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References and Resources

These are references I found useful in preparing this book, combined with suggestions for more that you might find useful. Don't neglect books on general parenting; non-Pagans have some good advice on raising happy and healthy children too, and after all that is what we most want.

Books and articles:

Ashcroft-Nowicki, Dolores. First Steps in Ritual. Wellingborough, UK: The Aquarian Press, 1982. Ritual theory, with rituals for a variety of occasions. Includes ritual for attracting a Slavic house-spirit, and a Chinese ritual for honoring the God of the stove.

Austen, Hallie Inglehart. The Heart of the Goddess. Shaky scholarship, but wonderful images that can be use in shrines. Some rituals.

Bly, Robert. Iron John: A Book About Men. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1990. Men's coming of age experiences as imaged in fairy tales.

Brand, John. Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britain. New York, NY: AMS Press 1970. Originally published in 1848, this is a goldmine of information. Gives customs for seasonal celebrations, birth, handfasting, betrothal, funeral, and much more.

Brown, Joseph Epes (ed.) The Sacred Pipe. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1971. The seven rites of the Oglala Sioux. Includes directions for sweat lodges, vision quest, and girl's puberty rite.

Brown, Judith. A Cross-Cultural Study of Female Initiation Rites. American Anthropologist, 65 (1963), 837-53.

Buckland, Raymond. The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1974. Written for a coven, this includes seasonal rituals, handfasting, handparting, birth rite, and funeral.

Campanelli, Pauline. Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1991.

-----Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1989. Both book give folk traditions and rituals for seasonal observances. Both are excellent sources for family observances.

Carmichael, Alexander. Carmina Gadelica. Six volumes. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, Ltd., 1940. Prayers and songs collected in the Hebrides around the turn of the century. Some made their way into the Gardnerian Book of Shadows. Magnificent. Hard to find, but worth the effort. (The first two volumes have been reprinted in one trade paperback volume by Lindisfarne Press (Hudson, NY, 1992)).

Carroll, David. Spiritual Parenting. New York, NY: Paragon House, 1990. Advice on child rearing from a New Age point of view. Includes tips on teaching meditation to children.

Cohen, David (ed.). The Circle of Life: Rituals from the Human Family Album. San Francisco: Harper, 1991. Photographs of rites of passage with explanations. Covers from birth to death.

Crowley, Aleister. ed. by Regardie, Israel. 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1973. Contains lists of correspondences, organized by Sephiroth, planets, and elements. Mostly useful in this context for moon and sun.

Cunningham, Scott. The Magical Household. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1987. Concerned more with the craft of Wicca than the religion. It has good sections on the seasons, garden, altars, and household protection.

----Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1988. Although concerned mainly with those who work alone, many of this book's rituals can work with children.

Danaher, Kevin. The Year in Ireland (4th edition). St. Paul, MN: Irish Books and Media, 1972. Seasonal customs in Ireland. Belongs in every Celtophile's library.

-----"Irish Folk Tradition and the Celtic Calendar." In O'Driscoll, Robert (ed.). The Celtic Consciousness. New York: George Braziller, 1981. Danielli, Mary. Initiation Ceremonial from Norse Literature. Folklore 56:2 (June, 1945), 229-45.

Dass, Ram. Be Here Now. Boulder, CO: Hanuman Foundation, 1978. Written mostly from a Hindu or general mystical point of view. Contains advice on family spiritual practice.

DeGidio, Sandra. Enriching Faith through Family Celebrations. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 1989. A Christian counterpart to this book that has many good suggestions, particularly on seasonal celebrations.

Dues, Greg. Catholic Customs and Traditions: A Popular Guide. Mystic, CT: Twenty- Third Publications, 1989. Makes the Samhain = Celtic God of the Dead mistake, but has some good ideas, especially of what Neo-Paganism is missing out on but could incorporate.

Eliade, Mircea. Myths, Dreams, and Mysteries. London: Harvill Press, 1960.

-----Rites and Symbols of Initiation. New York: Harper and Row, 1958. Includes information on puberty rites.

-----The Sacred and the Profane. trans. Willard R. Trask. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1959. Classic treatment of sacred time and space. Information on temples, homes, and rites of passage. Very readable and highly recommended.

