Praise ‘Legends of the Grail’

Praise for ‘Legends of the Grail’

About the Book | Praise

foreword
Clarion Review
Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses
Ayn Cates Sullivan
Infinite Light Publishing (Sep 1, 2017)
Hardcover $26.95 (298pp) 978-0-9884537-9-1
FANTASY
A unique, colorful take on Celtic myths, Legends of the Grail is a work of both self-exploration and religious discovery.

Ayn Cates Sullivan’s Legends of the Grail is an in-depth, spiritual exploration of Celtic folklore and the impact that age- old stories have on modern women. Sullivan delves into the history of goddesses, what they stand for, and the people who worship them.

A combination of short stories, spiritual reflections, and historical insight, the book weaves the world of Celtic mythology into the present day. Divided into seven sections, it is a powerhouse culmination of the stories of Danu, Ceasair, Áine, Scáthach, Emer, Caer Ibormeith, and Cailleach, Celtic goddesses with varying understandings of, and who give various advice related to, power and womanhood.

Each section includes a journey through a goddess’s history, an intimate short story told through the eyes of the goddess, and a final reflection on how to travel with the goddess to discover her meaning and place within the real world.

Sullivan, whose foreword reveals her desire to connect with her ancestral roots, delves deep into each of the goddesses’ stories and contexts. Details speak to careful research, and passages are laden with sympathetic emotion. Goddesses are humanized and come alive on the page.

Writing is colorful and evocative, breathing life into the stories and their histories. Scenes are immersive, painting an exciting, spiritual world rife with insight and self-reflection.

The book weaves historical beliefs and fantastical elements together, bringing forth questions of what constitutes truth and what constitutes fiction. It proposes journeys of healing and paints goddesses in terms of colors and blessings. These elements make space for spiritual epiphanies.

A unique, colorful take on Celtic myths, Legends of the Grail is a work of both self-exploration and religious discovery. It can be read for the inspiration of its strong feminist message or simply enjoyed for the thrills of its fantastical tales.
TIA SMITH (December 29, 2017)

feathered-quill
Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses
By: Ayn Cates Sullivan
Illustrated By: Belle Crow duCray
Publisher: Infinite Light Publishing Publication
Date: October 2017 ISBN: 978-0-9884537-8-4
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict Review
Date: December 21, 2017

It is always intriguing to discover stories, legends, and myths from long ago that are still remembered today. In her book Legends of the Grail, author Ayn Cates Sullivan takes the reader on a journey of discovery, uncovering the fascinating details of some of Ireland’s most famous Goddesses. Throughout history, some of these legendary figures were seen in a negative light, making them appear cruel and unjust. However, the author has retold their stories in this book and the reader is given a different insight into the misunderstood myths surrounding these famous goddesses.

Each chapter starts with an introduction to a particular goddess and then a story or legend that is associated with her. In an interesting twist, the author has chosen to tell each story from the point of view of the goddess, which is rare and allows the reader to really explore these legends in a new way. Many times these stories are told from the point of view of the human who saw a glimpse of light in the distance, or a shift in the shadows at night and claimed it was a goddess approaching. However, in this book the reader is able to open up a whole new world as these stories are told in a way that explains their supernatural occurrences while at the same time being easily relatable. In addition, each chapter contains information about what represents each goddess including colors, plants, and animals. This adds to the idea that each of these goddesses can be seen, felt, or heard anytime we happen to be walking through the woods or strolling by a bubbling stream.

Some of the goddesses that were misunderstood include a solar goddess by the name of Aine, who in myths was shown to be a bad and disrespectful wife of King Ailill. However, when author Ayn Cates Sullivan shines some light on this particular myth she reveals that in fact Aine just held her freedom and independence above all else, which are admirable qualities. She uses this freedom and independence to be available when someone calls her that needs a light in their lives. After all she was a solar goddess and wanted to make sure she was there to help anyone who was in need of her help. Then there was the goddess Cailleach who would many times disguise herself as an old woman, or a terrible giantess who would throw boulders out of her apron pockets. In reality, she was adamant about protecting the land, animals, and plants, for she had a deep love of nature, and would only punish those who disrespected it.

The way this book is written was unique and I actually found it quite wonderful to read. With each goddess having a specific chapter dedicated to her story, I was able to focus on each one individually, allowing me to learn more. I loved the way this author included the colors, plants, and animals that are representative of each goddess, for that brings the myth and the real world together beautifully. It is always amazing for me to read a book that stays with me long after I have finished reading it. That is exactly what happened with Legends of the Grail as I think back to it often while I am simply going about my everyday life.

Quill says: This is a book that stays with the reader, giving positive thoughts long after the last page is read.

