The Gods Within by Jean Williams and Zachary Cox

The Gods Within: The Pagan Pathfinders Book of God and Goddess Evocations
Jean M. Williams and Zachary Cox
Moondust Books Ltd., 2008
160 pages

“The Gods Within” is a small booklet including essays and evocations for fifteen deities (mostly Greek and Roman combined into one) as well as a brief exploration of theory behind evocation rituals. It is concise, though not complete, and contains some of the more basic, well-known information on the deities. Some hard polytheists may flinch at the concept of deities existing only as archetypes in our psyches, but the functionality of the evocations, as well as their beauty, are a definite bonus.

In order to evaluate this book of evocations of deities, its historical context should be considered. Most of the evocations in the text were originally published in 1979, and this book adds a few more as well as essays about the processes of evocation and the deities being evoked. Pagan Pathfinders, the group for whom Williams and Cox developed the rituals the evocations were in, stems from the 1970s as well. Therefore, the very short bibliography and complete lack of citations may be partly excused by the age of some of the material—it’s tough to recall what sources you used a few decades back!

It’s advisable to take this book with a grain of salt, and also not take it as your only source material on the deities—especially as beside the eleven Greek/Roman deities, there are only three Egyptian ones and the lone Celtic representative, the Morrigan. Reconstructionists will most likely be able to pick apart the research of the book, and what is offered is nowhere near a complete system—there could have been a lot more room dedicated to the actual system the authors use. However, “The Gods Within” is valuable for the lovely evocations which may be used as-is, or provide inspiration for other writings.

Three and a half pawprints out of five.

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