The Book of Seances by Claire Goodchild was one that was highly recommended to me, with the understanding it was also for more advanced practitioners. Being a person whose primary work is in the spirit realm, I was eager to dig in.
First off, the book is very well constructed. It’s a hard cover, fairly weighty, and of good size. The artwork and layouts were fantastic.
The author covered a lot of various topics, breaking each one down in a way that was easy to read and comprehend. I have included the table of contents below so you could peruse it.
In my opinion this book is absolutely wonderful for beginners, those who have only worked with a couple of the more mainstream modes, or those who have only really touched the surface of spirit communication.
The author does a fantastic job of going in-depth into each area of divination. Diving into the history and stories behind each technique. Breaking down why and how they work, and giving the reader examples and exercises to try for themselves. She also covers a wide range of divinatory techniques, not just the common ones we often see in books and on social media.
The Author starts off by talking about what Death is. Both from a philosophical and medical standpoint, moving into some common customs, and ending with her own story. Although it does not cover the topic extensively, I will say she hits some of the high points, and enough to give some grounding for the deeper work she goes into. This is after all not a book about death, but how to communicate with those who have died.
I was pleasantly surprised with background stories for each technique. Many books I have seen do not really go into the depth and stories that this author does. For the discerning reader, it really does give you a good feel for where each technique started and why they can be very effective.
There is also a variety of various other information sprinkled throughout the book such as symbolism, moon phases and timing, planetary works, types of spirits, tools, and so forth. I think one of my favorite sections was the tarot. Not only did she break down the general meanings of each card but also added in what those meanings were for the spirit world – Yes, when talking about spirit communication, especially in the context of seances, it can be a very different perspective. One example of this The Hermit card:
“Traditional meaning: With the Hermit card, you know it is time to retreat into your own world and reflect on something important. This type of soul searching can be intimidating, but confronting your traumas and preconceived notions is important for growth.
Spirit Message: The Hermit represents a spirit that has haunted a location for a very long time. They are guardians of that particular space and know about all its comings and goings. This spirit could also be that of a grandparent or an older person who lived well into old age.”
There are a lot of books out on the market which can make it hard to know which one will actually have real solid information, and not just the standard script you see written over and over. It is why I like doing reviews on the ones I feel would be the most helpful and biggest bang for your buck.
If you are looking for a real manual-style of a book that contains all the various divination modes, their history, the instructions walking you through how to use each one, and ideas of ways to practice with them – this is your book!
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is just getting started in their journey, or intermediates who have not done extensive research into all these techniques and topics. It really is the most complete and comprehensive guide on spirit communication that I have read.
Now, if you are a very seasoned practitioner with extensive research under your belt on all these practices, you will probably find this book less useful. There were a few things here and there that I personally had not heard before, and as I said, other sections like the authors interpretation of the tarot from a séance point of view that I thoroughly enjoyed. I do feel it necessary to note this though, as I personally hate when someone pumps up a book but is not realistic about the stage of practitioner who would get the most out of it. I get recommended books often, that I feel are more beginner geared, when they were presented as something more, and it irritates me.
Needless to say though I still thought it was a fantastic read from cover to cover! The way the author writes, and her personal perspectives, were more than worth it for me.
It is also one I highly recommend to all the participants taking my Death’s Emissary/ Death Doula course.