Legends of the Grail: Stories of Irish Goddesses” is a collection of ancient Irish myths and legends told in the traditional way with a twist. Each Goddess, generally demonized or misunderstood, has the chance to retell her story in a way that liberates her from centuries of misunderstanding. Some of the stories date back 8,000 years or longer, and yet the wisdom is timeless. The stories begin in 1700BC as the ancient ones known as the Tuatha De Danann leave surface earth. In remembering the tales of our ancestors we are invited to embrace the depth and wisdom we need to navigate this current age. Each chapter is followed with a “Healing With the Goddess” section that contains practices, visualizations and blessings to help the reader get in touch with their own soulful qualities and capacities. These exercises can help us understand the age we live in.
The Mother Goddess Danu introduces several of her daughters including Aine, a Solar Goddess who reminds us of our intelligence and the ways in which we shine. We encounter Ceasair, the granddaughter of Noah who was not allowed to board the Ark, so built her own ship and set sail to Ireland with her horses and fifty friends. In folklore it is Ceasair who initiates the strong Goddess traditions of Ireland. Scatach initiates the hero Cuchulain into the ways of the true warrior, and Emer welcomes the same hero as her husband. The poet Aengus Og sees Caer Ibormeith in a dream and falls in love. Finally the maiden Brighid decides to go on a pilgrimage to find the Cailleach, the most ancient Goddess of them all. There are four Appendices, including a Goddess Timeline and Thealogy called “Her-Story” that lists the Goddess traditions from pre-history to present time. There is also a Glossary and extensive Bibliography for those who wish to learn more about the Goddess traditions.
The author obtained her doctorate in Anglo-Irish literature from King’s College London. The academic foreword is by Dr Leonee Ormond and the second forward by is Suzanna Crampton, an Irish Farmer. The book is a mixture of in depth research that honors the Irish heritage, and experiential ways to engage archetypes that can help the reader understand his or her wholeness. The Grail is symbolic of a person who has realized their true Self. The Earth is changing. It is time to look to the past to see how our ancestors navigated the ending of their era, and lived.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Ayn Cates Sulliva whose book Legends of the Grail captivated me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love myths and legends but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Ayn, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Ayn will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Ayn!
Ayn Cates Sullivan, MA, MFA, Ph.D. is an award-wing and best-selling author. She holds a master’s degree in spiritual psychology from USM, and a masters and doctorate in literature from Columbia University and King’s College London. Ayn writes stories for all ages designed to uplift, heal and inspire. She is well known for her best selling book, A Story of Becoming, which won 18 top literary awards. Her most recent book, Legends of the Grail.
Now, how wonderful does Ayn sound?! Ayn is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Ayn’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Ayn, I hope that you enjoy Ayn’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
Book Synopsis: Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses is an award winning collection of ancient Irish myths with vital background information robed in historical importance, with first-person stories told by each chosen Goddess to establish accessible resonance. Each story is told for the modern age. Meditations and visualizations allow intimate contact with the Goddess herself. The author includes personal practical suggestions for utilizing the archetypal values embedded symbolically and firmly in the specified Goddess in order to facilitate psychological revival and continued health, and finally a poetic blessing to access the less structured but higher nature of the human mind.
Why I wrote the series: I won an overseas research award to Kings College London and studied Anglo-Irish literature for a decade. It was a fun way to obtain a doctorate! I spent a lot of time on the west coast of Ireland, and later the south-west of England and Wales, gathering folklore. I began to feel as though there were stories that lived in the land of Britain and Ireland. They came alive in me and I love sharing them. I particularly fell in love with the stories of Goddesses and Heroines. They give me hope that even though I might face challenges, I can learn and become stronger and wiser through the process of living. The series is a reminder that the Earth is alive, and if we are wise enough to listen, then we can heal and evolve in life affirming ways. It’s an important and hopeful message for our time!
Write because there is a river of words pouring through you and you can’t stop the flow. If you aspire to be an author you need to love receiving and telling stories. Write about what is real and true, but also remember words have power and impact people’s lives. Become observant of the world around you, listen to conversations and share stories that bring light, healing and awareness to the world. To be successful as an author involves becoming a sharp editor, a distribution wizard, and doing PR with grace and ease. If you aspire to be an author, never stop learning, and question everything! To be an author you have to love what you do. Writing is the air you breathe. Write because you love it and you have to.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
A good book is a doorway to another world. You open the portal and become immersed in new thoughts, ideas and sensations. Literature is the way we pass knowledge from one generation to the next. Literature is a beacon of hope.
What is your writing process like?
My process is just to become very still, reflective and meditative. I meditate every day for at least 15 minutes and sometimes for several hours. I can write up to 13 hours a day. Most of what I write is in journal form, but the free flow of words and ideas inspires the next book. Like many writers, I am contemplative and spend a lot of time alone. I live in the countryside and I like to go outside and observe the world around me. I often take the same path again and again and notice the differences due to the lighting and the seasons. When I am in my contemplative poetic nature, the entire world speaks to me. Trees have stories to share, so do animals. I like to practice journeying through trees in visualizations and see where the tunnels of the imaginal lead me.Sometimes I sit at a cafe and listen to a conversation, and then imagine who the people are and how they live. That can become a story. The main process is to just keep writing. The more you write the more the words come.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
The amount of research depends on the type of book I’m writing. For the Legends of the Grail series, I spent about thirty years researching Celtic myth and legends both walking in sacred site in Britain and the UK, and spending time at the British Museum Library, the New York Public Library, at the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and also at Trinity in Dublin. When I am writing poetry or children’s books, I just let the stories flow.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read a few books a week. I particularly love the poets W.B Yeats, John O’Donohue, Robert Frost, Robert Bly and Mary Oliver. I have a vast library and always have a current favorite author and topic. Right now I am reading the books of John and Caitlin Matthews. I also love to read the classics.
The second book in the Legends of the Grail series is called Heroines of Avalon & Other Tales,which will be released October 2018. This is followed by the third book in the series, Merlin & Nimue: An Illustrated Love Story, which will be released in 2019. I am working on a children’s story about a dragon, which should also be released in 2019.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Ayn! If you have liked what you have read about Ayn and are interested in learning more about Ayn and reading Ayn’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,