Ayn Cates Sullivan is chosen for the Book Excellence Award Author Showcase.

Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses has won the London Book Festival and the Florida Book Festival.

5star-shiny-web1Once in a great while, a book of profound insight comes along disguised as a collection of stories about magic. Joseph Campbell penetrated the familiar great world myths to reveal an incredibly rich and complex psychological reality in the lives we live, and thus made magic itself live again with both urgency and relevance. In her beautifully written and illustrated book, Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses, Ayn Cates Sullivan, Ph.D. brings similar urgency and relevance to the psychological reality behind the Goddess within each human psyche. Her book, however, is not simply an academic rendering of a living spiritual principle. Dr. Sullivan offers something much more subtle, rich, and ultimately satisfying. She offers her audience a viable passage into their own personal mythic journey, with the healing consequences thus implied.

Legends of the Grail does indeed tell stories of Celtic goddesses, but Ayn Cates Sullivan also layers and enriches these stories of ancient Irish myths with vital background information robed with historical importance, with first-person stories told by each chosen Goddess to establish accessible resonance, with symbolic revelations for present-day applications, meditations, and visualizations allowing 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. Dr. Sullivan accomplishes all this with concise and polished writing that appears deceptively simple, as all captivating stories do, but do not be misled – the Goddess calls.

— Reviewed By Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite (5 stars)

BOOK REVIEW:
Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses
Ayn Cates Sullivan
August 16, 2018 by Aimee Ann
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Myth’s & Legends

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.

Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses is a unique book that I was desperate to read ever since discovering it. I have grown up loving mythology, and so any book that has mythology, whether it be fictional or nonfictional is a book I have to read and so when I discovered Legends of the Grail I knew I had to read it. The premise of Legends of the Grail excited me because the description does not give much away; instead, it gives the reader an overall feel of the book with no spoilers and suggests that it may be fiction and nonfiction. This is a rare combination and one that is hard to succeed at but now that I have finished reading Legends of the Grail and know that the book is a blend of fictional myths as well as nonfiction thanks to the historical context, I can happily write that the book has succeeded and this is all thanks to the phenomenal author Ayn Cates Sullivan.

As I began to read Legends of the Grail, I found myself desperate to reach the end and this is all thanks to the intriguing literature laced throughout the book and Sullivan’s charming literature that bewitched me from start to finish. Legends of the Grail is a book about the Celtic goddesses, and throughout it, the author flawlessly weaves their stories and ancient Irish myths together and writes them in a first-person narrative which is very rarely done. As well as the reader being able to read these sensational stories about incredible, fascinating women, the author will also lace history throughout her book and give readers historical context, and this was incredible. I adore novels that weave fiction with nonfiction because while you read the book you are entertained, informed and learning and that is the perfect combination in my opinion.

The exceptional author of Legends of the Grail poignantly takes her readers on a journey through the Celtic myths and what is revealed is eye-opening, stunning and incredibly entertaining. As I read the myths, I found myself transfixed especially because of the unique twist Sullivan put on them. I raced from start to finish, desperate to read them all and they were so good that I would actually found myself rereading them! Which is something I very rarely do. That alone shows us that Sulivan is an incredibly talented author who knows how to hook her reader’s attention from start to finish and transfix them with her beautiful literature and captivating words.

As I read Sullivan’s book I found that it was incredibly easy to read and never confusing. Some myths can be incredibly detailed and hard to read but the ones laced throughout Legends of the Grail are not, and this is because Sullivan expertly tells them and organizes them perfectly. This is great because it ensures that every reader will be able to love and enjoy reading the myths and the fascinating historical context. This shows us readers that Sullivan is passionate about her readers reading experience and that to me was sensational and why Sullivan deserves all the praise in the world.

Overall Legends of the Grail is an inspiring, informative and intriguing book that will charm, inform and delight readers so I, of course, will be awarding Legends of the Grail five stars! So please do have a read of the preview below book lovers, you will not regret it!

Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much, I love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please comment below and let me know your thoughts on Legends of the Grail. Do you see yourself reading this book? Do you love the genre? Please let me know your brilliant thoughts below and I will be sure to comment back. Thank you so much again for reading!

Goodbye for now book lovers,

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is click the Buy on Amazon button and it will take you straight to the book on Amazon U.S.! If you are in the U.K. then below I have attached a link to the book for Amazon U.K..

Below I have attached some links about the author and this wonderful book so if you would like to learn more about the author and the book then please have a browse. Thank you so much again for reading book lovers, I can’t wait to read your thoughts on this book!

