Drinking from the Sacred Well: Personal Voyages of Discovery with the Celtic Saint

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9780062515612: Drinking from the Sacred Well: Personal Voyages of Discovery with the Celtic Saint

Since ancient times the Celts have followed a path of total involvement with the natural world-a love of the earth, the pattern of seasons, and the magical presence of animals. Their quest for truth and sense of wonder in the beauty and power of the landscape, expressed today in immensely popular Celtic music and poetry, is deeply rooted in their early spiritual practices.

In Drinking From the Sacred Well, renowned Celtic scholar John Matthews recreates the mystical journeys of twelve Celtic saints, capturing the wisdom and insight of these extraordinary men and women who lived from the third to the seventh centuries A.D. In carrying the faith of Christianity to the people of Britain and Ireland, they adapted the earthly wisdom of the Druids and other Celtic mystics. The result was a rare combination of Christianity and Paganism that left a powerful legacy that lasts to this day.

Step with St. Brendan onto the deck of a ship headed for a strange and wondrous country, experience the hospitality of the spirit with St. Senan, discover the feminine voice in your creative life with St. Bridget, or learn from St. Kentigern that a love of nature can heal the deepest wounds. You will recognize in these lyric stories your own journey and the questions that both challenge and fuel your ongoing spiritual quest.

Like Joseph Campbell's Myths to Live By, these tales, along with Matthews' incisive commentary and suggested meditation points, will inspire us all to live more courageous and spirited lives.

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Review:

The Celtic saints offered a crucial model for spiritual awareness, according to renowned Celtic scholar John Matthews. They held a profoundly intimate relationship with the natural and ethereal worlds, always recognizing their purpose within the context of creation. "By cutting ourselves off from nature, by telling ourselves we are separate, unique, powerful in our own right, we are doing the equivalent of cutting off our limbs," he explains. In his profiles of famous Celtic saints, Matthews illustrates how the mystical pagan worship of nature overlaps with Christian faith to create fantastic stories of animal guides, princes, chieftains, angels, and druidic fire--always heightened by the rich and poetic imagery of Ireland's landscape. After each story, Matthews offers a list of "Meditation Points." For example, after the story of Senan of Scattery, Matthews asks, "Do you offer hospitality of the spirit to those around you? If not, consider how you might do so." --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

John Matthews is a world-renowned authority on the Celtic wisdom tradition and the Arthurian legends. He is the author of numerous books, including The Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom.

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