Book Review: The Path of Paganism by John Beckett

The Path of Paganism: An Experience-Based Guide to Modern Pagan Practice by John Beckett. Published by Llewellyn Publications (336 pages). Walking a Pagan path will always have its challenges and whatever stage of the path we are on, a guide who give us pause for reflection on key aspects of our beliefs and practices is most welcome. This is why John Beckett’s new book The Path of Paganism, to be released in May, is so important. Beckett is a Druid who was raised in what he describes as a fundamentalist Christian family, finding his way to Paganism when he was an adult. Beckett is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) and an officer of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS). With a foreword by the renowned Kristoffer Hughes, head of the Anglesey Druid Order, Beckett’s book is made up of four parts: Building a Foundation, Putting it Into Practice, Intermediate Practice, Living at the Edge.

Book Review: The Tao of Craft

The Tao of Craft: Fu Talismans and Casting Sigils in the Eastern Esoteric Tradition by Benebell Wen. Published by North Atlantic Books (600 pages)

The Tao of Craft, by Benebell Wen (also author of Holistic Tarot), is an English-language practitioner’s guide to Chinese 符 (fú). 符 is usually translated as “talisman,” but Wen chooses to use the word “sigil,” which more specifically captures the use of written texts and glyphs and symbols, the ritual charging of such designs, and their relationship to both spirit-work and directly achieving desired practical results. Wen also chooses to use the term “craft” rather than “magic.” The lines between “magic” and “religion” have always been blurry, and while she acknowledges that the vast web of traditions comprising Daoism is often religious, Wen argues that the metaphysical principles underlying the Fú techniques themselves can work from a variety of religious frameworks.

Book Review: Starhawk’s City of Refuge

[Editor’s Note: This review contains a few spoilers.]

Review: City of Refuge by Starhawk. Published by Califia Press (pp. 711) 

City of Refuge is the sequel to Starhawk’s novel The Fifth Sacred Thing. Both books are works of post-apocalyptic fiction.The series differs from most books in this genre. Instead of being survivalist porn centered around bullets and beans, the two books are written from an eco-feminist point of view.