Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses

Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses

by Ayn Cates Sullivan PhD


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Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses is a collection of Irish myths and legends told in the traditional way, with a twist. Each Goddess, generally demonized or misunderstood, has the chance to retell her story in a way that liberates her from centuries of misunderstanding. some of the legends date back eight thousand years, yet the wisdom is timeless.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780988453784
Publisher: Infinite Light Publishing
Publication date: 10/01/2017
Pages: 298
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Academic Foreword Dr. Leonee Ormond xvii

Foreword Suzanna Crampton xxi

Author's Note: Discovering My Irish Ancestry 1

Introduction: The Legends of the Grail Stories 7

Harp, Club & Cauldron: The Three Treasures of Ireland 13


Danu in Celtic Myth & Legend: The Great Mother Goddess 17

Danu Speaks: Ireland's Missing Tale 21

Healing with Danu 27


Ceasair in Irish Myth & Legend: Granddaughter of Noah 43

Ceasair Speaks: Ireland's Missing Tale 45

Healing with Ceasair 55


Aine in Myth & Legend: A Solar Goddess 73

Aine Speaks: Ireland's Missing Tale 77

Healing with Aine 89


Scatach in Celtic Myth & Legend: Scotland's Warrior Goddess 105

Cuchulain in Myth & Legend: Ireland's Hero 107

Scatach Speaks: Ireland & Scotland's Missing Tale 109

Healing with Scatach 123


Emer in Myth & Legend: The Beauty of Ireland 137

Emer Speaks: Ireland's Missing Tale 139

Healing with Emer & Cuchulain 163

Caer Ibormeith

The Myth of Caer Ibormeith: Goddess of Swans 179

The Myth of Aengus Og: Irish God of Love, Beauty & Poetry 183

Caer's Beloved: Ireland's Missing Tale 185

Healing with Caer & Aengus 195


Quest for Earth's Cauldrons 209

The Cailleach in Myth & Legend: A Self-Created Goddess 211

Brighid in Myth & Legend: Goddess of Poetry & Healing 213

Brighid's Search for the Cailleach: Ireland & Britain's Missing Tale 217

Healing with Brighid & the Cailleach 231

Song of the Cailleach: "I am the rocks, sky and air…" 243

Appendix I Pantheon of Celtic Divinities 247

Appendix II Lebor Gabala Erenn's Six Invasions of Ireland 249

Appendix III A Goddess Timeline and "Thealogy": Her-story 253

Appendix IV Calendar of the Goddess: Balanced Sun & Moon 259

Glossary: Guide to Pronunciation & Terms 263

Bibliography: A Celtic Mythology Library 273

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Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses by Ayn Cates Sullivan, PhD showcases the heritage of Irish culture and wisdom, and a growing interest in Irish folklore and the ‘Celtic Revival’ in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book sheds light on these sacred women who are often seen in relation to their male counterparts. Each of the goddesses depicted in the book speaks for herself and readers are encouraged to experience them. The author takes readers into the ancient world where they get to know more about colors and the plants and trees associated with particular goddesses, and about objects which are part of their legends. This book on Irish myths celebrates women and their divine nature, which will inspire women and men alike and will encourage readers to discover the Goddess within them. I like the way the author motivates readers to take an inner journey so that they can discover themselves, to make them more acquainted with their souls. The spiritual undertones and whimsical vibes in the book will take readers to another dimension, another realm. I like the thought of inviting readers to engage in practices and visualizations designed to awaken the Goddess within each person. As readers enjoy the Irish mythology and folklore, they will be able to understand the Celtic Goddesses, their powers, and wisdom. These healing stories take readers on a quest to discover their true nature and find their way to truth, love, health, and wisdom. The glossary at the end of the book is helpful.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite Once in a great while, a book of profound insight comes along disguised as a collection of stories about magic. Joseph Campbell penetrated the familiar great world myths to reveal an incredibly rich and complex psychological reality in the lives we live, and thus made magic itself live again with both urgency and relevance. In her beautifully written and illustrated book, Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses, Ayn Cates Sullivan, Ph.D. brings similar urgency and relevance to the psychological reality behind the Goddess within each human psyche. Her book, however, is not simply an academic rendering of a living spiritual principle. Dr. Sullivan offers something much more subtle, rich, and ultimately satisfying. She offers her audience a viable passage into their own personal mythic journey, with the healing consequences thus implied. Legends of the Grail does indeed tell stories of Celtic goddesses, but Ayn Cates Sullivan also layers and enriches these stories of ancient Irish myths with vital background information robed with historical importance, with first-person stories told by each chosen Goddess to establish accessible resonance, with symbolic revelations for present-day applications, meditations, and visualizations allowing intimate contact with the Goddess herself. The author includes personal practical suggestions for utilizing the archetypal values embedded symbolically and firmly in the specified Goddess in order to facilitate psychological revival and continued health, and finally a poetic blessing to access the less structured but higher nature of the human mind. Dr. Sullivan accomplishes all this with concise and polished writing that appears deceptively simple, as all captivating stories do, but do not be misled – the Goddess calls.