Cassandra Eason,
A Complete Guide to Faeries & Magical Beings
(Red Wheel/Weiser, 2002)

Cassandra Eason believes wholeheartedly in fairies. Of that, her book A Complete Guide to Faeries & Magical Beings leaves little doubt.

But while a little belief -- or, at least, suspension of disbelief -- can be quite refreshing in a book on this subject, I'm not sure Eason isn't a little too credulous. In today's world, lacking any reliable scientific, personal or anecdotal evidence to prove their existence, a healthy bit of doubt is probably good for you.

Not for Eason, whose book includes a number of exercises to help you get in touch with your inner fairy, as well as fairies around you. There are exercises with faery-finding in mind, including "choosing a fairy power form" right there on page 12. And she draws conclusions and posits theories that can be hard to swallow: connecting the ancient belief in fairies with modern reports of alien abductions, comparing fairy traits to various aboriginal offshoots and genetic aberrations, linking fairies to fallen angels and confusing fairies with pagans and druids.

Garden fairies exist for Eason because anonymous adults related tales of seeing them in their childhood. The tooth fairy is real because honest-to-gosh actual children told her so.

But perhaps I'm being unfair. Certainly I would love to believe that there are mystical beings beyond our current level of understanding, and I would eagerly accept evidence supporting the truth behind the many Celtic and Scandinavian legends I grew up with, but I have a natural skepticism, too. Eason probably is not writing for skeptics, considering the other books she has written, which include The Complete Guide to Psychic Development, The Illustrated Directory of Healing Crystals, Pendulum Divination for Today's Woman, Rune Divination for Today's Woman, Candle Power, Aura Reading, Magic Spells for a Happy Life, Every Woman a Witch, The Psychic Power of Animals: How to Communicate With Your Pet and Cassandra Eason's Complete Book of Spells: Ancient & Modern Spells for the Solitary Witch.

Face it, she's writing for believers. Folklorists and fairy-tale enthusiasts should look elsewhere for a more scholarly work, but crystal-wielding new-age enthusiasts will eat this right up.

If you're a believer or want to be, this book will fascinate you and might open up whole new worlds of fairy wonder. Clap your hands! Others, however, will likely prefer a book with fewer flights of fancy.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 16 July 2005

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