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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
Once in a great while, a book of profound insight comes along disguised as a collection of stories about magic. Joseph Campbell penetrated the familiar great world myths to reveal an incredibly rich and complex psychological reality in the lives we live, and thus made magic itself live again with both urgency and relevance. In her beautifully written and illustrated book, Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses, Ayn Cates Sullivan, Ph.D. brings similar urgency and relevance to the psychological reality behind the Goddess within each human psyche. Her book, however, is not simply an academic rendering of a living spiritual principle. Dr. Sullivan offers something much more subtle, rich, and ultimately satisfying. She offers her audience a viable passage into their own personal mythic journey, with the healing consequences thus implied.
Legends of the Grail does indeed tell stories of Celtic goddesses, but Ayn Cates Sullivan also layers and enriches these stories of ancient Irish myths with vital background information robed with historical importance, with first-person stories told by each chosen Goddess to establish accessible resonance, with symbolic revelations for present-day applications, meditations, and visualizations allowing intimate contact with the Goddess herself. The author includes personal practical suggestions for utilizing the archetypal values embedded symbolically and firmly in the specified Goddess in order to facilitate psychological revival and continued health, and finally a poetic blessing to access the less structured but higher nature of the human mind. Dr. Sullivan accomplishes all this with concise and polished writing that appears deceptively simple, as all captivating stories do, but do not be misled – the Goddess calls.