Promotion: Books aimed at Children and Adults

So I thought I would do something a little different today and promote a few books that I have read, liked and used to teach my little cousins about aspects of paganism and recommended to my family so that they get what I am doing.

The first batch of books are for the Kiddies.

1. A Child’s Eye View of the Fairy Faith by Morgan Daimler.

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Synopsis: The Faery Faith has been practiced by Christians and Pagans alike for hundreds of years, as documented by anthropologists including W. Y. Evans Wentz. In this book, you can discover the Folk of the Otherworld who have long been loved and feared by the people. 

My Notes: The book is only 78 pages so it will be something that the kiddies can read and not get bored with. I tried it on a few of my unsuspecting cousins, and they loved it so much they wanted to know more. 

2. A Child’s Eye View of Irish Paganism by Blackbird O’Connell.

ImageSynopsis: Céad mile fáilte romhat! The polytheistic faith of Old Ireland is coming alive once more. Child’s Eye View of Irish Paganism details Págánacht, providing concise information on this ancient faith and its modern practice. In these pages, learn the history and mythology of the Emerald Isle – from the last Ice Age, The Four Invasions, the Potato Famine, and on through to the Troubles. Fear the Fomorians and the Fir Bolg; and thrill to the adventures of the Gods and Goddesses known as the Tuatha Danann. Learn a smattering of Gaeilge, the official language of Ireland. A Child’s Eye View of Irish Paganism includes a description of the Four Treasures of Ireland, as well as individual entries for eleven of the most prominent figures in Irish myth, including Cú Chulainn and Fionn Mac Cumhall. Though written for children age 8 to 13, this book is an easy and informative read for busy adults as well.

My Notes: As the author said at the end that this is aimed for kiddies from age 8 – 13, but I caught my cousin who is 21 reading it the other day.  So I asked him, and my younger cousins 7 and 11 what they thought and they all said the same thing.  They enjoyed the ease of the book and now they had a good reference for when I read mythology to them, or in the case of my older cousin (of the batch who read the book lol) it was a good reminder of what they know.

3. A Child’s Eye View of Ancient Druidism by Blackbird O’Connell

ImageSynopsis: The Druids are as misunderstood and mysterious today as they were in the days of Caesar. Written by a practitioner of the modern Irish Pagan religion, this work combines thorough research and modern passion to demystify these legendary figures. This book is an excellent read for people of all ages interested in learning the facts about the beliefs of the people called the Druids, and about the Druids themselves. It speaks clearly and concisely about the people from history that we know held this most prestigious title. O’Connell talks about the Gods and Goddesses that they served and the heroes venerated by their people. This work draws on the writings of people who knew the Druids personally to help bring the ancient facts to light once more. Finding clues in archaeology, history, and mythology, Blackbird O’Connell paints a surprising picture of these once forgotten judges and leaders.

My Notes: This one I actually gave to my husband to read, I’m not a druid but it had the historical information that I needed to explain to my husband on where my practice came from and the people the practice servedbut in a small package that won’t bore him to death like everytime I had to explain this to him lol.

**Blackbird O’Connell likes to say that the editing on the books are not great, I didn’t find them to be that distracting, what interested me the most was the information in the books themselves.

Now for the grown up books.

1. By Land, Sea, and Sky by Morgan Daimler

ImageSynopsis: This book is a selection of modernized, paganized prayers and charms from volumes one and two of Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica, intended for use by Druids, Celtic Reconstructionists, or others interested in Celtic spirituality. The Carmina Gadelica is a six volume collection of prayers, charms, and folklore from Scotland assembled around 1900 by Alexander Carmichael. This book represents modernized, re-paganized versions of selected prayers and charms from the first two volumes of the series. It is designed to be used by Celtic Polytheists, Druids, or anyone else interested in Celtic Spirituality. All original deity references have been replaced with the names of Irish gods, and the language has been modernized, but otherwise the content has been kept as true to the original as possible.

My Notes: This is my “go to” book when I’m stuck on a prayer and need inspiration or when I’m in a hurry and need something in a flash.

