The Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom

by Carl McColman

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A comprehensive look at Irish, Scottish, Welsh and continental Celtic traditions, both Pagan and Christian , this guide includes the Celtic approach to shamanism, fairies, Wicca, neopaganism, magic and Druidism. It draws a map for today's Celtic quest, with the way of the pilgrim, honor of one's ancestors and the language and culture. Exploring the Celtic universe-gods and goddesses, mythic heroes and warriors, wonderworkers, underworlds, and otherworlds - this manual also covers lengers such as King Arthur, Merlin, and the Quest for the Holy Grail.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440695810
Publisher: DK
Publication date: 05/06/2003
Sold by: DK
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,071,876
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

CARL McCOLMAN is a freelance writer and spiritual teacher based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of several books including 'The Well-Read Witch' and 'The Aspiring Mystic'. A practicioner of nature spirituality for more than a decade, he is the co-founder and former leader of a druid grove and currently is the co-leader of an interfaith pagan meditation circle.

Table of Contents

Part 1Welcome to Celtic Wisdom1
1Introducing the World of Celtic Wisdom3
The Heart of a Warrior4
What Makes a Celt Tick?6
Entry-Points to the Celtic Tradition6
Spirituality, Wisdom, Tradition: Understanding the Path13
What's in It for Me: The Benefits of the Celtic Way14
2A History of a Proud People17
Why History Matters18
Before the Celts Were Celts19
Celtic Archaeology: From Hallstatt to La Tene19
The Coming of Christianity23
The Six Nations: Today's Celtic World26
The Lessons of History29
3The Concept of Celticity31
Defining Celticity32
Real Celts and Cardiac Celts36
The Wisdom of Being a Marginal Culture37
Wisdom, Language, and Celticity38
Of Pipes, Whistles, and Fiddles: Celtic Music39
4The Seven Dimensions of Celtic Wisdom41
A Few Basic Celtic Wisdom Principles42
The Seven Branches of Celtic Wisdom45
Finding Your Path53
Activity: Keep a Journal54
5The Sovereignty of Nature55
The Secret of Celtic Wisdom: Partnership with Nature56
Nature: The Heart of Celtic Wisdom58
The Sovereignty of the Land60
Putting Spirituality in Its Place63
More About Holy Wells65
Walk Your Talk68
6The Otherworld: Nature's Dance Partner69
What Is the Otherworld?70
A Geography of the Otherworld73
Gateways to the Otherworld74
Denizens of the Otherworld76
The Psychology of the Otherworld79
Part 2The Three Paths81
7Singers, Seers, and Sages83
"Song of Amergin"84
What the Classical Writers Had to Say About the Druids85
Celtic Quiz: Which Path Is Right for You?86
The Bards: Keepers of the Past90
The Ovates: Keepers of the Future91
The Druids: Keepers of the Present91
8Songs and Stories: The Path of the Bard93
The Quest for the Imbas: Fire in the Head93
Taliesin: The Quintessential Bard95
Other Elements of the Bardic Tradition97
Samildanach: To Be Talented in Many Ways101
Nine Steps Toward Becoming a Bard104
9Psychic Development: The Path of the Seer109
What Is an Ovate?110
The Elements of the Seer's Craft112
Examples of Famous Seers114
The Lorica: A Key to Psychic Self-Defense115
Nine Steps to Becoming a Seer118
10Devotion to the Ways of Wisdom: The Path of the Druid123
Just What Is a Druid?124
The Three Ages of the Druids124
More Than Just Priests: The Wisdom Aspect of Druidry127
Druids as Counselors: The Anamchara128
Other Pieces of the Druid Puzzle132
Nine Steps to Becoming a Druid134
11Rituals and Tools: Supplies for the Celtic Wisdomseeker141
Your Personal Altar142
The Virtue of Asking146
What Is Ritual?147
A Sample Ritual150
Part 3Mythology and Lore155
12Storytelling: The Waltz of Remembering157
