Jill Kelly, Ph.D.,
Guardians of the Celtic Way:
The Path to Arthurian Fulfillment

(Bear & Co., 2003)

It seems as though all things Celtic are extremely popular right now. Irish festivals have huge turnouts, Celtic music sells like crazy. Knotwork jewelry can be found almost anywhere, whereas only a decade ago, one mostly had to order it directly from Ireland or Scotland. The craze seems to have started with Riverdance and continues strong today. Labeling something "Celtic" assures that people will at least take a good look at it.

Unfortunately, Jill Kelly's Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to Arthurian Fulfilmment is neither Celtic nor Arthurian. The book contains no discussion of Celtic history or mythology -- the Celts as an actual, historical people are barely acknowledged. There is no discussion at all of the Arthurian cycle of legends, nor how they mesh with Celtic myth. And while there is a brief look at the Ogham, it is not sufficient to label this book Celtic.

What there is is a confused hodgepodge of Christian terminology, misused Celtic terminology and fluffy, new age feel-goodism -- the words "love" and "joy" appear so many times per page that one is left with a slightly sick feeling, as from eating too much candy. An utterly confusing view of the cosmos is presented, in which there are numerous levels of consciousness, rays of light and subatomic particles even smaller than those currently theorized made entirely of light and love. Humans -- or at least the druids -- are apparently the descendants of people from the stars, and the ancient megalithic sites are radio antennas that the ancients used to talk to their families left behind in outer space (and yes, Atlantis is mentioned in passing).

There is also a "Celtic Code" and an idea of a paradise that is supposedly soon to be created on Earth that is slightly creepy. It reminds me of the classic Star Trek episode, "Return of the Archons." If one wasn't "of the Body," one was in Big Trouble.

The book purports to be channelled; the author is referred to a few times as "our scribe" and the reader is addressed directly by the spirits dictating the text. This may account for the lack of history or mythology -- one assumes that these things wouldn't concern the spirits.

This book cannot be recommended to those searching for information on the Celts or the Arthurian Cycle, simply because it has none.

- Rambles
written by Laurie Thayer
published 10 October 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.