Saturday, January 1, 2011
Book Review - Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler
Margot Adler’s book Drawing Down the Moon is not a book to be taken lightly, nor is it a “quick” read. Rather, this book is one of the better “behind the scenes” with regards to the Pagan community in North America. Within these pages, Adler tells in an unbiased and highly informative way the stories, myths, practices and everyday living of those who fall under the Pagan description: Witches and Wiccans, Goddess worshippers, Druids and others. She tells their stories and how their lives are not different than others living in this country, for they too hold down jobs, are married, in relationships or single and pay bills while honouring long ago traditions that continue to this day. These are the ones who listen to Nature and understand the Earth’s needs; they work within their realms and discover that magick is alive and well. Each person interviewed tells of their own discovery of the God and Goddess, or that Nature had a voice, or that the gods of olde still do walk the earth but under a different guise.
While reading this book, I thought of my own path and my own spirituality with the lessons learned along the way. Through the course of my studies, I now have a very open mind. I have learned a great deal from talking to people and in books I have read through the years and accumulated over time, like a quilt made from patches of material. It is not the pieces that are of concern, but merely the end result as to what becomes of them. These people have their own path to follow, different than others but the end is the same: seeking of life’s enrichment and a fuller understanding of the world they live in. Pagans have come to view magick in its many forms as simply applying all senses to a situation and then using said senses to the fullest extent. With so many distractions in the world today, it is hard for a person to simply settle their mind into a place of stillness and calming flow. To the Pagan, understanding that we are a part of Nature and of the Earth while respecting such a connection brings that desired stillness and calm to the body, mind and soul.
One part of the book I found to be interesting was how so many people still think that Pagans are nothing more than devil worshippers, drinking the blood of babies and partaking in ritual human sacrifices. There is a distinct difference between a Pagan and a Satanist; unfortunately, people still place the two groups together as one. Then, there are those who think that Witchcraft/ Wicca is nothing more than people trying to escape from reality, forever living in a fantasy world with no mundane responsibilities. Druids are nothing more than tree hugging hippies; Pagans are lazy good for nothings who claim to love Nature while not being productive citizens. Paganism is nothing more than imagination carried out to an extreme and that the gods never did exist; or, Paganism was nothing more than a fabricated lie created by the Catholic Church so as to ignite the flames of the Inquisition. These thoughts boiled down to – Fear comes from not understanding. To quote the book DUNE, Fear is the mind killer. As with all religions, Paganism does not claim to be THE Path, but a Path. All religions are paths, each in their own way seeking a Truth that is similar to an extent. Drawing Down the Moon shows us a world that lies right under our noses and yet works in synch with all of the other parts that create the Whole. No matter your background, we are all children of the Earth.