My Review of “Paganism for Beginners” by Althaea Sebastiani

A photo of the book amidst various magical allies: homegrown herbs, a beeswax candle, a freshwater mussel, a painted stone, yellow thread, rocks and minerals gifted to me, a bell, a deer jaw, a tiny Brigid cross, an acorn, and small athame. Photo by M. A. Phillips

Paganism for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Nature-Based Spirituality for Every Seeker is a much-needed addition to Earth-based spiritual literature. While there are other books on this topic, prolific author Althaea Sebastiani has breathed new life into the genre of “Pagan 101.”

Bright and colorful, the text is a joy to hold and see. I initially purchased the e-book, but was lucky to win a hard copy! I’m extremely glad I did because I will hand this to my daughter when she becomes a teenager (should she want that). The average English-speaking adolescent should understand the straightforward but friendly content. (For any struggling readers, there is a newly released audiobook!)

As a broad introduction for beginners, Sebastiani’s book is naturally light on specifics for each tradition, but she provides enough basics to place a seeker on the right path. She is forthright that Paganism is varied, so readers are encouraged to research the specifics. The author paints a general picture, providing a framework and base vocabulary of holidays, tools, and techniques. Defining Paganism is a daunting task, but Sebastiani skillfully weaves the common threads together into a delightful welcome mat.

Truly, the book is welcoming. When I said this is a much-needed text, I meant it. One of Paganism for Beginners‘ strengths is the emphasis on inclusivity, anti-racism, and respect for living cultures and the spirits. It is a common theme in much of Althaea Sebastiani’s growing collection of work. To place this message directly in view of beginners is critical.

While the seasoned practitioner may not find much new or surprising, I believe it’s a valuable read all the same. Revisiting the basics is reaffirming, and now I can honestly and emphatically recommend the book to all newcomers.

You can order a copy for yourself through the author’s website here. While there, check out her other publications and courses.

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

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