Some of these articles are like old friends that I have not seen in ages yet still bring out the joy in me. The rest are like old friends I have met for the first time.
That said, it is packed full of great articles. I had thought that many would be dated but they are not. Oberon clearly selected based on those that have stood the test of time. I am also VERY happy that many of the articles are from the first run of Green Egg back in the 70's as those are not available in my collection of back issues.
I will add the only negative I have about this book. The publisher has again used a smaller size and shoe horned the material in to this book without proper margins. The book is 8.75" by 5.75" with out side margins at 3/8" and between the two columns 3/16". This is way too small. I am all for saving on paper to save our trees but they should use print on demand if that is their reason as it would be better for the environment.
I would love to see some of this Art reproduced in larger format in a print on demand format through say Cafepress.com or Lulu.com As the art is unbelievable. This would eliminate waste of resources and the need to store copies in a warehouse. It also ensures that it will never go out of print.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A Taste of the Green Egg OmeletteJan. 11 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Once upon a time, you could tell what "generation" of Pagan someone was by their first encounter with the Pagan magazine Green Egg. (I'm from the early Darling years, myself, though my teachers shared with me stacks of their original, mimeographed and hand-stapled Zell years, along with stories of legendary feuds in the Forum--the letter column of the zine--and of rivalries lost and found between one tradition and another.)
Green Egg held an importance to the forming Pagan community that nothing in recent years, with the possible exception of The Witches' Voice website, could hope to rival. We found ourselves and came to understand ourselves through the community we found through those pages.
Oh, there were exceptions. Some of us encountered Circle Network News first, or The Crone Papers, or Harvest. But, before the tidal wave that is the Internet swept most of them away, the first contact most Pagans had with the wider Pagan world was with zines, like Green Egg (often in the form of tattered stacks stored under their HP/s' bed). And if this is news to you, well, then, you must be a member of one of the new and rootless post-Web Pagan generation.
But even if there are no dog-ears or coffee spills to mark the pages, the new Green Egg Omelette anthology should help close the communication gap between generations.
Though it would be untrue to say that it's all here--the sometimes combative forum letters are not represented, for instance, which is perhaps just as well--there is a wide selection of articles that show how American Paganism came to define itself over the four decades of the Green Egg's publication. Some of the ideas in these essays became so important in themselves, like Tony Kelly's "Pagan Musings" or Morning Glory Zell's "A Bouquet of Lovers," that it is almost startling to find them here, in their original forms.
Other articles reflect a zeitgeist that peaked and ebbed over the years. It gave me a nostalgic thrill to find "witchcraft" [sic] referred to as "low-magic" by Brother Khedmel in a 1972 article on ceremonial magick; the rivalry and one-upmanship between "high" and "low" magick seems to me (mercifully) to be mainly a thing of the past at this point. So, too, I found myself chuckling at satires of the Robert Bly men's spirituality movement, and at half-forgotten icons like Pagan Cowboy Joe.
Christopher Penczak and Chas Clifton have contributed a forward and an introduction, and Clifton's chapter introductions provide some structure to what could easily have seemed like a jumble of articles.His chapter headers do a great job summarizing the main trends in areas such as Ecospirituality, Worship, Pagan Culture, and Gender and Sexuality--exactly as you would expect from the author of Her Hidden Children (the definitive history of the evolution of modern Paganism in the United States). Oberon Zell and the other primary editors also contributed to an introductory section which traced the evolution of the magazine over forty years of Pagan history, in terms that will probably be of interest to those who remember the different stages in Green Egg's development.
Overall, the book has a particularly professional layout, reflecting the original magazine while smoothly integrating old and new material in a way that is clearly not simply a cut and paste of old files. Lots of old illustrations and photographs are included, and they are generally of a high quality.
Unfortunately, there are some glitches, too. As is not unusual from small press publications, there are more typographic errors than there should be, and some of the biographies seem curiously out of date. (Chas Clifton's, for instance, seems to date to the time before the publication of his 1994 volume on Witchcraft and shamanism from his series Witchcraft Today. This oversight is especially odd given the important role Clifton played in helping to weave together the chapters of this anthology.) And, most seriously, an index would have been a wonderful addition to the book.
These are minor concerns, of course. Truth to tell, I enjoyed my tour of the Green Egg Omelette, and I enjoyed sharing it with my friends over the holiday. I urge everyone with a streak of either nostalgia or curiosity about the past four decades of the modern Pagan movement to order a copy. I suspect you will enjoy it--maybe even as much as we used to enjoy those tattered old copies from under the bed.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
What The World Needs Now: Pagan PerspectiveJan. 18 2009
Eric C. Hartlep
- Published on Amazon.com
Change seems to be the word of the moment. Which camp do you fall into - those who laugh at it as an empty slogan, or those who praise it to the sky as a magic elixir? Or do you fall into the third camp, the one whose members have been living it, in small ways and as parts of a unified movement, for better than 40 years?
