Books and Other Media

I’ve been gorging on druidry-related media in the past few weeks, and I wanted to pass on some of the better bits.

First, I want to give a shout-out to my wonderful mother, who has been more supportive than I could ever have hoped for. She recently sent me a package containing some druidic artwork, a pentacle necklace which will adorn my altar since I wear a silver triskele every day, and two lovely herbal books, A Druid’s Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine and The Herbal Home Remedy Book. The former is primarily a book of Ogham “magic” in the form of quick herbal spells and remedies, while the latter is exactly what it sounds: herbal home remedies. It has been quite interesting so far, and I plan to try making my own cough drops for my chronic allergies-cough and possible some soothing teas.

Next on the list The Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Mythology. I bought this one for a song at Barnes and Noble after a grove-mate showed off a copy at the last meeting. This is not the best book, but it is a beautiful and eminently useful book. It lists mythological topics first by place of origin (Celtic, Hellenic, etc.) and then alphabetically. It’s heavily cross-referenced and absolutely filled with beautiful photos and illustrations. (I want a print of this Miranda Gray illustration of Manannán mac Lir for my altar!) It’s a beginner book (the first sentence of Brigid’s entry reads, “Brigid, sometimes known as Brigit, was a goddess of healing and fertility who was believed to assist women in labour.” Huh??), but it’s usually a strong starting point.

On a slightly more scholarly level, I’m reading Mystery Cults of the Ancient World. I’m only about midway through the first section about the Eleusinian Mysteries, which has been fascinating. It amazes me to realize I stood on some of these ancient holy places when I was in Athens, and never even knew it. The book is primarily about the Greek/Roman and Egyptian cults, but it’s a great entry into ancient pagan practices, even if it’s not in my hearth culture.

I’m also working my way through Irish Fairy and Folk Tales, edited by W. B. Yeats. I haven’t made it too far through this one yet, but it’s charming and filled with lovely woodcuts that go along with the stories. There’s not a lot in the book that you can’t get online, but it is nice to have a physical copy sitting on my new bookshelf dedicated to tarot, paganism, and penguins. I haven’t unpacked my camera yet, or I’d post a photo of that, too!

Finally, there’s American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which will get an entry all its own after I pry it from my fiancé’s sleeping fingers. After I blazed through my first ever reading of it, he started rereading it, so I didn’t get the chance to collect the quotes from it I want to write about. So stay tuned for that post.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to mention the Celtic Myth Podshow. If you’re not already familiar with this podcast, go listen! Right now! I’m sure most of you know about the podcast, but the new Android app (or iPhone, if that’s how you roll) deserves a mention. I bought the $1.99 app a couple of days ago because I wanted to support the podcast, if in a small way, and it’s wonderful. Every episode at my fingertips all day long, and the ability to star my favorite episodes? Worth way more than $2. Go check it out.

Read anything great lately? Pass it on, and I’ll add it to my list!


3 thoughts on “Books and Other Media

  1. Recently finished Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Penelopiad’. An interested re-telling of The Odyssey from Penelope’s eyes, with a special interest in the young house slave girls who were killed by Odysseus. It’s a very short read but well worth it.

    • Oh, that sounds fantastic. I admire Margaret Atwood’s writing, but somehow I missed that one. I’ll definitely have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

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