Pagan Portals - Irish Paganism
Reconstructing the beliefs and practices of pre-Christian Irish Paganism for the modern world.
Irish Reconstructionist Polytheism is an often misunderstood path, but it is one with great richness and depth for those who follow it. This short introductory book touches on the basic beliefs and practices of Irish Polytheism as well as other important topics for people interested in practicing the religion using a Reconstructionist methodology or who would just like to know more about it. Explore the cosmology of the ancient Irish and learn how the old mythology and living culture show us the Gods and spirits of Ireland and how to connect to them. Ritual structure is explored, as well as daily practices and holidays, to create a path that brings the old beliefs forward into the modern world.
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Morgan Daimler’s latest entry to the Moon Books Pagan Portals series presents us with an introduction to Irish Reconstructionist Polytheism. It is an excellent introduction to the topic, one of the first written, which touches on the main beliefs and themes found among Irish Reconstructionists, in a way that will enable the reader to begin well equipped on an Irish Reconstructionist path. Morgan gives basic data in a way that is understandable, engaging, and approachable, but never lacks for scholarly support. Her book is at once well-footnoted and yet practical, academic yet easily usable by average people to enrich their spiritual lives. She touches on hot button topics in a way that make them clear, and yet defuses them, to some extent reducing their power to cause division and strife. For that reason alone, many experienced Reconstructionists should also read this book. It should also be mentioned in passing that Morgan is one of the best qualified authors to ever undertake such an introduction. A well-known leader in Irish Reconstructionist circles, she has mastered the primary sources, as well as the secondary literature, and it shows. She is able to do her own translations from Old Irish, which gives her a knowledge of the real meaning of the sources second to none. The book is divided into seven chapters and three appendices , which cover different aspects of Irish Recontructionist Polytheism. The first chapter deals with the basics of what Reconstructionism is and is not, and also puts to rest a number of misconceptions about Reconstructionism. The second chapter deals with basic beliefs, among them a summary of the Gods and who they are, the daoine sí, the afterlife, and cosmology. Here, she spells out the basics of a complex religion in the simplest and most approachable of terms. Her treatment of the daoine sí is especially admirable, as one might expect from a recognized expert on the topic. The third chapter is a summary of basic ritual practice, including the essentials of ritual, daily practices, and the nature of altars and shrines. It is very practical, based in long years of personal experience, and immediately usable by the reader. The fourth chapter, on holidays, presents the four main festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine, and Lúnasa, in a way that combines folklore with ancient sources to present information that is at once practical and evocative. The fifth chapter, on magic and mysticism, is well worth the price of admission by itself. Here, we learn of magical poetry, the art of Irish cursing, and how to verify one’s personal mystical experiences. This is, so to speak, where the rubber hits the road for the advanced practitioner. The sixth chapter deals with hot button issues like race, sexuality and cultural appropriation. Here, Morgan makes it clear what is supported by scholarship, and what is ethical, in a way that is disarming and reassuring. In so doing, she does a service to the entire Irish Recontructionist community. The final chapter is a conclusion which sums up Morgan’s arguments, and restates what by now has become clear – that Irish Reconstructioism is a living faith as much about the present and future as the past. The appendices include a pronunciation guide, recommended reading, and myth titles in both Irish and English. All in all, this is a very fine short introduction to Irish Recontructionist Polytheism. I recommend it highly for the beginner and experienced practitioner alike. By Segomâros Widugeni, formerly Aedh Rua author of Celtic Flame ~
Morgan Daimler's book Pagan Portals - Irish Paganism: Reconstructing Irish Polytheism has provided exactly the clear, friendly and readable introduction I needed. I am sure that some who have studied Irish and/or Celtic reconstructionism in depth may find this too simplistic but for those of us who simply want to understand it and have a readable and even entertaining introduction to the concepts without a lot of intellectual jabber this is perfect. As in her other books, Daimler presents complexity in an honest yet understandable way and then relates it to personal stories. The result is both fun and informative, backed by a wealth of research. ~ Arie Farnam, http://www.ariefarnam.com/pagan-notes/2015/9/28/pagan-book-review-a-sound-and-a-readable-explanation-of-irish-reconstructionist-paganism-at-last
There are very few books out there written on Celtic Reconstructionism and Morgan Daimler's book on Irish Reconstructionism is a welcome addition. The book is a well-researched look at the basics and should serve as a great introductory text for people interested in walking this path who don't know where to start. ~ Maya St. Clair, editor and contributor to Air n-Aithesc, a peer-reviewed CR journal
Morgan Daimler has written the kind of book I wish I’d been able to write twenty years ago. She addresses many of the things I’ve been writing about for years, and does so succinctly and cogently. Her approach is clear and practical, and she provides good sources for her work. This is sure to be an essential reference for anyone interested in reconstructing the polytheist practices of ancient Ireland, and of other Celtic cultures. ~ Erynn Rowan Laurie, author of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom and A Circle of Stones; co-author of the CR FAQs
Irish Reconstructionist Polytheism introduces the reader to a path which is growing in popularity, in a clear, concise and grounded way. The book explains the importance of academic research and balances it with personal experience as well as conjuring the mystical nature of IRP, making the book accessible and relevant to those who are curious and those who practice. For myself, I wish I could have had this book as a resource many years ago. ~ Jane Brideson, artist and blogger at 'The Ever-Living Ones - Irish Goddesses & Gods in landscape, myth & custom'
Morgan Daimler has given us an excellent, honest approach to reconstructing Irish Paganism, dispelling common misconceptions and explaining the path in simple easy-to-read terms. The book is both a superb introduction and a excellent reference to the beliefs, practices and studies of the CR way. The author explains the subject clearly and makes it obvious where the views expressed are hers alone and leaves us to choose what to follow, study and practice. With pronounciation guides in Old and Modern Irish, a recommended reading list and bibliography for further study for the uninitiated, 'Pagan Portals: Irish Paganism' is a "must have" book for your book shelf - virtual or otherwise! ~ Gary & Ruth Colcombe from the Celtic Myth Podshow
Morgan Daimler's lucid introduction to polytheist reconstruction as related to Gaelic polytheist traditions is valuable to both beginners and those who have been worshiping the gods for years. ~ C. Lee Vermeers, author of Teagasca: The Instructions of Cormac Mac Airt, and co-author of the CR FAQs
It is an excellent introduction to the topic, one of the first written, which touches on the main beliefs and themes found among Irish Reconstructionists, in a way that will enable the reader to begin well equipped on an Irish Reconstructionist path. ~ Segomâros Widugeni, formerly Aedh Rua author of Celtic Flame
In Morgan Daimler's Pagan Portals: Irish Paganism, we finally have the book that the Irish Reconstructionist Pagan movement has been needing. In her wonderfully direct approach, the author has given us a text which serves as a clear introduction to what can be a daunting subject. We now have a clear answer to that question of where to start which so many of us have asked. I recommend Pagan Portals: Irish Paganism to everyone who is involved or interested in the Irish Polytheist movement. ~ Robert Barton, author of Dance of Oak and Wren: Rites of Draiocht