Friday, 1 November 2019

SPIRITUAL REVIEW: A Practical Guide to Pagan Priesthood - Rev Lora O'Brien

Release Date: 01/11/19
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications

SYNOPSIS: There s a pressing need in the Pagan community for strong, aware, responsible, and accountable leaders. This book provides a down-to-earth perspective on what it means to be a priestess or priest and explores the duties, responsibilities, challenges, and benefits of stepping into such a role. Whether you are currently a priest or priestess, are considering becoming one, or would like to be more informed about Pagan leadership so you can better support your community, this book helps you learn about the practical skills required and provides ideas on how you can acquire or improve them. As Paganism continues to grow and new generations become leaders, this guide shares a practical picture of what the Pagan clergy can be.
REVIEW: As a reader fascinated with a lot of different aspects of the spiritualism I picked this book up to see how the more religious side of the equation worked for those within and whilst I couldn't see myself as a member of the Pagan Priesthood, I found the lessons within interesting and explained really well.

However for me, other than this, I really didn't get on with the book as I felt it wasn't quite written for the pagan faith in and of itself, more of how all priests should act for any faith. Don't get me wrong, that's not always a bad thing bringing the moralistic stance to practitioners however for me, the only real lesson that I took from the whole title was to think about how your own acts and actions would impair others around, which I suppose is perhaps the whole point of the book.

All round its solid enough and obviously written by someone who knows what they're talking about but for me, it wasn't a title I had to spend hours with or will be rereading again which sadly means it wouldn't be something that would have to have shelf space.

1 comment:

  1. Let's be honest here. This is all spin. Lora conveniently chooses to omit her experience running groups (which crashed and burned and at least some of the participants felt badly burned) nor does she include how she came to leave one of the organisations she belonged to. Lora has continuously reinvented herself over the years, each time crashing and burning and each time assuming no one will remember. All obstuficwted and all speaks to her credibility as a self appointed expert.

    The rev. in reverend Lora O Brien is also a bit of a joke as Pagan Life Rites kicked out many of their reverends without warning for 'not being active enough', including someone on sick leave, but that rule only applied to some, and as inactivity set in the remaining reverends are not held to that standard. It's an organisation build on cronyism and is heavily political and opaque. So yes, she's a reverend on paper. But the value of the title is highly questionable.

    There is nothing of her personal growth of experience or the mistakes she's made but principles plucked out of the air (or 'borrowed' and uncredited) and pontificating when those who've met her or know some of the dramas she's been mixed up in knows she's not practicing what she preaches by a longshot. Loras a passive agressive keyboard warrior and crafts a great public image but it's all smoke and mirrors. If this book had a smidge of genuine humility it would be worthwhile but it's all mask and a very specific image of what a pagan priesthood should be in the biased opinion of one questionably priestly person with a poor track record.

    The bibliography is miniscule. And I've seen more reference in a tabloid article. There is either an ignorance or ignoring of major sources on pagan priesthood, spiritual mentoring and group dynamics such a Judy Harrow, Starhawk and others.

    The peer sources appended are also a who's who of her friends or business colleagues. The same with the reviews - all her buddies reviewing the book many months before it was even released. This book is an echoing chamber and in a bid to big herself up as an authority, she has shown a basic lack of integrity and honesty