This fall my new book, An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom, will be published. You can pre-order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or IndieBound (independent bookstores), — just click on the retailer’s name to order it).
If you would like to read a sample chapter of the book, click here.
An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom explores what is unique, beautiful and life-giving in the spirituality found in places like Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Celtic spirituality is filled with poetry, myth, humor and adventure. It is a tradition that loves the earth, embraces the feminine, and recognizes that the mystery of God is not something far away, but rather something always immediately at hand.
I love the stories of the old Celtic saints, so figures like St. Brigid of Kildare, St. Patrick, and St. Brendan the Navigator dance through the pages of this book.
Recognizing that what makes an ancient spirituality meaningful is the way it remains relevant to our time, I also explore the perennial touchstones of Celtic wisdom: from its emphasis on creativity to hospitality, as well as the role of the anamchara (soul friend) and the shanachie (storyteller).
Is there a contemplative dimension to Celtic spirituality? Indeed there is, and I explore that dimension in this book as well.
Celtic spirituality might strike some people as very ethnic or limited in its relevance, but in fact it has the capacity to speak to everyone. You don’t need to have an Irish great-grandmother to find inspiration in the Celtic world. Indeed, many folks who love the poetry and mythology of the Celtic tradition would best be described as “cardiac Celts” — Celts not by virtue of ancestry, but by virtue of their heart. If you love good stories, inspiring poetry, the beauty of hospitality, a mystical sense of God’s presence, and the shimmering beauty of the good earth, then you are a cardiac Celt whether you know it or not.You don’t have to make a pilgrimage to Ireland or one of the other Celtic lands to embrace this spirituality. Because Celtic spirituality honors the beauty of the earth, by definition it is a spirituality that is relevant all around the world. Seek out the lovely places in your own neighborhood or town or state where it’s easy to find that sense of wonder and perhaps even mystery.
Often that means heading outdoors, into the forest, the garden or a nearby park. But nature is also inside of us, each of us. Our very bodies are part of nature. We are created of dust, but also of stardust — and our breath, a gift to us from God, simply animates the clay of our bodies with consciousness, awareness, and the capacity to wonder and to give and receive love. So our very bodies link us to the wisdom of Celts — a wisdom that celebrates all of God’s creation as good.
So find that place where you feel at home in your body, and a sense of connection with the world around you. Hopefully it’s a place where you can enter into silence and a sense of mindful awareness. Perhaps you will be moved to pray, or to write in your journal, or simply to feel a sense of gratitude. Trust how your spirit leads you in this embodied place.
That’s all it takes to begin your journey into the wisdom of the Celts. Take it further — read the sample chapter of the book (follow the link above) and pre-order your copy today!