Review: Essential Guide to Possession, Depossession & Divine Relationships by Diana L. Paxson

Diana Paxson photo taken by Michael Stalnaker. All rights reserved.
Diana Paxson photo taken by Michael Stalnaker. All rights reserved.

Possession is a true mystery, it is the union with the divine on the highest level. For many it is shrouded in myth and Hollywood fantasy, but the new book The Essential Guide to Possession, Depossession and Divine Relationships by Diana L. Paxson helps us to better understand and explore this wondrous phenomenon. Ms. Paxson has been a respected friend and colleague of mine for some time, and she has written some valuable texts about the theory, and more importantly practice of spiritual matters.

In The Essential Guide to Possession, Depossession, and Divine Relationships Paxson gives you practical things to do, and also Dr. Who quotes, how could you not love this book? Regular readers of this blog know I’m a huge Science Fiction fan, and think that it is easy to draw spiritual parallels with this realm. For many of us we cut our magickal teeth in these realms, and they are still part of our ritual diet today.

Tardis by Steven Guzzardi. Licensed under CC 2.0
Tardis by Steven Guzzardi. Licensed under CC 2.0

Lots of what is featured here is good advice for any magickal practice. For some possession means adding more to the self, for some it means becoming much less, loosing themselves. But what were you starting with in the beginning? This book works in conjunction with her previous work Trance-Portation to explore these depths.

The book was called a “ travel guide for trance,” by Michelle Belanger author of Psychic Dreamwalking, and it truly is. It is much more than that as well, it is an assessments of our gods and ourselves in an easily understandable, yet highly informed way. Many different paths to the divine are explored here from Aleister Crowley’s Method to Hindu ways. Paxson also breaks down the all important components of divine listening and ritualized vocalizing . In my personal experience if we do not explore what we are truly looking for and why, as well as the messages that are returned, our sacred purposes can easily be led astray. Other historic roads to possession are also discussed here. Paxson talks about the ancient Greeks and their concept of “enthousiamos,” which has in modern times become enthusiasm, defined as a possession of the mind, a sacred fusion with god or gods. Diana Paxson is famous for her work with the Norse pantheon as both a priestess and a scholar, so devotees of that path will be pleased with the inclusion of Odin and other familiar deities. This book is a very necessary resource for those wishing to understand and even possibly explore the divine phenomenon of possession.

Diana L. Paxson  is an Elder of the Covenant of the Goddess, the Heathen organization, the Troth and the American Magic Umbanda House. She pioneered the recovery of “high-seat” seidh, the oracular tradition of ancient Scandinavia. Paxson is well-known as the author of works in various aspects of Pagan spirituality, including Taking Up the Runes, Trance-Portation, Essential Asatru, The Way of the Oracle and Possession, Depossession and Divine Relationships. She contributes a regular column on goddesses to Sagewoman magazine. She has also written numerous mythic short stories and novels featuring the Old Religion, including the Arthurian tetrology, Hallowed Isle, and the continuation of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon series.

For more information on her work, see



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