The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism

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Overview

You’re no idiot, of course. But finding the perfect expression of your spirituality can prove long and challenging. You might already be attracted to paganism, but considering the variety of traditions and paths that fall in this category, you’ll need a spiritual guide.

Seek no further! Whether you’re interested in following the pagan path or just curious to know more, The Complete Idiot’s to Paganism will enlighten you on this fascinating ...

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism

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Overview

You’re no idiot, of course. But finding the perfect expression of your spirituality can prove long and challenging. You might already be attracted to paganism, but considering the variety of traditions and paths that fall in this category, you’ll need a spiritual guide.

Seek no further! Whether you’re interested in following the pagan path or just curious to know more, The Complete Idiot’s to Paganism will enlighten you on this fascinating array of nature-based beliefs and practices. In this Complete Idiot’s , you’ll learn about:

  • The basic principles of shamanism, druidism, Wicca, and more.
  • How to deepen your connection to the Goddess, the God, and nature.
  • The fundamentals of meditation, magic, divination, and spiritual healing.
  • Tips on incorporating pagan rituals into your modern lifestyle.

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028642666
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

CARL McCOLMAN is a freelance writer and spiritual teacher based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of several books including The Well-Read Witch and The Aspiring Mystic. A practitioner of nature spirituality for more than a decade, he is the co-founder and former leader of a druid grove and currently is the co-leader of an interfaith pagan meditation circle.

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Table of Contents

I. PAGAN BASICS.

1. Welcome to the Pagan Path.
Telltale Signs of a Pagan Personality. What Pagans Are Not. Diversity, Diversity, Diversity. Welcome to the Pagan Adventure.

2. All-Natural Ingredients.
Pagans Love Nature. Mother Nature Is a Real Goddess! Communing with Nature. Listen and Learn. Taking Care of Mother Earth. The Wilderness Within.

3. Please Don't Squeeze the Shaman!
Welcome to the World's Oldest Spiritual Path. The Elements of Shamanism. The Teachings of Black Elk. Core Shamanism. Shamanism and Paganism.

4. Wicked Good!
A Brief History of Wicca. The Elements of Wicca. What Do Wiccans Do? The Romance of Wicca. Wicca as a Form of Paganism.

5. The Philosophical Pagans: Druids and Other Revivalist Groups.
Popular Conceptions (and Misconceptions) of the Druids. How to Revive an Ancient Religion. The Elements of Druidism. The Druid Contribution. Other Pagan Paths with an Ethnic Orientation.

6. Other Pieces of the Pagan Puzzle.
Welcome to "The Way". Baby, You Can Drive My Karma. The Way of the Western Mysteries. Science Fiction Paganism. Putting It All Together. A Ritual for Embarking on the Pagan Path

II. HOW TO THINK LIKE A PAGAN.

7. This World, That World, and the Otherworld.
A Tale of Two (or More) Worlds: Pagan Cosmology. Understanding the Otherworld. Doorways to the Otherworld. Knock, Knock: Who's There? What Difference Does It Make?

8. Getting to Know the Goddess.
There's Always Been a Yin. The History of Mom. The "Phases" of the Goddess. Light and Dark: Two Aspects of the Goddess. A Few Goddesses from Around the World. The Secret Goddess. The Goddess in Nature.

9. All About the God.
Yang (Yin's Dance Partner). How the Pagan Idea of God Differs from the Monotheist God. My, What Strong Horns You Have! Some Gods from Around the World. The God in Relation to the Goddess. Other Important Roles for the God. The God in Nature.

10. A Field Guide to the Spirit World.
The Many Varieties of Spirits. Spirits of Land, Sea, and Sky. Ancestors: Those Who Came Before Us. Unicorns, Dragons, and Other Mythical Creatures. Putting It All Together.

11. Elementary, My Dear Pagan!
Basic Principles of the Elements. Elemental Symbols. Come On, Baby, Light My Fire. Airheads, Unite! Water, Water, Everywhere. Earth (and the Land). Spirit, the Fifth Element. The Magic of the Elements: Weaving the Energies Together.

12. Going in Circles.
Nature: The Ultimate Teacher. The Summerland: The Ultimate Pagan Vacation Spot. You Reap What You Sow. The Psychology of Reincarnation. The Big Questions.

III. RITUAL.

13. The Wheel of the Year.
Sabbats and Esbats: Understanding the Two Kinds of Pagan Ritual. The Cycle of the Sun: The Dark Half. The Cycle of the Sun: The Light Half. The Cycles of the Moon. Significance of the 13 Moons.

14. Tools for Ritual.
What Are Tools, and How Are They Used? Elemental Tools. Other Common Wiccan and Pagan Tools. Tools from Other Traditions. Miscellaneous-and Optional-Ritual Tools. Your Personal Altar. Why Have an Altar? Elements of a Typical Pagan Altar. Consecrating Your Altar and Tools. Practical Issues. The Only Truly Necessary Tool: Your Self!

