothers

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Kathryn Paulsen - Witches Potions And Spells
Edward Hare - Bewitched And Bothered
Louise Jackson - Witches Wives And Mothers

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

The Witchcraft Sourcebook

The Witchcraft Sourcebook Cover

Book: The Witchcraft Sourcebook by Brian Levack

If you are considering Levack's Sourcebook, then chances are you already know something about witchcraft. This collection of documents ranges from classical antiquity to the twentieth century, although most documents fall in the Early Modern period and the great age of witch hunts. The documents are well chosen and edited.

The Witchcraft Sourcebook will benefit both undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the study of Western religion and history. It will also serve as an excellent supplemental reader in most general survey courses in Western Civilization. The topic is one that often enthralls students, and it will help them to understand pivotal cultural phenomena that transcended political and religious boundaries.

This is good stuff, and Levack hits the highlights such as the Canon Episcopi, Nider, Kramer, Weyer and Spee. If those names mean something to you, then I would highly recommend this book, as it is an excellent collection of relevant documents. If they don't, then you might want to start somewhere else that would put these things in more context (although he does have a small Introduction to each document in the book).

Buy Brian Levack's book: The Witchcraft Sourcebook

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Friedrich Adler - The Witchcraft Trial In Moscow
Tarostar - The Witchs Spellcraft Revised
Archmage Bob Andrews - Old Witchcraft Secrets