Awen is a Welsh word often translated as “inspiration”. However, in its fullness it has a much deeper meaning, an irradiation of the soul from paradisal origins. In the context of the Celtic folk-soul it casts the paradisal pattern by which the people and the land were harmonised. Through the aligned symbolism of the goddess, the sacred king and the stars, a compelling picture is built of a thriving mystery tradition. In AWEN, The Quest of the Celtic Mysteries, Mike Harris puts would-be seekers on a bridge to the ancient world where they can reconnect with the Brythonic Celts, their constellations and legends, and most of all – their sacred land.
A poet himself, Mike Harris is keenly attuned the bardic traditions of Taliesin, the mythical poethos of the writers of the Mabinogion, and the mnemonic texts of the pre-Augustine Brythons. His work is well researched, neatly collated, and presented in an inspiring style that will appeal to historians, mythographers, anthropologists, comparative religionists, as well as those especially enamoured by the spiritual realms and their secret progeny. In a field where so many authors pander to cliché, fantasy, parody and populism, Harris gives us his world of the Keltoi, full of scholarly substance and panache. His great gift is being able to transcribe written words from old parchments to an animated chorale of living landscapes in a way that allows for the physical internalization that the bards intended. He is a spiritual cartographer of sorts, lifting dead language from the page and retracing its magical glyphs and sigils across the rugged vistas of the Mabinogi.
Skylight Press is pleased to publish a new edition of this fine work that has been an inspiration to students and teachers alike. Here are a couple of reader reviews of the first edition that will provide further testament to the scope and influence of this wonderful study:
“The amount of information regarding the Celtic Tradition is enormous. It spans the subject from actual historical facts of early cultural influences within the land through to the less known Atlantean influences which lie at the base of the Druidic Tradition. It covers such interesting subjects as Divine Kingship; the Templars and Gnosticism; Arthurian Legends encompassing Merlin and the Grail Myths; the bards and their important function of carrying on the stories and atmospheres of old; and even approaches the subjects of Qabalah and the Temple of Jerusalem. The Glossary alone is worth purchasing the book! I think anyone who is interested in the Celtic Tradition of faeries, gods and goddesses; or simply, if they are a history buff with interests in Celtic racial lines of development, they will find that this book is a must. It is both informative and well written.”
“Similar to John King’s book (The Celtic Druids’ Year) this book delves deep into the history, lore and magic surrounding the ancient Celts and the influences of outside society throughout the ages. Sometimes it boggs down with a little too much overly-structured detail but for the most part I loved learning about the Celts and how they came to view the world. Obviously, Mike Harris did a lot of research for this novel and that is what shines through here. There are some personal insights that Harris uses in lieu of traditional beliefs but I found them fresh and challenging. A good read all in all.”
(Both reviews taken from Amazon and Amazon.com)
AWEN, The Quest of the Celtic Mysteries is available from various retail outlets such as Amazon, or direct from the Skylight Press website.