Author: D. J. Conway
Trade Paperback, 183 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: 2005
Price & More Info: Click Here
If you accept Ms. Conway's basic premise (that mermaids and other magickal
creatures once had a physical presence in out world, but now restrict
themselves to the astral world, by and large), you will find this an easy
book to deal with. If, on the other hand, you reject that premise, there
are problems here.
Some of Ms. Conway's ideas are going to be considered unconventional by
many. Unlike many magic-users she subscribes to the idea of using the least
amount of energy, in the most efficient way, to cause the changes and
effects one wants, rather then just throwing massive amounts of energy at
She lists many varieties of mer-folks, from a wide number of cultures. Some
of these may well be unfamiliar to many readers. Her evaluation of many of
these types of mer-folks strikes me as a bit unorthodox. I'm not sure how
she reaches these opinions, but she is consistent.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, this book is very light in substance. The
first half of the book reads like a compilation of various fairy accounts
(or mythological accounts, if you prefer), gathered from a variety of
sources. Suggestions are given about which groups of mer-people to work
with for various desired outcomes, but there is not enough space devoted to
the techniques for interacting with them.
In the first half of the book there is one meditation given and one ritual
described. Yet, over a score of various mer-folk and water creatures are
mentioned. It is hard for me to believe that one ritual and/or meditation
would be appropriate for meeting and interacting with such a wide variety of
Ms. Conway has written nearly two dozen books on a tremendous variety of
topics (ranging from books with a Celtic flavor to ones on candle, healing
and pendulum magic and from Norse magic to cats). While I understand the value of being a "generalist" as opposed to a "specialist" (an approach I
apply in my own magickal life), there may be a tendency to over-simplify
things, or to attempt to be all things to all readers. While I own several
other works by Ms. Conway, this one left me disappointed. I had hoped for
better from her.
I know that I am a bit of a purist in some things, and others are more
flexible. Ms. Conway's suggestion, therefore, that "artificial forms" of
oils may be used (because of scarcity and/or expense) strikes me as merely
sloppy thinking. Pure oils are used specifically because of their magickal
associations. To substitute something created merely to resemble such an
oil would be (in my opinion) like buying a Mercedes-Benz automobile body and
putting a Volkswagen engine into it to save money. It might look like a
Mercedes to those seeing it from the outside only, but you would know of the
difference and so would the garage mechanic when you needed help with it.
It makes no sense.
The rituals and meditations in the second half of the book aren't much of an
improvement over those in the first part. The lists of correspondences are
very short and really add nothing to the book. My overall impression of
this book is that it was dashed off because Ms. Conway had an obligation to
produce a book and didn't want to put too much effort into it. It isn't a
bad book, necessarily, but it is not one I would rush out to add to my
library. If this was my first introduction to her writing, I probably
wouldn't look for anything else by her.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason