3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Ancient British Goddess: Goddess Myths, Legends, Sacred Sites and Present Revelations (Paperback)
I have to say that this book certainly got my attention both for good and for bad reasons. As someone who studies British Prehistory and its archaeology, those who know me, know it does get my back up when people claim that `this' was exactly how rituals were done in the prehistoric era and `why' the monuments were built etc. Having said that the book does capture the imagination and rather than using the Wheel of the Year uses a British Medicine Wheel, fortunately not based too closely to the Native American one.
The author has used a lot of guess work and stated it as fact, particularly for things of which there can be no record. Yet ignoring this, she really does believe things to have been this way and it does give the book an endearing quality. It is refreshing to see a book that ignores Wicca and deals with the Goddess of the land in her many forms and away from the usual portrayals. The Goddess is discussed in her many different British guises and in ways not usually associated with the British Goddess, including being depicted as sows and cows. In this book, Brigit holds the white rod of power throughout Spring and Summer and Cailleach takes it over at Samhain and transforms it in a black rod for autumn and winter which is not a concept that I have come across before.
There are many photographs and unusual illustrations throughout the book. I was left not being totally sure what category this book falls into, and although the author does seem to have an obsession with the vulva of the Goddess being found everywhere in the landscape, it is not feministic, nor new age either. The author tries to capture the Goddess and her portrayal throughout prehistory, and how she is still found in the landscape today. Ignoring ritual interpretation for which there is no evidence at all, but was stated as fact anyway, this is still an interesting read and makes us think more about how our ancestors may have worshipped the Goddess in the past. It's also quite refreshing to find a book about the Goddess without any reference to Wicca and it does make you think about Goddess perception over millennia as well. Worth reading for a very different perception of Goddess worship.
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Initial post: 25 Jan 2011 12:22:44 GMT
I think you might like to read a very scholarly but exciting book, not often seen in this country, but a real addition to the subject; "The Festival of Brigit" by Seamus O'Cathain. If it's unavailable, you should be able to get it through a public library request. I'm a real fan. I have reviewed it though it's since become "unavailable".
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