The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism - Carl McColman While interesting at times, the book can be a little dry at times as well. If you are someone who does not know much about paganism and how it lives on today, then this book provides a pretty good start. Rather than reading it through, like I did, I think readers would be better off just reading the first chapter or two, then skimming and browsing through the parts that interest them. A strength of this book is that it provides a very good bibliography for further reading as well as a pretty good list of resources and organizations where you can get further information on various types of pagan beliefs. I picked this book up mostly out of curiosity, and as I read it, I found that I had a lot of things that I could relate to. Many pagans are intellectually curious; they tend to be pretty liberal and open-minded, and yet, contrary to what many who are ignorant believe, pagans do live by pretty strong codes of ethics and morals. In a lot of ways, they are way more ethical than people who claim to be religious (as in mainstream religious). Another strength of the book is that it does not try to convert you. The author maintains a tone of informing the reader, providing some guidance if the reader wishes to consider pursuing a pagan way of spirituality, and no pressure. It even addresses issues such as whether to practice alone (solitaries is the term) or in a group and whether or not to tell others that you are a pagan or not (given the many prejudices and ignorance in society against pagans, often silence is the best option). The book outlines three major paths (wicca, druidism, and shamanism), but it also looks at other alternatives. There is just enough to give you an overview if you are just seeking to learn more, all in a very respectful tone, and enough to help you find out more if you wish to pursue it. I did not rate it higher because it really is a book that lends itself more to browsing than reading through, but if you want to learn more on this topic, this is a good start.