Legends of the Grail

Stories of Celtic Goddesses

Fiction - Womens
298 Pages
Reviewed on 05/09/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Ayn Cates Sullivan, MA, MFA, Ph.D. is an award winning and best selling author of over a dozen books. She obtained her masters in creative writing from Columbia University and her doctorate in Literature from Kings College London. Dr Sullivan is president of Infinite Light Publishing, focusing on books of mythology, folklore and tales designed to make a positive difference to humanity and the living planet. Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses is the first book in a series featuring the Grail as Goddess. In the series, the voices of the Grail maidens are re-discovered and restored, with the hope that their voices can offer hope to humanity and wisdom for a changing world.

    Book Review

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.

Robin Goodfellow

Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses by Ayn Cates Sullivan is an educational book about the different Celtic goddesses and their backgrounds, and details their various symbols and worship practices. The book also endeavors to dispel any misconceptions regarding these goddesses in general, and shows just one of the ways in which these goddesses connect with many other world religions. The book is divided into sections, each of which contains a unique goddess that Sullivan explores. From the compassion of the Mother Goddess herself, to the fierceness of Ceasair, to even the independence of Aine, these goddesses have proven time and time again their place in the world, taking their place as one of the old religions, just before Christianity. With encouraging words and a love for nature, Sullivan delves into these goddesses' characteristics and backgrounds, all the while gently nudging the reader to have a greater respect for them.

The marriage between paganism and Christianity is certainly a unique one. Many modern traditions we celebrate as Christians had pagan roots, though some people may think otherwise. Even so, while I do identify as a Christian, I found this book impeccably beautiful, not only because of the gorgeous retelling, but also because of the exquisite imagery Sullivan uses when describing them. When I read this book, I felt as if I was walking through a dark, yet soothing forest, gazing out at the seasons around me, with time slipping away beneath my fingertips. I loved this book, and would recommend it to any reader who is curious about Celtic culture, regardless of their religion.

Mamta Madhavan

Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses by Ayn Cates Sullivan, PhD showcases the heritage of Irish culture and wisdom, and a growing interest in Irish folklore and the ‘Celtic Revival’ in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book sheds light on these sacred women who are often seen in relation to their male counterparts. Each of the goddesses depicted in the book speaks for herself and readers are encouraged to experience them. The author takes readers into the ancient world where they get to know more about colors and the plants and trees associated with particular goddesses, and about objects which are part of their legends. This book on Irish myths celebrates women and their divine nature, which will inspire women and men alike and will encourage readers to discover the Goddess within them.

I like the way the author motivates readers to take an inner journey so that they can discover themselves, to make them more acquainted with their souls. The spiritual undertones and whimsical vibes in the book will take readers to another dimension, another realm. I like the thought of inviting readers to engage in practices and visualizations designed to awaken the Goddess within each person. As readers enjoy the Irish mythology and folklore, they will be able to understand the Celtic Goddesses, their powers, and wisdom. These healing stories take readers on a quest to discover their true nature and find their way to truth, love, health, and wisdom. The glossary at the end of the book is helpful.