From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 03:42:58 Pacific Time, Thursday, 17 March 2005.

The Virtual Pagan: Exploring Wicca and Paganism through the Internet

   by Lisa McSherry

    Weiser Books
    01 April, 2002


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Editorial description(s):

About the Author
Lisa McSherry has practiced witchcraft and paganism for two decades, first in New York, now in Washington, and in cyberspace for more than five years. Having discovered computers soon after witchcraft, she has been a pioneer in using the Internet to practice and teach. She leads several classes on-line and writes for several on-line and print publications, including Sage Woman. She lives and works in the Seattle area. This is her first book.

Book Description
The World Wide Web. Its power rests in its ability to build communities, share information, and transcend great distances. And as practitioners of the craft have discovered, its cutting-edge technology has the ability to weave centuries' old magick with hyperlinks and fiber optics. For individuals interested in Wicca, The Virtual Pagan offers practical tools for getting connected via the Internet. As author Lisa McSherry writes, "Where once we were prevented from reaching out, for fear of prosecution, we are now free to worship in the safety and privacy of cyberspace. No longer are we bound by geography in our search for like-minded Pagans." Divided into three helpful sections, The Virtual Pagan explains to readers how to get online and find a group that meets their needs. The founder of her own online coven, JaguarMoon, McSherry also shares her insights into keeping the circle vital, techniques for proper email etiquette, suggestions for how to build a cyber altar, as well as steps to prepare for and conduct meaningful rituals online. From privacy to practice, software to Sabbat rituals, McSherry offers a wealth of resources, including organizational tips, and a glossary of more than 200 pagan and technological terms.

Reader review(s):

The Only Guide to Paganism on the Net You Will Need, June 27, 2002
This unassuming looking little book is a gem. As a twenty-one year veteran Witch, I have read and reviewed many books on the subject of Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism. Out of the three books out there on this particular subject, this one is the most concise, useful and practical book I have found.

McSherry gives perfectly sensible guidelines for how to get on the Net, how to find Pagans once you are there and what to do with them after you find them. Her chapters that discuss what a coven is and is not is useful for anyone who is thinking of joining one, whether in cyberspace or in the "real world," and her dos and don'ts for online communication should be emblazoned upon the hearts of everyone on the net. She accurately portrays various positive and negative Pagan archetypal personalities one may find on the Internet, and in doing so, gives the practitioner a taste for what the virtual Pagan community is like in an accurate, consise format.

If you only want one book about Paganism and the net, this is the one; the others, which I have also read are vastly inferior.

Creating an online Pagan group, and keeping it vital, July 8, 2002
Lisa McSherry's Virtual Pagan provides a virtual map for getting online, creating a Pagan group, and keeping it vital. The basics of computer user, from email etiquette to building a cyber altar, are here to appeal to a mixed audience of beginners and those with some experience who want to translate the computer world to a meaningful spiritual environment.

Good Idea, Wrong Book, December 15, 2002
Here is a good idea that went astray. Sometimes good material can get lost amongst material that is highly controversial.

The idea of this book, to explore Wicca and Paganism on the Internet, was a good idea. There is material here which would have been good on its own; resources that the Pagan community on the Internet can use to further studies and make surfing interesting and educational.

Ms. McSherry provides information about pagan oriented email groups, chat channels and websites that would have made a good book if presented as a resource tool for Internet Pagans. Her discussion on how the internet works, email and chat room etiquette, flaming and witch wars shows she has much familiarity with the workings of Cyberspace and she did a good job on these topics.

What went astray was her inclusion of her own personal path of CyberCovens and her commentaries on Paganism. I defer to the passage on page 9, which almost set me to pass on reviewing this book:

"If you are new to Paganism, then you need to know a few things about this religion:

1. We all truly only agree on one thing:" An' it harm none, do what ye will." As a result, we do not take any action - magickal or otherwise - that would harm any person, including ourselves."

Paganism categorized as a religion, that Pagans agree on anything spiritual, that the Wiccan Rede is followed by all Pagans and that everyone has a "harm none" ethic makes me feel that Ms. McSherry should have stuck to the technical aspects of the Internet.

There is more in this book on Ms. McSherry's CyberCovens, and the value of connection without contact is something that has been touched on in many circles on the Internet. I believe Ms. McSherry has provided fuel here for some very heated discussions amongst both students and teachers of many paths who use the Internet as a tool for the Pagan Community.

While it is interesting to read, Ms. McSherry's personal path should have been presented as a separate book. The usefulness of this book as an Internet resource becomes muddled in her attempt to define Paganism and present CyberCovens as an alternative to real life experiences.

A Great Reference and Guide, December 3, 2002
I was a computer illiterate! After exploreing the PC with the help of friends and family I felt better about my skill. I read this book and now, I am a 'thoroughly modern witch'. Not too bad for an old Crone. Thanks for writing this book so that even I can understand.

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