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The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom: A Celtic Shaman's Sourcebook [Paperback]

Caitlin Matthews , John Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Sep 2001
A guide to Celtic spiritual traditions. It contains translations of primary Celtic texts, including stories, poems and prose pieces, some dating as far back as the 7th century. Topics covered include: shamanic memory; Druidic divination and prophecy; shapeshifting, soul-loss and restoration; and magic and healing. These ancient texts are accompanied by detailed commentaries, background material and practical shamanic insights.


Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Rider & Co; New edition edition (6 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712611053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712611053
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 14.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 437,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“Read carefully, this book deserves it.” -- Scottish Independent

“You could do no better than invest in this book and practise what it teaches.” -- One Earth

From the Publisher

The Celtic tradition is a source of inspiration to many of us seeking to discover our ancestral spiritual heritage. Yet so many primary Celtic texts, rich in ancient wisdom, have been hidden away from us for generations. Now the Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom offers a unique opportunity for all interested in the way of the Celtic tradition to draw upon a deep, hitherto unavailable, well of ancestral knowledge.

This unique reference book contains many new translations of seminal Celtic texts, including stories, poems and visionary writings, some dating as far back as the seventh century. It also includes a generous selection of myths and commentaries, edited and augmented by Caitlín and John Matthews’ own notes, covering subjects such as:

· Shamanic memory
· Druidic divination and prophecy
· Shapeshifting
· Soul-loss and restoration
· Magic and healing

A superb sourcebook, The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom provides nourishment and inspiration for those who still wish to honour the Celtic tradition and find its practical applications for today.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cauldrons & Consciousness 4 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover
Mine is the 1994 paperback.

I put this book down in 1999 and forgot about it. I just nearly bought it again, stopped by a flash vision of where I'd shelved it.

It speaks of Celtic Shamanism. Half my blood is Celtic yet I usually think of other cultures, such as the Amerindians of North, Middle and South America as having the deepest Shamanic cultures, maybe wrongly.

Lots of stories and poetry. References to Celtic Goddesses and the significances of the cauldron. Lots of Celtic knot art.

456 pages
23 cm tall
15 cm wide
3.1 cm thick
The printing in my paperback is fairly small but this is a book that you will probably keep pausing with.
Good value for money.

This is a Shamanism of our own land, not a borrowed Shamanism nor a stiff recreated or imported invasive religion of rules and social control. What I have read is very good but I hope to come back later after giving it a new and thorough reading.

It was a shame to see it sitting there all lonely and totally unreviewed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it 9 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a good book to know the Celtic Wisdom. I liked it. I am very glad to read it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Thoughts 9 April 2006
By Domi O'Brien - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
John and Caitlin continue to present Celtic material out of context, and often in contradiction from one book to another of theirs. I've met John,and had lunch with him back in April of 1993 in Seattle. At that time, he acknowledged that his training is as a librarian, that he neither read or spoke any Celtic language; both he and Caitlin are occultists. When it was mentioned that he called stories "lost" in some of his books that he quoted in others, he had no explanation. He blamed previously published sources for glaring errors of translation, and seemed to see no reason to have anyone-- including Caitlin, who does have translation skills-- check his material before publication. He was accompanied by David Spangler, and many of his views seem more reflective of Spanger's New Age thought than Celtic scholarship. There is a lot of useful material in this book (all of which is avaialble elsewhere), but also a fair bit out of context and without proper attribution, including material from Erynn Darkstar and Taine Bwca's Cauldron of Poesy; they gave him a copy over lunch. Considering the Celtic obsession with intellectual property (copyright law originated in Ireland!), it would have been courtesy at the very least for the source to be cited.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As of 1/6/01, One of the Top Three Books on Celtic Tradition 6 Jan 2002
By Frank MacEowen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom is, hands down, required reading for anyone interested in the primal Celtic traditions, especially of the Irish and Scottish traditions. Where John Matthews' Taliesin and the Shamanic Mysteries of Britian addresses largely a Cymric (Welsh) and British leaning, The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom is, largely, rooted in the Irish, with some exploration of folk Scots beliefs and expressions of the shamanic (as in the case of the late and well-loved Scottish seer, Eliadh Watt). As of January 2002 I consider this book to be one of the top three books on Celtic tradition, especially the visionary tradition of primal Celtic spirituality and the field of contemporary Celtic spirituality. It is a priceless addition to one's library, along with Tom Cowan's Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, Mara Freeman's Kindling the Celtic Spirit. For a more classical exploration of these same themes I recommend The Silver Bough, by F. Marian McNeill.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom 14 April 2005
By J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
At 456 pages this book is the most thorough work on this subject that I have seen to date. Chapters include: The Memory of the Earth; The Memory of Trees; The Memory of Animals; Shape shifting; Druids and Vision Poets; Dreams and Visions; In the House of the Sidhe etc. The bibliography is a perfect source for further reading. An excellent resource for those wanting to understand their Celtic heritage and a must for the serious student of shamanism or the occult. A great addition to the occult library.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference material 6 Feb 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Do not let the comment by inisglas@seanet.com impeach your view of this material. While I can't personally speak to this situation any one with any knowledge of this field will tell you that more people plagarize from John Matthews with out any reference to his work than any other author I've ever encountered. I also know from personal conversations with John (including discussing the number of reference volumes in his library) that his scholarhip is thorough and personally done. I would recommend this book highly for the person who wants to do their own exploration of the subject and isn't looking for a cook book approach to shamanism.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful reference resource 23 Feb 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"A Reader's" anonymous, academically misinformed and spiritually narrow-minded comments address this book specifically in no way; take them with a shaker of salt and that fact in mind.
This book is a good reference and browsing resource for practicing Celtic shamans, though those with a reader's interest and those newer to the practice may find more practical guidance elsewhere (including, especially, Matthews' "The Celtic Shaman: A Handbook"). Overall, very useful, but perhaps later on the path.
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