Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to paganism
The complete idiot's guide to paganism
McColman, Carl.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxii, 362 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
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BP605.N46 M33 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Author Notes

Carl McColman is a metaphysical writer and teacher. He is the author of several books, including The Well-Read Witch: Essential Books for Your Magickal Library, Embracing Jesus and the Goddess, and The Aspiring Mystic. A practitioner of Pagan and Wiccan spirituality since 1990, he is a member of Ar nDraiocht Fein, the largest Neopagan Druid organization in North America, and helped to found a Pagan Druid grove in Atlanta. Carl is a trained meditation instruction, and is the co-founder of the Earth Mystic Circle, a Pagan meditation group that meets twice weekly in the Atlanta area.

Table of Contents

I Pagan Basics
1 Welcome to the Pagan Path. Telltale Signs of a Pagan Personality. What Pagans Are Not. Diversity, Diversity, Diversity. Welcome to the Pagan Adventure
2 All-Natural Ingredients. Pagans Love Nature. Mother Nature Is a Real Goddess! Communing with Nature. Listen and Learn. Taking Care of Mother Earth. The Wilderness Within
3 Please Don't Squeeze the Shaman! Welcome to the World's Oldest Spiritual Path. The Elements of Shamanism. The Teachings of Black Elk. Core Shamanism. Shamanism and Paganism
4 Wicked Good! A Brief History of Wicca. The Elements of Wicca. What Do Wiccans Do? The Romance of Wicca. Wicca as a Form of Paganism
5 The Philosophical Pagans: Druids and Other Revivalist Groups. Popular Conceptions (and Misconceptions) of the Druids. How to Revive an Ancient Religion. The Elements of Druidism. The Druid Contribution. Other Pagan Paths with an Ethnic Orientation
6 Other Pieces of the Pagan Puzzle. Welcome to "The Way". Baby, You Can Drive My Karma. The Way of the Western Mysteries. Science Fiction Paganism. Putting It All Together. A Ritual for Embarking on the Pagan Path
II How to Think Like a Pagan
7 This World, That World, and the Otherworld. A Tale of Two (or More) Worlds: Pagan Cosmology. Understanding the Otherworld. Doorways to the Otherworld. Knock, Knock: Who's There? What Difference Does It Make?
8 Getting to Know the Goddess. There's Always Been a Yin. The History of Mom. The "Phases" of the Goddess. Light and Dark: Two Aspects of the Goddess. A Few Goddesses from Around the World. The Secret Goddess. The Goddess in Nature
9 All About the God. Yang (Yin's Dance Partner). How the Pagan Idea of God Differs from the Monotheist God. My, What Strong Horns You Have! Some Gods from Around the World. The God in Relation to the Goddess. Other Important Roles for the God. The God in Nature
10 A Field Guide to the Spirit World. The Many Varieties of Spirits. Spirits of Land, Sea, and Sky. Ancestors: Those Who Came Before Us. Unicorns, Dragons, and Other Mythical Creatures. Putting It All Together
11 Elementary, My Dear Pagan! Basic Principles of the Elements. Elemental Symbols. Come On, Baby, Light My Fire. Airheads, Unite! Water, Water, Everywhere. Earth (and the Land). Spirit, the Fifth Element. The Magic of the Elements: Weaving the Energies Together
12 Going in Circles. Nature: The Ultimate Teacher. The Summerland: The Ultimate Pagan Vacation Spot. You Reap What You Sow. The Psychology of Reincarnation. The Big Questions
III Ritual
13 The Wheel of the Year. Sabbats and Esbats: Understanding the Two Kinds of Pagan Ritual. The Cycle of the Sun: The Dark Half. The Cycle of the Sun: The Light Half. The Cycles of the Moon. Significance of the 13 Moons
14 Tools for Ritual. What Are Tools, and How Are They Used? Elemental Tools. Other Common Wiccan and Pagan Tools. Tools from Other Traditions. Miscellaneous-and Optional-Ritual Tools. Your Personal Altar. Why Have an Altar? Elements of a Typical Pagan Altar. Consecrating Your Altar and Tools. Practical Issues. The Only Truly Necessary Tool: Your Self!
15 A Basic Ritual. A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Ritual. Round and Round We Go. Creating Sacred Space (Casting the Circle). Invoking the Spirits (Calling the Quarters and the Deities). The Work of the Ritual. Putting Things Back Where They Belong. The Many Faces of Ritual
16 Rites of Passage. A One-Way Trip to a New You! The Mark of an Effective Rite of Passage. The Two Kinds of Transitions. Life Transitions. Spiritual Transitions
IV Magic