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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 The author has created new translations for many of the entries, including some material from rare and previously unpublished works.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

Review

"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: #516,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(7)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good, some bad November 18, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not all that I expected. June 28, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beauty & The Beast: Beautiful Art. Hideous Writing. December 9, 2008
Format:Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The book of Celtic Snippets October 19, 2003
Format:Paperback
"The Celtic Book of Days" By Caitlin Matthews is more of a book of daily factoids than a spirituality and wisdom book. Once this fact is realized you can enjoy reading on a daily basis and seeing if you know that fact or not. If not then you have the fun of finding out more. Occasionally the snippet reads more like a Chinese fortune cookie.

Besides being split up in to daily snippets there is an over all calendar to keep you informed of the seasons, a decent bibliography, and index. This makes a great coffee table conversation book.
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