The Pagan in Recovery: The Twelve Steps From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan in Recovery - home

Second edition in the works

In the few years since The Pagan in Recovery has come out, I've been asked "how do we hold meetings", and a number of other important questions. While the intent of the first edition wasn't to create a new recovery movement, it's apparent that Pagans in Recovery are searching for a way to live in recovery with those with whom they hold similar world views.

The second edition of this book will include the text of the original (with corrections of a few typographical errors) as well as resources for those who wish to hold their own recovery meetings.

Stay tuned for more information.

The Pagan In Recovery

A note from the author.

When I first entered the halls of recovery, I ran headlong into a problem. You see, I was not a Christian, and a great deal of what I heard in those rooms was decidedly Christian. Now I don't have a particular problem with Christianity, and I know that a person's faith is very important in their program of recovery. So certainly, Christian references and prayers are of great importance to many people in recovery. But as a Pagan, I had to make a choice. The question was simply - Do I stay in the halls, despite my very different belief system, or do I leave? I chose to stay and to experience recovery. The Pagan in Recovery: The Twelve Steps From a Pagan Perspective explains how I was able to reconcile my Pagan faith with a program that is steeped in Christian thought and tradition. It's my hope that everyone who reads it will be able to discover that same relief from addiction and compulsive behaviors.

The Pagan in Recovery is not intended to replace Twelve Step programs, but to allow those of us who do not follow a Christian path to use these steps effectively.

The cover and logo

I have to thank Julia Passamonti Colamartino for help with the logo. When I was trying to come up with an idea for the cover, I basically knew what I wanted. The idea of talismans, and the use of various types of pentacles has a long history in magical arts. I wished to create a pentacle / talisman for the cover of this book. Sketching it out was one thing, but creating a graphic of that design was something else entirely. Julia is an amazing artist, and is the one who took my design and made it print-ready.

The design consists of the Pagan Pentacle - a pentagram inscribed within a circle. This is the emblem of faith for many Pagan paths. Intertwined within the pentagram is a triangle. The triangle within a circle has been an emblem of recovery programs for a number of years, and it is used in magic and alchemy. Together, they represent the spirituality of transformation, an alchemical process that we can undertake within us.

The words at the top of the circle, "Let none but thyself be thy master" remind us that we choose our own path, and that we put ourselves in peril the moment we relinquish control to another. That "other" may be a substance, another person, a compulsive behavior or a habit.

At the bottom we read "to serve others is to serve oneself". Initially, these two phrases might seem contradictory, but like much in magic, contradictions are only contradictions until we understand them on a deeper level. One of the foundational principles of the Twelve Steps is that we are able to achieve true recovery only through helping others. We can attain our goals by helping others reach that same goal.

Pagan in Recovery prayer

You who are knowable only within,
grant us the sensitivity to hear the truth that others speak,
the wisdom to understand that despite our differences, we are all the same,
and the courage to apply what we learn from others, in our own lives.

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