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Author Topic: Matthews' Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom  (Read 9590 times)
SunflowerP
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« Reply #15: January 25, 2010, 06:57:35 pm »

I could live with "romantic" then, as a category, though I'm sure we'll all get tired of explaining how that doesn't mean "romance novel" to the less educated. =P
That's why I prefer the upper-case R, so that it more clearly makes reference to Romanticism.  Unfortunately, a lot of people don't really know about that, or only vaguely, so, yeah, that'll be one of those things that has to be explained over and over.  That's what I had in mind when I started the thread I linked to earlier - if there's already a discussion, we don't have to do the whole explanation every time, just the link (which isn't all that helpful for non-TC purposes, though you could easily include it in an "online reading" list).

Quote
One thing I am keely aware of, though, is how the different pagan circles I move within view different books, authors, etc. And I think it's important for folks who take a more academic viewpoint towards paganism to beware of becoming condescending to folks who take more of a UPG track.
I'm with you there!  I think one important approach for people like you and me is to emphasize that we're not trying to use UPG as a replacement for academic study; we don't expect to get the same result from our approach as the academically-oriented hard recons get from theirs.

Huh.  Turns out I could probably write a whole article on the acrimony between reconstructionist Pagans and those using more "classically" neoPagan approaches to cultural paganisms.  I'll refrain from doing it here, and STFU.

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« Reply #16: January 26, 2010, 11:14:42 am »



Huh.  Turns out I could probably write a whole article on the acrimony between reconstructionist Pagans and those using more "classically" neoPagan approaches to cultural paganisms.  I'll refrain from doing it here, and STFU.

Sunflower

But we love you article length posts!  At least I do.  Grin

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« Reply #17: January 26, 2010, 01:36:38 pm »

That's why I prefer the upper-case R, so that it more clearly makes reference to Romanticism.  Unfortunately, a lot of people don't really know about that, or only vaguely, so, yeah, that'll be one of those things that has to be explained over and over.  That's what I had in mind when I started the thread I linked to earlier - if there's already a discussion, we don't have to do the whole explanation every time, just the link (which isn't all that helpful for non-TC purposes, though you could easily include it in an "online reading" list).
Sunflower
Just wanted to say thanks, had and "ah ha!" lightbulb moment reading this.  The Romantic poets always resonated with me, and I have always felt drawn to Celtic myths.  However, since i'm just starting my journey I was feeling rather overwhelmed by where to start my research.  However the Celtic reconstructionist seemed when reading the basic guide just didnt speak to me.  Now I've got a place to start!
Many thanks and /hugs!
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« Reply #18: January 26, 2010, 03:48:55 pm »

But we love you article length posts!  At least I do.  Grin
Thank you!

It seemed a bit too far off topic for this thread - but it's probably worth doing at some point.

Sunflower
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« Reply #19: January 26, 2010, 05:55:05 pm »

As a novice who feels drawn to Witchcraft and the Celtic pantheon in particular, I thought the best place to start this journey would be with some research. I am reading the requisite 101 books (Hutton, Adler, Starhawk, Cunningham, etc.) but am also looking at more topical works about Celtic myths. I found Caitlin & John Matthews' Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom: A Celtic Shaman's Source Book and from a quick scan of the works cited, it seems like a fairly reputable book. Has anyone read this? Thoughts? Thank you in advance.

                              Foxfire

The word "Celtic" is such an ambiguous term. Which country/people are you specifically interested in? Also, there is a poetic/mythic truth, and there is an historic truth. IMO, both have their merits...and flaws. Today, however, it seems people are more interested in "hard" reconstruction, which I find to be a bit amusing. The thing is: what we think we know about the Celts keeps changing with each generation, as new discoveries are made. Just my 2 cents. YMMV.
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« Reply #20: January 26, 2010, 05:58:52 pm »

It seemed a bit too far off topic for this thread - but it's probably worth doing at some point.

You might consider writing it for the newsletter.  Hint, hint...   Wink
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« Reply #21: January 26, 2010, 06:52:01 pm »

You might consider writing it for the newsletter.  Hint, hint...   Wink
<grin> And so it is with most any pagan-related thing on my long list of things I oughta write - the trick is to actually write them.  This particular one, though, is especially suited to the newsletter - enough that I may be able to use "for submission to newsletter" as incentive.

