Reviews


THE ART OF PSYCHIC PROTECTION
Judy Hall
Samuel Weiser, York Beach, ME, 1997

Books on the topic of psychic protection, also called psychic self-defense, seem to come and go in cycles. The Art of Psychic Protection is the latest book to address this necessary topic, and while it presents many useful tools and techniques to help the reader it falls short as a lucid textbook.

The author of the book was a student of the well-known British mystic Christine Hartley, who was in turn a pupil of Dion Fortune, so the book is full of useful background information and occult theory as one would expect from this Golden Dawn/Inner Light lineage. Much of the information presented is available in other books on esoteric philosophy and psychic healing but it is useful to have it gathered here. In the gathering, however, lie the dual traps of complexity and organization which the author has not managed well. Many critical concepts are treated only superficially, or are jumbled together in a sometimes unintelligible way. Despite these flaws the book has several redeeming values for the intermediate student.

The author states "...I have chosen to write about the [techniques] I have personally worked with over the last twenty years." It is this sincerity that ultimately carries the book in the mind of the reader, helping one to overlook the poor presentation. Background chapters are presented on the aura, chakras, the subconscious mind and the higher self which all present useful information and exercises for strengthening and awareness. The exercises are primarily geared toward visual meditation, with only a nod given toward the nonvisual. A visual meditation, for example, might run two pages while the nonvisual exercise might run four or five sentences. Other chapters deal with thought forms, protecting your space, geopathic stress and other topics more along the direct lines of concern.

The book starts out with a look at why we need psychic protection. The author makes a good case about why people living in today's world need psychic protection, especially pointing out that we can be our own worst enemies by meddling in things we do not understand. Several very out of place junk mail-like passages have the feel of blatant advertising, appealing to fears about personal weakness and external attack. These almost read as if they were written by someone else after the main body of the book was finished, and detract from the authors attempt to establish contact with the reader.

The author seems extremely well versed in the selection of flower essences and crystals for protective work. Sometimes the impression is that a few drops of a flower essence will overcome a lifetime of problems, and this simplistic treatment may be unfair for those who are struggling with real problems. Flower essences are recommended for everything from wandering thoughts to psychotic behavior to fending off full-tilt psychic attacks, and corresponding crystals are also frequently mentioned. Several tables are provided in the back of the book for each of these tools, guaranteeing the reader can find what they need in hurry. In this selection of tools the book offers a real service to those in need of assistance during hard times though a more balanced presentation would give better service.

The author places special emphasis on a process called tie cutting. This practice, which is mentioned in some ancient texts as well as more modern works, involves severing the energetic connections which bind people together. I have seen several cases where this procedure was used with remarkably good effect and recommend this section of the book to anyone stuck in a draining relationship. Much of occult work involves a dramatization of real life for the benefit of the subconscious mind, and the author shows good understanding of this principle and its application.

In the end this is a frustrating work. While all the factual and useful elements of an excellent book on psychic protection are here the author (and editor) fail to present the material clearly. The overall impression is of a book that was either hurried to press or not edited strongly enough. This is a useful book if the reader already has passing knowledge of the topic, and especially if one is accustomed to guided meditations and/or visual imagery. Combined with other works on psychic self-defense the value of this book can easily be seen, but it falls short as a stand-alone text on psychic protection.

Reviewed by Mike Hammer





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