I received a copy of Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess from GoodReads First Reads giveaway for review. This in no way influenced my review and/or rating.
Let me start off by saying I’m not Wiccan, I am a firm Christian believer. So be forewarned that I skipped over the spells/meditations/rituals, so no part of my review will deal with these.
Brigid has fascinated me for most my life. I’m completely serious here. My Junior year of high school was when I ‘discovered’ her, and it was at that same time a friend had asked a couple of us to design characters for a book she was writing. Mine were triplets. Any guess why? In designing these characters around the three aspects of St. Brigid, I ran into her history as a Celtic Goddess. So much of what is here (myth-wise) I have already come across in one form or another. But there had never been anything I found on Maman Brigitte. So I was very interested to learn about her Voudon lore.
Sadly, Maman Brigitte gets such a brief mention in this book that I had to go back to the index to verify she had been mentioned (I do have to confess I didn’t remember her name, so when I looked the sections back up, i took down the name). Now, right off the bat Ms. Weber does mention that there are arguments over whether or not Brigid & Maman Brigitte are the same, so I understand why there wouldn’t be as much as the saint vs. goddess information. But I had hoped for more than a couple paragraphs and a brief one sentence mention later.
Ms. Weber was in her element in regards to the saint/goddess conversions/comparisons and her telling of the druid/Celtic history was more interesting to me. She didn’t sugar coat the rituals and practices that are horrifying to think of in this day and age, yet back then was something that they felt HAD to be done their people to survive. And I feel she wasn’t vilifying the early Christians when she discusses how they change the Goddess Brigid in St Brigid to spread our religion. And I respect her for how she handled this.
Unfortunately, after my praise, I do feel the need to now say what I didn’t like. The writing didn’t keep me hooked. It has taken me almost a year to read this book, and I finally had to leave it at work and force myself NOT to bring other books in order to do so. Once I started reading, it was way to easy for me to set the book down without coming back to it for long periods of time.
And once again I have to mention Maman Brigitte. Having alluding to her on the back of the book and in the book description, she should have had a larger part in the book. I feel like this was close to false advertising, except she was mentioned briefly.
Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess is a good book if you are just getting into who/what this intriguing woman is, and you want to learn more about her as a Celtic deity. I do not think this book is for someone who has researched Brigid previously, and is looking for new information. Actually, let me say I think this book should really only be for those people who really don’t know Brigid’s lore, and who are looking for information into the her Goddess aspect. Otherwise it is nothing all that new or noteworthy.
Initial reaction was 2 stars, changed to 3 once I sat down and actually thought my review out.
Average 2.5 stars