Pagan Bookshelf: Raven and Bear, Pan, Elves and Dwarfs

The phrase “book-loving Pagans” may be redundant. With that in mind, here’s another edition of the Pagan Bookshelf – a roundup of recent releases. * Dancing with Raven and Bear: A Book of Earth Medicine and Animal Magic by Sonja Grace (Findhorn Press, 144 p.)

The Norse god Odin has his two ravens, Huginn (who represents thought) and Muninn (memory). Writer, storyteller and healer Sonja Grace, whose heritage includes Norwegian and Native American roots (Hopi, Choctaw and Cherokee), has her own ravens. “As a child I drew Ravens,” Grace writes in her book Dancing with Raven and Bear: A Book of Earth Medicine and Animal Magic.

Weschcke bio chronicles occult/New Age pioneer

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — In 2007, when Melanie Marquis was a solitary Pagan “who didn’t really know anybody else,” she began writing for the Pagan community. She decided to contact this Carl Llewellyn Weschcke guy for comments for an article, so she wrote to Llewellyn, the company that Weschcke had bought and transformed from a small publisher of astrology titles into a metaphysical/New Age/occult publishing juggernaut. “I didn’t know him at all at the time,” Marquis said by phone from her home in Lakewood near Denver. “I contacted Llewellyn and they told me ‘You know of course he really doesn’t do interviews and things like that anymore.

Review: ‘Gods of the Vikings’ invade Disney World

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Odin, Freya and Loki must be jealous. In the new “Gods of the Vikings” exhibit in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot in Disney World, it was the slightly larger-than-life bust of Thor – especially the Norse god’s hammer, Mjolnir – that was getting the most photo-opp attention during a visit by The Wild Hunt. People young and old, and speaking numerous foreign languages, clutched the imposing, 18-inch Mjolnir as friends or family took photos – perhaps an indication of how the Marvel Comics movie franchise has made Thor a rock star beyond the community of practicing Heathens and followers of Ásatrú. Five feet from the Thor bust, however, was another Mjolnir, one less than an inch and a half long: an authentic Thor’s hammer pendant, made circa 800-1000 A.D. The artifact is on loan to the exhibit from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

Pagan bookshelf: Esoteric India, Yoruba novel, Odin, tree magic

Paganism is not a “religion of the book,” but it is a religion of many books. Here’s a look at some recent releases of interest to Pagans, Polytheists and Heathens: a Scandinavian’s travels in esoteric India, a young adult novel inspired by Yoruba religion, an examination of Odin’s influence in modern times, and a tree herbal. Journeys in the Kali Yuga: a Pilgrimage from Esoteric India to Pagan Europe
Aki Cederberg, Destiny Books, December 2017, 172 p.

In the introduction to this spiritual travelogue, Finland native Aki Cederberg writes that “as far back as I can remember, I have been drawn to and felt a strong resonance with certain sights, symbols, and signs, not exactly knowing why. Some of these have been found in the waking world, while others have revealed themselves in visions and dreams . .

Review: three Pagan poets for National Poetry Month

If, as is proclaimed in the Charge of the Goddess, “all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals,” then the pleasure of poetry is among those rituals, too. April is National Poetry Month in the United States. Here’s a look at the works of three female poets: a Wiccan priestess, a pioneer in the modern women’s/goddess spirituality movement, and a priestess in the Welsh Bardic Tradition. The Charge of the Goddess: the Poetry of Doreen Valiente
Doreen Valiente Foundation in association with the Centre for Pagan Studies, expanded edition 2014, 142 p.

Ironically, the Charge of the Goddess included is this collection by the acclaimed “mother of modern witchcraft” is not her rhyming, poetic rendition but rather her far more famous prose version. The late John Belham-Payne, a friend and “working magical partner” of Valiente’s, shepherded her poetry into publication following her death in 1999, thus fulfilling a deathbed request by the Wiccan priestess who had been initiated into Gerald Gardner’s coven by the man himself in 1953.