Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review of Pagan Generation; A Young Person's Guide to Paganism

This review is part of the Read Along with the Witchipedia event for March 2013

Pagan Generation: A Young Person's Guide to Paganism by Luthaneal Adams is a guide for young Pagan seekers new to Paganism who have not yet found their path. It offers guidance for navigating the Pagan community and an overview of several Pagan paths including Kemetic Paganism, Hellenismos, Druidry, Heathenry and, of course, Wicca. The overviews are pretty good, though they are very British in focus and the magical community in the US are quite different from that in Europe. For instance, the Druidry section had me quite confused, as I have spent some time with Druids myself, until I realized he was talking about the British Druidic organizations, about which I am unfamiliar. He did mention American Druidry in passing and provided contact information for both British and American Druid organizations. I don't fault him for this since if I were writing about Druidry, my writing would most certainly be skewed toward the American version. There are other mildly confusing Britishisms in there too. He keeps telling you to bring a torch. I know he means a flashlight, but I keep imagining teenagers running through the woods with flaming sticks and thinking what a bad idea that is. Again, I can't fault him for this as he's only speaking his native language.

There were some other problems that made me say "hmmm". While most of the book seemed well-written in simple, conversational style, there were whole sections that were grammatical nightmares. It was as if the editor skipped a few pages here and there. This wasn't as annoying as the fact that the "general" information was very skewed toward Wicca. This just annoys me because that is my biggest pet peeve. Every time anyone "generalizes" about Paganism it's skewed toward Wicca... so I it's probably actually a point in this book's favor since it's reflects the way things are.

That all being said, this is a good book that fills a niche that I think really needed filling. I learned something from reading it about Pagan paths I'm not overly familiar with and I have been around a block or two. I would definitely recommend this book to a young person, or any person, who is new to and exploring the Pagan community. This book is useful even if you aren't looking for a new path because it offers information about the various paths within the community and if you're going to be social at all, it is very helpful to know a bit about the other folks as well.