Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Community Library: I Need Your List.

Cricket finds a satisfying perch in the  bedroom's bookstack forest. In this stack: The Roebuck in the Thicket,  In the Drip of an Eave, Mycophilia, The Wildwood Tarot, Witchcraft Today  & Hans Holzer's The New Pagans.
Cricket finds a satisfying perch in the
bedroom's bookstack forest.
In this stack: The Roebuck in the Thicket,
In the Drip of an Eave, Mycophilia,
The Wildwood Tarot, Witchcraft Today
& Hans Holzer's The New Pagans.
I have a not so secret book fetish. It's a bit like my love of fungi, the difference being that I bring books home in droves & if I did that with fungi the stink would be unbearable. I cannot leave a used bookstore empty handed. I have hundreds of books, yet most of them remain unread by yours truly because I am too busy chasing children & my other love, fungi. Books are for reading (oh, & for clutching, stacking, sniffing, patting, collecting & leafing...), so how do I help these books fulfill their purpose while I am neglecting them?

About that library I mentioned earlier
"We have established a Pagan & esoteric lending library in our "Agora" community space which allows me to give in back in a variety of ways."
This project brings me such happiness. It gives me even more excuses to adopt & bring home books. It gives me more excuses to fritter away my free time mouth breathing in the "Body/Mind/Spirit" aisle, grunting, eye-rolling & making snarky comments to myself about the content that gets published. Better than that, it offers me opportunities to find those incredible gems that get misplaced or miscategorized on the shelves... Like last week when I found Thorsson's Blue Runa, Green Runa & Thompson's Paradox Games all together in the Tarot section. My blood ran cold when I saw them. Crouching on the floor, I grabbed them all & held them fast. I probably looked like a housecat with a chicken wing; wild-eyed & possessed by the possession. For this stack-creeper, books are like drugs. (If you hadn't already gleaned that.) Give. Me. More.

BUT. I need to begin modifying my search pattern a wee bit to incorporate the interests & needs of other people when I comb the shelves. I need a hit list of some of the very best &/or most essential reading for a Pagan & esoteric community lending library. I need the three people who are actually Pagan &/or esoterically inclined who read this blog to give me their recommends. In fact, if you are "spiritually inclined" in any fashion, give me your recommends. On second thought, it doesn't matter what you are, just give me your list.

You want to do this. I know some things about humans. Here are two of them: 1) Humans love lists. 2) Even more than lists, humans love their opinions & they love to share them with other humans. So do it. There's a box down there, begging for your book list.

The Winter-Spring reading bookstack.
Moma's Winter-Spring reading bookstack.
When it comes to shopping for this library, I am discriminately indescriminate. I realize that some, probably many, people do "Dances with Bunnies" or all those books written by "Lady Smouldering-Amber SalamanderFyreShine." I do not. However, I will not be responsible for censoring another reader's bliss. If sparkly bunny bliss or ten-minute-transcendentalism is what someone seeks, so be it. Good books, bad books, it is not my place to say. I just need a list.

Looking ahead: The Summer-Fall reading bookstack.
Looking ahead: The Summer-Fall reading bookstack.
So humans, what say you? What books (& other media -- yes, yes, we have films, audio lectures, instructional videos, etc.) would you suggest? We currently have just over 200 books & other media. It's a bit heavy on the Wicca, but I would say that is par for the course. What do you think is a must-have, a standard, an essential? What titles have influenced you personally the most? Which qualify among your most "needful things"? If you're shy, make up a name, post anonymously, or email me. It doesn't matter.There is no limit here & there are no rules. Two or twenty. Fierce or fluffy. Weird, wicked, wonderful, I'll take them all. 

Goodness, I seem to have forgotten my manners. Please. And thank you.


Nestis said...

I know the library has some of these books already, and this list is not in any semblance of order, but here is mine :)

