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.
by Roger Hardnock
When a loved one passes on, we typically find comfort in the arms of family and friends, in support groups, through grief counseling, and in our place of worship. But what happens when our broken heart needs something deeper and more profound than those kind words and a sympathetic ear? What if we yearn for a greater sense of certainty—that our loved one really is free of pain, and actually at peace in that better place?
During a session with an Evidential Medium, departed loved ones are given a channel by which to come back—in spirit. Through the medium, they share evidence that validates their presence, and give examples of how they are still present in our lives. They share personal messages that would otherwise never be heard. Most Evidential Mediums consider this work a divine calling—a sacred gift—to be able to offer relief to those who have lost someone dear: a parent, spouse, friend or even a child.
The following transcript comes from an actual mediumship session.
The image of a young boy appears out of the darkness behind my closed eyes; faint and delicate—like the residue of a dream. I speak into the phone that is held close to my ear and describe what is unfolding before me. “I see a boy wearing a baseball cap, running barefoot across a large, grassy lawn. He is happy and energetic, and I sense his love of baseball. Do you recognize this boy?”
“Yes,” the voice on the phone replies. “I know who you are talking about.”
The scene changes abruptly.
“There is a white farmhouse,” I say, “with a large covered porch, and steps that go right down into the grass.”
“Yes, that’s right,” the voice says. “That was his house.”
“There is a woman running out of the house,” I continue, “down the steps and across the lawn. She is screaming out in horror, but I can’t hear her voice. I feel her panic in my body though; something bad has happened.” Why is she running? I ask myself—feeling deeper for the answer. I see the boy again. He is no longer running, but standing in the grass, looking back at me. His hands are at his throat—then he lowers them slowly to his chest. A realization hits me—hard. I struggle to breathe—overcome by a feeling of sadness. “This boy died,” I say.
There is a pause on the line, then, “Yes.”
“He was young, only eight years old,” I say. “There was an accident.”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
I feel the emotions coming through the phone, but the grief is faded and distant—not what I expect. An inner knowing feeds me the answer. “But he didn’t die recently,” I say. “It has been a while.”
“Yes,” the voice confirms. “A while.”
I don’t ask for more. I know that it is my job to provide him with the evidence, not the other way around. I focus again on the boy, and ask him how he died. He doesn’t show me, exactly, but his hands return to his throat. I feel pressure in my own throat and down into my chest. I hear “water,” and then I know.
“He drowned,” I say.
“The woman running from the house—that was his mother,” I add. “She was trying to save him, but it was too late, right?”
The confirmations coming through the phone make it clear that the evidence I’m receiving is valid. I am connecting with a young boy who loved baseball, and who had drowned accidentally at the age of eight. And his passing was not recent. But my session with the man on the phone is not complete. I have solid evidence, but I know that this boy is not appearing before me only to provide proof of his presence, or to rehash the final, tragic moments of his young life. No, he has come forth to share a message to his family, and that is where my focus goes. Now, instead of “looking,” I begin to ask—and “listen.”
In my mind, I ask him to share a message, and I feel his energy lighten. He is no longer the boy that had drowned, but a light, energetic spirit that is now free of his physical body. He tells me that he loved his short life. He regrets that it was not longer, and that his passing has caused his mother and his family so much grief. He is very happy where he is now, and there was no pain in his passing. I share this word-for-word with the person on the phone, who listens quietly. I have no idea what he is thinking, but I sense that we are in the midst of very special connection.
The boy then says something that catches me off-guard. Even though I have learned over the years to not edit or hold back the messages I receive, this one seems insensitive to me, and I feel uncomfortable sharing it. I want to believe that I just interpreted it wrong. But that is not possible—I heard it, clear as day. His message was: “Tell everyone that I know how to swim now.” I take a nervous breath, share the message—and wait.
I learn that the man on the phone is the boy’s uncle. After a brief pause to gather his thoughts, he again validates the evidence I have given him, including those final words. He tells me that was exactly the way his nephew was; he was always joking and playing around, and nothing could cause him to lose his infectious sense of humor. He was eight years old when he drowned many years before. His mother saw him in the pool that day and rushed out to save him, but she was too late. My “sitter” then tells me how grateful he is to receive such convincing evidence, things that I could not possibly have known, and how he now believes that his nephew is not only around, but still his same playful, joking self.
As a complement to traditional grief support, experienced Evidential Mediums offer a service that is truly unique. The evidence and messages that come through make a mediumship session a wonderful place to find peace and healing.
A few weeks after the session above, I received an email from the young boy’s uncle. He told me that the previous weekend was the 20th anniversary of his nephew’s death, and the family had gathered in his memory. He shared with the family the details of our session. He told me how grateful they were to me for bringing Charlie through, and sharing his messages. The evidence had brought them greater peace, knowing that Charlie is still the same happy, fun-loving personality they all so fondly remember.