Fairy Path, A
An autobiographical work offering unique insights into the practice of fairy ritual healers of Romania.
An autobiographical work offering unique insights into the practice of fairy ritual healers of Romania, A Fairy Path: The Memoir of a Young Fairy Seer in Training follows a very young Daniela, whose rebellious streak and decision to pursue the path of fairy seership clash against societal norms and restrictions imposed by a dictatorial political regime. Filled with fairy occurrences, charms, spells, and ritual work directly experienced by the author, A Fairy Path does more than just tell a story: It provides material that substantiates the reality of fairy phenomena in modern times while offering those who follow a fairy-based spiritual path resources for study and practice.
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The question that plagues any work of autobiography is "how much?" For the author, how much to reveal, how much personal feeling to lay bare? For the reader, how much to believe? How far to trust the author's recollection, their version of events? This is doubly true when the story recounts childhood memories. We are at our most vulnerable discussing our formative years, the precious memories and painful childish hurts. When our childhood deviates from the norm, it becomes an act of faith to allow others in, to offer secrets for outside eyes to judge. “A Fairy Path” is both a fascinating story of folk traditions surviving under the brutal fist of a communist regime and a deeply touching coming of age story. The wild, free and sometimes unruly ten year old at its heart battles to be her true self, while family life and school and friendship pull her in different directions. Her Grandmother is a respected local wise woman, whose path involves working with traditional Zane (Fairies) and a burning desire to be part of that world fuels her rebellion, but also inspires her. I read this account of an unusual childhood with great enjoyment . The raw emotion of the child still rings true, decades after the events described. There is a simplicity to the retelling that engages and the description of traditional Romanian beliefs and practices, hidden beneath village life is gripping. Fear of officialdom is never far away, from the cruel Comrade teacher to the policemen interrogating a ten year old. For those interested in a fairy path, it offers valuable insight into both the rewards and perils of interacting with powerful entities. For anyone interested in folk traditions and beliefs it's a fascinating read and a touching childhood memoir. ~ Geraldine Moorkens Byrne, author of The Caroline Jordan Mystery series and Dreams of Reality
In A Fairy Path: The Memoirs of a Young Fairy-Seer in Training, Daniela Simina offers a beautifully written tale of a childhood full of fairy magic, yet lived in fear during in Romania’s Communist past. It’s a story based in truth, of traditional folk beliefs passed on from grandmother to granddaughter and practiced in secret for the good of the community. It’s also about growing up, coming of age, and learning to take on the responsibilities of being a witch. The book ends with a wonderful collection of genuine charms and spells, as learnt by Daniela from her youngest days. ~ Lucya Starza, author of Pagan Portals – Poppets and Magical Dolls and Pagan Portals - Scrying
A Fairy Path is a unique look into the intersectionality of Romanian fairy belief, life outside the norm, and finding a place in a changing world, deftly interweaving the author's experiences and thoughts as she came of age in communist Romania and reconciled her experiences with fairies against the unbelief of those around her. This is not your typical autobiography but rather works to guide the reader, along with the author's younger self, through the process of integrating personal experience, folk belief, and magic into a cohesive whole in a world that is too often hostile to those who are different. A fascinating and valuable read. ~ Morgan Daimler, author of Pagan Portals Aos Sidhe and Fairies: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folk
Over the past few years, there have been a number of excellent books published on the subject of fairies and fairy witchcraft. However, this is the first I've read that introduces the tradition through the child's eye view of someone growing up within that tradition and learning from a beloved elder. Daniela Simina's A Fairy Path is no simple memoir, though. This is the magic of storytelling when used to teach, and there is much to learn in these pages. The Romania that Daniela grew up in was one in which the magical practices and beliefs of her traditional culture were unacceptable to the governing regime. At turns, this account is dreamlike and wondrous. It opens a midnight door lit by lamplight and reveals a hidden Romania in which old women conspired to heal members of their community in secret, threw cards, and offered to Zâne. We see a child who couldn't imagine herself growing up to be anything other than one of those women, her desire to learn those ways, and her family's fear of discovery. Her grandmother's teachings and hard-won knowledge permeate each page. Though dreamlike, Daniela's writing is grounded by not only the harsh realities of living with such prejudice, but also the very real consequences of her magical mistakes. This book would be an invaluable addition to the library of anyone who is interested in fairies and fairy witchcraft. ~ Cat Heath, author of Elves, Witches &Gods, and Essays From The Crossroads