C. C. Brondwin
I must admit to a bias when I started this book. Actually, a couple
of them. The first is a culturally based one. This is a book written
for a young female, and I am neither. The second bias is a personal
one. I read (and reviewed) Clan of the Goddess by this same author
and found it disappointing in a number of ways. So, I was already
poised to dislike this current offering.
My major problem with Ms. Brondwin, and authors like her, is her
tendency to look to the past as we wish it had been. She sees the
young maidens of Celtic clans as being highly honored and treated
as special. They may have been. They may also have been treated
as chattel and have had lives of drudgery. Fairness demands equal
representation for differing points of views.
Once again Ms. Brondwin says that you can worship the Goddess without
giving up your familial religious beliefs. That may work in some
cases, but certainly not all.
And again she comes up with an extremely simple method of invoking
protective barriers. The last time it was a clenched fist. This
time it is a triple tap of the third eye. The problem with these
methods, in my opinion, is that while effective for an experienced
handler of energy, they won’t work well for someone just starting
down the path. All they will do is impart a false sense of confidence.
On the plus side, she does encourage young women to take charge
of their own lives. She makes it clear that blaming others for problems
is not the way of the Goddess.
I have to admit that many of the authors I have been reading lately,
and not just feminists, seem to be suffering from a case of “history
as it should have been.” Ms. Brondwin apparently sees Celtic
peoples as having a predominantly joyous life with the women in
charge and sees them as loving “…to dress up, wear makeup,
and color their hair with reds and purples and greens. They wanted
a different hairstyle for every festival, and they’s spend
hours doing each other up for the party.” (page 101). So who,
I might ask was cooking the food, preparing the feasting area and
watching the children? The Clan Mothers? No, they were busy running
the tribe. The men? No, they were busy hunting, drinking and recounting
their bravery on the hunt. According to Ms. Brondwin the food was
prepared in advance and then the hired “…great musicians,
storytellers, comedians and even puppeteers.” (page 102).
She asserts an emphasis on harming none as a basic fact of Celtic
life. Tell that to the Roman legionnaires facing a screaming horde
of woad-painted Celts who didn’t have enough sense to lie
down and die when they had been run through. Tell that to the neighboring
tribes who had their cattle (and maidens) stolen in raids. If they
had been as peaceful as she believes, they would have been wiped
out long before they were assimilated into the general European
Her designation of “Ire” (the fifth element) as a “lesser”
element may work for her, but most folks I know consider that elements
(often called “Spirit”) to be the source of the other
four elements, and hence do not consider it to be less than the
I remarked on my earlier review of her writing that I have a problem
with those who teach “the old ways” and then make them
P.C. That isn’t as evident in this work, although her disparaging
remarks about the consumption of alcohol in large quantities by
the Celts were unnecessary, in my opinion. A simple statement that
such is no longer expected would have been enough.
Once again, over half the book passes before any mention is made
of male energies. This is, in my opinion, a very narrow perception
of mankind and the Celtic peoples in particular. It conveys the
impression that only the feminine part of the Celts had any interest,
or involvement, in the spiritual life of the tribe.
According to Ms. Brondwin, merely thinking about a spirit instantly
draws it to the individual. “Telepathy, channeling, or the
calling up of spirits has instantaneous results.” (page 157).
Not the way I was taught. She tells the reader how to communicate
with spirits, and then says “There are certain cautions to
be observed, and tricks for controlling your communications with
the Otherworld. Read it [the next chapter] too, before you actually
try to channel.” (pg 157). The warnings should come first,
in my opinion.
Banishing an unwanted entity is as simple as saying “Go in
peace. Leave me.”? (page 161). Excuse me? Well, if that is
true, why did we have to learn to create a protective garment (the
Lorica), and make a fist of power? Ms. Brondwin’s work appears
to be at a very low level of energy, by the examples she cites.
Her view of the Celtic women’s life is one of constant joy
and happiness. They laughed all the time. I have to wonder, when
did they find time to tend the fires, raise the children, and be
This is the second book I have read in the past month that I cannot
recommend to the serious student. I really hate to say that about
a book, but there it is. In fact, since this is the second book
by this author which has elicited this response from me, I would
hesitate to recommend any of her work. Although her book is categorized
as “Young Adult/Wicca,” there is nothing of Wicca in
Save your money on this one. Rating: *
Reviewed by Mike Gleason