Farrar, Janet, and Farrar, Stewart. Eight Sabbats for Witches. London: Robert Hale, 1981. A lot of information on seasonal customs and beliefs, baby blessing, handfasting, and funeral. Relies a bit too heavily on Frazer's The Golden Bough and Graves' The White Goddess for my taste, but still recommended.

-----The Witches' Goddess. Washington, DC: Phoenix Publishing, 1987.

-----The Witches' God. London: Robert Hale, 1989. These last two are not completely accurate in their description of deities, and also rely on The Golden Bough and The White Goddess, but they contain some interesting rituals that might be adapted for family use, some views that might be useful in coming of age teaching, and a list of deities that is quite extensive and will serve as a good starting place for those looking for patrons of families or children.

Fitch, Ed. Magical Rites from the Crystal Well. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1984. Includes seasonal rituals, baby blessing, handfasting, divorce, and funeral.

-----The Rites of Odin. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1990. Norse Neo-Pagans have done well integrating their religions and their families. Contains seasonal rituals, betrothal, wedding, birth pledging, coming of age, divorce, and funeral. Horrific from the point of view of representing actual Norse practice it is essentially Wicca with Norse names but the rituals are still nice.

Fitzpatrick, Jean Grasso. Something More: Nurturing Your Child's Spiritual Growth. New York: Viking Penguin, 1991. Mostly Judaeo-Christian, but still useful.

Foster, Steven, and Little, Meredith. The Roaring of the Sacred River: The Wilderness Quest for Vision and Self-Healing. New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1989.

-----The Book of the Vision Quest. New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1988. Accounts of vision quests, with much valuable information for those who wish to make a safe one. The first book is particularly useful for those who wish to help others make their quest.

Frazer, Sir James (Theodor Gaster, editor). The New Golden Bough. New York, NY: New American Library, 1959. Although his conclusions have been rejected by anthropology, and even some of his data have been shown to be shaky, this is still a good source of folk customs.

Gantz, Jeffrey (trans.). Early Irish Myths and Sagas. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1981.

Gaster, Theodore H. Festivals of the Jewish Year. New York, NY: William Sloane, 1953. In discussing the traditions of Jewish celebrations, he gives many customs from other traditions.

Green, Marian. A Calendar of Festivals: Traditional Celebrations, Songs, Seasonal Recipes, and Things to Make. Rockport, Massachusetts: Element, Inc., 1991. Wonderful suggestions for seasonal observance. Two warnings, though. First, the recipes are written for a British audience and may need some translation. She writes "jelly" where we would say "gelatin," for instance. Second, while her reporting of ancient customs is generally spot on, the explanations and etymologies she give for them are frequently in error or are speculation rather than fact. Used carefully, this is a welcome addition to anyone's library.

Grimal, Pierre. The Civilization of Rome. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1963.

James, Edwin Oliver. Seasonal Feasts and Festivals. Norwich, UK: Prehistoric, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Palestinian, Anatolian, Greek, Roman, and European Christian seasonal celebrations.

Klein, Tzipora. Celebrating Life: Rites of Passage for All Ages. Oak Park, IL: Delphi Press, Inc., 1992. Wiccaning, Puberty, New Home, Betrothal, Wedding, Divorce, and Funeral rituals. And she was the Priestess at my wedding to boot.

Leach, Maria (ed.). Funk & Wagnall Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1972. A must for anyone interested in folk customs.

Lewis, I. M. Ecstatic Religion: An Anthropological Study of Spirit Possession and Shamanism. New York, NY: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1971.

Lincoln, Bruce. Emerging from the Chrysalis: Studies in Rituals of Women's Initiations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1981. Analysis by an historian of religion of female coming of age rites in five cultures, plus a discussion of such rites in general.

Linke, Uli. Blood as Metaphor in Proto-Indo-European. Journal of Indo-European Studies 12: 3 and 4 (1985), 333-375.

MacCana, Proinsias. Celtic Mythology. New York, NY: Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1970.

MacNeill, Maire. The Musician in the Cave. Bealoideas 57 (1989), 109-32. A treatment of Lughnasad customs and folklore.

McCarroll, Tolbert. Guiding God's Children. New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1983. Written from a Christian point of view by a monk. Strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism, the emphasis is on spirituality and nature.

McNeill, F. Marian. The Silver Bough (4 vols.). Glasgow: William MacClellan, 1959. Folk customs from Scotland. Should be read by anyone interested in Celtic cultures.

