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Pagan Portals: Artio and Artaois by Andrew Anderson - book review by Helen Brambley, Hedgerow Witch.

If there is an obscure or lesser known deity you have connected with and you want to learn more, chances are Moon Books have published a book about them. This was the case for me, when I first heard the author, Andrew Anderson, talking about Artio and Artaois at the online MoonCon this summer. His obvious passion and explanation of how he had connected with the spirit of Bear peaked my interest, so I decided to order his book to find out more for myself.

What a journey the narrative takes you on! It begins from a very personal perspective with the author following very minimal historical clues to Bern, detailing his discoveries there, and then linking this to other references to Bears across Europe. The narrative hooks you in straight away so you feel like you are on the journey too.

What I particularly loved about the book was the way the historical links and references are brought up to date and made relevant to today, by giving connections to Bears on screen, in books, online gaming and modern artwork. It includes interviews with others who have felt the same connection, giving the reader additional individual perspectives to draw on. There are also helpful and practical pointers for how to honour Artio and Artaois yourself, through creating an altar, personal devotion, celebrations and feasts.

This book is such an engaging read! Although the author acknowledges his lack of academic expertise, the fact he is 'an enthusiastic devotee' makes this book so much more than any dusty academic tome and I would highly recommend it! 5/5 cauldrons!

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