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View Full Version : Irish Recon. & Gaelic self study book reccomendations



Morr
May 13th, 2006, 06:12 AM
So I'm going to be in the US next week, and I really want to look for a bunch of good informative books, since out here they are difficult to aquire.

I am looking for good books that talk about Irish Reconstructionism, Pre-Christian Irish History, Irish Mythology and Ancestry. As well as a self study Irish Gaelic book/CD for beginners.

Any reccomendations?

Seren_
May 13th, 2006, 10:55 AM
One of the problems with the subject is that there aren't really any books on Irish Reconstructionism itself, and a lot of the books on history and mythology that are out of print. If you're able, your best bet is to get them from Amazon or some other online bookstore. You can pick most of them up quite cheap still, usually through the second-hand sellers.

There are three books I know of that you might find useful as a recon. None of them focus specifically on Ireland, but it's pretty much all there is:

Alexei Kondratiev, The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual (Cork: Collins Press, 1998) - Contains some good history info but the rituals provided aren't that usable (to recons, that is) because they're very Wiccanesque. It was done to help pitch the book at a wider audience, which is a shame because it wasn't a book that was going to have a wide appeal anyway. It does have some nice bits of prayers in a variety of Celtic languages that you might find useful, but I find the book quite dense and hard to get stuck into. I hear you might find this in Barnes and Noble around New York.

Erynn Rowan Laurie, A Circle of Stones (Chicago: Eschaton, 1995) This is more a booklet than a book and focuses entirely on meditations and practise. It's not a how to, really, but it is good for inspiration. Hard to get hold of in shops, though.

Mara Freeman, Kindling the Celtic Spirit ( HarperCollins, 2001) - This is a well-researched book that focuses on traditions and practises throughout the year. It's a nice little book that splits the history stuff, tales and lore, mythology, meditations and more practical things to do into sections. Of the three, you'll probably find this easiest to find. If you go to her website you can buy the book as well as CDs with meditations on and stuff. I've heard good things about those: http://www.celticspirit.org/index.html

Othe books:

Barry Raftery, Pagan Celtic Ireland (Thames and Hudson 1994) - I've only read about two pages so far, but this looks very good.

Kevin Danaher, The Year in Ireland: Irish Calendar Customs - a good overview on traditional practises in Ireland, but not focusing on pre-Christian Ireland. Good for "filling in the gaps" though.

Alwyn and Brinley Rees, Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1989) - probably the best place to start for reading about mythology - not the myths themselves.

Proinsias MacCana, Celtic Mythology (Hamlyn, London 1970) -- A good introduction to Celtic mythology that is very accessible to beginners.

Marie-Louise Sjoestedt, Celtic Gods and Heroes (Dover Publications, 2000) - Also good for mythology, and also going very cheap on amazon :)

T. P. Cross and C. H. Slover, Ancient Irish Tales (Rowman & Littlefield, 1969) - good, but I've not seen a cheap copy for ages.

Thomas Kinsella, The Tain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970) - you can find the Tain online for free, but this is a nice book with lots of notes to accompany it.

I'm no expert on languages, so I'll leave that to someone who is, but hopefully you've got something to be getting on with now.

Morr
May 13th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Thanks so much! I will look these books online at Barnes & Noble and see if and which they carry!

I will be in the NYC area so maybe I'll get lucky ;)

Thanks again!

_Banbha_
May 13th, 2006, 07:39 PM
For me, the most helpful list is from Imbas: http://www.imbas.org/imbas/readlist.html

If you haven't read Michael Dames's Mythic Ireland (Thames & Hudson), I would reccomend it highly. :boing:

The weather here in NYC has been both wild and beautiful at the same time. Enjoy your visit! :)

Morr
May 14th, 2006, 02:32 AM
Thank you :D

semi
May 15th, 2006, 04:55 PM
I will be in the NYC area so maybe I'll get lucky ;)

Thanks again!


I definitely think you'll get lucky in NYC. And no, thank you.

Morr
May 15th, 2006, 05:10 PM
I definitely think you'll get lucky in NYC. And no, thank you.


LOL

I thought we were staying at a hotel in Jersey ;)

skilly-nilly
May 15th, 2006, 09:37 PM
So I'm going to be in the US next week, and I really want to look for a bunch of good informative books, since out here they are difficult to aquire.

I am looking for good books that talk about Irish Reconstructionism, Pre-Christian Irish History, Irish Mythology and Ancestry. As well as a self study Irish Gaelic book/CD for beginners.

Any reccomendations?

The Imbas list seems a little inclusive to me--- PB Ellis and M Green are fine, but I'm not a big fan of the Mathews'. I would include Yeats and Lady Wilde, myself....which, if you were going to be scuffling around 2nd hand bookstores you would be very likely to find. Still in 2nd hand, I would also recommend getting lots of mythology, folk-tales, stories of, 'fary-tales' and compare and contrast different presentations.
Definately the Tain, but anything else that doesn't seem too cutified as well. One of the most important aspects of Re-construction, imo, is the understanding that they sat around and told stories as an art-form and as post-graduate education.

The Dagda
May 16th, 2006, 09:59 PM
of gods and men by lady gregory.

Sea-Witch
June 18th, 2006, 11:59 AM
I don't know of any Irish Gaelic self-study books.

There is a very good Scottish Gaelic one - Teach Yourself Gaelic by Robertson and Taylor. It comes with tapes to help with pronunciation.

Of course, Scottish and Irish Gaelic are two different beasts, so this post isn't the least bit helpful. :lol: