The Celtic Book of Days: A Guide to Celtic Spirituality and Wisdom
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The Celtic Book of Days: A Guide to Celtic Spirituality and Wisdom [Hardcover]

Caitlín Matthews
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1, 1995

In Celtic tradition, spirituality is woven into and through the rhythms of daily life. Because the way we observe the unfolding year shapes the way we live, many have adopted the Celtic calendar--strongly linked to natural elements and the seasons--as a means of personal and spiritual discovery.

The diverse writings and vibrant illustrations in this book have been carefully chosen to inspire daily reflection. Each month opens with a full-page illustration:  the daily entries are drawn from Celtic myth, poetry, prayers, and customs.

Author Caitlin Matthews highlights the unique characteristics of each of the four Celtic festivals and the four magical gates of the year: Samhain (ancestral communion and introspection); Imbolc (beginnings and primal innocence); Beltane (creative and powerful expression); and Lughnasadh (maturity and consolidation).

Material from many eras of Celtic history is included to present both pagan and Christian streams of Celtic spirituality. The author has created new translations for many of the entries, including some material from rare and previously unpublished works. Throughout the book, full color art, ranging from illuminated pages from the Book of Kells to modern illustrations, highlight the text.

Editorial Reviews


"The Celtic method of blending spirituality into everyday life is revealed in a collection of Celtic myths, prayers, lore and spiritual sayings based on the Celtic year. Enjoy an excellent, well-illustrated collection of Celtic wisdom which provides inspirational moments for each day."
(The Midwest Book Review)

"A visually beautiful work as well as a poetic guide to daily meditation.  This book will be appreciated by lovers of Celtic art and lore, Pagan or Christian, and by anyone who collects spiritual teachings as a source of hope and comfort in daily life."

(Keltria:  Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick)

"This book is both a history lesson and a moving spiritual experience and is a valued gift to pass down through generations. It’s a splendid trove of information for anyone studying the Celtic and Druid path(s)."
(Belladonna's Book Shelf, Feb 2007)

About the Author

Caitlin Matthews has written more than 21 books on spirituality, Celtic and Arthurian lore, and the Goddess, among them Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom; Mabon and the Mysteries of Britain; and The Arthurian Tarot. She lives in Oxford, England. 

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books; 1st U.S. ed edition (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892815655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892815654
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 9.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello! I'm Caitlin Matthews. I live in Oxford, England with my partner, John Matthews and assorted cats who, despite our best efforts, can't abide each other and live on different floors of our small house.

I'm primarily known for being the author of many books including Singing the Soul Back Home, Mabon and the Guardians of Celtic Britain, Psychic Shield, and Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom. I write in the fields of metaphysical non-fiction, poetry, fiction, folkstory and myth, as well as writing books for children. I'm known for my research into the Celtic and ancestral traditions, and the ways in which I provoke exploration of the creative metaphysical field, and how we can apply it to our spiritual path.

My latest books include The Celtic Wisdom Oracle, which is about the ancestors and my Enchanted Lenormand Oracle, with Virginia Lee, is published in 2013.

With John Matthews, I've written the Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom, the Arthurian Tarot and Walkers Between the Worlds, as well as the StoryWorld series of cards and books for storytellers of all ages, which started coming out in 2009. Our latest collaboration is The Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine where retro-history meets alternative futures in the world of the Imperium whose dynamic vehicles and wisdom is depicted on the cards. This has its own dedicated website on which I also write a monthly tarot blog.

Although I'm the author of over sixty books, most of my work is oral rather than written. As a teacher of ancestral, shamanic and metaphysical traditions, I go all over the world, working with communities and spiritual institutions. With John Matthews, and my dear colleague Felicity Wombwell, I co-founded The Foundation for Inspirational and Oracular Studies, which is dedicated to the mythic, oracular and sacred arts. Our FiOS shamanic training programme teaches students the ancestral wisdom and healing arts as living sacred traditions in which we still engage.

