A nice little tome that allows you to dip your toes into Irish history without drowning in the sheer amount of literature that abounds. Of course, thiA nice little tome that allows you to dip your toes into Irish history without drowning in the sheer amount of literature that abounds. Of course, this shouldn't be your final stop....more
The author is very adamant in the first chapter on how this is not Wicca, but yet, I barely see any differences. Witchcraft does not have High PriestsThe author is very adamant in the first chapter on how this is not Wicca, but yet, I barely see any differences. Witchcraft does not have High Priests and Priestess for one thing — that's a Wiccan trait — there's eight sabbats mentioned as well as initiation, "using" Celtic deities (rather than forming relationships. She lists beside each deity "modern uses," which I find horribly disrespectful), rites of passage, three levels (degrees), Lord and Lady, elementals, speaks of using sage smudge sticks and Tibetan bells for house cleansing (you think someone so adamant in cultural preservation would at least use juniper traditionally used by the Gaels to clear a house, not the Native American sage) ... to me it just looks like Irish Wicca. I truly can not see a difference.
On the upside, however, it is very delightful to see so much of the Irish language used within the book (along with easy-to-understand pronunciations). It was also fantastic to see her advocate learning Irish if you are going to call your spiritual path "Irish". And I loved that the author tackled the Witta issue as well as the Druid "bed sheet brigade" (page 203), I applaud her for both.
Other key points: she sticks to the four insular Celtic festivals within her Cycles chapter (she mentions the Solstice and Equinoxes as well, but only goes into full detail on the four fire festivals, unfortunately though there are some Wiccan bits and bobs thrown into these details) and she gives some fantastic book recommendations in the back.
I did find it hilarious how in the Website recommendations she mentions Conradh Draoithe na h-Eireann, a group whom talk about some very odd things (like Atlantean land-healing and Masons ... what this has to do with Irish Druids, I have no idea), but I wouldn’t trust a site with that on it.
Back to the shortcomings, there is one major thing that bothered me. On pages 85-86, the author states: "These are the ones who tie torn-up pieces of flowery umbrellas to a hawthorn tree outside the caves—just to leave an 'offering' of anything. Bring your rubbish home next time, folks". Tying bits of cloth to trees (called clooties) is an old and traditional Irish custom which locals still keep, so I have no idea why the author is so adamant that they should be removed and clearly through her choice of words, this was aimed at foreigners and tourists. Her statement is very condescending.
Now I completely understand her not wanting candle wax, crystals, bonfires, rubbish, bits of plastic (page 125), but again she mentions not tying things to trees. Cloth and any food left as offerings are biodegradable (and non-synthetic) and are fine to leave, I don’t understand her disdain for them (well maybe food as that could attract animals, but I see nothing wrong with clooties tied to branches or coins hammered into trees -- both things which locals do). She even goes on to say that she removes other people’s offerings (page 126)!
This book does have its drawbacks, but reading this review will help you spot them more easily. Overall, Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch is a decent piece of material for those interested in modern Witchcraft through an Irish lens. I’d recommend it to Wiccans looking for a more Irish/Celtic flavored path, but not really to anyone else.
About the Author Lora O’Brien is an Irish Witch, professional tarot reader, and High Priestess of Crow Coven, and writes for Irish and UK Pagan and Witchcraft magazines. She lives and works with her High Priest and family in County Roscommon, Ireland....more
Harner is the creator of what is called "Core Shamanism" (the ‘shamanism’ and practices of Sandra Ingerman, and Caitlín and John Matthews also fall unHarner is the creator of what is called "Core Shamanism" (the ‘shamanism’ and practices of Sandra Ingerman, and Caitlín and John Matthews also fall under the Core Shamanism umbrella). Like Daniel C. Noel and Robert J. Wallis, I believe Harner's teachings are based on cultural appropriation and Western fantasies. Harner, despite being an anthropologist, exploits and rapes the indigenous cultures he talks about in this book by tearing them apart, taking what pieces of a specific tradition will suit his practice/agenda/romanticism nicely and disregarding the rest.
The Way of the Shaman is his beliefs (UPG) regarding shamanism, and indeed are not how things really are. If you really want to learn about shamanism, skip this New Age drivel and go to the history books.
As Graham Harvey said: “The approaches of both Harner and Eliade are problematic in their universalizing of diverse and discrete, culturally situated shamanisms into a monolithic category to be palatable to Western audiences.” — (The Historical Dictionary of Shamanism, page 60)...more
I have never read the original version of the book, Rites of Worship (2003, Dubsar House), so I unfortunately cannot compare the two. Neopagan Rites dI have never read the original version of the book, Rites of Worship (2003, Dubsar House), so I unfortunately cannot compare the two. Neopagan Rites does lack an index, which is a pet peeve of mine, but that still doesn't put a damper on this decent piece of writing. Mr. Bonewits gives us an all-in-one guide to effective and intelligent public rituals.
I’ll be honest, though, I’m not into the whole public ritual aspect of modern Druidry. I like to know before hand whom I will be in ritual with, but this is just a personal preference. But if you happen to feel the same as I do, don’t let it stop you from checking out this book. Anything and everything within it is still meaningful to a solitary practitioner.
If you ignore the entire book, I hope that you at least pay careful attention to Chapter 11, 'Preparing for a Ritual', as this is the most important chapter in the entirety if the book. It doesn’t matter how fantastically written your ritual is if you are not properly prepared, people will notice this....more
Eric Maisel does a marvelous job of showing how a creative person’s depression is not the same as a typical case of clinical depression (something I mEric Maisel does a marvelous job of showing how a creative person’s depression is not the same as a typical case of clinical depression (something I myself have believed for quite some time). I have been writing poetry since my pre-teens, using it as an outlet for all the emotions and feelings that I go through and yes, I have been depressed numerous times in my short life. Creative people are sensitive people, we feel things on a much, much deeper level than average persons. The Van Gogh Blues is a groundbreaking catalyst offering various exercises and contemplations to bring true and profound healing and understanding into your life, and I tip my hat to Eric Maisel....more
This is a wonderful book, and not only for kids. If you, like me, only like a few select veggies but long to eat more for your health then this is theThis is a wonderful book, and not only for kids. If you, like me, only like a few select veggies but long to eat more for your health then this is the perfect book for you! Granted, it has recipes geared towards children (mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and such) but once you get the technique down you can experiment yourself and create more grown-up recipes....more
I adore this book! Not only do you have hundreds of authentic Irish recipes but you learn so much about the history of food in Ireland. I am definitelI adore this book! Not only do you have hundreds of authentic Irish recipes but you learn so much about the history of food in Ireland. I am definitely going to have to find a used copy to buy for my personal library. Highly recommended!...more