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Paganism and the New Age

By Jason Mankey

Much of my Pagan practice comes from books. My first three years as a Pagan were spent as a solitary and in order to learn as much as I could I read as much as I could. Those first Pagan steps were all taken in the smallish town of Cape Girardeau Missouri where my book options were limited. For much of my time in Cape I was limited to two bookstores, one small independent store within walking distance, and a WaldenBooks at the local mall. At both stores books on Paganism were shelved in the “New Age” section, a tradition that continues today at booksellers like Barnes and Noble.

Both stores had a pretty limited amount of Pagan books and I exhausted their inventory of Pagan and Witch titles quite quickly. Still desperate to read anything that might be associated with Paganism I moved onto several general “New Age” titles, an enterprise that had varying results. Some of those books were indispensable in my development as a Witch. Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization was a Goddess-send, and helped me to develop a very solid magical foundation. Other titles in the genre weren’t helpful at all, it was truly a mixed bag.

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