Stories for the Songs of the Year is a beautiful book which can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. I found myself quickly drawn into the magical world of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses and the accompanying tales of Meg, the (constantly hungry, bannock-mad) tom cat with half a tail and Attila the Bun, his lofty, clever, rabbit companion.
I really liked how the book began with a clear and concise foreword on the topic of Pagan parenting, where Tinker makes various suggestions about how to start helping children of various ages understand an assortment of concepts that are central to Pagan beliefs. The foreword also contains a handy summary of the key dates for festivals and celebrations along the Wheel of the Year. There is also a very useful Resources section at the back of the book that includes websites, podcasts, organisations and a list of other books divided according to age.
Turning to the stories themselves, I found myself captivated by Tinker’s beautiful and easily comprehensible storytelling style. I liked the way that some of the chapters opened by describing the salient themes of each celebration on the Wheel before she began to tell a story using the adventures of Meg and Attila the Bun to bring each point on the Wheel to life. One of my favourite parts was the story of The Old Woman of Winter – The Cailleach – washing her enormous shawl in the Coire Bhreacain (the Corry Vreckan) whirlpool and the effect on the Scottish weather because of this.
I am very much looking forward to curling up with this book at my son’s bedtimes when he is a little older; softly reading out the enchanting stories as he drifts off into dream-filled sleep.
Book Details: Fiona Tinker. Pagan Portals – Stories for the Songs of the Year. Moon Books (30 Oct. 2020). ISBN: 978-1789044706
Review Details: Stories for the Songs of the Year was reviewed by Em Mulholland, sub-editor of Indie Shaman magazine and this review was published in Issue 49.
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