The Practical Pagan is a commonsense guide to being a pagan in a (largely) non pagan world. With humor and straightforward language aimed at those who are new to paganism, Ms. Eilers starts by helping you identify whether or not you are pagan (or how much of one you are). She then proceeds into chapters about self-education, pagan networking, "looking" pagan and finding pagan supplies, telling (or not) your family/friends/coworkers/significant others, discrimination issues and your rights under the law. She even discusses sex.

When you consider that many people enter paganism from more organized, mainstream religions where right, wrong and ethical codes of behavior are spelled out by books and by religious leaders, the need for a book like this becomes apparent. Most newcomers are overwhelmed by this lack of guidance, and unless they find an ethical guide, sometimes this lack of rules leads to a sense of “anything goes.” Ms. Eilers helps to set the record straight with discussions about what it actually means to live as a pagan, all the time -- how this will affect your life, your job, what will happen as far as the law is concerned, and a LONG discussion on coming out of the broom closet.

The line between opinion and fact is clearly drawn and frequent examples from the real world help underscore her points. Although there is nothing in this book that isn’t commonsense, having it all put together in one place makes it a valuable resource. I believe even longtime practitioners will enjoy the spirit (and generally good style) – and they may find themselves lending it out as required reading!

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author:  Dana D. Eilers

New Page Books, 2002

pp. 256, $13.99