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Paganism: An Introduction to Earth- Centered Religions » (1ST)

Book cover image of Paganism: An Introduction to Earth- Centered Religions by River Higginbotham

Authors: River Higginbotham, Joyce Higginbotham
ISBN-13: 9780738702223, ISBN-10: 0738702226
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Date Published: July 2002
Edition: 1ST

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Author Biography: River Higginbotham

Joyce and River have taught Paganism classes throughout the past decade. They have planned and organized local and national Pagan gatherings, written articles for Pagan publications, appeared on radio and television broadcasts, spoken at Christian and Unitarian churches, and attended interfaith councils. They also helped found the Council for Alternative Spiritual Traditions, which hosts public Pagan and alternative events in the Midwest.

Book Synopsis

A comprehensive guide to a growing religious movement

If you want to study Paganism in more detail, this book is the place to start. Based on a course in Paganism that the authors have taught for more than a decade, it is full of exercises, meditations, and discussion questions for group or individual study.

This book presents the basic fundamentals of Paganism. It explores what Pagans are like; how the Pagan sacred year is arranged; what Pagans do in ritual; what magick is; and what Pagans believe about God, worship, human nature, and ethics.

·For those who are exploring their own spirituality, or who want a good book to give to non-Pagan family and friends
·A hands-on learning tool with magickal workings, meditations, discussion questions, and journal exercises
·Offers in-depth discussion of ethics and magick

Publishers Weekly

Most pagan primers jump right into the seasonal calendar, Celtic strands, pentagrams, spell casting and the like. True to form, this offers a judicious overview of the calendar and the general characteristics and essentials of Paganism as the Higginbothams see it interconnectedness and blessedness. To their credit, though, the authors have crafted a very different kind of book, one of great spiritual depth that could be of genuine and lasting service to anyone who is interested in sorting out the whats and whys of belief. Early on, they outline the "big tent" of Paganism that shelters a dozen or more passageways (Wicca, Druidism, Shamanism, Santer!a, etc.), comparing it to Christianity and its popular denominations (Methodist, Roman Catholic, etc.). Throughout, they employ calm and rational prose that seeks not to proselytize as much as to aid discernment, making good on the authors' claim that, "Whether or not you decide to be a Pagan once you finish [the book] is not as important as providing you with tools to help you identify your values and goals." The seven chapters are nicely paced with illustrations, diagrams, visualization exercises, discussion points and journal prompts, all of which can be used by individuals or groups. The authors tackle the charge of Satanism head-on with success, but even more progressively (and clearly) they weave new discoveries in physics into the life fabric of belief and action. The final chapter explores ethics, and similar to the others, serves the broadest common good. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments / xi

Introduction / xiii

1 What is Paganism? 1

General Characteristics of Paganism / 3

What Does "Pagan" Mean? / 6

Who Is a Pagan? / 7

How Many Pagans Are There? / 12

Where Pagans Come From and What They"re Like / 13

What Pagans Do and When They Do It / 15

An Earth-Centered Religion / 16

The Wheel of the Year / 16

Rites of Passage / 25

What Is a Ritual? / 30

What Happens in a Ritual? / 30

Ritual Tools and Symbols / 33

Is Ritual All Pagans Do? / 38

What Do Pagans Believe? / 38

Principles of Paganism / 39

2 You Are What You Believe 45

How Do Beliefs Work? / 46

What Is a Belief System? / 54

Claiming the Power to Choose Your Beliefs / 58

Search: Paganism"s Spiritual Foundation / 66

3 A Pagan View of deity 75

Concepts of Deity / 78

What Do Pagans Believe About Deity? / 79

The God Map / 80

A God Map Story / 92

4 What About Satan? 101

How Do Pagans View Satan? / 102

Pagans, Witches, and Bad Reputations / 103

Why Witch-hunts? / 106

What Happened to the Accused? / 108

A Look at the Biblical Witch Bias / 108

A Fabricated Image / 109

The Social Roles of Satan / 111

The Mythological Roles of Satan / 113

Who Is a Satanist? / 120

Can a Satanist Be a Pagan? / 121

5 The Living Universe 131

The Current Western Mindset / 132

Unbroken Wholeness: Science and a Magickal Universe / 135

The Ground of Being: Mysticism and a Magickal Universe / 145

The Universe as a Cosmic TV / 155

Personal Experience and a Magickal Universe / 161

6 Magick 163

The Mechanics of Magick / 165

The Iceberg / 172

The Applications of Magick / 179

The Limitations of Magick / 184

Your Magickal Pager / 187

7 Ethics and Personal Responsibility 197

Who Are You? / 197

The Multidimensional Self / 199

The Afterlife / 201

Ethics: What Are They? / 206

The Western Religious Ethic / 207

Ethics: The Pagan Approach / 210

Pagan Ethical Systems / 214

Notes / 225

Glossary / 231

Bibliography / 235

Recommended Reading / 239

Index / 245