In the next issue of New Humanist, we have an article on the cultural history of angels, which takes in everything from their role in traditional religious mythology to the persistence of belief in angelic beings in the present day.

I mention it here because, in helping the author of the piece out with some research, the subject has alerted me to a whole new area of irrationalism which I didn't really know existed. Funnily enough, it's a common experience working at the Rationalist Association. Just when you're sure you've come across every bizarre belief system there is, you find another even wackier than the last. Just when you think you're out, they pull you back in.

Which brings me to my latest discovery – Angel Therapy. What's that, you say? Rather than make my own attempt to explain something that doesn't make sense, here's a definition from the handy Skeptic's Dictionary website:

"Angel therapy is a type of New Age therapy based on the notion that communicating with angels is the key to healing. Angel therapists believe they facilitate healing by helping their patients get in touch with angels who will guide the patients in the right direction."

So far, so New Age. And perhaps I shouldn't really be surprised by it at all, but what did astound me was the industry that surrounds Angel Therapy. I'm not going to single any particular practitioner out, but do a quick search on Amazon and you'll see what I'm talking about. There are books, CDs, DVDs, even decks of cards, produced by people who like to include their PhD letters after their names and all geared towards helping you change your life through communication with angels.

And angels aren't the end of it. Given their long-standing history within the great monotheistic religions, it almost makes sense that something like Angel Therapy would exist. But how to account for a related "field" – Unicorn Healing? Dig around on Amazon and you'll see that alongside all the Angel Therapy products, and often by the same authors, are books promising to help you find a new path using the "energy" drawn from unicorns.

It's a truly bizarre world, and there's plenty of amusement to be had browsing the Amazon pages (although be wary if you do – my Amazon recommendations system has been rendered useless, directing me to unicorn cards and angel meditation tapes instead of TV boxsets and books I might actually want).

But why am I blogging about it? It's because I want to pose a question. Looking at these products online, I constantly find myself thinking – are these people for real? Not in the sense of whether they can actually heal you with angels and unicorns (of course they can!), but rather whether they believe in it themselves. Does someone with a PhD in this stuff who's published countless books on the subject actually think angels and unicorns hold the key to wellbeing, or have they simply realised that, in the age of online book sales and no discernible decline in gullibility, capitalism truly is king?

It's a genuine question, and one that has always puzzled me in relation to all manner of New Age practices, from psychics and astrologers to the unicorn and angel visionaries who have so clearly invaded my brain this last week. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts.