24 September, 2013

Autumnal Musings

Hey, Readers,

Yesterday, I composed this Tweet:

As hectic as life can be, and as much as sometimes we may really just need a break from it all, I find that I am also extremely comforted by the fact that everything does just keep on going. The days that are hard do not last, but are replaced by new days with the potential to be entirely different. The days that are good also keep on going. No matter what happens, for better or worse, no one can interrupt the cycle of Nature and all that is. Yesterday, I found that thought to be very helpful. I have been having so much fun lately, relaxing and enjoying being away and in another world entirely (Re: my work at medieval and renaissance faires), and I've also been overwhelmed by all that needs doing back at home and online and in my "real world" life. The people who help us, the people who hinder us, none of them can stop the turning of the wheel. No matter what happens, the wheel will turn, the next day will come, the holy days will wax and wane, and we will grow and move onward. Hopefully we also move forward as a whole. But either way, we move, we celebrate, we sing and dance, we live.

And the wheel turns.


08 September, 2013

Pagan Library Books

Hey, Readers,

In July, I visited a library in a large town--not a city, but a fairly big college town--and was dismayed with the selection of pagan books. When using the computer database to search for keywords, very few things came up when I searched "Wicca" or "Paganism," and none of the titles that came up were available at that library. They also weren't things I had heard of, except for one, which I did end up reading later because my friend happened to have a copy, but that's another book review entirely. Anyway, that library did turn out to have a couple really good pagan books once I looked in person, including Triumph of the Moon and Drawing Down the Moon. They also had some interesting books I hadn't heard of yet. I was confused as to why I couldn't find those titles with the searches I had conducted on the computer; If they didn't come up under "pagan," "paganism," "witchcraft," and so on, then how could people expect to find them?

I think I've stumbled upon an answer to that question in the days since that library visit. For one, I looked at some of the books in the Paganism section at my half price bookstore, and then earlier this week I visited another library to check out what kinds of books they had on pagan paths. Basically, what I discovered is that there are quite a few books that pagans would find interesting at libraries, but unlike at the bookstore where they're on the "New Age" or "Paganism" shelves, books that libraries choose may have sneaky classifications.

As Above, So Below: Paths to
Spiritual Renewal in Daily Life
At the bookstore, I came across this title and chuckled to myself at the way it was classified on the back. Some books have keywords or topics listed in a corner of the back cover, and this one said something like "Body, Mind & Spirit / Psychology," things which are clearly related to pagan spirituality and in a book which touches on it, but not listed as a "Pagan" book. (It was, however, on the cart of new books for the Religion/New Age section of the bookstore.) Of course pagans do not only read "pagan" books, but more and more I started noticing that some books which ARE obviously pagan or specifically about paganism, are still not listed as "Pagan." Here are some more examples from this past week at the library, when I was paying more attention and specifically thinking to take photos and remember how some things were classified.

Before I get to the books, let's take a moment to remind ourselves of what we have to work with. This is what the "Religion" section in a library consists of. The 200s are Religion, in general. The 210s cover philosophy and theory thereof, and the 290s are "Other Religions." The 220s through 280s are all various topics about the Bible and Christianity. So right away, we're all in the severe minority for resources. The 290s are for ALL other religions, and there are a lot of them.