Montgomery, Rita E. A Cross-Cultural Study of Menstruation, Menstrual Taboos, and Related Social Variables. Ethos 2:2 (Summer, 1974), 137-70.

Newall, Venetia. Easter Eggs. Journal of American Folklore 80 (1967), 3-32. Not just about Easter and not just American; egg myths and customs from around the world regarding birth, weddings, funerals, May Day, Harvest, and planting.

Newman, Dana. The Complete Teacher's Almanack: A Practical Guide to All Twelve Months of the Year. W. Nyack, NY: The Center for Applied Research in Education, 1991. Seasonal, holiday, environmental, and Native American activities for young children.

Ni Padraiga, Macha, and the New York Reconstructed Celtic Folk Church. Brighid's Day. Unpublished manuscript, 1986.

O'Flaherty, Wendy Doniger (tr. and ed.). Rig Veda. tr. and ed. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1981. Only a portion of this wonderful work, but a version nonetheless. A collection of truly Pagan prayers.

Ono, Sokyo. Shinto: The Kami Way. Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1972. Shinto, the folk religion of Japan, is the only form of Paganism that has survived to this day in an industrialized culture, and thus it has much to teach us. It is especially useful in researching household shrines, offerings, and ancestor worship.

Orr, David G. Roman Domestic Religion: The Evidence of the Shrines. Aufstieg und Niedergang der R$oemischen Welt II:16:2 (1978), 1557-1591

Palmer, Susan J. and Hardman, Charlotte E., ed. Children in New Religions. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1999. Covers a number of religious movement, including Paganism, but there is good information in all the articles.

Plutarch. The Roman Questions of Plutarch. Rose, H. J. (trans.). New York, NY: Biblo and Tannen, 1974.

Polomé, Edgar C. Germanic Religion and the Indo-European Heritage. Mankind Quarterly 26:1 & 2 (Fall/Winter, 1985), 27-55.

Posch, S. Can Paganism find Happiness in the Big City? The Crystal Well 14:2, (1981), 29.

Quintero, Nita. Coming of Age the Apache Way. National Geographic 157:2 (Feb. 1980), 262-71.

Raphael, Roy. The Men from the Boys: Rites of Passage in Male America. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press,1988.

Roberts, Elizabeth, and Amidon, Elias. Earth Prayers from Around the World. A collection of Pagan friendly prayers for various occasions.

Robbins, Miriam E. Indo-European Female Figures. Dissertation, UCLA, 1978. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International, 1979.

-----The Assimilation of Pre-Indo-European Goddesses into Indo-European Society. Journal of Indo-European Studies 7: 1 and 2 (Spring/ Summer 1980), 19-29.

-----Whence the Goddeses: A Source Book. New York: Pergamon Press, 1990. Essentially an expansion and popularization of her dissertation, this is the best book on goddesses I have found.

Rose, H. J. Ancient Roman Religion. London: Cheltenham Press, 1948.

Scullard, H. H. Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic. London: Thames and Hudson, 1981. Description of general Roman religious practices, followed by a calendar of the many holidays of the Romans.

Syme, Daniel B. The Jewish Home. New York: UAHC Press, 1988. Especially useful for Judaeo-Pagans, but can be used by anyone looking for living traditions.

Starhawk (Miriam Simos). The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess (2nd edition). New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1989.

Starhawk (Miriam Simos); Baker Diane; Hill, Anne. Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions. NY: Bantam Books, 1998.

Tuffnel, Blance O. Czecho-Slovak Folklore. Folklore 35 (1924), 26-56.

Van Gennep, Arnold. The Rites of Passage. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960. Classic work that introduced the term "rite of passage." Includes information on coming of age, birth, weddings, and funerals.

Volpe, Angel Della. From the Hearth to the Creation of Boundaries. Journal of Indo-European Studies 18: 1 & 2, (1990), 157-84. Information primarily on hearths, but also sacred space, weddings, and births.

-----On Indo-European Ceremonial and Socio-Political Elements Underlying the Origin of Formal Boundaries. Journal of Indo-European Studies 20: 1 & 2 (Sp/Su, 1992), 71-122. Packed with information on the domestic cults of the various Indo-European peoples. Don't let the title scare you.

Wolfe, Amber. In the Shadow of the Shaman. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1988. Contains exercises for awakening awareness of the spiritual side of nature.