Because if there is one thing this world does not need, it is two opposed camps, battling for the supremacy of their views, while the world we love and depend on for life crumbles to dust and ruin. We need, to put it bluntly, the Pagan perspective, exactly what the Green Egg Omelette provides. Our new, change-oriented president could do worse that read Green Egg Omelette (GEO) for clues to solving the horrendous problems he and our planet face.
The world is wracked by religious war, genocide, and ancient hatreds. Try reading P.E.I. Bonewits' "Aquarian Manifesto" in GEO, try "Why I am a Pagan" by Vicki Rhodes. Global warming is changing the whole planetary system of life, the circulation of water in our oceans, the pattern of rain and drought, engendering superstorms that devastate coastal regions and parch the interiors of continents. Try reading "Biotheology" by Tim Zell (Oberon) or "The Oilman's Burden" by Tom Williams. (By the way, Oberon's Terrabios idea preceded James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis by more than two years, first expounding the vision/idea of our planet as a unified, living whole; Oberon's article was written in 1970 & published in 1971, while Lovelock's synthesis based on Oberon's ideas was published in 1973).
And now for a necessary disclaimer: I have a short piece in GEO myself, my first book appearance. To have my story in the same issue as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Timothy Leary and so many others is quite wonderful to me. I have been told by four editors over the years that pieces I had published with them in magazines would appear in books. None of the so-called mainstream publishers ever followed through - only the pagans kept their word. Tells you something.
The book itself is really well put together, solid and substantial in the hand. The production quality is top-notch, and I really like the cover illustrations. Of course I was very pleased that, no doubt by complete chance, the issue with the dolphins on the cover which my little piece was originally in, is shown on the back.
Honestly, I have not considered myself anything - Christian, Pagan or otherwise - in any active way for many years. I have only been myself, living as I thought was least harmful and truest to my beliefs. But reading the early articles, and what Green Egg's various editors and contributors had to say over the years, I find that I clearly AM a Pagan - simply because I find myself in agreement with all the major tenets of the cause: that humankind is destroying the world through ego and lack of knowledge and understanding; that we ignore the natural world (which is NOT an outside thing, but we ourselves) at our and our planet's peril; that the only real answer is to make a sea change in the way humans live and interact with the world, with Gaia, with our fellow beings; that we impoverish our souls by belief in a false separation between ourselves and all the rest of creation.
So amazing to read the early articles and to realize that all the things the mainstream press is finally paying some lip-service attention to were the backbone of the pagan movement all along. Is it a bad thing that Detroit is in tatters as a car producing entity? Is it bad that people are staying closer to home and not traveling to far-flung exotic places to lose themselves for long weekends and to forget how much they hate their daily lives? Perhaps not - it may be a sign of the personal changes we need to make. Curious indeed that the outward shrinkage of the overblown, rush and forget world may lead to growth in the local and inner aspects of people's lives. Stay home, curl up with a good book, and send a copy to Barack Obama to read to his daughters (starting with "Circle of Life: Pagan Families", by Elizabeth Barrette) before tucking them in at night.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Nourished and satisfied!Jan. 14 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
What a delight to read and re-read! This book is a 'must' for anyone interested in a Pagan perspective on just about anything! It includes an incredible selection of tremendously well-written articles on more subjects than I could possibly include here. Literally, full to the brim with 'something for everyone!'
Reading it was like sitting down with some of the best-known names in the Pagan world and hearing their personal stories, experiences and opinions about a variety of topics that are as relevant today as they were twenty years ago!
This book leaves the reader with a deep appreciation for the author, the community, and the value and importance of Paganism as a life path. It is thought-provoking, educational, inspiring, and just plan fun!
I am deeply nourished and satisfied by Green Egg Omelette! I will be returning to it as a reference and resource for years to come.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A great compilation of Green Egg features!March 25 2011
★★★ Jeri Zerr ★★★
- Published on Amazon.com
As someone who's had rare access to delve through some of the original Green Egg 'zine of the past (as well as first editions of Heinlein's masterpieces!), this is a GREAT compilation for anyone wanting to get an idea of some of the great short stories, articles and artistic works of many Pagans of the recent past and former members of the Church of All Worlds. Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, Don Wildgrube, etc. This book should be required reading for anyone wanting to delve into the history of NeoPaganism, the foundation of the Pagan Church of All Worlds or pursuiting studies at the Grey School.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A walk through timeJune 25 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a great way to walk through the recent history of paganism in the United States! The very best articles, from the very first issue through the lifespan of the Green Egg, picked out by the person who knows them best! I'm really enjoying reading through my copy.