Myths and Words that Shaped My (Pagan) World

Mostly books, a few TV series. So little, in words. So much, in meaning.

In no particular order:

‘American Gods’, Neil Gaiman
“Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.”

‘Triumph of the Moon’, Ronald Hutton

‘Celtic Myths and Legends’, Eoin Neeson
My first detailed encounter with Irish myths, which I read when I was about 18.

‘Cailleach: The Hag of Beara’, Leanne O’Sullivan
“the darkness that would be cast / between the moment when I could destroy / and the moment when I would devour.”

‘Druidry and the Ancestors’, Nimue Brown

‘Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation’, Eli Clare
“Laugh and cry and tell stories. Sad stories about bodies stolen, bodies no longer here. Enraging stories about the false images, devastating lies, untold violence. Bold, brash stories about reclaiming our bodies and changing the world.”

‘Rivers of London’ – Ben Aaronovitch
“I once asked my dad how he knew what to play. And he said that when you get the right line, you just know because it’s perfect. You’ve found the line, and you just follow it.”

‘The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries’ – W.Y. Evans-Wentz

‘Loneliness and Revelation’, Brendan Myers
“I am empowered with the knowledge that as I say this prayer, thousands or even millions of people say it with me, and I am not alone.”

‘Carmina Gadelica’ (especially the translation/re-imagining by Morgan Daimler)
“The Three who would protect me / Keep me this night and always”

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America’ – Margot Adler
“I acted out the old myths and created new ones, in fantasy and private play. It was a great and deep secret that found its way into brief diary entries and unskilled drawings. But like many inner things, it was not unique to me.”

Doctor Who
“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”

‘The Art of Conversation with the Genius Loci’, Barry Patterson

The Bible
“For where your treasure is, there is your heart.”

The Nag Hammadi Library
“I am the utterance of my name.”

Battlestar Galactica (2004)
What is the most basic article of faith? That this is not all that we are.”

‘The Book of the Cailleach: Stories of the Wise-Woman Healer’ – Gearoid O’Crulaoich
“Nature is renewed eternally in the recounting of the tales of how Cailleach Bhearra impressed herself onto and expresses herself within a landscape made both vital and sacred by association with her divine and sovereign presence.”

‘She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse’ – Elizabeth Johnson

The Life of Pi
“Since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story…?”
“…The story with the animals is the better story.”

“And so it goes with God.”

‘Kindling Our Stars: Nurturing Bright and Dark Flames’ – Genevieve Wood

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
“It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem.”

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity.”
“Everything is true,” he said. “Everything anybody has ever thought.”  

‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ – C.S, Lewis
He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”

‘Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans’ – Ceisiwr Serith

‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’, Audrey Niffenegger
“Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting.”

Pride Against Prejudice: A Personal Politics of Disability’, Jenny Morris
The first disability theory book I read. Changed my world.

‘The Essential Rumi’
“Why do you stay in prison / when the door is so wide open?”

‘Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom’ – Erynn Rowan Laurie
“With poetry the world is made.”

Pistis Sophia
“Thou has set the light of thy stream in me; I have become a pure light-power…”

The Culture novels
“There are no gods, we are told, so I must make my own salvation.” – ‘Use of Weapons’

The Water Horse – Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
Poetry bringing Irish myths and folklore into the modern world. Written in Gaelic, but with translations.

Babylon 5
“We are the universe trying to understand itself…”

‘Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure’ – Catherine Yronwode

‘The Mysteries of Druidry: Celtic Mysticism, Theory & Practice’ – Brendan Myers

Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel
“If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do…”

‘The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability’, Nancy Eiesland

tir na nog

4 thoughts on “Myths and Words that Shaped My (Pagan) World

  1. Wow! I think all my hair stood up on end for a moment there. Also, Douglas Adams deserves a lot more recognition as a philosopher, definitely.

  2. Love the fact you have Doctor Who, BSG and Buffy in there. All three have dialogue that can be deep, inspiring and true to our hearts. So say we all!

  3. Pingback: Polly the Sensible, and a Map for the Journey | Treasure in Barren Places

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