The Role of the Shanachie in Celtic Wisdom158
The Monks and the Myths: Preserving the Stories161
Overview of the Mythic Sources163
Common Themes and Motifs in Celtic Myth and Legend166
Making Your Own Connection with the Lore168
Storytelling for the Future169
13The Irish Tradition171
The Four Cycles of Irish Myth172
Key Themes in the Myths174
Meet the Characters of Irish Myth175
Where to Go for Further Study183
14The Welsh Tradition185
The Main Stories and Themes of Welsh Tradition186
The Poetry and Triads of Wales188
The Legacy of the Welsh Tradition: The Arthurian Cycle188
Who's Who in Welsh Myth189
Where to Go for Further Study194
15Archaeology, Folklore, and the Living Tradition195
Archaeology: Every Picture (and Artifact) Tells a Story196
Folklore as a Source of Wisdom197
The Power of Place198
Modern Interpretations of Celtic Deity200
A Who's Who of Other Celtic Deities203
Comparative Mythology: The Ultimate Research Adventure204
Where to Go for Further Study205
Part 4Further Steps Along the Path207
16Quest for a Disciplined Mind209
Please Pass the Elbow Grease209
The Disciplined Mind of the Druid210
Elements of a Disciplined Mind212
Unleashing Your Inner Druid217
17Reaching Out to the Otherworld219
The Path of the Celtic Shaman220
What Is Shamanism?220
Entering the Otherworld: The Quintessential Shamanic Activity222
Contacting Otherworld Guides223
What Is the Purpose of Shamanism?224
Key Voices in Celtic Shamanism225
Tree and Landscape Meditation226
18Revering the Ancestors229
Honor Your Father(s) and Mother(s)230
The Concept of Worship231
How to Honor the Ancestors233
Celtic Reconstruction: One Way to Honor the Ancestors237
The Ultimate Honor: Living an Honorable Life238
19Befriending the Good People239
Where Do Faeries Come From?240
What's Unique About Celtic Faeries241
The History of Faery Contact243
Sites Associated with the Faeries245
What's So Wise About the Faeries?250
Faery Protocol251
20Celtic Spirituality and Christianity: Cultivating the Heart of Holiness253
The Story of the Coming of Christianity254
How Celtic Wisdom + Christianity = Celtic Christianity257
Brigid: Christian Saint, or Goddess Makeover?259
Christianity and Hostility261
Christopaganism: A Celtic Possibility263
Key Voices in Celtic Christianity265
Cultivating the Heart of Holiness as a Celtic Wisdomseeker266
21Mastering the Magical Arts267
The Controversial Concept of Magic267
Celtic Magic 101269
Celtic Witchcraft?!273
Wicca and Celtic Magic275
Magical Ethics: The Wiccan Rede and the Law of Three279
Key Voices in Celtic Wicca280
22The Quest for the Grail281
The Grail Tradition282
Key Themes of the Grail Quest288
Embarking on Your Own Grail Quest291
Key Voices in the Grail Quest292
Part 5Applied Celtic Wisdom293
23Divination: The Theory and Practice of Spiritual Guidance295
The History of Celtic Divination296
Celtic Divination Today297
The Tree Ogham: A Modern Celtic Oracle300
Commercially Available Celtic Divination Systems306
24The Cycles of Time309
The Real Reason Why Clocks Are Round!310
The Wheel of the Year310
Samhain: Roaming Spirits and the Chill of Death314
Imbolc: Bridget's Milk and Pregnant Ewes315
Beltain: Blossoming Hawthorn and Nighttime Revels316
Lughnasa: Sporting Games and a Harvest of Grain317
Solstices and Equinoxes318
The Dark Comes First: The Symbolism of the Cycle319
The Cycles of Time and the Nature of Human Existence320
25Practical Celtic Wisdom: Living the Celtic Life Today321
A Nine-Step Process to Living the Celtic Life322
By Yourself or with Others: Living the Life of a Wisdomkeeper328
Celtic Spirituality in a Group Setting329
Honoring the Path of Wisdom: Celtic Ethics331
The Virtues of Brigid as a Template for Honor332
BOnline Resources345
CTimeline of Celtic History351

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