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Book Review – Paganism in Depth: A Polytheistic Approach by John Beckett

June, 2019

Book Review
Paganism in Depth
A Polytheistic Approach
by John Beckett

Let me begin this review by saying that John Beckett is a down-to-earth and genuinely unassuming and likable man. And, he also is committed to his path of Druidry, but not at the expense of also being very thoughtful and receptive to many of the other paths that fall under the umbrella of polytheism. These statements alone, in my opinion, make his writing all that more interesting because you can distinguish the underpinnings of a sound personal practice that allows for exploration of “what could be”.

Paganism
in Depth
is separated into three
Parts: Part 1-Foundations; Part
2-Practice; and Part 3-Challenges.

Each offers a very thorough and as the title suggests comprehensive
discourse on the nature of paganism in its multitude of expressions.
The Introduction contained as a section of Part 1 provides the reader
with John’s experiences as he moved through the hunger that many
new pagans feel upon finding out that there is a different type of
spirituality that asks much of its seekers and integrates the
natural, mundane and spiritual worlds. We are reminded from the
beginning that going deeper into the path we are exploring or have
committed to requires much from us, but that the rewards are well
worth the efforts.

Reading through Paganism In Depth is much like having a conversation with an old friend. You may think you know lots about the individual and then they surprise you with something new and unexpected. This alone changes the dynamics between you and the dialogue opens, your mind begins to process and questions arise that set you on a path of wanting to know more. And, all the while this interaction is being done in a very gentle way that feels neither threatening nor invasive of what you already believe to be true.

By
and far my reading was Chapter 5:
I like It Here-Why Do I Have to Leave?

This chapter spoke to the nature of settling in and at times simply
“just settling” when the experience could be so much more had we
just reached a little further beyond our comfort zone. John asks the
reader to learn to trust their experiences, and use this as an
opening for deeper connection to Deity, the magick and all that
comprises your chosen path…

….
Learning to trust your senses is an act of will. And like so many
other parts of ourselves, the will is strengthened by exercise.”….

Supporting
this concept of will as needing exercise, Chapter
6: Devotional Practice
is the
first statement of devotional practice beginning with a choice
(will): a Deity to worship. How we proceed from that choice is
integral to how deeply we will ultimately connect with deity at all
levels. Choice of which deity (ies) we select to offer our practice
to is another step that although it may feel or seem very simple, the
angst that surrounds this often holds us back from simply making the
choice to “experience”.

Meditation,
magick, leadership and all of those pieces that construct a whole in
what we choose to call our spiritual practice are given the care of
first hand experience and suggestion of how to improve upon and make
it your own. This style is prominent throughout the book with each
topic being made that much more relevant through the sharing of
John’s personal experiences. This creates a space of community
through common ground and even if the reader disagrees with or has
never had any similar experience, it makes the book readable and
engaging.

This
closing statement in the Epilogue:
An Invitation to a Journey
,
beautifully sums up the entirety of the book and in this case,
perfectly aligns with what John Beckett has accomplished in its
writing…

….
the mission of Paganism in Depth. It’s a guidebook to going deeper
into the forest, higher up the mountain, and further out to sea. It’s
an invitation to join this sacred work, to go where there are no maps
and find your way through careful practice and intuition,,, and then
draw a map for those who come after you.”

Visit the author’s blog: Under the Ancient Oaks

Paganism In Depth: A Polytheist Approach on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Robin
Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She
is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The
Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s
Written in the Stars

Astrology

The
Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry
of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The
Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening
the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A
Year With Gaia on Amazon

The
Eternal Cord

Temple
of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous
Devotions

The
Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A
Collection of Esoteric Writings

The
Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning
the Parts of SELF

The
Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings
on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping
with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights
of Devotion

A
Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings
for the Year

Her
books are available on Amazon
 or
on this website
 and
her Blogs
 can
be found at
Robin
Fennelly
 

Follow
Robin
 on
Instagram & Facebook.