Sacred Cauldron by Tadhg MacCrossan
Note: I have been posting my book reviews on my other blog, Roots Leaves & Threads but I thought I’d put Pagan-related ones here.
Sacred Cauldron is an excellent primer on Celtic Reconstructionist religion. (Regardless of whether the CR community thinks) Tadhg MacCrossan calls his tradition “Druidactos” focusing on Gaulish culture. There isn’t much information on Gaulish polytheism, however so most of the book is based on Irish and Welsh mythology, history and folklore.
I can tell it is very well researched, using many reputable sources I am familiar with such as “Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland & Wales” by the Rees brothers and “Gods of the Celts” by Miranda Green.
On the down side- There were some assertions in the “Gods and Their Tales” chapter that I found questionable- so be a little careful with that. I thought his ritual set up (nemeton or grove) was overly complex- I think it is based on Vedic (Indian) ritual. He includes several useful appendices terms for ritual gear and other words in various languages including Proto-Indo-European. In general he is very big on comparing IE mythologies, but I think he tends to emphasize similarities over differences a little too much. We certainly can get many good ideas from other IE (and some non-IE) cultures, but we need to stay true to the Celtic spirit. Overall though, this is a well put together and very useful book for Celtic Pagans. I wish it would go back in print!
Though I have to say the marketing on the back is annoying “Secrets of the Druids Revealed!” That’s typical Llewellyn, probably not the author’s choice.
Entry filed under: Books, Celtic/Druid. Tags: celtic paganism, celtic reconstructionism, druidactos, druidism, druidry, gaulish, gaulish paganism, gaulish reconstructionism, indo-european, mythology, polytheism, ritual, vedic.