By Mike Gleason
Magic Of The Celtic Gods And Goddesses: A Guide To Their Spiritual Power, Healing Energies, And Mystical Joy, by Carl McColman
New Page Books, 1564147835, 203 pp. (incl. appendices, notes, bibliography and index), 2003
I’ve read several other books by Carl McColman previously, and have always found them to be extremely readable and informative. This book does nothing to change that opinion. Carl and his co-author take the time to state quite clearly what they are, and are not, trying to do in this book.
This book isn’t filled with rituals (there isn’t much really known about Celtic rituals); nor is it filled with correspondences and/or attributes (there are lots of other sources available for that); and it does not pretend to be a scholarly work. It is filled with stories of some of the Celtic deities (over 400 have been catalogued by the scholars and less than 10% of them are represented in this book. It is written with the intent of giving the reader a “feel” fore the deities and their relationship to the world we inhabit.
The authors provide some suggestions for how and when to honour the deities. These are very generic (i.e., there are no rituals suggested, but there are suggestions for behavior which is appropriate) which makes them capable of being accomplished by anyone.
This is a very nice introduction to Celtic mythology. It contains enough information to convey the basics, while inspiring further reading for those who want to know more. It is light without being fluffy, and thorough without being exhaustive. In other words, it is a balanced presentation.