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Paganism in Depth: A Polytheist Approach,John Beckett, Llewellyn Publications. Quite a few magical practitioners, after years of study and practice, find themselves in a dreaded rut where many of their previous rites and rituals feel somewhat hollow. When the spirit lags and the words and gesticulations feel more chore than revel or revelation, it is best to seek inspiration from those who have trod the winding pathways for decades. In this vein, Paganism in Depth is one of those tomes which comes along breathing life into our Old Ways from the point of view of a veteran practitioner, reminding us of the infinite sources of inspiration which surround us.
A heavy amount of this book is dedicated to devotional practices toward one’s chosen deities, and the wild, glorious aspects of nature they represent. Perhaps it may merely be an Emerson quote or two found within, but there is much about the profound joy of experiencing nature in this book which brings to mind the work of the Transcendentalists or naturalists like John Muir. There is an unpretentious love of the untamed places and the Ancient Gods that radiates throughout this surprisingly practical and back-to-basics manual of adoration and verdant sorcery. Thus, when Beckett says his practice rests on a “foundation of mighty ancestors,” one can feel it in their bones.
A mature and informed look at Pagan practices, Paganism in Depth delves into the deeply healing and transformative nature of rites and rituals furthering a union with the Gods. Ultimately it is a dedicant’s ideal workbook with a poetic soul at its heart.