#30daysofreading – why a Wiccan is reading the Good News Bible

Church in Northeast Minneapolis
It would seem that as a person who practices a religion that firmly believes being a good person does not require a series of conflicting books and commandments might have no interest in reading the Bible. I kind of don’t, but I kind of do. Much of this comes back to my belief that this year, and perhaps a few years on either side of it, are about culmination for me. What follows may well offend those especially attached to Biblical views. I can do nothing about your beliefs, and regardless of what you might have been told last Sunday, there’s nothing to do about mine, so you may want to stop here.

#30daysofreading – get yer books here!

It’s Pagan Values month – and #30daysofreading. Here’s hoping I can bring you blogs about both each day.

To herald #30daysofreading, that kicks off today, I decided to clean out my bookshelves (sure, let’s go with that as why.) Along with finally giving up on books I’ve owned more than 15 years and have yet to crack, I also found items in books I could swear I flipped through in the past. For some reason, though, this round of cleaning revealed ticket stubs, notecards from bookstores and a somewhat homoerotic photo from a boat trip in 1983. None of these items originated from me. Sadly, my scanner is on the fritz, so I may have to arrange them in my lightbox for a photo shoot.

If you’re local to Minneapolis and you’re looking for something to read, I invite you to peruse the list below. Some of these I’ve read. Most, I haven’t.

The Book of Spells by Marc de Pascale

When I went to Powell’s, I did bring home quite a few books although I admit that my impression does not compare with the rhapsodies issuing forth from everyone else I know who’s been there. I have some posts on Portland, a series of short observations ideally paired with images, to issue once I complete my movie editing sessions that will explain this further.

One of the things I picked up was the out-of-print Book of Spells by Marc de Pascale. I cannot find anything now on who Pascale was (or is), whether this person is still living and whether “astrologer” was de Pascale’s full time job, or if this was another author working in a steel mill or as wait-staff somewhere. ((I know from experience that to this day, full time astrologers/fortune tellers/what have you must still supplement their income with hard jobs.))

This book, printed by the now-defunct Tapinger Publishing Company in New York  in 1971 , would fail the modern Wiccan “good book” test. It offers no bibliography. It gives no third party sources, historical references and, possibly more sinful, no authoritative voice introduces us to the author. It simply expects the reader to take de Pascale’s word that yes, the author lived with gypsies and the gypsies taught stuff. de Pascale offers no explanation as to where the occasional Voodoo knowledge appears.

Even so… it’s a pretty good spellbook. While it has the moral admonishments also popular these days, it’s not too heavy-handed, the spells are accessible … and they ring true. Nothing in the ingredients gets ickier than urine, and while the talisman-making section sound overly complicated, in this day of DIY crafting the only raw materials beyond reach include the rubies and topazes.

I like it – I’m happy to keep it on my shelf, and maybe take a crack at one of those “successful business” spells.