➶ [Reading] ➸ iPagan By Trevor Greenfield ➫ – Oaklandjobs.co.uk With fifty nine contributions from over forty authors, iPagan is an anthology that covers Druidry, Shamanism, Witchcraft, Goddess Spirituality and a range of contemporary issues that affect Pagans acr With fifty nine contributions from over forty authors, iPagan is an anthology that covers Druidry, Shamanism, Witchcraft, Goddess Spirituality and a range of contemporary issues that affect Pagans across the globe The book is an ideal introduction to the writing of each of the authors as well as an essential primer for anyone interested in modern Paganism and for those wishing to engage in current Pagan thinking. I totally fell in love with this book, will be rereading this, for certain I loved the miltidimentionality of this book Druidism, Paganism, Witchcraft, Shamanism Various authors address approaches to meditation, dreaming and praying, living and prospering in body and mind, inspiration and progress, spirits and action, transcendence, self awareness and worldly concerns Even thequirky concepts of Spitirit Spouses is reviewed History marries myth and issues the changed spiritual perspect I totally fell in love with this book, will be rereading this, for certain I loved the miltidimentionality of this book Druidism, Paganism, Witchcraft, Shamanism Various authors address approaches to meditation, dreaming and praying, living and prospering in body and mind, inspiration and progress, spirits and action, transcendence, self awareness and worldly concerns Even thequirky concepts of Spitirit Spouses is reviewed History marries myth and issues the changed spiritual perspectives Q As a Neo Pagan Druid myself, I first experienced Paganism, as a child, through the mythology of the Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Egyptians and Celts I did not choose to become a Pagan until I was already an adult being free to explore a number of different religions over time Eventually I settled on Celtic Polytheism, not because I was born into it, but simply because it suits my beliefs c Q Just as every dandelion leaf is unique, the face of the gods is unique to each and every one of us Perhaps it is not the divine that has changed at all, it is us, humanity that has undergone immense changes over thousands of years As we change so does our ability to see, feel and understand what the divine actually is and what our relationship with the Creation is, or should be c Q some interesting discussions, not least of was an extremely puzzling sentiment that I later found repeated in a number of other places This was that Geoffrey of Monmouth, one of the chroniclers of Arthur and Merlin, wrote The History of the Kings of Britain as a hoax This stopped me in my metaphorical tracks I had to read it several times I was so utterly perplexed I went investigating Writing is difficult enough at the best of times, but sitting in a cold scriptorium using expensive materials and sometimes having to wait months for a reply or go travelling to other monasteries to consult books would tend to put off the most ardent hoaxer Besides which, why would Geoffrey of Monmouth do such a thing Did the person who made this claim mean that Geoffrey wrote a huge book in the hope of fooling who His patron His contemporaries Future historians Aliens..It seems, on reading further, that what was being said is that Geoffrey of Monmouth s book is not history Because it is not history, it is a LIE Excuse the shouting, but that is the impression I got from some of the online discussions I stumbled across There are some very scary people out there Never mind that they were not prepared to give a definition of what they meant by history or even whose history they were considering, let alone take on the fact that notion of history has changed over the centuries And you can imagine a discussion in which you pointed out that history is a somewhat imperfect translation of the Latin historia , embracing as it does the notion of history, narrative, story, inquiry, and hypothesis These online historians had made up their minds and that was that.There was so much wrong with what was being said, that I beat a hasty retreat You do not mix it with such people You do not even politely suggest they may have misunderstood or missed the point That would probably be worse than using capital letters to call them rude names c Q Myths are wonderful They are not fairy tales and even if they were, so what They are not bits of fiction or sly attempts to expose children to bits of pagan religion and even if that were the case, so what Myths are stories of wonder Myths are multi coloured, mind expanding adventures Myths are metaphor Myths are truth Let s be straight about this They are not facts They are not knowledge They are truth They are part of the collective wisdom of the people with which they originate In some cases they are faltering first steps in science explaining natural phenomena In other cases they embody basic social, legal, and ethical principles They are the foundation of what we have since become If you get the foundations right If you understand them and can see where they are inadequate, you stand a much better chance of building a lasting and equitable structure on top of them.Our ancestors were not stupid They knew that myth was just that They knew the difference between fact and a fiction that conveyed other truths Druids were certainly aware of this difference otherwise they would not have been employed to preserve both history and myth And just as they knew the difference, they