The Isles of the Many Gods
Sam Callow reviews ‘The Isles of the Many Gods’ by David Rankine and Sorita D’Este
Having been drawn to Druidry through a keen interest in the ancient history of Britain, especially its cultural and spiritual heritage, this book was a welcome find.
David and Sorita have put a great deal of thorough research into this book, which comprehensively lists a huge number of deities worshipped in Ancient Britain. It draws from a range of sources; archeological evidence such as curse tablets, place names and votive offerings, through to early Greek, Roman, Irish and Welsh literature(taking into account any political or religious bias). They then describe their method in distinguishing, from the evidence, whether the characters they discovered would have been specifically worshipped as deities, before including them in the book.
The result is a fascinating mixture of Indigenous, Gallic, Classical, Egyptian, Saxon and Norse deities, with the time period and area(s) of Britain they were worshipped in, and their probable origins. Alongside each entry is as much of a description as can be gleaned from the evidence, as well as meanings for each of their names.
I highly recommend this book as a reference for anyone else with an interest in localised, ancient British deities – it serves as an inspiration for further study and as a fuel for imagination. I would very happily read more of the authors’ books.