EGYPTIAN PAGANISM FOR BEGINNERS: Bring the Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt into Daily Life

Jocelyn Almond, Author, Keith Seddon, Author . Llewellyn $12.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7387-0438-8

Disappointingly inaccessible, this primer contains none of the handy reference tools normally associated with a beginners' guide. Nowhere is the "Getting Started" list of things to have on hand: altar accoutrements, offering items, sacred texts. Also missing are a "Know Your Deities" chart and a glossary of terms. Instead, the authors provide more of an advanced fireside chat on Egyptian Paganism. They provide some guidelines, but even these can be unclear: "The shrine or altar should preferably be placed in the east, the direction of sunrise, or else so that you are facing towards Egypt; but if this is not possible, it does not really matter, as all directions have some sacred significance." The text is peppered with odd references to other religions: the writers compare the concept of heka (Egyptian magic) to the Christian Logos (Word of God); and later, while discussing the assumption of a "godform," they encourage spontaneity by quoting the New Testament letter of 2 Peter. Though the authors devote a chapter to the invocation of each god or goddess, here too, the first-time reader becomes more muddled than enlightened. Mythology mixes with seemingly stream-of-consciousness musings, and the authors sometimes drop various oh-by-the-way suggestions that seem disjointed, as when they encourage readers to use the same incantations with other neteru (gods). Better organized, this text could provide an interesting and useful tool in pursuing pagan worship. Unfortunately, as is, it more likely will discourage even the most diligent of beginners. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/12/2004
Release date: 00/00/0000
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