Pagan Christmas: The Plants, Spirits, and Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide by Christian Ratsch and Claudia Muller-Ebeling
By Christian Ratsch and Claudia Muller-Ebeling
Publisher: Inner Traditions (November 2006)
Pages: 213 – Price: $24.95
Inner Traditions has a solid reputation for bringing educational, entertaining, and enjoyable books to the reading world. Pagan Christmas is another book in a very long line of well-written and outstanding books from this publisher.
If you want to have a remarkable reference book in your library about the subject of Pagan Christmas, this is the book to have. The illustrations and photographs are excellent. The text is concise, and accurate. Pagan Christmas is a fine reading experience!
Following the Preface are chapters filled with information on their topics. The ethnobotany of Christmas is detailed, covering the traditions, ritual, and customs followed by a section on the Pagan feast.
From the shamanic world tree to the Christmas tree. Christmas trees, holy trees, an interesting selection titled “Father Christmas” An Anthropomorphic Fly Agaric Mushroom?,” and Christmas tree decorations are shared with the reader. Winter Solstice, Christmas greens, the aromas of Christmas, and Christmas baking are discussed. Information about the sun gods — Apollo, Mithras, and Jesus — are detailed and make for fascinating reading.
Devil’s Dirt and Witches’ Smoke are discussed, along with the Pagan Magi from the East. A concise bibliography and index conclude this fine reference book. Translated from the German, the reading is smooth and intelligent. The authors and the translators richly deserve congratulations on what is without doubt one of the finest books about Pagan Christmas written in recent times.
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