Posted by: Nyxks | December 9, 2007

A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk

A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk
by Edain McCoy ©2007
Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN 978-0-87542-733-1
383 pages
$16.99 (U.S.) $18.95 (Canada)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

The works of Edain McCoy evoke much the same reactions as those of another prolific writer, Silver RavenWolf. People either swear by them or condemn them based solely on the author’s perceived reputation. I have never been an extremist. I like to actually READ a book before deciding if it is worthwhile. While I may take a pass on a book based on my personal reaction to an author’s style, or the subject matter, I wouldn’t recommend or condemn such a book without actually reading it.

Personally, I’ve had some good experiences as well as some not so good ones with Ms. McCoy’s books. So I looked forward to reading this one. Being of Irish descent, and with strong ties to the Good Folk, I wanted to see what she had to say on the subject.

There are some things she says about astral projection and meditative techniques I disagree with on a personal level, but they apparently work for her, and they may very well work for you.

Her casual equation of astral being and faeries (i.e., that if you create a protective being on the astral, you have “created” a “faery”) bothers me on many levels. I have created several thought forms, for various purposes over the years and they have all been created for one specific purpose and were not given independence, which (it seems to me) a faery must display. Of course faeries are normally focused on one area of existence, or one goal, but they are capable of reacting to unexpected stimuli without needing to get further instructions. Astral entities and faeries certainly coexist, but they are not (at least in my experience) the same.

On a related, but slightly different note, I’m not sure I would consider griffins, incubi and succubi among the ranks of faeries. Where do you draw the line? No, really, where do YOU draw the line? I can only state my feelings and impressions. You need to decide for yourself what constitutes a faery.

Basically, the last half of the book is the promised “Guide” to faeries. With over 200 primary entries it is one of the most extensive I have seen in quite a while. The lack of illustrations is a little frustrating, to me, however. I understand the desire to keep the book to a reasonable size and price, but a few illustrations of some of the more obscure entries would have been beneficial.

I have to give this book a mixed review/rating. The section on the faeries themselves (in spite of my personal questions about the inclusion of certain entities) gets high marks from me. This is because, quite simply, it contains a lot of useful information. The other parts of the book don’t fare so well, in my opinion, because Ms. McCoy’s personal prejudices show through too extensively – without being acknowledged as being personal. She presents them as prevalent attitudes without providing any kind of background.

This is a reasonably good, but not a “must have” book, in my opinion. Don’t rely on it as your only source of information, but definitely consider what Ms McCoy has to say.


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