 

2. Where the Hawthorn Grows: An American Druid’s Reflections by Morgan Daimler

ImageSynopsis: Where the Hawthorn Grows is a reflection on being an Irish reconstructionist Druid in America. It looks at who the Druids were and different aspects of Celtic folk belief from a reconstructionist viewpoint as well as discussing daily practice and practical modern applications.

My Notes: You may read the review of the book here. This one I read purely for me!

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Decayed Gods

Author: Wouter W. Belier

Publisher: E.J. Brill

Published: 1991

ISBN: 9004094873

Synopsis: In 1930 Dumezil wrote an article in which he defended the Indo-European character of the Indian “varnas,” In 1986 he was completing his final 25 “Esquisses,” research proposals the aim of which was to allow his model of the ‘ideologie tripartie’ of Indo-European traditions to be applied to his ‘disciples’. According to this model Indo-European traditions were typified by a threefold division into functions of society, the world of the gods, and the heroic traditions. These were the functions of sovereignty, power and ‘fertility’. This theoretical model was elaborated by Dumezil in a large number of books and articles. Between 1930 and 1986 he broadened enormously the amount of data on which his model was based. To do so he had regularly to adapt and reformulate his model. This was not without consequences for the material which he had interpreted earlier on. In this study a detailed description is given of this process of reformulation and reinterpretation and the conclusion is that the totality of the various models does not, despite its aesthetic attraction, satisfy the criteria which should be set for scientific models.

Table of Contents with my comments:

Chapter One – Introduction: A brief discussion of what is meant by Indo-Europeans, the tripartite theory and the history of how this theory was reviewed.

I enjoyed this chapter because the theory wasn’t just explained but I was given examples of it and how it was applied by Dumézil himself. I also found myself agreeing with the criticisms AND the acclimations of the theory which is all kinds of weird.

Chapter Two – Methodology, Chapter Three – The Tripartite System, Chapter Four – The Mitra-Varuna Concept, Chapter Five – Bipartita Minora, and Chapter Six – Tripartita Minora: These chapters are a description of how Dumézil developed his theory. The chapters deal with his methodology and its implications and they also deal with the way he interpreted the materials he used to develop his theory.

I found chapter two informative and finally I get a sense of how and why Dumézil applied his theory the way he did. I also found it boring.I found it funny, in chapter three, that the Celts and the Greeks only warranted one page of discussion each.  They are the exact two cultures that I have the most trouble applying the Tripartite theory too. The issue of bipatition, discussed in chapters four and five, was really interesting to me.  This was because it showed that tripartition was not the only theory that can be applied to IE cultures. The most interesting part of chapter six to me was how the Goddesses of the IE cultures were thought to represent the third function by Dumézil only for him later to realise that they could represent all three functions. 

Chapter Seven – Evaluation: This chapter evaluates the theory.

I thought the evaluation was very thorough and even handed.

Review: The book is a translation of the author’s PhD thesis. The main aim of this book is to reconstruct the tripartite theory developed and expanded on by Georges Dumézil. The other aim of this book is to assess and evaluate the theory. The book delivered very well on both.

The book was very methodical in its explanation of everything to do with the Tripartite theory.  Every step and chapter built on the one before it and the chapters were not too long as to lose you but not to short so as you are short changed on the information. The chapter always begins with a summary of what is going to be discussed and conclusions at the end of the chapters.  If the ideas are many in one chapter then the conclusions are put at the end of each section. Very easy for when one wants to go back to re-read, review, or reference something.

Here is what I didn’t like about it. Dumézil’s words were kept in French and no translation was provided so if you didn’t understand French you lost a tiny bit of the information on what HE (Dumézil) said about his work.  In some cases it was important in most cases you were able to understand from the text around it. Fortunately for me I had an aunt who was happy to read those bits and help me understand them. Not everyone is so lucky.  

Apart from the above mentioned problem I HIGHLY recommend the book for people who want to understand the Tripartite theory and what all the fuss is about.