… oh, this was difficult! So many great folks talking about so many great books! A big and heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated!
There was, however, one entry that stood out – it told of how a single book can change the course of a person’s life forever, and how social network serendipity can bring together people and influences in a way that seems nothing less than fated.
The following (winning) entry is from Teo Bishop, an extraordinary writer and the proud new owner of a complete set of Weiser Concise Guides. Congratulations Teo!
In the beginning, there was Weiser…
A few years back, I was tentatively dipping my toe into the vast and mysterious Pagan pool. I didn’t have much in the way of community, so I turned, as many neo-Neo-Pagans do, to the internet.
I quickly found a group of interesting, thoughtful and magical people on Twitter. Along with the posts on tarot, herbalism and astrology, I noticed a number of @WeiserBooks re-tweets. It seemed wonderful to me that a publisher would engage in such direct and thoughtful outreach in the community.
I clicked “follow”.
One day, I was looking at my Twitter feed at just the right time and saw that Weiser was doing a book giveaway. If I remember correctly, the first one to send a direct message with a tidbit of information would get a free copy of T. Thorn Coyle’s book, “Kissing The Limitless“. I raced to send off the message, and to my surprise my tweet was the first in Weiser’s inbox. I won the book! I was so thrilled you’d have thought I won a million dollars!
Weiser was organizing a book club on Twitter (#WBC1), and Coyle’s brilliant work would be the inaugural book for us to discuss. The experience of not only reading this book, but also engaging with “Ankhie” (the insightful and kindhearted person who ran the @WeiserBooks page) and all of the other book club participants was life changing. The book was filled with empowering messages and earnest challenges to my presumptions about magic, the spirit and my own capacity to affect change in my life. The community was supportive, encouraging, and welcoming of my ideas. After weeks of reading and sharing, I felt as though I was no longer a stranger in the Pagan world. I felt welcomed.
Ankhie and the other #WBC1 followers continued to support me along my personal spiritual path. They were there when I first found my passion for the tarot. They were there when I discovered OBOD, and the Druid path. And they were there each time I shared a blog entry, posted a thought about Druidry, or asked for guidance about a spiritual concern. The community that Weiser Books began was greater than any one of their titles, for it reached out to all of us and embraced us regardless of what tradition we subscribed to. Weiser Books made me feel as though I belonged to a community.
Now, as I continue on my path of Druidism, there are two Weiser Books titles that I engage with on a daily basis: “A Book of Pagan Prayer” and “A Pagan Ritual Prayer Book“, both by Ceisiwr Serith. These books sit beside my home altar, and each morning I hold them in my hands and pray from them as I make offerings to my Gods, my Ancestors and the Spirits of the land.
Weiser was there when it began, and they are still here now; providing me with the material tools to enrich my spiritual life. For that, I am eternally grateful.
You can follow Teo on Twitter @TeoBishop
Or at Teo’s Blog – Bishop in the Grove