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Celtic Spirituality: An Introduction to the Sacred Wisdom of the Celts    by Philip Freeman order for
Celtic Spirituality
by Philip Freeman
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2021 (2021)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Philip Freeman's Celtic Spirituality is 'An Introduction to the Sacred Wisdom of the Celts'. It includes bits and pieces (translated from the original Gaulish, Latin, Irish, and Welsh) of manuscript pages, ancient stone carvings, and Druids' spells from the pre-Christian and early Christian period.

In his Introduction, Freeman takes readers into the sacred tomb of Newgrange, 'old centuries before the Egyptians built the pyramids at Giza.' He tells us that the Celts 'stretched from Ireland and Britain to Spain, France (called Gaul in early times), northern Italy, central Europe, and into the lands of Galatia in Anatolia.' Traditional Celtic beliefs survived for centuries, even after Roman occupation - and in some ways survive still today.

What follows describes Celtic Gods and Goddesses; animal magic; druids and druidesses, their teachings and visions; reincarnation; human sacrifice; mistletoe and other sacred plants; magical spells and rituals; Holy Islands; the Tuatha De Danaan; songs of the bard Amairgen; the Otherworld; origin stories of rivers; tales of outlaw Finn mac Cumail; the great poet Taliesen; St. Patrick's writings and legends; the goddesses Brigid and St. Brigid; voyages of Bran and Brendan; and much more.

I especially liked Pangur Ban, a poem about a monk and his cat - he reads, seeking knowledge, while Pangur hunts mice. Note that for those seeking to learn more of the ancient Celts, the author has included a list of references for Further Reading.

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