I’ve always disagreed with the view that we don’t need Pagan and occult books.
I like reading and it was books that organized my inchoate feelings about Nature and burial mounds and stone circles and the pleasures of life into the idea that the word that best describes these feelings is Pagan.
Most activities in life — and magic is no exception — have a theoretical underpinning. The dominant underlying theory of how magic works is a heteronormative one — simply because most practitioners are heterosexual and they see the world through that lens.
If there were no occult books, we would be stuck with the dominant underlying theory instead of being able to see it, unpick it, and challenge it. So to me, it’s incredibly important to have books on the occult and Paganism.
I think there’s a strongly anti-intellectual streak in these assertions that you don’t need books to do Pagan or occult practice. Sure, it’s important to be able to do it instinctively and with intuition— but it’s usually books that convey the information about what that intuition looks like.
Can you imagine contemporary Paganism without Starhawk’s books, Ronald Hutton’s Triumph of the Moon, or the many queer Pagan books that have come out recently?
The DefendOccultBooks hashtag was started by @daatdarling on Instagram and I got it from Mhara Starling.