Happy One-Year Anniversary!

Well, here it is, the one year anniversary of Pagan Book Reviews! A year ago I started this blog partly as a way to have the fun of Bargain Bin Book Reviews, and partly as an archive for reviews of other books I’ve read. Since then, this blog:

–Has 143 posts, 138 of which are reviews, and 57 categories, only one of which is not review-related
–Has been viewed 20,360 times
–Had 279 views on its best-ever day, November 19, 2007, on which The Sacred Paw was the most-viewed entry at 50 views (not including people hitting the main site)
–Had 104 legitimate comments (some of which are my replies) and apparently been protected from 3,498 spam comments
–Is the fourth entry on the first page of Google search results for “pagan book reviews”

The very first review posted was Animal Magick by D.J. Conway. The most recent review posted was this month’s BBBR, Mystical Dogs by Jean Houston (which I didn’t crosspost to my usual places til today–so go look at it, it’s new!).

I honestly didn’t expect the blog to take off the way that it did, but I’m happy it did. I am a book geek (or bibliophile, if you want the fancy word), and with three hours of commuting a day, I get a lot of reading in. I’ve also been able to utilize a lot of the information I’d read. Here are just a few of the most personally influential books I’ve read (for the first time) in the past year:

Magical Ritual Methods by William G. Gray – taught me a LOT about the mechanics of magic, and confirmed some things I’d already been doing
The Spirit of Shamanism by Roger Walsh – this gave me some excellent food for thought (and practice) with regards to the psychological end of shamanic practice
Borrowed Power edited by Ziff and Rao – clarified some ideas on cultural appropriation, and introduced me to some new concepts, as well as inspired me to compile an anthology
The Sacred Paw by Shepard and Sanders – reminded me a lot of the sacredness of ritual and mindfulness of nature
The Way of the Animal Powers, Part 1 by Joseph Campbell – gave me some more material on Campbell’s mythological interpretation of paleolithic artifacts, which colors my personal spirituality quite a bit
Animals and Psychdelics by Giorgio Samorini – sparked some experimentation with legal mind-altering substances (including caffeine and alcohol, neither of which I partake in on a regular basis) and totem animals
The Earth Path by Starhawk – an excellent, mindblowing text on being conscious of our connection to nature, as well as our impact, from a spiritual-magical as well as practical perspective
The Oracle of the Bones – I’ve started using this system of bonecasting divination

Others that I also found quite interesting, though I didn’t integrate as much of their material into my practice as some others:

Dark Moon Rising by Raven Kaldera – BDSM sex magic, the ordeal path, and a nice variety of perspectives
Rites of Pleasure by Jennifer Hunter – a broader look at sex magic, and a lot of fun!
Gift of the Dreamtime by S. Kelley Harrell – one of the few first-hand shamanic testimonies I really liked, and a good illustration of shamanizing at work
Animal Messages by Susie Green – if I were to ever replace my Animal-Wise deck, this would be the one I’d use
The Haitian Vodou Handbook by Kenaz Filan – While I’m not an adherent of Voodoo/Vodou, it is a religion I’m interested in, and I really liked this text on it
The Witches’ Sabbats by Mike Nichols – this one contributed to my desire to celebrate regularly again
The Power of Animals by Brian Morris – a good in-depth study of one culture’s relationship to animals
The Oak King, the Holly King and the Unicorn by John Williamson – A fascinating exploration of the medieval Unicorn Tapestries and their symbolism

However, I highly recommend all my reviews 😉

So here’s to another year of reviews! Thank you for those who have sent me books to review, thank you to people to alerted me to great reads they’d read, and thank you to all the folks who have found these reviews helpful. It’s been my pleasure, and I intend to keep it up for a good long while!

–Lupa

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