September 14, 2012
Mysteries of Druidry by Brendan Myers
Brendan Myers has an original and insightful take on Druidry.
I’ve read a lot on Celtic religion- both ancient and modern and gotten rather jaded- it gets to be a lot of the same stuff. He does have a early chapter with introductory information, which makes it fairly beginner-friendly. His strength is the instructions for contemplative spiritual practices such as “peaceful abiding”
Overall the scholarship was quite good, and he included footnotes, though there were a few Victorian ideas like Lugh being a sun-god, and personal interpretations asserted as fact, like Maeve of Connacht being the same being as the Morrigan. I also disagreed with his opinion that one must have a college education to be a Druid, it’s rather elitist, and it is only one way to be educated.
This is a great resource for both beginners and more advanced practitioners and friendly to different traditions of Druidry.
Read Aug/Sept 2010
December 15, 2009
The Red-Haired Girl in the Bog: the Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit by Patricia Monaghan
Fantastic! In Patricia Monaghan’s various pilgramages to Ireland, she explores the landscape with dindsheanchas, traditional stories associated with places, many of which I’d never heard of. The anecdotes she shared of her adventures and people she encounters were interesting. She also includes many insightful commentaries about history and modern issues facing both Ireland and the rest of the world- from ecology and economics, to the survival of language and culture. Her descriptions of the land make you feel like you’re there. I can’t wait to travel to Ireland!
One critique I do have to give though, is that Monaghan cites a variety of sources, many of which are good but the scholarship of some are questionable. However this is more of a fun, casual read than a scholarly book, but there is a wealth of information here.
I’d also love to see similar books about Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall as well as non-Celtic nations.
Read July 2009