Please note that the section on ‘Favourite Quotations’ may be of help in nudging memory and discussion of some of these questions.
1) What situations in the plotline remind you of the current state of world affairs?
2) The old Druid priestesses in the story such as Nanw, Betw and Old Mali reveal ancient wisdoms. Which ones resonate with you?
3) Would you say that in their context of time the BELTANE RITES were:
a) Lewd acts of uncivilized pagan practices.
b) The sacred celebration of hope and fertility through sexual union.
c) An excuse for sexual freedom?
4) Given the secrets, which characters in the novel such as Marged, Ceridwen and Meromic have to guard, would you say it is always best to be openly truthful?
5) The theme of loyalty to family, legion and tribe rears its head continually throughout the book. How does this affect Marcus and Ceridwen?
6) What factors contribute to Ness’s overcoming her post-natal depression?
7) During the Roman occupation, several characters in the storyline, such as Gwilym and Lord Geraint, feel the need to compromise and be pragmatic to protect their Celtic way of life. Do you think they were justified?
8) There are several moments in the story when characters face strong spiritual challenges and choices. Time seems to stand still, but are they guided by destiny or freedom of choice? Here are some examples:
a) Ceridwen bathing in the rock pool by the shore.
b) Marcus swimming against the flow of the Seiont River.
c) Hedfan in the dark forest with Gwyngariad.
d) The Coven scrying in the bowl of moonlit water.
e) Ceridwen at the sacred grove near Deva, witnessing past sacrifice.
f) Uncle Tullius as he faces grave danger from his fall.
9) Is the magic in the book real or imaginary?
10) What part does Marcus’s locket and amulet play in the story and do lucky charms really work?
11) Ceridwen has the gift of seeing into the future. How does this help her tribe? Is her gift consistent throughout the story?
12) ‘We cannot change our innate nature.’ How does Ceridwen’s handle on wisdom and her own inner journey gainsay that statement?
13) Discuss how the behaviour of animals and birds, such as Luce, Mwg, Gwyngariad, buzzards and eagles are used to give poignancy, symbolism and mood to the storyline.
14) There are many different kinds of love portrayed in the story. Which ones come to mind?
15) Which statements or situations in the novel resonate with your own core beliefs about;
a) the purpose of life
c) love and compassion
d) death & the afterlife.
f) foreknowledge & precognition.
k) meditation and prayer
m) miracles of healing
o) oneness of humanity