Wow. I am seriously impressed by this book. And it’s about fucking time too. I have picked up so many Celtic oriented pagan books over the years and end up with one reaction; a big fat yawn. Not this one, however. From the first page I was impressed by the tremendous insight and obvious personal experience that seeps from every paragraph. I have been a aspiring Druid for quite sometime, and aside from some material by Erynn Laurie (who rocks), I have never really been very interested or excited by magical practices that I have run across. Most of it seemed like regurgitated Golden Dawn stuff.
Faery Seership, is the topic of this book and Orion lays out it’s practices, cosmology, and insight beautifully. Part I gives the reader a good overview of what Faery Seership is all about. Orion does an excellent job of laying out the benefits and hazards of the Faery Seership path, how it can be used to re-enchant the world, and connect with ancient wisdom through ancestry and the various Vision Keys encountered when working with the Tree. But this goes far beyond the typical talk about going green or correspondence tables. Orion lays out a complete and gorgeous cosmology that is bound to impress any reader at all familiar with folk traditions from Britain or Ireland. Although certainly not reconstructionist in it’s outlook, the Faery Seership cosmological view is the closest I have found to the lore so far. I am sure there will be those who disagree with me on that point.
Part II gives the reader a good overview of the Vision Keys in the Tree. These Keys can be both states of being and beings themselves, and they are indeed potent. Orion lays out a methodical yet heartfelt approach to the Otherworld that inspires action and commitment to a magical system that has benefit on more levels than just the personal. This kind of approach is what I have been looking for, for a very long time. I was literally getting chills in my spine while reading, in a good way. 😉 I saw many interesting connections with Celtic lore that I will not enumerate here, but suffice it to say for this review, the reader interested in Celtic folklore will definitely find them. The practices given in this section are also very effective. Me and my wife have steadily been working our way through this section and are already seeing the fruits of our labor. I have been impressed at how subtle yet effective the techniques are in giving me a greater sense of connection to myself, the Otherworld, and the land. The section on ancestry is particularly valuable and has given me a whole new focus for my practice.
The greatest aspect of this book is how clearly Orion lays out the need to focus and commit to a magical practice that offers real depth of understanding and literally limitless possibilities. The author stresses the idea that personal exploration and growth is made possible by cooperation with the Otherworld, and that we are not alone in our struggles and triumphs. By developing a closer relationship with the Otherworld and the various beings who live there, we co-create a more promising future for ourselves and all the Universe. Faery Seership is truly holistic in it’s approach and method.
Orion’s particular background is from the Shenandoah Valley with Appalachian folk magic. Orion describes Applachian Conjuring as a unique fusion between Celtic immigrant folklore and African folklore via the original African slave population in the South. As I made my way through the book my respect for the author and his teacher R.J. Stewart (who Orion acknowledges often) kept climbing. The amount of practical experience and personal exploration that went into making this book possible is obvious and moving. Working with it and reading it is a real delight. Thumbs up baby, thumbs up!