Posted by: Nyxks | August 21, 2007

The Ancient Art of Faery Magick

The Ancient Art of Faery Magick
by D. J. Conway © 2005
The Crossing Press
226 pages Includes Recommended Reading and Index
paperback
ISBN 1-58091-157-9
$16.95 (U.S.)
reviewed by: Mike Gleason

There are some members of the Pagan/Wiccan/Magickal/Witch community who have let themselves drift into the habit of prejudice. They will dismiss a book because of who the author is, or who published it, or because they don’t agree with the topic. I’ve even done it myself. But, and this is a major point, I have finally learned to judge each book on its own merits. I’ve said in previous reviews that I am not a fan of D. J. Conway’s writing. And I’m not terribly impressed with the current state of books on the topic of faery. So, this book had a couple of strikes against it when it arrived unexpectedly in my mailbox.

If you are not a believer in the reality of faery lands and their inhabitants this book will be sheerest fantasy to you, and you will probably have reason to doubt the sanity of the author. If you believe that faeries have existed, but never in the physicals realm, you will probably have similar reservations. If, on the other hand, you believe in the physical reality of faeries in the here-and-now you are either very open-minded, a hopeless dreamer, a child, or someone who has never lost their child-like approach to reality (in other words, you are a Pagan).

The author provides several guided meditations to aid you in your faery experiences. These meditations are almost all she claims for her own creation since, as she says of page 32: “The rituals, spells and herbal concoctions included in this book are very old ones, first brought to humans thousands of years ago by the Fay. When the Fay discovered I had no access to this ancient knowledge, they taught me themselves. The Fay are very precise teachers, right down to every word in a certain place.”

The book provides a good working knowledge of the Fair Folk and serves as an excellent introductory work on the topic. It isn’t as complete as some books, but it offers things which are unique. There are descriptions of many of the Fair Folk from around the world, as well as something which I really liked – a series of Faery stories (as opposed to “fairy tales”) relevant to each of the Sabbats. These unique stories deserve to be told and retold so youngsters of all ages can share in their vivid imagery. They are simple enough for children to enjoy and learn from, yet reveal enough about the foundation of each Sabbat to be a valuable teaching tool for the older crowd.

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