knew the importance of both strands of our understanding of the past Myths help to shape the way a people thinks c Q The Ancient Greeks had a better idea as they had 4 different words for different kinds of love, Eros for romantic love, Philos for brotherly love, Agape for charity and Storge for empathy c Q Incidentally if you have never actually hugged a tree I encourage you to do so, as it really is an experience worth having c Q I change how I experience the world because I am hungry for wonder, and for a sense of the numinous I do it because I m not prepared to accept banal and rationally tidied up reality as all there is I do it in search of inspiration, and experience I do it because it changes me, and while I neither understand nor am in control of that process of change, it calls me and I relish it Sometimes it puts me at odds with consensus reality c Q My preferred method of working has always been to contemplate, or pray along the edges of sleep It is a time when our state of mind is already not in everyday mode, and it is a roomy, permissive part of the day, when my sense of time is less solid, and my thoughtsnaturally flow freely and without constraint There are things it is possible to think on the edge of sleep that are not otherwise available to me, and when it comes to matters of personal transformation, I can access ideas at this point in the day that I am not reliably capable of thinking about when awake I have a better and healthier sense of self and wellbeing on the edges of sleep and tend to develop better perspectives on life the time between sleep and wakefulness is fertile and full of possibilities c Q Showing up regularly, to prayer, meditation, dream work, contemplation, even to daydreaming, changes things c Q Showing up creates the possibility of something else happening It makes space for miracles, whether they turn up or not If you don t make space for something numinous to get in, if you don t actively create the opportunity for wonder and amazement, then the odds of experiencing it are much reduced However awkwardly we do it, taking time to pray, meditate and dream is a way of offering the self up to the universe as a whole You may choose to think of it as deity, inspiration, higher self, or any number of things I don t believe the terms matter, because we re trying to express that which is beyond us c Q Some say that the study of philosophy was of barbarian origin For the Persians had their Magi, the Babylonians or the Assyrians the Chaldeans, the Indians their Gymnosophists, while the Kelts and the Galatae had seers called Druids and Semnotheoi, or so Aristotle says in the Magic , and Sotion in the twenty third book of his Succession of Philosophers c Q Let him keep my advice which follows here.Tell him before every other word,Bring him with every word this lasting advice.Let him preserve justice, it will preserve him.Let him raise justice, it will raise him.Let him exalt mercy, it will exalt him.Let him care for his tribes, they will care for him.Let him help his tribes, they will help him.Let him sooth his tribes, they will soothe him.Tell him, it is through the justice of the ruler that plagues and great lightnings are keptfrom the people.It is through the justice of the ruler that he judges great tribes and great riches.It is through the justice of the ruler that he secures peace, tranquility, joy, ease, and comfort.It is through the justice of the ruler that he dispatches great battalions to the borders ofhostile neighbours.It is through the justice of the ruler that every heir plants his house post in his fairinheritance.It is through the justice of the ruler that abundances of great tree fruit of the great woodare tasted.It is through the justice of the ruler that milk yields of great cattle are maintained.It is through the justice of the ruler that there is abundance of every tall, high corn.It is through the justice of the ruler that abundance of fish swim in streams.It is through the justice of the ruler that fair children are well begotten AudachtMorann, 4 21 The word translated here as justice is f rinne, which can also be translated as truth , and is related to the word f or, which has to do with truth, correct ness, and reality we can infer the meaning of firinne from that description Tell him, let him be merciful, just, impartial, conscientious, firm, generous, hospitable, honourable, stable, beneficent, capable, honest, well spoken, steady, true judging For there are ten things which extinguish the injustice of every ruler Beware that you do not do it, beware of everything, o all rulers Announce from me the ten rule and worth, fame and victory, progeny and kindred, peace and long life, good fortune and tribes Audacht Morann, 55 6 c Q Do not speak noisily do not mock, do not give insults, do not make little of old people Do not think ill of any one do not ask what is hard to give Let you have a law of lending, a law of oppression, a law of pledging Be obedient to the advice of the wise keep in mind the advice of the old Be a follower of the rules of your fathers Do not be cold hearted to friends be strong towards your enemies do not give evil for evil in your battles Do not be given to too much talking Do not speak any harm of others Do not waste, do not scatter, do not do away with what is your own When you do wrong, take the blame for it do not give up the truth for any man Do not be trying to be first, the way you will not be jealous do not be an idler, that you many not be weak do not ask too much, that you may not be thought little of Are