Chris Allaun’s A Guide of Spirits: A Psychopomp’s Manual for Transitioning the Dead to the Afterlife is aimed to aid the many people he encountered who “wanted to help the dead cross over to the Land of the Ancestors but did not necessarily know how” and in that I think he succeeds very well. And for those looking, books about the practice of psychopomp are very thin on the ground!
The author begins by describing what a psychopomp is and how we heal the spirits of the dead. The book also contains information to develop the reader’s ability to talk to spirits they come into contact with when meeting and learning from their teacher in spirit, as well as Soul Midwifery – supporting the dying as they transition into death.
Allaun has practiced hermetic magick for over 20 years and describes himself as a “witch and Spirit Walker” and as I read A Guide of Spirits I realised that many of his beliefs and practices are very different from my own. However, we do both believe that “The Land of the Ancestors is exactly what you think it is going to be” and that living teachers, as wonderful as they are, can only teach us so much, ultimately we learn from our “teacher in spirit”. And Allaun does give examples from other traditions and practices as well as his own. For example the chapter on ‘Psychopomp Teachers’ details many gods and goddesses involved with death including: Archangel Michael; Baron Samedi and Manman Brijit; Gwyn ap Nudd; and this is followed by an exercise on how to find your own Psychopomp Teacher.
A Guide of Spirits has a lot to offer anyone interested in the practice of psychopomp as, as the author states many times, there is not one right way or a wrong way; we all bring our own energy, experiences, emotions, traditions etc. to the work. And if you are looking to learn more and formulate your own beliefs and practice, the information, guidance and practical exercises in this book make an excellent start!
Book Details: Chris Allaun. A Guide of Spirits. Moon Books (24 September 2021). ISBN 978-1789046601.
Review Details: A Guide of Spirits was reviewed by June Kent, editor of Indie Shaman magazine and this review was published in Issue 51.
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