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Sunday, February 26

Research Has Begun!

For those who don't know me, and for those whose only idea of me is formed from my skimpy profile, I am pursuing a career in writing. I have a fictional novel that I work on every now and then, but I am currently consumed in a non-fiction/academic project. My desire is to write a comprehensive book for Pagan parents filled with tips, tricks and projects for teaching faith to their children. In the House of Mama Stacey it's been nicknamed "Circle Round 2.0".

Why?

Well, aside from being a Pagan parent myself, I have had an academic interest in the subject of children and Paganism for many years. I will graduate from university at the end of this year and, backed up by a B.A., finally be able to flex my Anthropological muscle. I suppose I could be classified a cultural anthropologist, but my focus is in the sphere of Pagan childhood.

One of my first steps was to see what materials were really out there for Pagan parents today. I started with books. I had a few tomes already in my collection, including standards like Circle Round and Family Wicca. I even dug in storage to find my copy of Amber K's out-of-print and sorely missed Pagan Activity Book for kids. [I believe it is available for sale from the SpiralScouts organization these days, but in a less glamorous binding - not that kids care about that!]



A search on Amazon showed me just how little there really was out there. I built myself a wishlist but sadly there were only 30 or so books on it. I sent for as many as were available and over the last month they've trickled in through the mailbox. My list is not complete yet as a few books are unavailable save for on the Kindle [which I hope to have by year's end].


My research goal is to read every single Pagan-based book focused on children or families and offer reviews here while I continue towards my own publication. If you know of any book I should read while doing this research, by all means drop the name into the comments section below.

For others interested in this same subject or other Pagan studies, I invite you to check out academic articles as a supplement to the instructional books and almanacs found at most bookstores. Articles I have enjoyed include:

"Paganistan: The emergence and persistence of a Pagan community in Minnesota's Twin Cities" by Murphy Pizza

"Don't Eat the Incense: Children's Participation in a Contemporary Pagan Practice" by Zohreh Kermani

I've also been a fan of Helen Berger lately as she's just as curious as I am, but a good 15 years ahead of me. There are a lot of really good articles that have been written in the past decade and the study of Pagan peoples in general is a growing trend in Anthropology/Sociology to the point that a new peer-reviewed academic journal has surfaced, called Pomegranate.


It is based out of the UK, and is a little pricey at $84 for 2 issues per year, but I'm crossing my fingers that an electronic subscription will be much less expensive. Chas S. Clifton, the editor of this publication and a long standing ethnographer of Pagan studies, has a blog that may be of interest to other Pagan scholars.