There is more than just the Internet

    There is so much information available to us about the paths we walk; books, websites, on line schools and social groups.  We live in an age of technology that gives us the ability to have so much information at our fingertips.  We also gobble up every last bit of information we can get our hands on.  We read and read and read.  We absorb like sponges.  We are filled with so much information that sometimes it feels like our brain is going to bust.

    But, how much of that information are we actually processing?  How much do we really understand? How much common sense are we applying to what we are learning?  And how many of us are  IRAB (I read a book) pagans?

    While I spend much of my time wading through the plethora of books that are published each month, I also find myself wondering if people realize that books are not enough.  I also find myself wondering if people realize that websites, e-groups and on line schools only give you a platform from which to expand, that they are not the *end all, be all* of pagan thought and theory.

    I’ve met my fill of *wanna be* witches who feel they read a few books and are now full fledged goddesses of goodness and light.  I’ve met people who have argued the point that Wicca is a monotheistic religion, that the left hand path leads to evil and hell and that there are witches out there who only do good things.  Really, how interesting.

    I have to wonder; where did they get their information from?  What lead them to believe that nonsense?  Then I also remember that I’ve read some books that may have left that impression if not fully understood; the books are not clearly written or openly discussed with the full potential of the information explored.  There are also some very popular authors who write some material of questionable origins.

    There have been so many books that I did not review.  There are some that I’ve reviewed and panned.  I don’t like every book I’ve received and read.  For the most part, there are books that I have started to throw away because they were so ridicules, so stupid, or so way out of this world, yet I stopped.  I’ve put these books on my book shelf, and when asked about them, I hand it to the inquirer and let them judge for themselves.  I’ve had some people come back to me with the comment “oh my goodness”.  I’ve had a couple come back with the comment what a “wonderful” book it was… these people do not usually come back after a while.  There are others who want to know why the publisher put those books out to begin with.  That answer is simple; money.

    So, to me, books do not contain anything more than the thoughts and ideas of the person who writes them.  Some of them I find useful, and will recommend them.  Others are so stupid I will make fun of them.  There are some books that are starter for my winter fires.

    But that is my opinion.  I have the same opinion about websites.  Some should never be seen by the general public.  Others should be on the required viewing list and deserve the support and gratitude of the Pagan Community.  But what I find to be essential will not be the top ten for someone else.

    Some people agree with me.  Thank you.  Others will not.  Thank you also.  Some people have sent me nasty emails.  Thanks to you as well… I remember your name and keep you in mind.  Others send along their thanks… I will keep you in mind too.    But on this website, what I think is written down, what you think is up to you… getting my drift?

    Others will hop along their merry way, not caring one way or the other.  We will never hear from them again as they sink further and further into their make believe world of goodness and light.  It’s interesting to note that there is less and less tolerance for these kinds of people within the community.  We are growing up, we are learning.  These are good things.

    This brings me to my ultimate point for this essay.  Personal interactions, one on one discussion and community participation are the most important part of our spiritual education.  While the books are a good starting point, the websites are great for expression of personal opinion and social groups allow us to introduce ourselves to the rest of the community, we don’t have a really good grasp of what our spiritual path is all about till we get out from behind the monitors, out of the broom closets and stop hiding in our comfortable little self made worlds and get to meet and work with the rest of those who are on paths similar to the personal one we walk.

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Boudica Foster is the pen name for Margaret Foster. All website material written, drawn or photographed is the work of Margaret Foster.