- Audio CD: 4 pages
- Publisher: Chalice Productions; Unabridged edition (March 15, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1890851051
- ISBN-13: 978-1890851057
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 4.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Celtic Spirit Meditations Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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As anyone who listens to such CDs knows, one's reactions to them are intensely subjective and it can be tough to find the right ones. I judge them based on their aural texture and whether they effectively evoke imagery and perceptions, and/or serenity and calm; I give this CD 5 stars, despite a few minor quibbles, because for me it was so successful in these regards. Ms. Freeman's voice has a nice tone, although her diction is formal and rather instructive (I would prefer something a little more subliminal, personally), and, to my ears anyway, sounded more generic British than Irish. The Celtic-themed music is also pleasant and appropriate, although sometimes the cues are on-the-nose. It is NOT that horrible, sappy, glossy electronic music that accompanies so many meditations!
Sadly, there are no sound samples, so I will try to give a bit of the feel of each meditation, including some of the author's description:
1. The Dolmen Gate--Entering the New Year. "As we stand on the threshold, we can close the door on any aspects of the past that we wish to leave behind, and we can also take with us those successes which have helped us build a good, solid foundation for the coming cycle." In this meditation, you approach a dolmen, one of the ancient configurations of standing stones scattered around the British Isles, gaze back behind you, noting the landmarks and the road that led you here, people, places, and events of significance. Then you decide what you want to take with you into the new cycle, and turn and face ahead through the Dolmen gate, looking at the road ahead, the year about to come. I found this an effective, simple contemplation for the New Year.
2. The Forge in the Forest--Brigit, Goddess of Fire and Light. "The smith transforms the ore from the lower world with the fire of the upper world to create something new and beautiful. The following meditation takes you to Brigit's forge to gain inspiration for your own creativity." One of my favorites, this meditation--done before a lit candle--takes you to a forge where the beautiful Brigit forges an ever-changing blade in a glowing, woodland forge, then questions you about what you have come to create. You see a vision in the flames of her forge of yourself creating, and are protected, guided and inspired by Brigit to follow through with this creation. I listened to this one again on Imbolc/St. Brigid's day, in front of my hearth, burning some old papers that blazed throughout the meditation. Even though I had just done the meditation the day before, I had a complete, detailed vision with new and helpful insights--many meditation CDs claim you will have a "new journey" each time you listen, but this does not always happen.
3. The Tree of Life--Between Earth and Sky. "You might even want to do this standing against a tree and blending your energy with it. Whichever way you choose, there are many benefits to aligning yourself with the energies of the lower and upper worlds in this way." A grounding meditation that is done in various cultures and practices, where you imagine yourself taking root into the earth like a tree, focusing on the sensations of your roots drawing energy from the soil, your branches and leaves reaching into the air, swaying in the breeze and turning toward the sun, the spirits of earth and air, and the seasonal changes.
4. The Lady of the Lake--A Healing Journey. "This meditation can be practiced at any time of the year. It takes you to meet Morgen, the Lady of the Lake in her island sanctuary of Avalon." This one did not incite my imagination as much as some others (perhaps from overexposure to Mists of Avalon), but had a dreamy mood and worked well as a calming, healing meditation. In the otherworldly Celtic dreamtime, an empty boat guides itself across the waters to you and bears you to an island where a silent, gentle woman leads you to a cozy healing room and works her magic with intuition, herbs, and music.
5. The Yew Tree Path--Meeting an Ancestor. "In the Celtic worldview, time is an endless, connecting thread that enables the living to feel the wise and loving presence of the ancestors." In this meditation, another favorite of mine, you journey down a dark avenue of yew trees toward a fire, where an ancestor appears to you and advises you. Following the advice not to choose an ancestor but let one appear spontaneously, I got an image of a woman in a dark robe who revealed herself as part of my ancestral feminine creative line, and offered me guidance about how to proceed. She later also appeared as one of the guides in The Wonder Hill meditation below (quite apropos, as I do have some Irish ancestors).
6. The Wonder Hill--Winter Solstice at Newgrange. "In midwinter, we enter the silence of the earth itself to experience its Mysteries and to prepare for our rebirth into the light of a new cycle. We visit Newgrange, perhaps the most mysterious and awe-inspiring Neolithic monument in Ireland." This meditation beautifully evokes Newgrange, the thousands-year-old, dome-shaped earthen and stone sacred site, where carved spirals on the inner walls are touched by rays of sunlight at the winter solstice. Approaching the site, you are stopped three times by archetypal figures and challenged to examine the purpose of your journey. Once inside, you join a cathartic, rejuvenating solstice celebration, accompanied by a rhythmic, droning music track that gives way to shimmering sounds as the sunlight pours into Newgrange. You are ready to again face the New Year. This contemplation also stimulated vivid imagery and useful revelations for me, so worked perfectly as an inner wisdom journey.
Overall, an ideal Celtic-themed, spiritual meditation series for those who have an affinity with this ambience. I have not read Ms. Freeman's book these meditations are drawn from, Kindling the Celtic Spirit, but I hope there will soon be another meditation CD drawn from this book or the fertile future imagination of this Celtic bard.
If you enjoy this CD, you might also enjoy The Avalon Meditations, by the same author (available on Amazon and reviewed by me here), Anam Cara by John O'Donohue (available on Amazon; audiobook read by the author available at the Seattle library), an exploration of many philosphical themes from a mystical, Celtic Christian perspective; The Living Dream, by Kate Hunter Kelley, a "dream incubation" meditation CD (with music) available at CD Baby; Returning, by Jennifer Berezan, available at Amazon, a chant/music CD recorded in the Oracle Chamber in the Hypogeum of Malta, another ancient sacred site; or Celtic Meditation, by Donald McKinney, another CD of Celtic-themed meditations available on Amazon.co.uk.