R – Egyptian Paganism for Beginners

Title: Egyptian Paganism for Beginners
Author: Jocelyn Almond and Keith Seddon
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Copyright/Release: © Jocelyn Almond and Keith Seddon; 2004
ISBN: 0-7387-0438-5
Pages: 276 pp. including front and back matter

Touted as the “essential introductory guide to Egyptian Magic, myth and ritual”, the authors have done a splendid job in presenting just that. A very basic, very brief introduction. And while a great deal of it does discuss the Egyptian material, there is a lot of commonly found, basic information on paganism in general.

The meatier part of the book, and therefore the more interesting part, were the inclusions of the widely varying “neteru”, the gods and goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon. Here we find an interesting layout of Invocations, Replies and Closings for each of the neteru listed, along with an outline of who and what they were. I find it interesting that this is the first book through which I’ve grasped the concept of Horus the Elder, and Horus the Younger. I feel it is due to the authors frank and clear descriptions and assignment of various interpretations both classical and modern.

Quote: Page 233 “Harseisis”
“Horus the Younger is the son of Isis, known to Egyptians as Hor-sa-Aset, and known to Greeks as Harsiese or Harseisis. As explained previously, he was conceived by magical means after the death of his father Osiris and brought up in secret by Isis. He is also called Horus the Child (Hor-pa-khred in Egyptian, or Harpocrates in Greek) and Horus-avenger-of-his-father (Hor-nedj-her-itef in Egyptian or Harendotes in Greek). As a child, he is depicted as a young boy wearing his hair in the plaited side-lock of youth and often holding one finger to his lips.”

It was an interesting, encompassing read and not one to be taken lightly. I felt the need to write notes and compare with other texts, listed and not listed in the extensive Acknowledgements and Bibliography sections. For those that are truly interested in following an Egyptian path, I must insist that this book graces your shelves, whether or not you need an introduction to the path.

4 Broomsticks

Jodi Lee, aka ierne, is a 20+ year veteran of pagan paths. A single work at home mom, she is currently hard at work on her first novel.


R – Monsters

Title: Monsters
Author: John Michael Greer
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
ISBN: 0-7387-0050-9
Copyright: 2001 John Michael Greer
Pages: 320

John Michael Greer needs to go back to his herb garden, mix up some herbal remedy to cure his incessant babbling, and get back to work writing some serious material. His book on Natural Magic was the ultimate in excellent resources. I’m starting to feel like he fell off the turnip truck on the way from the patch.

I was extremely disappointed in this book – no, beyond extremely disappointed. I’d hoped for the crypto-zoological type of monster, not what I and most people consider being mythological or from alternate-realms. I mean come on people – Bela Lugosi vampires do not exist. Face it. Accept it. Mr. Greer – I invite you to talk to a real vampire. Perhaps I’m a bit biased on that score. All right then, let’s view another “monster” according to Greer. Faeries? Since bloody when are faeries monsters? Perhaps in a Christian household where faeries are used to scare the kids into staying in their beds…oooh, here’s another one. Angels. Ok, sure – is anyone else as confused as I am?

Quote pg. 94
“In the old lore, solitary fays are often covered with a thick coat of hair. this and some of their other habits suggest a connection with another of the unexplained presences that haunt the shadowy places of the modern world.

The sasquatch, as mentioned earlier, is probably an undiscovered variety of primate, not a monster in the sense used in this book. The same is likely true of its close cousins across the Bering Straits in eastern Asia: the yeti or “abominable snowman” of the Himalayas, the almas of Mongolia, and similar creatures reported from China and Siberia.”

Sasquatch isn’t a monster (well, no I didn’t think so either, but they’re closer crypto-wise) but faery are?

I’d say the only “monster” in the book was either the publisher or the author. Folks, come on – if you’re going to title a book Monsters, write about monsters. If you’re going to publicize a book as being about Monsters, it should be about monsters.

1 of 5 Broomsticks

Jodi Lee, aka ierne, is a 20+ year veteran of pagan paths. A single work at home mom, she is currently hard at work on her first novel.


R – Kindling the Celtic Spirit

Title: Kindling the Celtic Spirit
Author: Mara Freeman
Publisher: Harper San Francisco
ISBN: 0-06-251685-X
Pages: 402 incl. back matter
Copyright: 2001 Mara Freeman

Kindling the Celtic Spirit is the perfect companion book for the Celtic pagan. While it sticks to basics, it goes beyond just a bit by adding a bardic quality.

Ms. Freeman has included snappy, updated versions of the Celtic Myths, perfectly suited to the pagan family sitting down for story time. As well, there are excerpts from classic poetry, some translated from Gaelic languages; music, crafts, recipes – one set (including mythology and bestiary) for each month of the year. The recipes included encompass a major part of the celebratory rites – whether that be an entire feast, or simple cakes and wine.

Quote pg. 265 “Rowan Jelly”

4 cups rowanberries (preferably from European mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia, which produces sweeter berries than the North American native Sorbus americana)
2 or 3 apples, peeled and quartered
1 cup sugar for each cup juice

Cover the washed berries and apples with water. Simmer about 40 minutes or until water is red and berries are very soft. Strain off the juice, but do not press the fruit or the jelly will become clouded. Measure the juice and return it to the pan. Add equivalent amount of sugar. Boil rapidly for half an hour or until some of it sets quickly on a plate when cold. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.”

It is obvious, through all of the wonderful “oral tradition” quality of the book, that Ms. Freeman knows her stuff and has devoted a good part of her life to her path. Any Celtic pagan equally devoted and serious to their path needs to get a copy of this book and treasure it as much as we are.

Jodi Lee, aka ierne, is a 20+ year veteran of pagan paths. A single work at home mom, she is currently hard at work on her first novel.