I really enjoyed this book. ‘Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch’ is a look at the little known path of traditional Irish Witchcraft.
This is not a how-to manual, or an Irish Witchcraft 101. Instead this book is a look at the myth and magic, history and fable that permeates Irish culture to this day. And also it’s a refreshingly practical take on contemporary witchcraft.
Lora O’Brien retells some of the better known Irish myths, discusses ways to contact and honor the faeries, and even takes on the topic of the European Witch Hunts. There is a wealth of ideas for rituals, life passage ceremonies, and ways for people to connect with their Irish heritage.
One thing the author stresses repeatedly is that those serious about following an Irish path must not only endeavour to learn Ireland’s native tongue (Gaeilge), but also that a pilgrimage to the island nation is essential. The logic behind this assertion is sound. How can one truly connect to a land they’ve never set foot on?
She does acknowledge that not all of us are able to travel to the land of our ancestors. Immigrants have brought a lot of their heritage with them when leaving Ireland, so any place where those of Irish ancestry gather can be a way to create connections as well.
This is a fairly thin book, so it is a quick read. Perfect for a weekend away or a quiet visit to the park. It is a bit expensive for its size, due to it being a UK import, but I found that it was well worth the money.
It may also be a bit difficult to find this volume locally. I happened upon it by chance at a large chain bookstore, and have rarely seen it for sale elsewhere (even the store where I bought it no longer keeps it on the shelves. It has to be ordered specially).