Children's Books:

These are books that can either be read by or to children. The suggested ages are based on the books being read by the children themselves; if you are going to be reading them out loud, they can be enjoyed by younger children, since you will be there to explain hard words or phrase, or to edit them for them. I read The Wind in the Willows to my daughter when she was quite young; when she was older she read it on her own, and asked, "Daddy, did you change some of the words when you read this to me?" The book is written in a quite challenging style, but it can be simplified as it is read. The same is true of many other books.

Arthen, Deirdre Pulgram. Walking With Mother Earth. West Boxford, MA: D & J Publications, 1992. 5-10. Originally intended as a guided meditation about the Goddess and the God, it has been adapted into story form.

Earthworks Group, The. Fifty Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth. Kansas City, Missouri: Andrews and McMeed, 1990. Frost, Robert. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1978. 4-10. Illustrated (by Susan Jeffers) A version of a poem that takes place on Yule, in which the poet may be seen as the sun stopping in the darkness before continuing on his way. A reading of this poem is a Yule tradition in my family; it's one of my daughter's favorite poems (she has it memorized).

Goble, Paul. The Gift of the Sacred Dog. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1980. 4-7. Plains Indian story of the coming of the horse.

Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1969. The language is quite difficult, so a child will have to be nine or older to read it herself. Of special interest is chapter 7, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn," an encounter with Pan. This book is published in a number of editions by different publishers.

Grimm, Jacob, and Grimm, Wilhelm. Zipes, Jack, trans. The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. New York: Bantam Books, 1988. This two volume collection has all of the Grimm's fairy tales, unabridged. It has, of course, "Iron Hans," made so famous by Robert Bly. The age at which these are appropriate will vary with the tale, so you will need to read them first. If you know some of these from the Disney versions, you will find that the originals are a little more violent (one might even say "grim") than you might think.

Hallinan, P. K. For the Love of Our Earth. Nashville, TN: Ideas Publishing Co., 1992. 3-5. A poem designed to inspire children to care for the earth and each other.

Hyer, Carol. The Whale's Song. New York: Dial Books, 1991. 4-6. A girl learns through whales that nature is here for its own purpose, not ours.

Mayer, Marianna. Noble-Hearted Kate. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1990. 8-10. An original tale, based on Celtic folklore, of Kate, who saves both her stepsister and a prince, on "the Eve of Samhain when the veil between the realm of Faerie and the realm of man is drawn apart and anything can happen."

Parramon, J. M. The Four Elements. 8-10. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 1985. A set of four books, sometimes sold separately, describing the elements.

Phelps, Ethel Johnston. The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1981. Fairy tales in which the hero is a heroine. Different tales are appropriate for different ages. Contains the story of Gawain and Lady Ragnell.

Sanderson, Ruth. The Enchanted World. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1991. 5-9. With the help of a maiden, a prince saves his land, which has been in drought since the death of its queen.

Tresselt, Alvin. The Gift of the Tree. New York: Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard Books, 1992. 4-8. The story of an oak tree's rotting and the gift of life it gives to the forest.

White Deer of Autumn. Ceremony -- In the Circle of Life. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing, Inc., 1981. 5-10. A Native American boy living in the city is visited by a spirit guide who teaches him his people's ways.


Chameleon and Friends. A Bardic Circle. Cleveland Heights, OH: Association for Consciousness Exploration, 1988. Contains "He is Reborn", by Bert Talm, a lovely Yule song.

Corrigan, Ian. Once Around the Wheel: Modern and Traditional Seasonal Songs. Cleveland Heights, Ohio: Association for Consciousness Exploration, 1987. Recorded at a workshop. Includes seasonal songs and discussion of customs.

Jethro Tull. Songs from the Wood. Los Angeles: Chrysalis, 1977. Although some of the songs are definitely not intended for children (it is Jethro Tull, after all) this album includes a May song and a Yule song.

Kennedy, Peter, and Alan Lormax (editors). Folk Songs of Britain, Vol. IX: Songs of Ceremony. London: Topic Records, Ltd., 1961. Seasonal songs, including May carols, John Barleycorn, and Wassailing songs.

Pendderwen, Gwydion. Songs for the Old Religion. Oakland, CA: Nemeton, 1975. Pagan songs, mostly seasonal.

Steeleye Span. Below the Salt. Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ: Shanachie, 1984. Contains the most accessible version of "John Barleycorn."