Review by Bader Saab
Although it seemed to be exciting and that I would be learning more about the topic with a book for newcomers, reading “Mediumship Scrying & Transfiguration for Beginners: A Guide to Spirit Communication (Llewellyn for Beginners),” by Diana Palm, turned out to be a bitter experience that I most likely will not want to repeat in the near future.
This serves as a good example of what may result if the author doesn’t read often, something that becomes obvious at first sight. It became harder with each chapter to see the same words and ideas be repeated over a over, paragraph after paragraph, not leaving anything more that irritation to the reader.
“Mediumship Scrying & Transfiguration for Beginners” seems to be one of those metaphysical texts that want you to feel happy, cheerful, positive and shiny all the time, and even try to put this as a funny practice. Don’t get me wrong, of course it is funny (sometimes) to speak to the dead, but the tone used by the author is simply cloying, as if she was speaking about a children party.
Despite there are some useful tips here and there, which I’ll be putting into practice very soon, Palm just filled almost the entire set of pages with her stories, experiences, family reunions, how someone teached her something, how that spirit showed her a different approach for a more successful scrying sesión, as if she tried to prove herself as a real medium.
Another thing that bothered me was the fact that she mixed so many times mediumship with healing. I can understand that this can be one of the goals for the médium and perhaps is the most common reason for someone who has interest in the area, but due to the title of the book, this is not what I expected at all. Serves the purpose if Healing Mediumship is a topic you want to explore and learn about, but don’t let the title lie to you.
I must admit, to be fair with this book, that some of the stories were entertaining and made me see things under a different point of view. There are some ideas that I never thought would be taken as serious, real facts. Palm certainly teached me to keep an open and flexible mind when it comes to spirituality.
One cannot expect things to happen the way we’re used to, that’s understandable, but the problem here is that she tires the reader with so many anecdotes at the point of making them skip her stories entirely, waiting for the real information to appear in the next page, or even the next chapter.
It surprised me to see a brief introduction on different forms of divination, particularly those using the four elements, as those are topics I haven’t seen explored in different books. Putting aside the style, those were the most juicy pages in the book, filled with useful content and interesting information that could help the reader to develop and learn more about the topics, to explore an alternative to the well known method of directly asking the spirits for an answer.
Palm also offers different prayer and exercises, more intended for spiritual people than Pagans, that’s a fact, but that serves as draft and examples to elaborate our own words and methods while cleaning, blessing and scrying. It could turn to be bothering for experimented people, but those who haven’t explored the practice that much will find many helpful tips to get started with.
However, I would also like to give an advise: Do not keep doing the same thing. Despite this is an introductory volume, the lack of real content may be alarming, as it looks more like a one-person anthology than a manual. There’s a serious approach in many subjects, but keep researching and finding different authors.
Finally, I will say that although Palm almost drove me crazy about how simple things can be and should always be, she made the point perfectly clear: There’s no need to use or create over elaborated techniques or rituals in order to speak with our loved ones, or any other kind of spirit. We tend to think that the more we do and prepare, the more effective everything will be, but things do not necessarily work that way on the spiritual plane.
She gives many examples, that’s for sure, about how just a few words and a clear intention are more than enough to correctly start a séance, and that it’s important to try to learn more about the process while you practice, try to do something different but correct each time in order to discover our own way. Points in here for the author.
I won’t say I will not read any other book from Diana Palm ever, we all know we should never say never, so I’ll keep the door open, just a little bit, in case there’s something else she has to tell, although the next time I will probably not be as thrilled as I was with this first book. Regular book, but nothing else.
Many thanks to the editor for providing me with an ARC of this book. I tried to be as sincere and objective as possible, and hopefully, this will help the readers know if they should read this book.
About the reviewer:
Bader Saab is a digital journalist and self-published writer; a solitary, eclectic wiccan interested in the darker side of magic and divination; a gothic guy that tries to educate whenever he cans. Hopefully, someday he will succeed in one of them.