you willing to follow this advice, my son Gregory, Cuchulain of Muirthemney, pg 639 670 c Q the Councils of Cormac offer us a muchcomprehensive picture than all the other wisdom texts Its 37 chapters cover a wide variety of topics, from specialized advice like what is expected from kings and leaders, toordinary topics like mead hall etiquette, health and nutrition, and growing up One of its most memorable passages describes a general principle of temperance, as follows 29 O grandson of Conn, O Cormac , said Carbre, I desire to know how I shall behaveamong the wise and the foolish, among friends and strangers, among the old and theyoung, among the innocent and the wicked Not hard to tell , said Cormac Be not too wise, be not too foolish,be not too conceited, be not too diffident,be not too haughty, be not too humble,be not too talkative, be not too silent,be not too harsh, be not too feeble.If you be too wise, one will expect too much of you If you be too foolish, you will be deceived If you be too conceited, you will be thought vexatious If you be too humble, you will be without honour If you be too talkative, you will not be heeded If you be too silent, you will not be regarded If you be too harsh, you will be broken If you be too feeble, you will be crushed c Q 77 Three things which justice demands judgment, measure, conscience.78 Three things which judgment demands wisdom, penetration, knowledge.80 Three things for which an enemy is loved wealth, beauty, worth.81 Three things for which a friend is hated trespassing, keeping aloof, fecklessness.82 Three rude ones of the world a youngster mocking an old man, a healthy personmocking an invalid, a wise man mocking a fool.84 Three fair things that hide ugliness good manners in the ill favoured skill in a serf wisdom in the misshapen.86 Three things that kindle love a face, demeanour, speech.90 Three ungentlemanly things interrupting stories, a mischevious game, jesting so as toraise a blush.93 Three fewnesses that are better than plenty a fewness of fine words a fewness ofcows in grass a fewness of friends around good ale.96 Three ruins of a tribe a lying chief, a false judge, a lustful priest.110 Three maidens that bring love to good fortune silence, diligence, sincerity.113 Three impossible demands go though you cannot go, bring what you have not got,do what you cannot do.115 The three chief sins avarice, gluttony, lust.119 Three things that constitute a physician a complete cure leaving no blemish behind a painless examination.122 Three things that constitute a harper a tune to make you cry, a tune to make youlaugh, a tune to put you to sleep.173 Three doors of falsehood an angry pleading, a shifting foundation of knowledge,giving information without memory.174 Three doors through which truth is recogised a patient answer, a firm pleading,appealing to witnesses.177 Three glories of speech steadiness, wisdom, brevity.178 Three ornaments of wisdom abundance of knowledge, a number of precedents, toemploy good counsel.179 Three hateful things in speech stiffness, obscurity, a bad delivery.194 Three things that make a wise man foolish quarreling, anger, drunkenness.197 Three signs of a bad man bitterness, hatred, cowardice.201 Three candles that illume every darkness truth, nature, knowledge Meyer, The Triads of Ireland, pp 8 35 c Q Shamanism is a Mystery It is that which constantly dances beyond the horizon of the known, the expected, the understood It is an amazing dance that some of us find irresistible in our spiritual journey This dance calls us to join, to engage, to whirl into the depths of the unknown in search of something our souls hunger for c Q Vast emptiness can be somewhat daunting It is only when we realize that this emptiness is filled with light, that we begin to experience soul awareness c Q Invisible wounds I have seen many clients and students simply forget about addictions that had troubled them for years as they deepened their connection with ancestors, spirit and soul c Q We live in individualistic culture, where it s every man or woman for themselves This has created many heart wounds in our disconnection from any sense of community and the togetherness and support this brings This, I would say, is causing a loneliness of spirit in many modern people, which in itself creates much sickness.We are also taught to constantly worry about the future and to be prepared for it, to make our homes and belongings as safe and secure as possible the ultimate effect of which is to disconnect us from nature Nature can never be still, even when it may appear so on the surface, it is in constant movement and flux It is the same with us If reality is too fixed, as it often is in modern society, this often creates the fragmenting of parts of our souls that cannot fit into such a narrow criteria of what it means to be alive Again, this paves the way for diseases of spirit that give birth to most sickness c Q Mabinogion To know them we sit with them, dreaming and journeying, full of expectancy but without any expectations, allowing the stories to show themselves to us The Lady has many names including Ceridwen, Arianrhod, Olwen, Ffraid, Morgan, Don, Iwerydd Underlying them all is Elen, the antlered reindeer goddess, goddess of the twilight and threshold guardian, lady of the deer trods The stories also tell of the gods, the guardians to the goddess, and they too have many names Arawn, Gwyn ap Nudd, Gwydion, Cernunnos, Amatheon, Bel, Bran, Dylan and manyAll of them offer us different aspects of nature and reality, just as the Lady does, through