Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to Celtic wisdom
The complete idiot's guide to Celtic wisdom
McColman, Carl.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha, [2003]

Physical Description:
xviii, 366 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL900 .M49 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This book is a comprehensive look at Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and continental Celtic traditions, encompassing both Pagan and Christian traditions. This book tells the entire story of Celtic spirituality, offering practical tools for those who would like to walk the Celtic path today.

Author Notes

Authors Bio, not available

Table of Contents

Part 1 Welcome to Celtic Wisdomp. 1
1 Introducing the World of Celtic Wisdomp. 3
The Heart of a Warriorp. 4
What Makes a Celt Tick?p. 6
Entry-Points to the Celtic Traditionp. 6
Spirituality, Wisdom, Tradition: Understanding the Pathp. 13
What's in It for Me: The Benefits of the Celtic Wayp. 14
2 A History of a Proud Peoplep. 17
Why History Mattersp. 18
Before the Celts Were Celtsp. 19
Celtic Archaeology: From Hallstatt to La Tenep. 19
The Coming of Christianityp. 23
The Six Nations: Today's Celtic Worldp. 26
The Lessons of Historyp. 29
3 The Concept of Celticityp. 31
Defining Celticityp. 32
Real Celts and Cardiac Celtsp. 36
The Wisdom of Being a Marginal Culturep. 37
Wisdom, Language, and Celticityp. 38
Of Pipes, Whistles, and Fiddles: Celtic Musicp. 39
4 The Seven Dimensions of Celtic Wisdomp. 41
A Few Basic Celtic Wisdom Principlesp. 42
The Seven Branches of Celtic Wisdomp. 45
Finding Your Pathp. 53
Activity: Keep a Journalp. 54
5 The Sovereignty of Naturep. 55
The Secret of Celtic Wisdom: Partnership with Naturep. 56
Nature: The Heart of Celtic Wisdomp. 58
The Sovereignty of the Landp. 60
Putting Spirituality in Its Placep. 63
More About Holy Wellsp. 65
Walk Your Talkp. 68
6 The Otherworld: Nature's Dance Partnerp. 69
What Is the Otherworld?p. 70
A Geography of the Otherworldp. 73
Gateways to the Otherworldp. 74
Denizens of the Otherworldp. 76
The Psychology of the Otherworldp. 79
Part 2 The Three Pathsp. 81
7 Singers, Seers, and Sagesp. 83
"Song of Amergin"p. 84
What the Classical Writers Had to Say About the Druidsp. 85
Celtic Quiz: Which Path Is Right for You?p. 86
The Bards: Keepers of the Pastp. 90
The Ovates: Keepers of the Futurep. 91
The Druids: Keepers of the Presentp. 91
8 Songs and Stories: The Path of the Bardp. 93
The Quest for the Imbas: Fire in the Headp. 93
Taliesin: The Quintessential Bardp. 95
Other Elements of the Bardic Traditionp. 97
Samildanach: To Be Talented in Many Waysp. 101
Nine Steps Toward Becoming a Bardp. 104
9 Psychic Development: The Path of the Seerp. 109
What Is an Ovate?p. 110
The Elements of the Seer's Craftp. 112
Examples of Famous Seersp. 114
The Lorica: A Key to Psychic Self-Defensep. 115
Nine Steps to Becoming a Seerp. 118
10 Devotion to the Ways of Wisdom: The Path of the Druidp. 123
Just What Is a Druid?p. 124
The Three Ages of the Druidsp. 124
More Than Just Priests: The Wisdom Aspect of Druidryp. 127
Druids as Counselors: The Anamcharap. 128
Other Pieces of the Druid Puzzlep. 132
Nine Steps to Becoming a Druidp. 134
11 Rituals and Tools: Supplies for the Celtic Wisdomseekerp. 141
Your Personal Altarp. 142
The Virtue of Askingp. 146
What Is Ritual?p. 147
A Sample Ritualp. 150
Part 3 Mythology and Lorep. 155
12 Storytelling: The Waltz of Rememberingp. 157
The Role of the Shanachie in Celtic Wisdomp. 158
The Monks and the Myths: Preserving the Storiesp. 161
Overview of the Mythic Sourcesp. 163
Common Themes and Motifs in Celtic Myth and Legendp. 166
Making Your Own Connection with the Lorep. 168
Storytelling for the Futurep. 169
13 The Irish Traditionp. 171
