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Author Topic: Celtic Myths with Commentary?  (Read 2705 times)
Waldfrau
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« Topic Start: November 03, 2010, 04:50:36 pm »

Hi,

I've just searched the forum for a solid book about celtic myths and came up with whole lists like these:

http://www.adf.org/training/resources/mythology.html

http://homepage.eircom.net/~shae/app23.htm

No idea which one to read first. I'm looking for something which gives a good overview about the myths and also some basic historic commentary to help understanding the context and culture.

I'm not sure if I should read a compilation or a translation first...but I'd like a fluent story telling for the start, so I'd go for the compilation first if the translated text are a bit hard to dig through.

(I'd love something like Karl Kerenyi did with Greek myths.)

Does anyone have an idea where to start?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 05:41:21 pm by RandallS, Reason: Subject changed » Logged

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Aster Breo
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« Reply #1: November 03, 2010, 10:32:25 pm »

Does anyone have an idea where to start?

Well, here's another book list for you:  CR FAQ Reading List.  This one prioritizes the list, groups it usefully, and gives some info on some of the books and authors that will be useful for you.

I think I'd start with these two (from the FAQ):
Quote
Gods and Heroes of the Celts — Marie-Louise Sjoestedt

This is an excellent introduction to Celtic mythology in a variety of cultures. It’s short and clear, emphasizing the importance of not attempting to smoosh Celtic deities into Classical Mediterranean models. A wonderful overview.

Celtic Mythology — Proinsias MacCana

This coffee table style book is a wonderful introduction to Celtic myth as well, and includes fabulous color photos of artifacts and archaeological sites. It’s an easy read and covers a great deal of territory.

It's been a while since I read any of these, but IIRC, The Religion of the Ancient Celts, by J. A. MacCulloch, is also a good starting place.

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Waldfrau
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« Reply #2: November 04, 2010, 03:59:46 am »

Thanks, the two you pointed out sound good. Just ordered them from the US. I hope they won't take too long to arrive. (Paid more for delivery than for the books themselves...)

*impatiently waits at the post box*
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Zoe Moonchild
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« Reply #3: November 04, 2010, 07:20:13 am »


This is a great resource site.  Thanks for the link!
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« Reply #4: November 29, 2010, 11:51:12 pm »

Hi,

I'm not sure if I should read a compilation or a translation first...but I'd like a fluent story telling for the start, so I'd go for the compilation first if the translated text are a bit hard to dig through.


Well first off- do you want Irish myths or Welsh? or both?
The only translations available so far that I've seen are for the Tain bo Cuilinge (sp) and the Mabinogi.
I'd like to see one for the Book of Invasions. Mostly what I've found have been retellings, generally including some sort of commentary.
What I think would be cool is there was something that related mythology to modern life and situations, as well as historical context- like the way a study bible does. (Yes, I know, we don't generally regard our myths the way Christians do the Bible, but you get the idea.)

Anyway...more on this another time, it's getting late!
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« Reply #5: November 30, 2010, 12:25:13 am »


If you're looking for translations of the Celtic lore, check out Sacred Texts, CELT, and the Celtic Lit section of Mary Jones.

Between those three, you can find almost everything you can want.   Cheesy
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« Reply #6: November 30, 2010, 07:20:55 am »

Well, here's another book list for you:  CR FAQ Reading List.  This one prioritizes the list, groups it usefully, and gives some info on some of the books and authors that will be useful for you.

 I have been working my way through this list for a few months, so far it has been quite useful.
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« Reply #7: November 30, 2010, 12:03:12 pm »

What I think would be cool is there was something that related mythology to modern life and situations, as well as historical context- like the way a study bible does. (Yes, I know, we don't generally regard our myths the way Christians do the Bible, but you get the idea.)

It would be cool... if we had more materials/context/and if the person writing it knew what the hell they were doing. At least one person has tried to turn Celtic myths into working magical and religious systems with... erm... questionable (to say the least) success.

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« Reply #8: November 30, 2010, 12:54:22 pm »

At least one person has tried to turn Celtic myths into working magical and religious systems with... erm... questionable (to say the least) success.

Wow!  Somehow I've managed to miss this book.

Have you read it?  Obviously, you don't think highly of it.  Wink  What kinds of problems does it have?
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« Reply #9: November 30, 2010, 12:58:20 pm »

Wow!  Somehow I've managed to miss this book.

Have you read it?  Obviously, you don't think highly of it.  Wink  What kinds of problems does it have?

I read this ages ago. I honestly can't remember that much of it: I think my skepticism is founded on something, but I'd have to remind myself through a review or something.  Undecided
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« Reply #10: November 30, 2010, 01:10:21 pm »

I read this ages ago. I honestly can't remember that much of it: I think my skepticism is founded on something, but I'd have to remind myself through a review or something.  Undecided

Aha--I've refreshed my memory. While I found his approach to making an actual magical system based on (what he calls) the creation story embedded in the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh interesting, his magical approach is based largely on Hermeticism and Ceremonal magic traditions, which I wouldn't exactly call the "ancient Irish way" (though I wouldn't discount it as a magical approach to this myth as such).

I vaguely remember just being given some weird assumptions and too-far-to-jump conclusions to really be entranced, though some of the exercises/pathworkings were all right. I can't remember specifics though without a copy at hand.
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