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Robin Goodfellow for Readers' Favorite Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses by Ayn Cates Sullivan is an educational book about the different Celtic goddesses and their backgrounds, and details their various symbols and worship practices. The book also endeavors to dispel any misconceptions regarding these goddesses in general, and shows just one of the ways in which these goddesses connect with many other world religions. The book is divided into sections, each of which contains a unique goddess that Sullivan explores. From the compassion of the Mother Goddess herself, to the fierceness of Ceasair, to even the independence of Aine, these goddesses have proven time and time again their place in the world, taking their place as one of the old religions, just before Christianity. With encouraging words and a love for nature, Sullivan delves into these goddesses' characteristics and backgrounds, all the while gently nudging the reader to have a greater respect for them. The marriage between paganism and Christianity is certainly a unique one. Many modern traditions we celebrate as Christians had pagan roots, though some people may think otherwise. Even so, while I do identify as a Christian, I found this book impeccably beautiful, not only because of the gorgeous retelling, but also because of the exquisite imagery Sullivan uses when describing them. When I read this book, I felt as if I was walking through a dark, yet soothing forest, gazing out at the seasons around me, with time slipping away beneath my fingertips. I loved this book, and would recommend it to any reader who is curious about Celtic culture, regardless of their religion.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
It is always intriguing to discover stories, legends, and myths from long ago that are still remembered today. In her book Legends of the Grail, author Ayn Cates Sullivan takes the reader on a journey of discovery, uncovering the fascinating details of some of Ireland's most famous Goddesses. Throughout history, some of these legendary figures were seen in a negative light, making them appear cruel and unjust. However, the author has retold their stories in this book and the reader is given a different insight into the misunderstood myths surrounding these famous goddesses. Each chapter starts with an introduction to a particular goddess and then a story or legend that is associated with her. In an interesting twist, the author has chosen to tell each story from the point of view of the goddess, which is rare and allows the reader to really explore these legends in a new way. Many times these stories are told from the point of view of the human who saw a glimpse of light in the distance, or a shift in the shadows at night and claimed it was a goddess approaching. However, in this book the reader is able to open up a whole new world as these stories are told in a way that explains their supernatural occurrences while at the same time being easily relatable. In addition, each chapter contains information about what represents each goddess including colors, plants, and animals. This adds to the idea that each of these goddesses can be seen, felt, or heard anytime we happen to be walking through the woods or strolling by a bubbling stream. Some of the goddesses that were misunderstood include a solar goddess by the name of Aine, who in myths was shown to be a bad and disrespectful wife of King Ailill. However, when author Ayn Cates Sullivan shines some light on this particular myth she reveals that in fact Aine just held her freedom and independence above all else, which are admirable qualities. She uses this freedom and independence to be available when someone calls her that needs a light in their lives. After all she was a solar goddess and wanted to make sure she was there to help anyone who was in need of her help. Then there was the goddess Cailleach who would many times disguise herself as an old woman, or a terrible giantess who would throw boulders out of her apron pockets. In reality, she was adamant about protecting the land, animals, and plants, for she had a deep love of nature, and would only punish those who disrespected it. The way this book is written was unique and I found it quite wonderful to read. With each goddess having a specific chapter dedicated to her story, I was able to focus on each one individually, allowing me to learn more. I loved the way this author included the colors, plants, and animals that are representative of each goddess, for that brings the myth and the real world together beautifully. It is always amazing for me to read a book that stays with me long after I have finished reading it. That is exactly what happened with Legends of the Grail as I think back to it often while I am simply going about my everyday life. Quill says: This is a book that stays with the reader, giving positive thoughts long after the last page is read.