Folktales, Faeries, and Spirits
Faery Magic from Story to Practice
by Halo Quin
Publisher: Moon Books
Publication Date: August 25, 2022
Folktales, Faeries, and Spirits: Faery Magic from Story to Practice, by Halo Quin is one of the diverse and multi-topic books in the series Pagan Portals published by Moon Books.
This title is separated into seven (7) chapters, each replete with well-researched information, lore and common sense recommendations for approaching this much written about subject of specific non-corporeal beings. Scattered throughout the chapters are “practices” that allow the reader to spend some time in thought, action or experience that enriches the process of connecting to the spirits of the Fae.
Ms. Quin has skillfully used “The Ballad of True Thomas”, a tale from the wild borderlands of Scotland, as the frame around which each of the chapters weave the telling of the story and the practical application of its message. The “Ballad” tells the story of Thomas the Rhymer, a bard who was given the gift of prophecy from the Fae, his exchange with the Queen of Elfland and journey to Faeryland. He is told not to speak a word during his seven-year service to the Queen and upon the ending of his service the Queen imparts the gift of his only being able to speak the truth. The story alone is intriguing and the use of it as a catalyst for what is imparted to the reader in each of the chapters speaks to the depth of connection Ms. Quin has with the realms of the Fae.
Above all, Ms. Quin encourages the reader to formulate their own conclusions about the Faery lore that abounds and remain open to the possibilities of there being something more than what is stated as “fact”. She emphasizes the importance of cultivating relationships with these beings in much the same way you would human counterparts and making no assumptions about what your experiences “should” be.
The Introduction: Preparing for an Adventure provides the reader with an explanation of the semantics used and what their meaning is in the context of this title.
…. Firstly, “spirits”. I use this in a broad sense, to refer to the non embodied beings. Faeries, then – like gods, ghosts, and angels – are a type of spirit. I prefer to distinguish between literary and pop culture fiction “fairies” and the spirits and beings found in folklore and witchcraft with a slightly less common spelling, “faeries”. This is a personal choice, so don’t worry if you see them used differently elsewhere…..1
Woven throughout Folktales, Faeries, and Spirits: Faery Magic from Story to Practice is a wonderful balance between the folk lore of the Fae and a modern interpretation of what the lore and work with the Fae has become as society has progressed, lands have been encroached upon and a genera turning away from the “old ways” has ensued. MS. Quin’s one of re-introduction to the beings that inhabit the realms of the Fae and encouraging the reader to find ways of organic connection to the natural world in the process. I particularly enjoyed Practice 2. A Faery Wander in Chapter 1: Under the Hawthorn Tree. This is a very simple, yet powerful excursion into beginning the process of awareness and settling into the magick of place…
…. If you can this week, spend some time wandering outside, soaking up the feeling of being out in nature (or as much nature as you can safely reach). Begin to notice places in your neighbourhood that might be magical, good for meeting faeries, or quiet enough for some meditation…. .2
Each of the chapters build one upon the other with intention and information that supports the reader’s journey into relationship between land and the realms of Fae.
Chapter 6: Returning Home is a reminder to integrate “local” lore into your journey. Where you live is an important piece of the puzzle in recognizing these spirits universally. As inspiring and exciting as it may be to travel to the Celtic lands, if your home is in the American suburbs, there should be no discounting of the fact that there are Fae spirits in every corner of existence.
…. Choose the story you’ve found which best resonates with your feelings about the fae, or which illustrates what you see as a good relationship with the land spirits of your area. It is up to you and your resources on quite how local you get, you may even have tales about your town, or perhaps resources are hard to come by so you’ve got something which is based in your country, but not quite your area of it. Either is fine as long as you feel it is a story that fits where you are doing
this work…. .3
Chapter 7: Integration and Practice is focused specifically on application of what has been assimilated through the previous readings and making use of the suggested experiences and actions.
…. it can be hard to work out how to apply the clues that we find, and when we do, it can be tempting to treat our choices as dogma. Just as faery spirits, and spirits in general, are not particularly easy to box into tidy categories, so too are our magical practices and our relationships with these beings fluid and prone to shapeshifting. Let us, then, look at what we can do with the clues that we find, and how we can take the interesting pieces of information and integrate them into our practice…. .4
The Epilogue: Happy Journeying brings to a conclusion the journey the reader has taken through the eyes of Ms. Quin and encourages the continuation from a space of openness and intuiting for yourself what resonates of truth vs. fiction vs. personal experience.