their different names The gods watch over the goddess and care for her, we call them guardians and husbandmenThe Lady is Sovereignty, the ultimate goddess, and she grants the power of sovereignty to the gods, not the other way around c Q all of us are multi dimensional beings and that there isto us than we can ever perceive or express in everyday reality c Q spirit guides are faractive and interact than our concept of deities Guides are entities, who upon manifesting themselves, elected to provide insight to humanity They are angelic beings, mythic creatures, precocious nature spirits, fantastic figures that entrance, comfort, and sometimes frighten However, it s often forgotten that they must be fed Relationships with spirit allies must be tended, just as relationships in all other aspects of our lives must be They must be allowed to evolve and bridge beyond our limited concepts of who they are and should be In this way, spirit allies become living forces We embody them, and in doing so, they sustain beyond the trappings of time and mythology.Likewise, we must be willing to act on the wisdom of our spirit allies c Q If we try to imagine a web of perhaps fine, vibrant fibres of light that connects each of us to each other and to every other thing that exists, to all time, past, present and future and then imagine that these strands of light are two way connections and that communication flows back and forth along these connections every moment of every day it might sound a bit like science fiction c Q Have a good look around your room, home or garden.What do you have there that is important to you Do you have collections of any kind Think back to your childhood What did you surround yourself with Have you held onto any of those things as an adult Make a list of anything that comes to mind c Q Have you ever awoken from a sleep so delectably deep, one where you knew you had been in an entirely different state or reality c Q After leaving full time employment, opening a high street Shamanic healing clinic had unearthed many further life lessonsI remember a gleeful feeling of freedom that came when I walked away from the confines of nine to five working c Q And if not now, when And if not us, then who c Q I loved the stars in the night sky though, they seemed always, from as young as I can remember, a form of comfort, grace and infinite promise c Q Stir it up Don t get caught up in the how to Once you ve decided on an idea, you have to get moving on it Stirring up the energy gives you the confidence to take that first step Motivation is everything The journey gets easier and Witches, especially, can always make good use of their magical tools to boost the energy c This is absolutely not an introduction to modern Paganism, and it really needed some additional editorial work It s a bit of a sandbox, a veritable jungle gym of anecdotal, philosophical, historical, and experiential essays laid open for a reader s exploration and play Unfortunately, the quality of the equipment in this playground varies wildly there arecreaking, loose jointed articles in here than strong ones, there are probablyswings than a single park needs, and my metaphor This is absolutely not an introduction to modern Paganism, and it really needed some additional editorial work It s a bit of a sandbox, a veritable jungle gym of anecdotal, philosophical, historical, and experiential essays laid open for a reader s exploration and play Unfortunately, the quality of the equipment in this playground varies wildly there arecreaking, loose jointed articles in here than strong ones, there are probablyswings than a single park needs, and my metaphor is getting out of hand now, so I ll move on to some substance This text really, really needed an introduction by the editor I needed a signpost, an indication of the overall goal or purpose of this text Is this an introductory text, or as Moon Books puts it, an essential primer to modern Paganism I would argue that if this is the goal of the text, this goal has not been achieved This collection also would have been vastly improved by a brief introductory paragraph to each article by the editor, outlining who this contributor is, what they call their practice, and the purpose or source of the article Without these introductions, this text is incredibly inaccessible, particularly to readers not already familiar with the material and contributors Even within each Section, I have not found the articles to be very cohesive in tone, style, coverage, purpose, or focus I wish there had been some collaboration between the contributors, or at least some communication as to who would be contributing what to the collection to ensure broad coverage of topics and prevent overlap for example, instead of multiple refrains of druidic history is murky because of oral histories and Roman propaganda, etc , the Druid section contributors could have gotten together to agree on only one or two contributors who would focus on agreed upon historical sources of the descriptions of druids instead of a smattering of citations in multiple articles to the exact same passages in Julius Caesar s The Conquest of Gaul That could allow other contributors to discuss less redundant topics, broadening the scope a bit Instead, we have a collection of articles that do not feel like pieces of a single polished collection, and that instead seem to have been self selected by their contributors, each of whom had a slightly different understanding of what the collection would be.For most of this text, I was forced to wonder if a call had