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fizzyclare1

Twaddle Spotting - spotting b*llsh*t in books

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Guest SphereStrider
The good book? 

 

Ah! That would be the Book of Revelations! 

 

 

 

 

:)

 

 

- SphereStrider

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fizzyclare1

yup, earth wisdom, interesting read, but it does reflect an activist, almost political mindset. strongly environmental feel to it. but definitely worth a read. there were some parts I found difficult to swallow though

 

fizz

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Guest Mothy

yeah, in the middle of reading it atm.

jus try to gloss over the politics and its a pretty good read

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Guest Kristofski

I would say anything that says "this is what witches/wiccans believe/do, and if you want to be a witch/wiccan you should believe/do it too", without explaining why they believe and do the things they do.

 

I found this attitude in most of the books I looked at when I was starting getting into paganism, most of all I couldn't get my head round the whole goddes and god thing. I know it's supposed to be about equality and balance and stuff, but why put gender on deity in the first place? It was only recently when I read The Spiral Dance by Starhawk that it made sense to me. Again, it's very political (she's a hardcore activist type), but that works well for me and you can probably gloss over those bits if they bother you :o_rainbow:

 

xx

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Guest Cymraes

I have come find, that there is a large amount of, what I shall call, deliberate misinformation, in serious witchcraft and occult books, and not just the modern ones... the reason for this is simple if you equate it with a child playing with matches...

 

Some books are read and quoted from again and again, until the quote ends up in the mainstream, regardless of whether it is a mis-fact or not. And so it goes on... at least thats my experience!

 

My advice? Read the originals when you can. Many are now out of copyright and can be found on the internet for free download, or on sites such as Sacred Texts. The more we read the better we understand... so much of the modern stuff is just recent recycled stuff anyway... in reality, all we need is in us... all our 'tools', if we really need them (?) is in nature... after all, the Wise Woman/Cunning Man of old could not 'afford' any tool that could be used against them if a member of the church came round a calling and accidentally saw their tools of the craft! Hence the cauldron was the cooking pot...

 

Far more truths are to be found in the Folk Lore of these isles, than in the latest edition of most new shiny paperback... tho' there are many exceptions, but you have to look for them, and it helps if you can, to get to know the authors too!

 

Somethings just aint put out there in the public eye... and there are plenty of people more than willing to make themselves rich of unsuspecting folks too. You will know the 'real thing' when no money chances hands... a rare thing these days of the Gods of the Cash Tills! So keep on looking!

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Samhainmooncat

I know this is an old topic, but it's such a good one I couldn't resist commenting! :D

 

I do believe that there is something good (however small) in most books - but only if you have the time and patience to spend a good part of your day/week/year/life wading through the rubbish...

 

My warning signs are:

  • Books that are written by people with made up, ridiculous names.
  • Books that tell you in the blurb that they'll teach you how to meet your spirit guide in 5 easy minutes, become a fully-fledged witch in seven days (or some defined period of time), become best pals with "the Goddess" and "the God", recall past lives in which you were a powerful magical worker, and solve all life's little problems with these handy ready made spells.
  • Books that use falsely archaic language, and basically sound up their own arse. Or books that are trying so hard to sound "hip" and "with it" they just sound stupid.
  • Books that imply everybody who does magic ("magick") lives by the law of three, has past lives, should worry about whether the moon is in Virgo or not, needs a magickal name that can be picked by numerology or will be revealed to you specially by THE GODDESS if you just do this little visualization exercise, meditates all the time, leaves their crystals out to "charge" on a full moon, celebrates the wheel of the year which is all about the pre-Christian beliefs in the Oak King and the Holly King.
  • Bluntly: books by Llewellyn, Silver Raven Wolf, Buckland, Cunningham, Selene Silverwind, Melusine Draco. Ann Moura's "Green Witchcraft", Doreen Valiente's "Natural Magic"
  • Books whose reviews or blurbs state things like "Lof important information is revealed here but the modern student of magic must be warned that Levi left many intentional blinds and red herrings in this work." Yes, that is an actual review. Sounds more like "he wrote a lot of good mixed in with a lot of made up shit." But maybe that's just me.
  • Books which are "the main textbook for the American Academy of Witchcraft" or some similar organization.
  • Books that talk about "the old gods" and "the ancients".
  • If you're paying £20 for a book which is only 150 odd pages. Not a hard and fast rule, I just like to get a good number of pages for my money.

 

Of course, these are all just my personal opinion and probably guided an awful lot by my own path.

 

As for books I think are worth reading? Generally books that are the opposites of the above, obviously! Written by people with sensible names, who talk about how "some people" believe things or "it could be considered that" and don't pretend to be "complete" or speak for everyone.

 

More specifically: "Call of the Horned Piper" by Nigel Jackson, "Craft of the Wise" by Vikki Bramshaw, "A Deed Without A Name" by Lee Morgan. The original myths of the different cultures (Virgil's "The Aeneid", Hesiod's "Theogony", Sturluson's "Eddas" and so on). Crowley's writings, Gardner's writings. And so on :)

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Isrith

You commenting on this topic SMC made it pop up on the list, so I've just enjoyed reading it too. It brought back many happy memories of indignant snorts and chuckles had whilst perusing twaddle with friends at bookstores. I haven't done that in ages - may have to now! Lol ;D

Sent from my mobile via Tapatalk

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Guest Nerdanel

Since this topic has been resurrected; and I have rather enjoyed reading all the comments, I thought I would include my own literary annoyances.

