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Review by Searles O'Dubhain
I recently read a book by Ceisiwr Serith, a member of ADF, that is a treasure of information concerning ancient Pagan and Indo-European practices. It is titled Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. Serith shows us a way to discover, derive and learn about the practices of this very ancient Pagan culture in ways that allow us to bring those practices forward into our modern lives. Since it is about Indo-Europeans, it contains references to ancient Celtic, Irish and Welsh practices as well.
Deep Ancestors is a great read about our Proto-Indo-European ancestors. It uses the best available information from linguistics, archaeology and cultural cross comparisons to determine not only the “what”, the possible and the known about these people, it also gives one example of how they probably conducted rituals as well as the why. One would expect such a fact filled book to be a difficult read since it is based on current scholarly works and references, but this is not the case at all. Ceisiwr Serith has expressed the concepts and details about these cultures in a very readable and easily understood manner. Many useful and ready to use illustrations and examples are provided. The book is a treasure of knowledge about the foundations of modern day practices in the Pagan world that come to us from the past. It explains the roles of the deities as well as the cosmogony and cosmologies of the universe. For those whose religions and practices are rooted in the original tree of the Common (or Proto) Indo-Europeans, it is almost a Rosetta Stone of cultural awareness. It covers the structures and values of our deepest, ancient Pagan philosophies. Using this book one can easily construct personal, family or group rituals that have meaning from the past through the present.
I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand and flesh out their current Pagan practices with the traditions and outlooks of our far ancestors. They are the beginnings of our religion and we have the responsibility to honor them by carrying forward their knowledge. Here we can learn the ways to get into touch with their spiritual awareness as well as the structure of being itself. Deep Ancestors explains to a great extent why and how the Celtic branch of the Great Tree is like it is. It also gives us an opportunity to form our own branches and families of that tree. It also branches across the board into comparative analyses of all the major, known Indo-European cultures and their philosophies. For those who follow Continental Pagan practices, it is a key to understanding their roots and branches as well.
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