Monthly Archives: August 2013

Seeking the Mystery with Christine Hoff Kraemer

Seeking the Mystery - Christine Hoff KraemerI do enjoy probing around on the internet for books, music and information. Late in July I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a post from Christine Hoff Kraemer, the editor of the Pagan Channel on Patheos.com. In the post she was announcing a book giveaway contest for her latest release, Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies. Being the curious reader that I am, I submitted my name for the drawing. I didn’t win, but Ms Kraemer decided to send me a copy of the book anyway. For that I am thankful.

It would have been great to have had this book already in my library in January of this year when KaliSara and I did our show on Theisms for the Pagan-Musings Podcast. Chapter one of the book gives brief but easily understood definitions of many of the theisms that apply to the various Pagan belief systems out there. Not an exhaustive listing, by any stretch, but a decent starting point. With a great listing of reference materials at the end of the chapter, a student of theology, Pagan or otherwise, has months of reading to do.

Kraemer is not just a writer of books and a blog editor, she is an instructor of Theology and Religious history at Cherry Christine Hoff KraemerHill Seminary. This book reads like a primer for one of her classes. Which is just how it should be read. As an introduction, she does not set out to teach you everything there is to know about Pagan theologies. Instead she helps you get acquainted with many ideas related to theology and introduces you to some modes of thought that might not have been apparent in your own studies.

I was visiting with my brother about the book recently and was trying to describe how the book could be used by Pagans and non-Pagans alike. The best thing I could think of was to pull our Kerr Cuhulain’s Pagan Religions: A Handbook for Diversity Training (the new title for the expanded The Law enforcement Guide to Wicca). Unlike Cuhulain, Kraemer addresses the topics from the view point of an educator. Either way, both books are useful for Pagans and non-Pagans.

Not only does the book address the topics of theisms, spirituality and Pagan religion in general. Kraemer embarks on how Pagans of various flavors look at the issues of sex, sexuality, death, marriage, and many other issues that have become hot button topics for the modern Pagan world. Between the introduction and the final summary, Kraemer takes you through a glimpse into Pagan theologies:

Chapter One covers theisms, feminist theology and related topics.

Chapter Two covers myth, tradition, authenticity and history.

Chapter Three address knowledge, devotion, and experience.

Chapter Four talks about life, death, sex, and other related hot button topics.

Chapter Five delves into the topics of ethics and justice, virtues and values.

I think Kraemer’s book is going to wind up on my suggested reading list along with Margot Adler, Starhawk, Cuhulain, and many others who have tried to break the terminology of Pagan theology down into concepts that just about everyone can understand.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under New Age & Pagan Books, Non-Fiction

Mama Gina is Goddess Kiss’d

In the weeks leading up to the first Okeechobee Summer Solstice Pagan Festival I was keeping tabs on what was going on event wise. You can read what the Mead Muse and others have to say on the hubbub leading up to the festival as well as their post-festival coverage. What I want to share with you here is some of the wonderful music that I discovered while following that story for the Pagan Weekly News. Namely, Mama Gina!

Mama Gina

Mama Gina

Mama Gina gives her listeners a taste of the divine and the humorous with her debut CD.¬†From the first track “Summer of the Fae” I was hooked. ¬†“Summer” shows Gina’s light side while “Come Trance with Me” shows her spiritual side. “Sisters Waiting” will bring a tear to your eye and “The PSG Song” will leave you laughing.

“Come Trance with Me” is a wonderful little piece to help get you in the mood for meditation, exercise or ritual. It will sooth the spirit just enough to get you into that perfect start of a trance state. Or, you can just listen to it to listen to it.

“The PSG Song” is very fitting for anyone who has ever attended a large out door Pagan festival that has the freedom of body that PSG and other similar festivals do. It could almost be renamed the “Pagan Festival Song” and fits right along with Loke E. Coyote’s “Pagan Polka”.

From what I know from talking with Mama Gina herself, she has been going to Florida based Pagan festivals for some years, performing at many of them. Friends and listeners at these events had been encouraging her for some time to record her music, she finally did so this year. The CD came out in time for the Lake Okeechobee Summer Solstice Pagan Festival and was officially released in July to rave reviews from the listeners.

Hosting Musica Pagani and cohosting Murphy’s Magic Mess on KZUM means that I am constantly looking for new music to share with the listeners. I came across Mama Gina through postings related to the Okeechobee event earlier this year and liked the sound. With guitar and drum, body percussion and voice there was no doubt that I would be adding her music to my collection. I didn’t even know that she had a CD available when I reached out to her to ask to use her music on the shows. I was pleasantly surprised when she offered to send me a copy of the CD.

I do hope that if you pick up a copy of this CD that you enjoy it at least as half as much as I do.

Get a taste of Mama Gina’s talents at her ReverbNation page.

You can hear some of Mama Gina’s music on Musica Pagani episodes #6 and #7.

2 Comments

Filed under Pagan Music