gone out to all of the most prominent pagan bloggers, asking Send me your pieces that address modern paganism in the context of modern technology, and each blogger did term searches of their work for words like modern or internet The references to technology vary wildly while one article discussed technology in terms of its effect on the uniquely druidic practice of seeking mastery of certain traditional skills i.e., that modern druidry is necessarily informed by changing technology and increased ease of scholarly research , the only modern theme in another article about the legitimacy of Geoffrey of Monmouth s The History of the Kings of Britain as a historical mythical text is a reference to a heated argument about this text between online historians on an internet forum I hate to nit pick, but as an editor, it was also hard for me to overlook the relatively poor proofreading at least for the e book that reinforced an impression that I was basically clicking my way through the online pagan community There were certainly some spectacular stand out articles, but they were only helpful in isolation, and not as part of a cohesive collection I did not read every article in this book, and I would not recommend it as any form of introductory text However, since it is so cheap as an e book, I would not discourage anyone from picking it up to peruse For the cost of 0.99 and a little skimming time, you might find something of value for you Not what I expected It was ok Interesting scope, mixed quality contributionsThis is a collection of short essays, both original or relating to some of the authors work published elsewhere It s a reasonable way to get a feel for a cross section of approaches or experiences with a few main types of pagan spirituality, from shamanism to druidery to goddess focused beliefs While most chapters are well written and argued, this is not the case for all In particular, a chapter on reforestation makes the argument that all desert Interesting scope, mixed quality contributionsThis is a collection of short essays, both original or relating to some of the authors work published elsewhere It s a reasonable way to get a feel for a cross section of approaches or experiences with a few main types of pagan spirituality, from shamanism to druidery to goddess focused beliefs While most chapters are well written and argued, this is not the case for all In particular, a chapter on reforestation makes the argument that all deserts are man made throughout history This is a gross misrepresentation of the loss of historic forest in some regions over Millenia due to shifts in climate, directly related to shifts in latitude The chapter focuses initially on Australian loss of vegetation in the red centre and blames it on indigenous fire based land practices This fails to recognise the mosaic of approaches used by indigenous Australians through time, but worse, aligns correlated events of settlement and non linked geographic changes that resulted in lower rainfall and chooses to blame anthropogenic effects only It s very very poor science, and I would genuinely hope druids make an effort to have a better understanding of broad scale ecological factors.While I agree that there is scope to work on our understanding and feelings regarding actions of our ancestors and their impacts on the ecosystem as part of our spirituality, this approach is an overstep and overstatement To be clear Antarctica also was once covered in rainforest It no longer is This is unrelated to human exploration in the last century, given that it s been under ice for a bit longer than that Some screening into the accuracy and quality of verifiable statements should have been made This is a collection of essays There was little or no editing I found glaring typographical errors in several of the essays This tells me no one actually bothered to proof read it The content isn t all that useful, either You could get opinions about what paganism means to different pagans by going on Facebook, joining a pagan community group, and asking them directly This book might ve had a place 20 years ago, but it wasn t published 20 years ago and hardly has much use now I have other This is a collection of essays There was little or no editing I found glaring typographical errors in several of the essays This tells me no one actually bothered to proof read it The content isn t all that useful, either You could get opinions about what paganism means to different pagans by going on Facebook, joining a pagan community group, and asking them directly This book might ve had a place 20 years ago, but it wasn t published 20 years ago and hardly has much use now I have other books about paganism that will give me better information I didn t finish this book I m not wasting anyof my precious time on it Have to agree with some of the other reviewers Rather than an introduction primer, it s a collection of disjointed excerpts and articles which vary in quality I m sure it d be of some use to those who might be quote mining, but I didn t enjoy it much. Excellent review of the state of the art in paganism but I m biased because I wrote something for it. The book consists of different people with different views on how they see Paganism.It was interesting but at points depending on who was the person was it could be quite long winded. An informative anthology of essays, with a breadth of topics. Very good insight into a pagan lifestyleAs somebody new to paganism I was looking for a book that showed many views to help shape my views and it certainly done that.