1. The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley
2. 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley
3. The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema by Lon Milo DuQuette
4. Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette
5. The Woman Magician: Revisioning Western Metaphysics from a Woman’s Perspective and Experience by Brandy Williams
6. Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock by Ida Craddock & Vere Chappell
7. Women of the Golden Dawn: Rebels and Priestesses by Mary K. Greer
8. The Metamorphoses of Ovid translated by Allen Mandelbaum
9. The Dionysiaca by Nonnos
10. The Bacchae by Euripides
11. Medea by Euripides
12. The Gods of the Greeks by Karl Kerenyi
13. Theogony/Works and Days by Hesiod
14. The Homeric Hymns
15. The Orphic Hymns
16. Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored by Sarah Kate Istra Winter
17. The Balance of the Two Lands: Writings on Greco-Egyptian Polytheism by H. Jeremiah Lewis
18. Bast: Cat Goddess of Ancient Egypt by Linda Iles
19. Dragontime: Magic and Mystery of Menstruation by Luisa Francia
20. The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries by Zsuzsanna Budapest
21. Greek Religion by Walter Burkert
22. Dionysos: Myth and Cult by Walter F. Otto
23. Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many by Erik Hornung and John Baines
24. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson
25. The Oxford Dictionary of Classical Myth and Religion by Simon Price and Emily Kearns
26. Liber Astarte by Aleister Crowley
27. Yoga for Magick by Nancy Wasserman
28. Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches by Charles Godfrey Leland
29. The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche
30. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
31. Sappho's Lyre: Archaic Lyric and Women Poets of Ancient Greece by Diane Rayor and W.R. Johnson
32. God Against the Gods: A History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism by Jonathan Kirsch
33. The Maiden with the Mead: A Goddess of Initiation Rituals in Old Norse Mythology by Maria Kvilhaug
34. Mythology by Edith Hamilton
35. Ariadne's Thread: A Workbook of Goddess Magic by Shekhinah Mountainwater
36. The Holy Books of Thelema by Aleister Crowley

Nestis said...

37. Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer by Diane Wolkstein
38. Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna by Betty De Shong Meador
39. The Epic of Gilgamesh
40. The Encomium of Helen by Gorgias

Heather said...

I adore book lists, so I was excited to see this post here today. I read very few specifically pagan books, but these are some of the books that have offered inspiration and guidance on my spiritual path (and if you want to round out your library with a few other topics that may be of interest):

- countless field guides to local creatures
- both of David Abram's excellent books: The Spell of the Sensuous and Becoming Animal
- poems by Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, W.B. Yeats, William Blake
- The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer and The Mysteries of Druidry by Brendan Myers
- A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place by Hannah Hinchman
- Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry by Jane Hirshfield - a collection of essays
- the Tao Te Ching
- Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin - a curious mix of fiction, poetry, speculative non-fiction, and recipes about a people who live in an unspecified future in what is now California. I have always found it inspiring as an example of an earth-centred, spiritual community.
- Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Moma Fauna said...

Thank you SO much for the thoughtful, extensive list! This is the kind of input I need.

From this assemblage, we have but a scant few:
6. Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock by Ida Craddock & Vere Chappell
13. Theogony by Hesiod
27. Yoga for Magick by Nancy Wasserman
30. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Interestingly, we do not yet have a copy of the Book of the Law or Aradia, both of which are pretty significant works. However, they were both on my mental list already. There are some of Crowley's works in the library including a large compendium which may or may not include some of the works you cited above. There is only one book relating to Kemeticism at all & the books relating to Hellenisimos are sparse.

Moma Fauna said...

Ha, you & I are on the same wavelength re: field guides -- that has definitely been on my mind.

I donated both The Spell of the Sensuous and Becoming Animal, although I confess I have yet to read them b/c I have a phobia about reading anything about animism proper. If & when I actually get over that, I will begin with them.

I was advised to pick up Greer's Druidry book if I see it.
No Graham Harvey? Not that I have read that either, but, what gives?

As for the rest, thank you for sharing! I really like seeing the titles people find inspirational, especially when they are not "specifically pagan books." It shows, IMHO, a certain ability to synthesize which one does not always see among spiritual seekers. I am certain you have encountered your fair share of by the "book" purists who won't incorporate an idea or value if it isn't written by Llewellyn.

Heather Awen said...

So funny, I just updating my reading list!!! Today! Then came to read your blog! Here is the link:

Moma Fauna said...

What is also funny is that after you posted the above list, I was handed another box of books. In it was The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer.

Nice list btw. ;)

Heather said...

I'm pretty sure I have a couple of Graham Harvey's books on my massive "to read" list - along with about 6 pages of other titles, so it may be a while before I get around to locating and reading those particular ones!

Anonymous said...

The Candle and the Crossroads by Orion Foxwood
Staubs and Ditchwater by Byron Ballard

Don't worry, these aren't some Wicca 101 light-a-candle-and-say-something-that-rhymes book. Both of these books are written by very down to earth folks who really are drawing from their own heritage and still have something very universal and very clear to share.

Moma Fauna said...

Ooooh. Thank you!
Those look like books I would purchase for myself. ;)

Kourtney said...

Sorry, I don't have a list... but this is an amazing idea and I LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing it with the PPBH!

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