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Author Topic: Women in Celtic Myth: Tales of Extraordinary Women from the Ancient Celtic Tradition  (Read 3671 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Topic Start: October 23, 2010, 04:35:27 pm »

Title: Women in Celtic Myth: Tales of Extraordinary Women from the Ancient Celtic Tradition
Author(s): Moyra Caldecott
Publisher: Destiny Books
Publication Date: March 1, 1992
ISBN: 0892813571
ISBN-13: 978-0892813575
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

In Celtic myth, the mixture of wise spiritual teaching and dramatic imagery creates new, potent, and disturbing visions. This selection of eleven stories-some more than 3,000 years old-focuses on the women of ancient British mythology, from the formidable women warriors who trained heros to fight and kill to the beautiful companions who led them to higher realms of feminine intuition and spiritual wisdom. Caldecott goes beyond a mere recounting of female strength, providing lucid personal commentary that illuminates the complete myth and the culture from which it springs. These powerful stories transmit a recognition of the mystery of being and an understanding of the powerful magic of inner transformation.

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Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.

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« Reply #1: October 24, 2010, 10:02:38 am »

Has anyone else read it?

It's my first book about Celtic myth (apart from books with related topics) so I can't compare it to other books about exactly the same topic and I haven't read it fully through yet, just the first two stories.

I found the stories to be told in a fluid and good-to-read way. I can't well which simplifications have or have not been made since I'm no expert on celtic myth.

The commentary has sometimes an interesting point or two, but to me it sounds like the usual mix of psychoanalysis, feminism and spiritual symbolism. Much of it I could have guessed myself, but that's me, since I've studied literature I'm a bit easy to bore with certain kinds of interpretations. I also don't find it so much 'lucid personal' as the description above tells, but maybe that's just my personal taste.

To make some comparisons: I like the story commentaries in Starhawks books, they are also a mix of psychoanalysis, feminism and spiritual symbolism, but for me they are lucid, personal, filled with life - the same with Èstes. I don't feel the same with Caldecott's commentary, but it might just be my personal taste.

I also liked Karl Kerényi's telling and commenting the Greek myths much better, but since I'm no expert in celtic myth I'm not sure that's a fair comparison.

The stories themselves are certainly worth reading and I think the commentary might be interesting for someone who hadn't read a lot of literature interpretations yet. It's not bad, but it doesn't have much originality either.

Well, has anyone else read it? I'd love to hear some second and third opinions on this one.

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