Sunflower
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« Reply #22: January 26, 2010, 11:38:46 pm »

<grin> And so it is with most any pagan-related thing on my long list of things I oughta write - the trick is to actually write them.  This particular one, though, is especially suited to the newsletter - enough that I may be able to use "for submission to newsletter" as incentive.

Let me know if I can help in any way.  I'm a pretty good proof reader and editor.   Smiley
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« Reply #23: January 29, 2010, 01:18:38 pm »

The Matthews are among the soundest writers, if what one is looking into is neoPaganism with a "Romantic Celtic" feel; many of the other writers of "Celtic" pop-paganism are mostly spouting nonsense.  But if what one wants is a historic Celtic paganism, they're better avoided.

Sunflower

Thanks for this... I was wondering about getting a Matthews book myself and this was really helpful to me!!
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« Reply #24: February 08, 2010, 02:26:54 pm »

This particular one, though, is especially suited to the newsletter - enough that I may be able to use "for submission to newsletter" as incentive.

We could even perhaps do a "point/counterpoint" sorta thing. I could talk about what I've seen on Goddess groups I've been a part of as well as how my eclectic coven deals with it. We're a *very* UPG group, not that our members aren't also very educated and well-read... but the founding High Priestess of the tradition does recommend Silver Ravenwolf as good Wiccan beginner material along with books we here would consider more appropriate (Gardner, Cunningham, Valiente, the Farrars, etc).

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« Reply #25: February 08, 2010, 03:38:35 pm »

I think it makes available a lot of primary resources to the average reader without access to university libraries that would otherwise be difficult to find in a hard copy (the Internet has good primary resources as well), and for that it is not too bad a resource to have handy. I, however, would question their commentary on the texts and their interpretations.

I agree with you there- have also heard from CR folks that the translations they use are older and less accurate- they were used because they were out of copyright. Just keep in mind the perspective they are coming from of viewing druids as shamans (and while druids or rather filidh specifically had shaman-like aspects it was only one of their many roles, and a Ceremonial Magic/Western Mystery influence. Certainly the Matthews beat some other authors out there like Edain McCoy & D.J. Conway (ugh)

But while scholarly books are good for raw information on history & mythology they do not give ideas on how to practice the religion in a modern context. So we have to look to spiritually-oriented books that might not have the best scholarship. It would be nice if there were more Pagan books out there that did have good scholarship, though that is changing especially with Internet publishing which can reach smaller niche markets.
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« Reply #26: February 08, 2010, 03:50:30 pm »

But while scholarly books are good for raw information on history & mythology they do not give ideas on how to practice the religion in a modern context. So we have to look to spiritually-oriented books that might not have the best scholarship.

Which is why I still enjoy reading the Matthews' works, and--not exactly encourage, promote or recommend, but approve--them for others' reading. They give me ideas.

In fact, I treat them a lot like I did Graves--mostly harmless poetic nonsense. Cool
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« Reply #27: February 08, 2010, 04:12:30 pm »

Which is why I still enjoy reading the Matthews' works, and--not exactly encourage, promote or recommend, but approve--them for others' reading. They give me ideas.

In fact, I treat them a lot like I did Graves--mostly harmless poetic nonsense. Cool
This.  Inspiring, but not factual.

Sunflower
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« Reply #28: February 09, 2010, 02:54:28 am »

We could even perhaps do a "point/counterpoint" sorta thing. I could talk about what I've seen on Goddess groups I've been a part of as well as how my eclectic coven deals with it. We're a *very* UPG group, not that our members aren't also very educated and well-read... but the founding High Priestess of the tradition does recommend Silver Ravenwolf as good Wiccan beginner material along with books we here would consider more appropriate (Gardner, Cunningham, Valiente, the Farrars, etc).

Karen

Sorry to be so late to this.  I'm trying to catch up on threads a little before the next snow-induced migraine hits...   Undecided

Anyway, I think this is a really interesting idea for the newsletter.  If you (Sunflower and Karen and anyone else) are interested in working something up for the newsletter, I'd be very willing to help.  Let me know.  Smiley
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