As a singer, I play Celtic & medieval harps, sruti and psaltery. My CDs include Deep Well in the Wild Wood: Songs from the Place Beyond and the latest, Earth's Own Heart: Songs from the Faery Hills is forthcoming. I was the Pictish language originator and song-writer of Song of the Exile for the 2004 Jerry Bruckheimer film King Arthur and I appear frequently on international radio and television.

For the last 23 years, I've had a shamanic practice in Oxford dedicated to healing soul sickness and ancestral fragmentation. I use my voice to help open the way between the worlds, to sing the soul's essential nature, tracking it through the client's story and bringing it homeward, with the help of spirit allies who have chosen to work with me.

I'm currently working on The Book of Ancestral Welcome: a book to help us come into good relationship with our ancestors. I believe that being in commuinion with our ancestors and gifting spirits is essential for the wellbeing of our world, and lies at the root of war and peace.

If you want to know more about my courses, events and forthcoming books, you are cordially invited to visit

For new readers of my work, there is no 'one book' that conveys all that I teach, but the following practical books may be a helpful guide for you to begin somewhere:

Walkers Between Worlds - for a grounding in where our spiritual traditions arose.
Singing the Soul Back Home - for a guide on how we come into come relationship with our gifting spirits
Celtic Visions - for understanding of the Celtic seership traditions
Psychic Shield - for those who need a friendly guide to how the universe and ourselves rub off each other and how we can do it more harmoniously

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good, some bad November 18, 1999
By A Customer
I purchased this book and followed the devotionals for a couple of weeks, then read ahead and stopped. I saw that Matthews was falling far too deeply into a modern, New Age sentimentalism that contradicts what I have seen to be Celtic beliefs for me to use it. I don't think this book is sufficiently Celtic to be called such. Some of the poetry and other materials are very good, but I could have done without the eco-politics beyond a certain point, and its lack of recognition of the political issues in the Celtic nations was a significant failure. How can this be Celtic if it doesn't deal with the issues faced by living Celts?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not all that I expected. June 28, 2000
Contrary to the first reviewers opinion (Nov. 18, 1999), this book is not a devotional text. I think this person has gotten this text confused with "The Celtic Spirit", a devotional text by the same author.
As for the "Celtic Book of Days" it is a well laid out calendar. Not quite what I expected, it seems to be lacking depth, and some days don't have very much information or artwork at all. I truly expected more.
If you wish to use it as a tabletop calendar, why not? That's what I use if for, but as a study tool there really isn't much there, which is fine as well. The passages mainly consist of brief poems or sayings, quick history reviews of ideas and significance of days. As I said earlier... not what I expected, but not a total disappointment either.
Not much more then a starter conversational piece IMHO.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beauty & The Beast: Beautiful Art. Hideous Writing. December 9, 2008
THE GOOD STUFF: This distinguished-looking hardback book, with gorgeous Celtic artwork and high-quality graphics on superior paper, is organized into a very attractive calendar format. Unfortunately, that's where the luxury ends.

THE DISAPPOINTING PART: The writing proves so disjointed. What's more, within the calendar entries, Author Caitlin Matthews repeatedly confuses the seasons. For example: under "November 26" (in late fall) she writes very weakly of Coventina, describing her as the "Goddess of the Spring" while offering no statement about how that deity relates to November, the season at hand, or this day in the Celtic calendar.

Another example, for "March 30," most of that day's message is left blank with only the following: "In the IRISH TREE ALPHABET, the letter N is represented by nuin or ash." (No further explanation or expression of meaning is offered).

Judging by other Celtic writings, I do not believe this book adequately represents Celtic lore. While the Celts traveled broadly and were open to many different ideas and philosophies, Matthews places way too much emphasis on the post-Christian era (and on the birth of Jesus Christ). Not enough focus is made on Celtic celebrations and festivals, after which this book is named.

My recommendation? Tear out the images and frame the beautiful artwork.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book August 15, 2013
By amy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I ordered this Celtic Book of Days to replace one I lost in a flood. I love anything Celtic, and have enjoyed this book once again.
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