Every so often, I get a question about who I read, or who I listen to, or who I recommend…so I thought it might be time to open up a bit more about that in a blog post.
There are a lot of choices to go after within the online and social media realms where Pagan folk are concerned. Most of it really matters on what you want to read or listen to. I’m not a Wiccan or a Witch, but I do read some of the blogs in that area. But for the most part, I focus on the writings of those whose bend is closer to Druidry. The same goes for podcasts – for the most part. But my musical tastes are a bit more eclectic. So, let’s explore a bit, shall we? (Besides, this is a lot more fun and way more interesting than trying to pick apart the Presidency of a guy who has not even been sworn into office yet)
I combine blogger and authors together – mostly because most of the authors I read also write blog posts. Its no secret that I lust after brainy women. And these first three are not only some of the smartest people I know and read, but they are also among some of the nicest people I have ever encountered. Nimue Brown, Cat Treadwell, and Joanna van der Hoeven all have great books and awesome blogs. These three ladies dispense quite a bit of daily wisdom, wit and every once in a while some awesome shenanigans. Each one has her own distinct style, coupled with a mischievous slice of fun thrown in. All three have books that I constantly refer back to in my own journal writings, especially when I struggle to remember exactly where I read a particular statement. Every one of the physical book copies from these three that I own are dog-eared and the spines show heavy usage on my part. I owe quite a bit of the Druid that I am to each of them.
While these three form the biggest trio in my readings, there are others that I read quite frequently as well. One is the blogger – and now author – John Beckett. His very well done, and frequently updated, blog – Under the Ancient Oaks – is great reading. I am lucky enough to know John in the face-to-face world. And while our individual approaches to Druidry are somewhat different, his blog posts provide topics that will get me contemplating thoughts, processes and topics in ways that I normally would not. And sometimes, its not his main point that I wind up thinking about. Many times, I find myself following a side comment or minor point into an area where I spend more time turning over the rocks and stones I find.
And there so many others that I could drone on and on about. The wonderfully fun Kristoffer Hughes, T. Thorn Coyle, Morgan Daimler, Elen Sentier, Brendan Howlin, Rachel Patterson, and a whole host Moon Books authors; as well as the awesome Moon Books editor Trevor Greenfield, who posts such wonderul thoughts in the Facebook groups for Moon Books. Then there’s also the Pagan blogs over at Patheos, the site Gods and Radicals, and many, many others. I am beginning to realize I could make a HUGE blog post on this in its own right – and still leave off a massive number of people. So consider this to just be the start.
At one time, podcasts were the “hot” item. Nowadays, podcasts tend to come and go fairly often. But let’s face it – just like writing a blog, podcasting is hard work in its own unique way. There are quite a few podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis. Druidcast by Damh the Bard is definitely one of the tops, but so is The Wigglian Way run by Mojo and Sparrow. Mojo is literally the smartest Pagan I have ever had the chance to get to know. Just listen to the episodes for TWW, and you will find a guy who is genuine in the way he approaches daily life. And that laugh of his…just awesome. And there’s Sparrow, the lady with the sexiest voice on the podwaves. And quite the activist. These two are some of the most awesome people on the podverse. Between the stuff that Damh brings up on Druidcast, and all the hilarity, fun and knowledge that comes through on The Wigglian Way…you easily have two-plus hours of awesome combined from these two with every new episode. And then there’s Down at the Crossroads. Chris Orapello is easily the Graham Norton interview experience of the podverse. He brings a wide diversity of people and topics to the show, along with awesome music and brainy thought. While podcasting is not quite the “hot” area of social media it once was – one listen to each of these three shows, and you will understand why I call these “The Big Three”.
I would be remiss if I didn’t add the online magazine Pagan Dawn to this mix. I buy my copies through my Apple news-stand app, but I do believe that physical copies can be had. Check with their website here to see how to get their issues. This is one of the most guilty pleasures I have for a weekend. Sitting on the back porch, listening to the waterfall (I have a waterfall effect in my backyard pool) run, drinking coffee, and reading articles from Pagan Dawn is something I could just not do without. The writers that are brought forward in the articles are some of the best “food for thought” that I have found in a magazine of any format. I generally keep a “notepad” app open on my iPad while I read, so that I can add my own personal notes for later review or research. I am quite sure there are more Pagan ‘zines out there as well. If you know of any – pass those along in the comments. I am sure I am not the only one that would want to know more.
Back in the 1990s, I remember that there were a few “glossy” magazines available at the local “occult” shop. There were also the National and International Email exchange services, such as PODSNET (Pagan Occult Distribution System) and many others. All were aimed at discourse of one type or another. People could debate with one another, share tips, even have innocent (and not so innocent – Merry Meat) fun. The limit was your ability to write evocatively. In the late 1990s, systems like PODSNET disappeared as the internet gained favor as the communications methodology.
Today’s internet has changed the manner in which we all communicate with one another. Quick, short chat messages, video chats, audio chats have all bitten into the old writing methodologies. But thanks to many of the above named individuals, web sites, bloggers, and authors – the written word still has favor in some form. To balance that out, we have video bloggers, podcasts, and other formats that have opened other avenues. None is any better than any other…the favor of its usage comes from those that choose to be the receiver in the communication paradigm. I’m old-fashioned in a sense. I like the writings…but I also have favorites among the others as well. Just remember, keep looking. There are new bloggers, writers, authors, podcasters, vloggers, and ‘zines coming. And all of those people are just as human as you or I…and they are easy to talk to. And who knows? You might make a lifelong friend too….