…. The folklore, stories, and experiences of those that have walked this path before can help us to navigate our own journey. But we do well to remember that not all information is correct, not all conflicting information is false, and not all true information is useful. In your relationship to the spirits, the truth is between you and them…. .5
Would I Recommend:
Folktales, Faeries, and Spirits: Faery Magic from Story to Practice by Halo Quin is one of the few books that I have read (and these are many) that offers an approach that is both respectful of the lore and what has been the traditions surrounding the Fae and encouraging the reservation of definitive thoughts about working with the Fae until you have experienced the interactions personally. There is no dogma about the do’s and don’t’s; rather, there is the breathing space for navigating the journey of connection and relationship in a natural, ethical and respectful way.
I am always interested in the sources used for the writing of a book and the opportunities to dig deeper and explore other opinions and writings. Further Reading offers several pages of resource material for the avid reader and those who wish to deepen their knowledge of lore and magickal practice engaging nature and spirits of the Fae.
Folktales, Faeries, and Spirits: Faery Magic from Story to Practice by Halo Quin ticks off all the check boxes of a rich read that is both practical in nature (no pun intended LOL) and stimulates the imagination and inquiry into being more present and awake to our co-inhabitants in the manifest and etheric realms.
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Led deep into the wilds of Wales by dreams and wandering words, Halo Quin has been a practicing Faery Witch since, well, forever. A changeling child, she was away with the faeries for much of her childhood and discovered human magic in her teens, which, of course, was most enchanting. Her magic has always focused on listening to the spirits, from the landwights to the gods. Halo is a witch, devotee of the Faery Queen, storyteller, philosopher, and consummate writer whose pen is ever in the service of magic. You can find her work at www.haloquin.net
About the Author:
Robin Fennelly is an Elder within The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition and serves as High Priestess of Coven of the Mystic Path, the 12th Coven within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition. She teaches and facilitates classes for the Pagan Experience Study Group that serves as foundation for membership within Coven of the Mystic Path.
Her spiritual journey is strongly rooted in both Eastern philosophy and the Western Magickal systems from which she has formed a core foundation that is diverse in knowledge and rich in spiritual practice. A life-long learner, her practice has evolved from the classical and philosophical teachings of books, practical experience and enrichment of this knowledge base by attending workshops of various spiritual traditions presented by master teachers.
Robin formally came to the Wiccan path in 1994. Following a practice as a solitary for 2 years, she dedicated to Oak and Willow Coven of The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition in November of 1996. She received her 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th (Elder) degrees within the Assembly Tradition and has served as High Priestess of two ASW covens since Samhain of 2001 and the Winter Solstice of 2015.
As a teacher of esoteric and magickal studies she uses Energetic Anatomy, Tarot, Astrology, Hermetic Qabala, Eastern Philosophy, and Numerology as the foundations of her diverse selection of workshops and writings for more than 25 years. Exploration of varied energetic protocol has been the focus of her work for some time now and the information gained through direct experience informs all of her magickal and spiritual work.
Robin’s writings have been featured online, and in print Internationally. She has authored several books incorporating her unique style of writing making use of poetry, prose and pathworking to enhance the concepts presented. She has taught extensively throughout the Pagan community, including Sacred Space Conference, Spring Magick, Between the Worlds Interfaith Conference and Free Spirit Gathering Festival. Her most recent projects include a channel on youtube: A Journey to the Inner Chamber. She also shares audio pathworkings and ritual on her bandcamp site: Teachings on the Path with Robin.
Robin is the owner of Holistic Embrace providing services for mind, body and spirit such as Tarot readings, Astrology reports, Spiritual Guidance and other related offerings. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania and her life is blessed by a 40+- year marriage, five children and the opportunity to work in the field of public education.
Robin’s Website: www.robinfennelly.com
Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW: www.covenofthemysticpath.org
Her books can be found on Amazon or purchased directly through her website:
For more info: http://www.robinfennelly.com/books.html
The Inner Chamber, Vol. 1 It’s Written in the Stars-Astrology
The Inner Chamber, Vol. 2 Poetry of the Spheres-Qabalah
The Inner Chamber, Vol. 3 Awakening the Paths-Qabalah
The Light of SELF: Consciousness, Spiritual Practice and Learning to Breathe
Magickal Verse: A Collection of Poetry and Prose
A Year of Gaia: The Eternal Cord
The Elemental Year: Aligning the Elements of SELF
Temple of the Sun and Moon: Luminous Devotions
Sleeping with the Goddess: Nights of Devotion
A Weekly Reflection: Musings for the Year
The Magickal Pen: A Collection of Esoteric Writings
The Enchanted Gate: Musings on the Magick of the Natural World
The Temple of the Sun: An Astrological Solar Year
Writings in the Shadow: An Exploration of the Shadow Nature