The Four Cycles of Irish Mythp. 172
Key Themes in the Mythsp. 174
Meet the Characters of Irish Mythp. 175
Where to Go for Further Studyp. 183
14 The Welsh Traditionp. 185
The Main Stories and Themes of Welsh Traditionp. 186
The Poetry and Triads of Walesp. 188
The Legacy of the Welsh Tradition: The Arthurian Cyclep. 188
Who's Who in Welsh Mythp. 189
Where to Go for Further Studyp. 194
15 Archaeology, Folklore, and the Living Traditionp. 195
Archaeology: Every Picture (and Artifact) Tells a Storyp. 196
Folklore as a Source of Wisdomp. 197
The Power of Placep. 198
Modern Interpretations of Celtic Deityp. 200
A Who's Who of Other Celtic Deitiesp. 203
Comparative Mythology: The Ultimate Research Adventurep. 204
Where to Go for Further Studyp. 205
Part 4 Further Steps Along the Pathp. 207
16 Quest for a Disciplined Mindp. 209
Please Pass the Elbow Greasep. 209
The Disciplined Mind of the Druidp. 210
Elements of a Disciplined Mindp. 212
Unleashing Your Inner Druidp. 217
17 Reaching Out to the Otherworldp. 219
The Path of the Celtic Shamanp. 220
What Is Shamanism?p. 220
Entering the Otherworld: The Quintessential Shamanic Activityp. 222
Contacting Otherworld Guidesp. 223
What Is the Purpose of Shamanism?p. 224
Key Voices in Celtic Shamanismp. 225
Tree and Landscape Meditationp. 226
18 Revering the Ancestorsp. 229
Honor Your Father(s) and Mother(s)p. 230
The Concept of Worshipp. 231
How to Honor the Ancestorsp. 233
Celtic Reconstruction: One Way to Honor the Ancestorsp. 237
The Ultimate Honor: Living an Honorable Lifep. 238
19 Befriending the Good Peoplep. 239
Where Do Faeries Come From?p. 240
What's Unique About Celtic Faeriesp. 241
The History of Faery Contactp. 243
Sites Associated with the Faeriesp. 245
What's So Wise About the Faeries?p. 250
Faery Protocolp. 251
20 Celtic Spirituality and Christianity: Cultivating the Heart of Holinessp. 253
The Story of the Coming of Christianityp. 254
How Celtic Wisdom + Christianity = Celtic Christianityp. 257
Brigid: Christian Saint, or Goddess Makeover?p. 259
Christianity and Hostilityp. 261
Christopaganism: A Celtic Possibilityp. 263
Key Voices in Celtic Christianityp. 265
Cultivating the Heart of Holiness as a Celtic Wisdomseekerp. 266
21 Mastering the Magical Artsp. 267
The Controversial Concept of Magicp. 267
Celtic Magic 101p. 269
Celtic Witchcraft?!p. 273
Wicca and Celtic Magicp. 275
Magical Ethics: The Wiccan Rede and the Law of Threep. 279
Key Voices in Celtic Wiccap. 280
22 The Quest for the Grailp. 281
The Grail Traditionp. 282
Key Themes of the Grail Questp. 288
Embarking on Your Own Grail Questp. 291
Key Voices in the Grail Questp. 292
Part 5 Applied Celtic Wisdomp. 293
23 Divination: The Theory and Practice of Spiritual Guidancep. 295
The History of Celtic Divinationp. 296
Celtic Divination Todayp. 297
The Tree Ogham: A Modern Celtic Oraclep. 300
Commercially Available Celtic Divination Systemsp. 306
24 The Cycles of Timep. 309
The Real Reason Why Clocks Are Round!p. 310
The Wheel of the Yearp. 310
Samhain: Roaming Spirits and the Chill of Deathp. 314
Imbolc: Bridget's Milk and Pregnant Ewesp. 315
Beltain: Blossoming Hawthorn and Nighttime Revelsp. 316
Lughnasa: Sporting Games and a Harvest of Grainp. 317
Solstices and Equinoxesp. 318
The Dark Comes First: The Symbolism of the Cyclep. 319
The Cycles of Time and the Nature of Human Existencep. 320
25 Practical Celtic Wisdom: Living the Celtic Life Todayp. 321
A Nine-Step Process to Living the Celtic Lifep. 322
By Yourself or with Others: Living the Life of a Wisdomkeeperp. 328
Celtic Spirituality in a Group Settingp. 329
Honoring the Path of Wisdom: Celtic Ethicsp. 331
The Virtues of Brigid as a Template for Honorp. 332
A Bibliographyp. 335
B Online Resourcesp. 345
C Timeline of Celtic Historyp. 351
Indexp. 357