15. A Basic Ritual.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Ritual. Round and Round We Go. Creating Sacred Space (Casting the Circle). Invoking the Spirits (Calling the Quarters and the Deities). The Work of the Ritual. Putting Things Back Where They Belong. The Many Faces of Ritual.

16. Rites of Passage.
A One-Way Trip to a New You! The Mark of an Effective Rite of Passage. The Two Kinds of Transitions. Life Transitions. Spiritual Transitions.

IV. MAGIC.

17. Meditation: Welcome to Magical Boot Camp!
Meditation: A Workout for the Mind. Why Bother with Meditation? Brainwaves: The Physics of Meditation. The Meditation-Magic Connection. Opening Up to Spiritual Contact. No-Nonsense Advice for Starting Your Own Meditation Practice.

18. Magic, or Flexing Your Spiritual Muscles.
Magic: Not Required (But Not Prohibited Either). The Many Faces of Magic. Psychic Power: Magic's "Engine". Seven Principles of Magic. Magic: Any Way You Spell It. As I Do Will, So Mote It Be: The Ethics of Magic.

19. Divination and Omens: Listening for the Divine Whisper.
Getting Into Intuition. Divination Tools: Ways to Reconnect with Our Intuitive Power. Astrology and Tarot: The Big Two in Divination. Sacred Alphabets: Spelling Out Intuition. Other Common Divination Tools. Omens: Listening for the Voice of the Spirits in the Natural World.

20. The Pagan as Healer: From Medicine Men to Reiki Masters.
Witches, Shamans, Magicians: All Are Healers. Reiki and Other Forms of Psychic Healing. Ritual as a Healing Process. Visualization and Affirmation. Paganism and Mainstream Medicine.

V. LIVING THE PAGAN LIFE.

21. Pagan Ethics: How to Behave Like an Earthkeeper.
Flower Power Lives Again! Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. Harm None and Do What You Will. Tribal Values. Pagans and Sex. Weaving It All Together.

22. Groups, Groves, and Gatherings.
The Four Ways to Be a Pagan. The Pleasures of Solitude. Small Group Spirituality: A Backyard Full of Pagans. Larger Groups and National Organizations. The Pagan Gathering (and Festivals). Finding Groups and Gatherings.

23. Harry Potter and Beyond: Paganism in Popular Culture.
Books for Pagans. TV Shows for Pagans. Movies for Pagans. Popular Music for Pagans. Classical Music for Pagans. The Pagan Music Scene.

24. Everyday Paganism.
How to Be a Pagan Each and Every Day. Patrons and Matrons: The Gods Who Are Just Right for You. Can Mother Nature and God the Father Be Lovers? Online Paganism. The Varieties of Pagan Websites. E-Mail Lists and Discussion Groups. Summary: Getting to Know the Spirit of the Land.

VI. APPENDIXES.

Appendix A. Recommended Reading.
Appendix B. Resources.
Index.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    Wonderful Resource Book!

    This is the book that I reach for if I need a quick answer to a question about Paganism. Such as "Why are you Pagan" or "What is a Pagan". Mr. McColman answers just about every conceivable Pagan question in this book, and has it all put together in a very reader friendly manner. I HIGHLY recommend it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2002

    Wonderful 'beginner's guide'

    Reading through this book, I was impressed by the author's depth of subject knowledge and philosophy. He covers a wide range of topics related to Paganism and does so in a way that is neither preachy or on a level above most people's understanding. And also reading this book caused me to notice how much of Paganism seems to appear in other religions, from the various Pagan holidays (Sabbats) to customs (most Christmas traditions originated in the Pagan Yule holiday). And the author correctly points out when it comes to rituals, that most people in our culture already obey some forms of rituals in their own lives (things like weddings or observances of major holidays like Thanksgiving or July 4th). The book covers a wide ranging variety of topics, everything from 'Pagan basics' (shamans, druids, and the so-called 'Pagan path') to information about the Spirit World, Pagan rituals, to 'living the Pagan life.' And the list of related books and resources in the back of the book offers much more information to those wishing to learn more. Another important section is the one dealing with magic. Most non-Pagans and those new to Paganism see magic as some mysterious thing. And it can be, but yet the author takes great pains to explain that magic, like everything else with Paganism has its own set of rules, and that it is something to be approached with care, that while its goal is to promote healing, done in the wrong way can evoke some results that were not intended! This is an excellent introductory book, one that a 'Pagan novice' can learn quite a bit from.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Good for beginners and reference

    This is an excellent book if your new to paganism. It gives you a good introduction to three major paths of paganism, and most of the different practices generally affiliated with it. It is simple and easy to read.<BR/><BR/>Those of us who already have a good grasp on paganism may find this book to be "beating the dead horse" so to say, but still can be a good reference guide, and who knows when that opportunity may arise to help someone else look into paganism as their chosen path.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Great Teacher!

    This book was a wealth of information! Teaches you exactly what you need to know without being overwhelming. Good reference for everyone!

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  • Posted October 20, 2009

    The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism

    Very informative book and easy to read and understand

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