Critical Thinking in Pagan Reading

I stumbled upon what I thought was a very good blog article written by Thoughts from a Threshold.  As someone from an academic background, I agree with many of the points, such as know the author, know the sources, and also whether or not you agree with the content.

Some authors don’t have a lot of published books under their belt, like Thea Sabin, writer of Wicca For Beginners, a great intro to Wicca book in my opinion.  However other authors are quite established and have many books to their name, such as Silver RavenWolf, who is more controversial in the Wicca literary world.  So how many books the author has published isn’t necessarily a guarentee of accuracy, but its always good to know who’s thoughts you are reading.

Also the date of publication can matter.  Anyone who has read books by Gerald Gardner, the Farrars, Raymond Buckland, and even Starhawk and Margot Adler, can notice that style of writing and approach to Wicca is different to more modern authors such as Deborah Blake, Ellen Dugan or Kate West.  But as many pagans before have said, read read read everything you can get your hands on.

I have to say, it does frustrate me when I’m looking for, say, element or colour correpondences, uses of herbs/incence/crystals, even the exact day or spelling of a Sabbat, and I get five different answers depending on my source!  If that’s the case, I usually look at the author/source and also my own gut feeling/what resonates with me, before deciding what I’ll believe.

Wicca and paganism might not have a ‘Bible’, which can frustrate those looking for ‘the one correct answer’.  But I like how people are allowed to have opinions, and different people can take different things away from it.  There is no One True Path.

© A Year And A Day (2012)

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