Experience


Since becoming pagan I’ve learnt to value experience over book-learning. Don’t get me wrong, books are valuable pointers in the right direction and you can learn a lot from a good book, but the best way to be a pagan is to go out and do it.

Before going out and doing something, research the h*ll out of it, as in the occult world the powers that be will not accept “I didn’t know” as a reason or what you’re doing will simply fail to work.

Always protect yourself. My charm bracelet is charmed to be a constant protection as it is a circle that goes around me. However, that is no reason for me not to make a circle when doing magic of any sort.

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The Rogues’ Dice by Y.T. Scott


This book outlines the beginning principles of dice divination. It’s a really good book that I would recommend to anyone interested in divination. As the writer says, dice can be carried about on your person and rolled at any time, so if you’re worried about how you’re looking while doing divination, this is the system for you.

This book is very entertaining and the writer urges his readers to take the various systems further than he has and do some work on this, which is a refreshing and novel outlook from an occult writer.

Irish Early Law by Fergus Kelly


This is a very good book which is well-written and easy to read. It details the law in Ireland in the Dark Ages and is a fascinating look at the Irish culture that would have been around when the myths were being written down.

Despite what feminists would have us believe, while Irish women had more rights than their continental counterparts, they still did not have it easy.

This book shows that women could only learn professions (such as Druidry) if there were no men in the family left to carry on the family profession. Also, women belonged to the father when they were young, to the husband when they were married and to the family if they were widowed.

This book was expensive at £40, but it was well worth paying the money for it.

Celtic Mazes by Adrian Meehan


This book is about Celtic maze design. Before you get excited, it is mainly about what are usually called “key patterns” in Celtic art, not mazes you can physically get lost in.

Since the writer does not know the difference between a maze and a labyrinth, I do not rate this book very highly. It does teach you how to draw key patterns, but there is a section on goddess symbols which I look at with suspicion. For example, one of the symbols is apparently a ram’s head. The author explains this by saying it’s the shape of a woman’s reproductive system. This is true, but until the last few centuries British people did not really know about surgery or reproductive systems, so I seriously doubt that a ram’s head is a goddess symbol.

I found this book to be okay, but one to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Meeting the Other Crowd by Edward Linehan


I bought this book after hearing Edward Linehan speak about fairies on Radio 4. He is unusual in that he refreshingly states that he does believe in them and in this book he has collected stories from all over Ireland about the fairies.

It is an excellent book, covering all aspects of the fairies. From people being “carried”, which means being abducted by the fairies, to the fairy creatures to the revenge that fairies take on people for meddling in their affairs.

You really get a feel for the fairies of Ireland and in particular County Clare in this book. If you have to own just one book on fairies, buy this one. If you are looking for happy endings, buy another one because there are not very many of them in this book. This book clearly warns that no good comes of meddling with the fairies; they are best left alone and are certainly not nice.

Of Gods and Men


This book is written by John Michael Greer and is a book about polytheistic gods.  It was recommended to me, but I found it to be dry and uninspiring, probably because the book is a philosophical argument about gods and I hold that either you believe or you don’t believe, and if you don’t believe then I’m not bothered.

If you like philosophy, then it’s probably a great book to read, but it won’t do anything for your path or what you practice.

The Lore of Flowers by Neil Ewart


This book concerns itself with the history of flowers.  Unfortunately it only picks out a handful of them. The history is about how they came to be in Britain and the language of flowers.  Despite the word “Lore” being in the title there is no mention of witchcraft or folk remedies at all in this book.  I’d definitely give this one a miss as it doesn’t do much for your understanding of flowers.

What Witches Do


In the process of writing this book Stuart Farrar was initiated into Alexandrian Wicca.  This book has been updated from when he first wrote it as things have changed since then.

The book was an interesting read and gave me an insight into Alexandrian Wicca, which seems to be mainly ceremonial witchcraft.  I found out that I use the same sort of clairvoyance as they do but gained nothing else from the book, except for the knowledge why the Gardnerians were (and possibly still are) unhappy with the Alexandrians.  According to this book, Alex Sanders used their Book of Shadows as the one “passed down by his grandmother” and called Gerald Gardner “a first degree witch” in an interview at the back of the book.

If you’re interested in Alexandrian Wicca or Wicca in general then get this book.  Otherwise don’t bother.

Lords of Battle


I have finished reading the book “Lords of Battle” by Stephen Allen. This book doesn’t say anything which hasn’t been said by other and better writers. It picks up mythology from Miranda Green, which has her usual superman-like leaps of logic and sent me looking at the notes to find out who had written the rubbish I was reading. I can’t fault the writer for this as he was taking notes from a known professor.

All in all, I would give this book a miss.

The Annals of the Four Masters Volume 1


This book contains the annals of four people.  The annals are a description of the pseudo-historical events that went on in Ireland, from around 3000 years before Christ and 1600 after Christ.

The first volume goes from the start of Ireland, from The Dagda’s kingship to the 10th century.

Most of this book contains detailed information on kings and saints.  There are some pages of the book that deal with deities, but half of this volume is taken up with King X started reigning, King X died, had reigned for Y number of years and manner of death, King Z started reigning.  The other half is mostly details of saints, with some miracles and plagues added in.

I think that this book will be of most interest to scholars, especially the notes which make up half of the book, but anyone who wants a light read should avoid it.

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