 

IMHO:

Anything expelled by Silver RavenWolf. (Aarrgghh!)

Raymond Buckland I find almost equally as irritating...almost.

Additionally, anything authored by any other person with a ridiculous name. (See #1)

Anything that says or implies that massive numbers of "witches" were put to death during "the burning times".

Anything that says or implies that wicca is an ancient religion.

Anything that states that the term "book of shadows" is derived from the practice of hiding spell books during the aforementioned "burning times". . (I'm constantly amazed by the number of wiccans that do not know the origins of wicca and/or it's terminology when I, as not a wiccan, know it. Honestly, I blame this on poorly written and researched books of this exact sort.)

Anything that quotes or is heavily underpinned by the flawed theories of Margaret Murray.

/MHO

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Fallon

Ooh, good topic! :o_roflmao:

 

I'd say that an unfortunately large proportion of pagan books I've read are twaddle-tastic. To echo many others, Silver Ravenwolf is one of the biggies - I read one of hers when I was about 17, and I remember her saying that nine million 'witches' were murdered by christians in 'the burning times'. Never forget. *facepalm* However, she's not actually insane like a lot of them seem to be - for example Laurie Cabot. That woman is one sandwich short of a picnic. I read one of her books and just... dear me. She moved to Salem and opened a shop there, so she could be the official witch of Salem. What Salem has to do with ACTUAL paganism...? She's cashing in on it basically.

 

Moving on, any author with a twinkly, magical made up name. I actually like a couple of books by Rachel Patterson, but balked when I learned that she also writes by the name 'Tansy Firedragon'. Urghhh...

 

Lastly, and this might not be a widely shared opinion, but the whole celtic bandwagon. It's just so overdone and overly romanticised. The celts were hairy, violent, warlike people who used to beat the crap out of each other's tribes (and happened to make good jewellery), not elegant, white-robed elfin folk wandering through woods plucking at harps. And they sure didn't build Stonehenge! :D

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Isrith

Hahaha! Thanks for a good chuckle this morning, Fallon :) As for Laurie Cabot, well, yeah. . . enough said ;)

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Wodeborn

Lastly, and this might not be a widely shared opinion, but the whole celtic bandwagon. It's just so overdone and overly romanticised. The celts were hairy, violent, warlike people who used to beat the crap out of each other's tribes (and happened to make good jewellery), not elegant, white-robed elfin folk wandering through woods plucking at harps. And they sure didn't build Stonehenge! :D

 

Hoorah 10/10 and a gold Star

 

we do know that in the Iron Age there was a general veneration for water, especially deep still pools which seem to be an entry into the other world....therefore the threefold death and the bog body and the many offerings from such places....but also they had a veneration for things of both the land and the water Otters and Beavers for instance...and seem to have had a proscription on eating Fish (something of the otherworld)

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Ember Autumn Rose

:lol: I always love to re-read this thread to cheer myself up, or have a good giggle at people's similar attitudes to my own about books :lol:

 

I also have to admit.. when first starting my path.. I bought/was gifted some of these titles... :o_bolt: :o_thwak:

Edited by Ember Autumn Rose

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Ellinas

Hmm... Not actually read this thread before. Looks entertaining.

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ShadowWalker

Ah. Research is key here! This is why being a massive cynic and fussy bastard can help. Call me what you like, but I do like to read up about a book and it's author if I intend on reading it and don't know whether I should trust it or not.

 

I do go on recommendations though, so there are exceptions...

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Ellinas

Even rubbish can be instructive - as long as one recognizes its' essential quality.

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Veggie dancer

What is it with the dream interpretting books people seem want to give me? I do think there is something in dream interpretaion, I think we can learn about our state of mind and subconcious thoughts and feelings through paying attention to dreams but who on earth believes things like if you dream about hedgehogs that means you will be about to find something valuable (just made that one up but they are full of things just as silly.)

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Ember Autumn Rose

What is it with the dream interpretting books people seem want to give me? I do think there is something in dream interpretaion, I think we can learn about our state of mind and subconcious thoughts and feelings through paying attention to dreams but who on earth believes things like if you dream about hedgehogs that means you will be about to find something valuable (just made that one up but they are full of things just as silly.)

 

I do think that there is something in dream interpretation too, but I also think that one book isn't going to give you the answers - a lot of what they write is a load of drivel. For example, if you dream of your mother you're craving nurturing, affection...yada yada (not sure if that's what they say?). What if your mum is a right cow? What if she is abusive? If that kind of figure appeared in someone's dream, they're going to have a VERY different interpretation. Not sure if what I wrote makes sense... sorry :)

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Ellinas

The best interpretation of your own dreams is in your own mind. Run through the events in meditation and ask the characters what they are up to.

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