Thursday, November 12th, 2015

jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
This book, by a woman in her 30s, has been getting rave reviews from various library review publications, but rather lousy ones from the Pagan community and for good reason. The following is my public (aka: please link or share if you find it useful or know people who would) commentary on it.

Alex Mar is known in the Pagan community for having created the American Mystics documentary that came out in 2010, during which she met a number of people in the Pagan community (one of the three people focused on in the documentary was Morpheus Ravenna, who is also substantially present in this book)

I cannot recommend this book for any part of its presumed audience (seekers, people interested in witchcraft, people interested in spiritual memoirs.) The following is an extended summary of why.

(I am hosting this on my Dreamwidth account for a variety of reasons, including that I'm going to be travelling next week, and this is a much easier space for me to moderate while on mobile devices. You can find my more visible Pagan presence at Limen: Thoughts from a Threshold and Seeking. More notes about commenting at the bottom. Both include comment forms if you want to write to me privately.)

Disclaimers


I know one person briefly mentioned in this book extremely well (we've been friends for decades and regularly discuss religion, witchcraft, magic, and other related topics). I know a couple of other people even more briefly mentioned slightly. I know other people (not mentioned or described in the book) who were at several of the events described somewhere between slightly and moderately well.

My training also comes from an initiatory religious witchcraft line which takes confidentiality and privacy very seriously (as many initiatory trads do), and my comments are going to talk about the issues of revealing personal details, ritual details, and some other related material without actually spelling it out here, because I take other people's private, personal, and/or emotionally intimate material more seriously than Alex Mar does.

My summary of the book )
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