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Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch Paperback – January 1, 2005
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"...important for Ireland and Witchcraft...destined to be counted alongside groundbreaking books by Gerald Gardner...history in the making." -- Foreword - by Merlyn of 'Children of Artemis'
About the Author
Lora OBrien is an Irish Witch living and working in County Roscommon - historical home of the Morrigan and Queen Maedbh - with her husband and working partner of many years, Brendan, and their two daughters. She runs Crow Coven: a group of Irish Witches who work closely with land and local deity to blend their history, heritage, and thirst for knowledge. She trained for many years in a traditional Wiccan coven, which included time as the covens Maiden and her path through all three Wiccan degrees, leading to the rank and role of High Priestess in her own right. Lora has now moved away from Wicca, and continues to work more directly with her native heritage.
Heavily involved in Irish paganism and witchcraft, she runs a monthly moot, the first one for her own county of Roscommon. She organises Witchfest Ireland, the country's nation-wide yearly Witchcraft event, with her co-organiser Barbara Lee. A professional Tarot reader, Reiki healer, and body piercer, Lora also runs her own web site with interactive courses, keeps her home and a smallholding, and somehow finds time to write. A second book is now in progress.
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Top Customer Reviews
O'Brien makes things simple for the reader: know the history, know the things from which you draw power, understand why we celebrate certain times and not others, and make this a part of your everyday life.
Reading this book has focused my path and given me better understanding of what I need to learn, and what I didn't know. For me, in this book, O'Brien was like the teacher who said, "forget all those books; go out and learn what it's really about." If I ever get the chance to thank her in person, I will happily buy the pints.
If I were feeling peckish, I might challenge the author on her charge that serious students should learn the Irish language as the language of the associated dieties - is she so certain that it is the language of the Tuatha De and not of the Fomorians (or any other group)? I will issue no such challenge, however, as I firmly believe in communication and education.
It is a good read, with some humor as well as some points meriting further serious consideration or debate. Well done!
The Next dose of common sense is the importance of learning about the Irish culture and traveling to Ireland if you want to practice Irish Witchcraft. If you want to communicate with the Irish Gods and Goddesses then learn Irish or at least make the effort. They will appreciate you for it. The author advocates moving to Ireland at least for a bit. I must say that in this respect I agree with her wholeheartedly. If you want to practice this system then immerse yourself.
She goes through a list of all the Gods and and Goddesses and tells us what areas of specialty they are involved in. Dgda is a god of fertility. Morgana is a goddess of war and magic. It is important to study and know these deities if we want to work with them. She gives good sources at the end of the book for further research. Something I advise checking out.
The Section on faeries is heft and informative. They are not like Tinker bell at all and some could be rather vicious. treat them with respect and have your courage ready to over come any fear. Faeries do not like people who grovel. She discusses where faeries live and a few stories connected to faeries and how they tutored some humans in magic. Lora does a good job separating them from spirits of the trees, genus loci and the Sidhe. She gives some techniques on how to connect with the spirits of the trees.
I liked her personal anecdote of going into Morgana's cave. There is definitely a line between a true spiritual seeker and a tourist who comes to visit a faery site and pretends to get something out of it.Her encounter with Morgana was frightening and it is no light thing to dedicate oneself to a deity.
While the book is very common sensical I got the feeling that the book had a lot of Wiccan input regardless. I mean what exactly is Irish Witchcraft. The author states that her coven which used to be Wiccan is now more eclectic pulling from different sources such as Crowley's OTO. She says in the beginning of her book that she will not spoon feed the reader or give over any spells. I have nothing solid on which to base Irish witch craft on. No model technique. Do Irish Witches draw circles or is that up to the individual practitioner. I have nothing against freestyle magicians or sorcery whcih is really what the book seems to be save that she gave it the title "Irish Witchcraft" Every sort of witch craft and magical system has a set of techniques. We need sample so we can create our own in the spirit of Irish witchcraft.
That being said the author's Wiccan influence comes in strong and steady. Nothing wrong with that just label it as what it is. Wicca with an Irish twist. The initiation and degree system is Wiccan with the exception that they use Irish Terms. The book give a good over view for the non Irish into Irish culture which is definitely of value. The book is a starting point and definitely good for the beginner. For the more advanced they may wish to go a little deeper.
If you are looking for an Irish perspective on Irish Witchcraft, this is it!