Blamires, Steve. The Irish Celtic Magical Tradition. London and San Francisco: The Aquarian Press, 1992 ISBN 1-85538 -149-4 .

This is the book that first got me interested in Irish myths and religious systems. The meditations in the book are excellent and Blamires picks apart the Irish myths piece by piece. (DT)

___________, Glamoury. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995 ISBN 1-56718-069-8.

This book deals with Irish ritual structure and tools as well as giving a brief overview of Irish gods and goddesses. (DT)

Laurie, Erynn Rowan. A Circle of Stones: Journeys and Meditations for Modern Celts. Chicago, IL: Eschaton Books, 1996 ISBN 1-57353-106-5.

A great collection of short Celtic daily meditations. (DT)

Gantz, Jeffrey. Early Irish Myths and Sagas. London: Penguin Books, 1981 ISBN 0-14-044397-5.

This is a wonderful easy to read translation of Irish myths and legends. One of the first I used in learning about the mythology of the Irish Celts, it is still a favorite. (DT)

Freeman, Mara. Kindling the Celtic Spirit: Ancient Traditions to Illumine Your Life Throughout the Seasons. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Hardback ISBN: 0-06-251685-X; paperback ISBN: 0-06-251686-8.

The books is divided into twelve themed chapters, one for each month. Each chapter contains stories and myths relating to the theme, practical crafts and exercises that help readers immerse themselves in the them, sections on holy places, animals, trees, recipes and a meditation.

I have positive feelings and mixed thoughts about this book. I have found the exercises and meditations very inspiring and very helpful in developing a spiritual understanding of seasonal changes. I do not think that this is a book that will teach the reader much about “ancient” Celtic spiritual practices.

Ms. Freeman seems to have a different definition of “ancient” that I use. For me, the word refers to that which is prior to the fall of the Roman Empire. It seems that very few of the folkways and customs can be documented to date that early. Based on my studies in Celtic cultures so far, I doubt that what is presented here as “ancient” Celtic bears much resemblance to the spiritual practices of the ancient Celts. Kindling the Celtic Spirit seems an amalgamation of what is believed to be remnants of ancient spirituality hidden in relatively recent folk practices and Western Mystery Traditions.

I do have some quibbles with her use of the generic term “Celtic” when she is speaking only of Insular Celts. While she states that her book is only about Insular Celts in her introduction, it would have been less misleading if she had used “insular” before mentions of “Celtic” unless she really was speaking for all of the Celtic peoples. For example, on page 12, she implies that all Iron Age Celts lived in and used circular structures, when such structures are found mostly in British Island and Ireland while continental Iron Age Celts tended to have rectangular structures.

In spite of the historical weaknesses of the book, I do feel that the inspirational value makes it a worthwhile addition to the bookshelf. The reader should use the information given here as a stepping stone to further research in these subjects and the solid, if brief, bibliography provides an excellent starting place. (SR)

Harbison, Peter. Pre Christian Ireland From the 1st Settlers to the Early Celts. New York, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1988 ISBN 0-500-02110-4.

This is one of the first full scale surveys of early Irish pre-history fit for general public consumption. This is not a book for beginners, but can be used as a reference to archaeological finds in Ireland. Even though it’s 10 years old, it still has a lot of vital information on major sites in Ireland. (DT)

Kinsella, Thomas. The Tain. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1969 ISBN 0-19-281090-1.

This is a tried and true translation of the Tain bo Cuailnge. (DT)