5star-shiny-web1Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses by Ayn Cates Sullivan, PhD showcases the heritage of Irish culture and wisdom, and a growing interest in Irish folklore and the ‘Celtic Revival’ in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book sheds light on these sacred women who are often seen in relation to their male counterparts. Each of the goddesses depicted in the book speaks for herself and readers are encouraged to experience them. The author takes readers into the ancient world where they get to know more about colors and the plants and trees associated with particular goddesses, and about objects which are part of their legends. This book on Irish myths celebrates women and their divine nature, which will inspire women and men alike and will encourage readers to discover the Goddess within them.

I like the way the author motivates readers to take an inner journey so that they can discover themselves, to make them more acquainted with their souls. The spiritual undertones and whimsical vibes in the book will take readers to another dimension, another realm. I like the thought of inviting readers to engage in practices and visualizations designed to awaken the Goddess within each person. As readers enjoy the Irish mythology and folklore, they will be able to understand the Celtic Goddesses, their powers, and wisdom. These healing stories take readers on a quest to discover their true nature and find their way to truth, love, health, and wisdom. The glossary at the end of the book is helpful.

— Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)

Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses by Ayn Cates Sullivan is an educational book about the different Celtic goddesses and their backgrounds, and details their various symbols and worship practices. The book also endeavors to dispel any misconceptions regarding these goddesses in general, and shows just one of the ways in which these goddesses connect with many other world religions. The book is divided into sections, each of which contains a unique goddess that Sullivan explores. From the compassion of the Mother Goddess herself, to the fierceness of Ceasair, to even the independence of Aine, these goddesses have proven time and time again their place in the world, taking their place as one of the old religions, just before Christianity. With encouraging words and a love for nature, Sullivan delves into these goddesses’ characteristics and backgrounds, all the while gently nudging the reader to have a greater respect for them.

The marriage between paganism and Christianity is certainly a unique one. Many modern traditions we celebrate as Christians had pagan roots, though some people may think otherwise. Even so, while I do identify as a Christian, I found this book impeccably beautiful, not only because of the gorgeous retelling, but also because of the exquisite imagery Sullivan uses when describing them. When I read this book, I felt as if I was walking through a dark, yet soothing forest, gazing out at the seasons around me, with time slipping away beneath my fingertips. I loved this book, and would recommend it to any reader who is curious about Celtic culture, regardless of their religion.

— Reviewed By Robin Goodfellow for Readers’ Favorite

5 stars | Absolutely splendid and magical

“Ayn Cates Sullivan has done it again… this time most masterfully than ever. I am a fan of her illustrated books for children and adults. This time though, she has exceeded my expectations. This book is alive, I felt the energies of the Celtic legends starting to breath within my being as soon as was holding it. Beautifully written, I felt the Goddesses enliven the fullness of forgotten aspects of my being.

“So touching…. to bring back the memories of the power of love and creation held by womanhood. I loved how she described the colors related to each Deity, and how each color combination carries specific qualities. I like to play and receive the blessings of the world of colors. I also enjoyed the visualization, practice and blessings offered in each chapter… to go deeper in the integration of the Goddesses aspects within me. I actually started to read it again, as soon as I finished it! It never happened before in my life, but this book won my heart, I can’t part with it. I like to keep Danu, Aine,Caer and her beloved Angus close to me. I love to read just before I go to sleep and I keep the book under the pillow at night, so they can fly in my dreams…. I am grateful indeed I found this wonderful masterpiece.”

— Elisabetta Remes on September 13, 2017

5 stars | Walk between worlds with Ayn Cates Sullivan! Let her …

“Walk between worlds with Ayn Cates Sullivan! Let her unveil the light of Ireland’s goddesses that time has misconstrued. She has given a voice to those who have been muted by the mundane, and so graciously invited us to explore their beauty, while simultaneously helping us to discover our own.”

— Lisa O on September 13, 2017

5 stars | Such an incredible compilations of stories that will surely be …

“Such an incredible compilations of stories that will surely be a classic read for generations. These archetypes are something we can all relate to, and which are so needed for healing the past. Grab your cup of tea and get ready for divine feminine empowerment in the most wondrous and mysterious of ways.”

— Lucinda Rae on September 13, 2017

5 stars | Magic, spirituality and wisdom

“With ‘Legends of the Grail’ Ayn Cates Sullivan brings to life the magical tales and rich heritage of Irish spirituality and wisdom. These stories brought me on a journey of discovery and re-connection with the legends and the mystical dimension in which they connect with, relate to and touch all men and women regardless of heritage and beliefs, with the sacred tales of our past that enrich our present. Thank you for making this so accessible.”

