The book referred to is "Celtic Women's Spirituality" by Edain McCoy
1. Please explain the difference between "religion" and "spirituality". Also discuss how these two terms are simmilar.
Religion is a set of beliefs — the "what," if you will. Spirituality is the "how." For some people, the way they approach their spiritual life is exactly how the leaders of their chosen religion tell them to. For others, the two things are completely different. Personally, I find a strict religion difficult to connect with the Divine. I know others for whom it's the strictness that they appreciate. That is the spirituality. The WAY you connect with the Divine.
2. What are the defining characteristics of Celtic Pagan spirituality, and how do they reflect in your life?
The characteristics of Celtic Pagan spirituality are listed on page xiii of the book. To summarize, though, it is a path that believes the Divine is everywhere and in everything; that magic is a natural thing; and that the Otherworld is a mirror of this physical world. These are things I was taught from an early age and grew up believing. Add in the fairy world and some festivals, and you have the Celtic beliefs! In my life, I make time for the fairies. I celebrate the holidays and festivals as best I can. I try to learn everything there is about the history of the Celts, because this is an ethnic path and without the history, you can't understand the people.
3. What are the defining characteristics of women's spirituality, and how do they reflect in your life?
These 6 characteristics are listed on page xiv. The main idea of this belief is that all women are worthy, all are a vision of the Goddess, all are amazing. While I can see all other women as part of the Goddess, I have trouble remembering *I* am part of Her as well. That is something I hope to "fix" with this course.
4. Explain how you can combine Celtic and Women's spirituality into one?
Personally, I feel that both "traditions" ask for women to be strong and independent. Because I find the history of the Celts so interesting, as well as the idea of strong women so appealing, combining the two ideals seems to fit my personality. I do not believe, though, that it is something that will take much additional effort because of the similarities that are already there.
5. What is the Cauldron of Life?
The Cauldron of Life is many things. It is the representation of the womb, where all life begins. It could also be a portal between worlds. In some mythology, the cauldron represented endless knowledge, endless life, or endless sustenance. As the book says on page xix, the cauldron is a "vessel of never-ending abundance." It is a symbol of the power of women — especially Celtic women.