Pagan Portals – Folktales, Faeries, and Spirits: Faery Magic from Story to Practice, by Halo Quin
Moon Books, 178535941X, 104 pages, August 2022
Halo Quin takes us on a journey into the world of Folktales, Faeries and Spirits. She has a deep connection to the magic that resides in Wales and adores the wilderness there and the stories and tales that come from that landscape. Her love of faeries has been apparent since childhood, when she would greet them everywhere she went. She is keen to educate us on the practices of the faeries, how we can find and respect their ways and bring them into our lives.
There can be mixed greetings towards the faery folk. Some people regard them as beings or spirits who can bring us good luck, wisdom, and beauty; others may view them as mischievous, malicious or even dangerous. Quin tells us that we should view them just as we would people. Each with their own personalities, feelings, values, and nuances. They can be found the world over, in woodlands, forests, rivers, lakes, and streams.
“Another debate among humans who talk about faeries is whether they are nature spirits and spirits of the land, or simply an otherworldly race of humanoids.”1
Personally, I like to believe they are the latter, an ‘otherworldly form of humanoid’. Because how wonderful would that be? Faery folk coming to visit us from another dimension. I can certainly get on board with that idea.
In Pagan Portals – Folktales, Faeries, and Spirits, Quin asks for you to keep a journal alongside as you drink in the wonders of these tales and the connections you can find. She also encourages you to make notes within the pages of this delightful little companion.
My knowledge of faeries is, I’m ashamed to say, almost non-existent, unless we can count Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell in Hook (1991), and I don’t think we can. And so, honestly, I was entering into this world not really knowing what to expect.
Yet I was pleasantly surprised. I was welcomed with open arms immediately. I felt looked after from the first page, nothing was pushed or forced upon me. I felt like I belonged, I wasn’t intruding on an unknown world, more like visiting an old friend.
The book is to be used as a practical guide for you to approach and interact with the fae, using the New Age model by Doreen Virtue, which relies on the traditional lineage stories of faeries and their elementals, more commonly known as: earth, air, fire, and water.
Quin advises that when looking to work with the faeries you choose those that are close to you regionally or locally. She has researched and worked with the folklore of Wales, Edinburgh, and Spain. Although her work tends to focus on the Nordic Fae, the Alfar, as they are found worldwide.
Faery cultures vary from region to region, so it’s wise to do your research. Much like you would do if you were visiting a foreign country for the first time.
We are given an enigmatic insight into the world of faeries. I live close to where the Cottingley Fairy pictures were taken, and although these photos were proven to have been faked by the children, who’s to say we don’t still have them living there?
It’s a beautiful fairy-like landscape, something we’re not short of in Yorkshire. And now that I know how to approach and how to show my respect to these spirits, it’s something I will be more mindful of.
The book lays out steps for you to begin your connection with the fae. How to build your altar, where you’ll be able to communicate with them, and where you need to look in nature. There is also a handy guide which will give you trees and plants to look out for to bond and meditate with.
Quin also takes us deeper into the Fae folk, sharing who to call upon, who to thank, and who we can be inviting into our homes.
Each chapter takes you on an easy-to-follow path, starting with an introduction to Faery history, how to begin, who you can find, and where to find them. You are then carefully taken, step by step into a new world. A world that is waiting not far from you now and may be closer than you think.
Learning to open the pathways, cross the rivers and enter Faery land. Invite these beings into your world, integrate your roots, call upon the already familiar elementals and encourage yourself to delve further into what they have to offer.
Whether you have just discovered a spark of interest, you’ve been dabbling for a while, or you’re still on the fence about the whole idea, I think Pagan Portals – Folktales, Faeries and Spirits can offer a new insight into what you might have already learned. And isn’t it always good practice to keep an open mind?
Kate Hames is, in no particular order, a writer, a witch, and a performer. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Certificate in Natural Sciences, and loves to travel and explore. When she’s not harassing the cat, she can be found with a camera in hand, hiking a hill or eating. Find her on Insta @madeahames or FB @KateHames