—By Mr M C Baumann on September 13, 2017

“Legends of the Grail: Stories of Celtic Goddesses. A beautifully written book bringing to life a vast collection of Irish myths and legends presented in a fresh, positive, and delightful way. This is a great contribution on the author’s part to keep these ancient myths and legends alive so they may live again and again in the heart, mind, and soul of the (new) generations for eons to come.“A five star rating!

“Congratulations.”

—Ramiro Mendes
Musician | Author | Artist | Humanitarian
Co-Author of SOUND –The Fabric of Soul, Consciousness, Reality, and the Cosmos

“Beautiful and compelling, these richly storied portals and pathways to important human truths transcend time via interwoven Celtic wisdoms. With the immediacy of humanity, the stories, the cadence, mysterious names, rich and lightly-touched images bring archetypal feminine mysteries freshly to life. Ayn Cates Sullivan’s scholarship reads and feels like a fresh walk after spring rains, transporting readers to times and ways of perceiving that feel secret, timeless and true.”

—Nusa Maal, MA

Center for Multisensory Leadership, Learning & Life

“Ayn Cates Sullivan’s “Legends of the Grail” is a thrilling leap from the revered legacy of Joseph Campbell. These stories of Celtic mythology return The Goddess to her rightful place in history through exhaustive research into the ancient goddesses of Ireland. Each historical tale inspires, teaches, and leads us to a magical world and includes unique healing rituals and blessings that reconnected us to the eternal divine feminine. When women read this they will understand themselves for the first time; when men read this book they will awaken to the exquisite power of women.”

—Susan Allan CEO The Marriage Forum, Inc.

“If ever someone had found and resurrected the missing half of the Bible, it would be Ayn Cates Sullivan. Let your entire soul exhale at the sheer relief of receiving the long lost (and long repressed) heritage of the Goddess. Let these pages massage your soul, and let these enchanted legends sooth you back to wholeness.”Legends of the Grail is a legacy of light that human soul is desperately thirsty for. No more shall our profound wholeness be denied. Let the enchanted Goddess rise again within us to restore ourselves and the planet.

“Thank you Ayn for bringing back that which was nearly lost. Thank you, for all of us.”

— Christina Sophia Stellarum
MDiv. Harvard University

“With a title like Legends of the Grail who can refuse? The title alone conjures in my imagination the great stuff legends are made of, adventure, love, and, of course, a quest. This quest is one of rediscovering the grail, the holy chalice, the female. In Legends of the Grail, the author, Ayn Cates Sullivan, takes her reader into the world before convention, before organized religion, even before time itself. Ayn shares her stories with us which are imbued with rich tales and deep wisdom. Page after page there is something of value and something to reflect on. As a woman, through these stories, the author helps me feel a bit more rooted and complete. Lost have the stories of the female been, often times overshadowed by stories of the man, until now. Thank you Ayn for bringing back some of our stories in such a soulful, insightful and respectful way. Reading these stories is like reading a part of my history I never knew. These stories allow me to experience the power, strength, and magnificence we all are inside.”

— Jennifer Chapman Sendzimir, Teacher, Tennesse, USA

“Extraordinary! A tapestry of the writer’s gold is woven with legend, mystery, poem, prayer, history and myth! What Irish Goddesses of the far distance past can bring forth to this age is wisdom that is much needed for these times we’re in, the sacredness of nature and our communion with all life. We need to bring the honoring of the Goddess and the feminine insight into life itself. Legends of the Grail is a treasure to be savored as a sacred trust from ancient times to be shared with us now!”

— Bruce L. Erickson, Teacher, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

“Reading Legends of the Grail is like being taken by the hand and shown stories. The book is delightful and beautifully illustrated, reminding us of the mothering and nurturing that we seem to be losing. The stories invite us to remember the gentleness, love, and also the strength that women have needed throughout history. There is a twist with the Goddess herself telling the story, which gives old tales new life. It’s a book to remind us to be human Beings rather than human doings. A wonderful book; inspiring, captivating and beautifully written.”
— Patsy Westworth, Nurse, Devon, UK

‘Legend of the Grail, Stories of Celtic Goddesses’ is a deeply passionate and unique take on a collection of female spirited mythological tales. Ayn’s ability to evoke such vivid and beautiful imagery of these fascinating characters through the medium of the written word is utterly magical. It is a wild read, much like the Goddesses themselves.

— Hannah May Hocking,
Bristol, U.K.

“In today’s world of rapid spiritual transformation and evolution, the story of the Goddess can be an important guiding light. Stories have a way of invoking courage, compassion, love, and grace in us. In “Legend of the Grail,” Ayn Cates Sullivan masterfully tells mystical stories of ancient Irish Goddesses for the modern man and woman. This book is an inspiration to awaken one’s own light.”

— Aparna Khanolkar
Author, “Nectar”