This wonderful novel lights up the Celtic World in great brilliance.
It is a great story and also great history. It is well researched and takes into account all the recent archaeology and also the current arguments, fights and debates in modern historical and archaeological academia. Very clever indeed!
Celtic history has come a long way in the last two decades. This book illuminates all the dark corners and finally dispels all the prejudice and character assassination that has gone on for the last two thousand years, including some very dubious histories written by British historians who hero worshiped the Romans above all and who were embarrassed to know their ancestors couldn’t mix concrete! How useful such prejudicial beliefs were in the forging of the British Empire and in conquering all those naked savages and Barbarians!
At last, it is dawning on people how educated and civilised our ancestors really were and how old their civilisation really was. Erskine even mentions the startling fact that Pythagoras learnt his stuff from his Druid teachers, something that is obvious from a close study of the Time Lines and from the fact that Stonehenge is full of ‘Pythagorean’ geometry, as are many of the prehistoric stone circles. Indeed, the golden wizard hats detailing the so called Greek Meton cycle was attributable to the Northern European cultures centuries before the Greeks ‘discovered’ it, which clearly demonstrates that Greek knowledge was first and foremost proto Celtic knowledge.
Even democracy, always synonymous with the Greeks, was actually common practice in Indo European tribes across Europe and Asia Minor, and it is well known that common people in the so called ‘Barbarian’ World elected their leaders from candidates put forward for them to vote for, centuries and centuries before our modern era, and this is described in detail by Erskine in her novel.
The Greeks were influenced by the proto Celts because they were part of this ancient intelligence, given credit because they wrote it all down, whereas anything the Celts wrote down, and yes they wrote and spoke Greek, Latin and Celtic, was destroyed by later peoples. Rome valued and appropriated Greek culture which they did not regard as a threat to them, unlike the Celts with their Druids who terrified the Romans!
The Celts and the Greeks were the inheritors of the Beaker People, the Urnfield Culture and their sites at Halstatt and La Tene were very cultured. They were knowledgeable and at peace with the World they lived in. They could not conceptualise the true horror that was Rome and they paid a terrible price, and so did we! There is no reason today why we should keep on paying it, is there? The Romans set out to destroy us utterly because we represented an alternative to their universe that would, could and did really threaten them and their propaganda, and the Roman Church kept this awful tyrany going for far too long.
In this book, the full glory of who and what we were and are and will be again shines forth. It is time for the ancestors and for these truths to be restored to the proper place in history and in the modern mind. It is not acceptable to continue to describe these wonderful people in terms that would shock and horrify if they were applied to others.
The story also describes modern Druidry in clear terms that does justice to ancient and modern practice. The book describes the modern co-operation between the Protestant Church at its finest and the spirituality of the ancient world, as if some fundamental healing is now actually occurring, or is it re-emerging like the Celtic Church? The melding of beliefs described in this story satisfies our heritage as the ancestors themselves determined, before it was rigorously suppressed and destroyed by a Roman Church which does not seem to have any interest in diversity, only in ruthless control. I like especially the way the author outlines most clearly the fact that Druidry is not a religion, it is a way of living in the World, and it co-exists with Christianity in its best and finest form. This is the way forward for our modern world, where all the beliefs of the people are given pride of place and not suppressed by super forms of religion that only know how to control and destroy. The Inquisition can never be forgiven! Far too many people have been slaughtered! They cannot be swept under the carpet of history!
The clever melding of the characters in this novel also shows the close interaction between the past, the future and the present, and clearly describes the beliefs of the ancient Celts. It is the underpinning of modern healing practice. All things must be considered. In homeopathy especially, there is no clear distinction between the Worlds. The term ‘wholistic‘ has not been completely comprehended in the modern World. It is a difficult concept to get across. This book manages to explain it very nicely, and in such a way that by the end of the story, this concept is understandable. Today, modern healers are practicing healing as the ancients understood it, by accepting the melding of the past, the present and the future and in the full understanding that we are more than the sum of our parts. However, just a quick look at Wikipedia’s entry on healing will demonstrate the physicality of modern definitions, which dare not go too close to faith healing in case… well in case people laugh at them and ridicule them, because we all know that science can cure everything, don’t we?
Modern healers attempt to understand how we heal, how we become ill, how we live and how we die. At least we try!! This book illustrates the concepts behind modern healing more clearly than I have ever seen it described before. I would call it Shamanism, and people use that term because, as Barbara Erskine points out so smoothly in her novel, ‘it would not be acceptable in the modern age to be prejudiced against Native American Indian beliefs’ now would it? But they are identical to Celtic belief at heart, so how can you accept one and cast aspersions on the other? That is not very politically correct is it? Shamanism is the basic belief structure of the ancient World from Siberia to Alaska, from Iran to Ireland – why? Because all Proto European belief structure had the same origins, that’s why! And it is millenia old and it spread easily and effortlessly around the Northern hemisphere after the end of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago, across to North America, across Asia, across Europe and Asia Minor. It shares similarities with beliefs across the known World that date back many millenia around the World. It is THE basic belief structure that underpins everything, including our newer ‘religions’, because it emerged with Homo Sapiens Sapiens 60,000 years ago and it is still with us, whispering all around us.
It is time we grew up and look directly into the heart of this remarkable truth and stop piddling around with wars, chemicals and prejudice. We have paid a terrible price for the loss of such ancestors and it is time we grasped this particular nettle with both hands.