The more I delve into the "Pagan Portals" imprint from Moon Books, the more I like it. They tend to be concise, focused on a particular subject (the raison d'etre of the line, really) and aimed at an introductory level. This general positive sentiment is challenged by the latest one I've read, Steven Dillon's Polytheism: A Platonic Approach. First of all, as a book aimed squarely at pagans, I'm not sure how much convincing the target audience even needs to accept a polytheistic viewpoint. (Technically *I* do, but the point still stands.) Second, while I appreciate brevity, 80-ish pages is attenuating the concept to a high degree. And third, this is not an easily approachable book; the author comes to the work with an education in philosophy, which is nothing but a good thing but it leads to a way of thinking that, if unfamiliar to a reader, can be daunting to adapt to. With all of these counterpoints on the balance sheet, how does the book turn out? Really well, actually.
To be fair, Polytheism: A Platonic Approach is less a book and more a treatise, or even a proof. Dillon lays out the four-point foundation of his argument, and then goes into great detail in defining and anchoring each point in steel bands of logic. It is a *dense* read, and unless you're used to this sort of thing in your diet of reading, which I am most certainly not, you'll probably review more than a few sentences before beginning to grok them. That said, having (I think) followed along with what he had to say, I came away with a firm understanding of his argument for a polytheistic reality.
Which is the good and the bad of the book, in the end. It is a compelling argued case, but it does leave me feeling more like I understand the author's views on the subject of polytheism rather than having been led to a greater understanding of polytheism in my own right. That's not a bad thing, and I can say that this was a rewarding read, but you should know going into it that it's likely that you're going to have your brain stretched more than you're going to have your spirituality deepened.
~review by Wanderer
Author: Steven Gillon
Moon Books, 2022
pp. 96, $12.95