Book: Out Of The Shadows An Exploration Of Dark Paganism And Magick by John CoughlinSo often darkness is associated with evil. Since the term evil has no place in a nature-based religion, we Pagans are forced to look beyond such stereotypes.
But what then is "darkness"? Why are so many of us drawn to themes associated with darkness such as death, mystery, wisdom, magic, and the night? These themes and symbols are empowering to many of us because they tap into the deepest reaches of our unconscious.
The goal of this book, which is a culmination of over 16 years of study and practice, is to not only share with you the author's views on Dark paganism and spirituality, but to encourage you - if not challenge you - to personalize your own belief system.
While the first part explores the aspects and spirituality of darkness, the second part of this book discusses the nature and practice of magic by exploring the underlying principles at work.
In Out of The Shadows, author John J. Coughlin trys to rebuild the balance 'Light Paganism' has created. He gives an easy and understandable description of what the Darkness and 'Dark Paganism' actually are. Though the focus of this book is 'Dark Paganism', the author in no way tries to deny or degrade Light Paganism. In fact, Coughlin actually describes it's benefits and necessities in modern paganism.
In his explanation of the Darkness, Coughlin gives information on "dark siders" including the Gothic and Vampiric Sub-Culture. He gives a clear and understandable explanation of "The Shadow" in sychological terms, as well as symbols, images, and archetypes associated with darkness. I found the section on dark deities to be especially interesting, where Coughlin offers information on specific deities from various pantheons including Celtic,Egyptian, Greek, and Hindu.
Part Two is an explanation of the nature and structure of magick. This section explains how and why magick works as well as it's limitations and psychological factors. Coughlin takes you through each step of the spellcasting process by describing what and how to conduct ritual. This section also contains information on psychic abilities, chaos magick, and sex magick.
Out of The Shadows is really two books in one. It is and exploration of Dark Paganism, but it is also a guide to magick. Because so many books are focused on Light Paganism, this text is truly ground breaking. This book does an excellent job of providing the seeker with the proper tools to explore yourself. It's goal is to suggest, if not test, you to personalize your belief system. You will learn the truth about the Darkness and Dark Paganism. It was an excellent read and I'd highly recommend it to all Pagans.
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John Coughlin - Out Of The Shadows An Exploration Of Dark Paganism And Magick