Friday 8 January 2016

Review: Pagan Planet: Being, Believing, Belonging

Pagan Planet: Being, Believing and Belonging in the 21st Century is a community book, written by pagans from diverse traditions about being a pagan in the world today. But this isn't so much about how to perform rituals as how individual pagans choose to interact with the planet and the people around them.

Published by Moon Books and edited by renowned pagan author Nimue Brown, the contributors to the anthology were drawn from already published Moon Books authors and from the wider pagan community. It consists of individual essays, each offering a unique, personal and often passionate view of how pagans are trying to make the world a better place - or simply trying to live their lives while adhering to pagan principles.

Many of the essays are from environmental, social or political activists. I particularly enjoyed the chapter Wild Sistas by Edwina Hodkinson, about herbalists setting up a free healing clinic at the anti-fracking camp at Barton Moss, Salford.

Another chapter was close to my own heart - Living Ancestors – Honouring the Not Yet Dead by Jo Ashbeth Coffey. This shows the importance of spending time with family members while they are alive. In my experience, some pagans tend to revere the ancestors in an abstract sense and spend more time contemplating the ancient dead than chatting to their own elderly aunts, uncles or grandparents. I was the full-time carer for my mother in her last few years up to her death, and I often had to explain to other witches that I couldn't always get to pagan events because looking after my mother was my first priority.

I'm sure many will identify with Finding Time for Paganism by Sindy Leah Coumes Fitz. This is about how to fit pagan rituals into a busy life when you are working, keeping a house and being a parent. It is about saying spells while doing the chores if you don't have time for a full-on ritual - or simply visualising the ritual in your head. I have to say I frequently practise mindfulness while commuting by train to work and use time spent walking to cast spells; silently going through the words to the rhythm of my steps.

Publisher Moon Books says about Pagan Planet:
What does it mean to live as a Pagan in this uncertain world of climate change, economic hardship and worldwide social injustice? What does it mean to hold nature as sacred when ravaging the land is commonplace? How do we live our Paganism in our families and homes, our communities and countries? Pagans are stepping up in all kinds of ways. This is a Moon Books community project, sharing the energy and inspiration of people who are making a difference at whatever level makes sense to them. This is a book of grass-roots energy, of walking your talk and the tales of people who are, by a vast array of means, engaged with being the change they wish to see in the world.
I found Pagan Planet to be thought-provoking and also practical. It is a book to read from cover to cover, then dip into for inspiration on how to make your mark as a pagan on the planet we share.

Nimue Brown looks after the Moon Books blog and works on promoting Moon Books titles as well as having written books including Druidry and the Ancestors, Pagan Dreaming and When a Pagan Prays.

You can order Pagan Planet: Being, Believing and Belonging in the 21Centuryvia Amazon.

Links and previous related posts:
Pagan Planet: Being, Believing and Belonging in the 21Century

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