by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips
Llewellyn, 2001 (Second Printing Revised) $9.95 US
This is one of the books I requested when researching texts for my class in Astral Projection. Unfortunately for the class, it was on back order and arrived about a year after I requested it.
I am glad I finally got this book. I didn’t quite know what to expect as I opened the cover. Would it be like some of the really bad texts of recent years, would it have a lot of new age fluff or, could it possibly be one of the rare good books so needed these days? As I read through the book, it rapidly became apparent that it’s not just another rehash of what is out there.
Oh, there is the same information in this book that other books have, along with instructions on “how to”, and exercises. There are chapter summaries in the front of each chapter outlining just what you should be taking from this chapter, and what you should learn. Then comes the information, well laid out and well written (although a bit dry at times). At the end of the chapter, are the “Checkpoints” where you make sure that you actually understood what you just read. While the checkpoints are not questions, they should probably be treated as questions to answer. Then, as the last page in the chapter, comes the blank page of personal notes that is almost a required feature in these kinds of books.
There are exercises that the novice is to do to help them achieve an astral projection. Specific exercises to this book, as well as the normal exercises that almost everyone knows.
What is not in this book is a lot of personal stories from the authors. This is a set of instructions, and there are many times when it reads like stereo instructions as well. The lack of personal revelation and discovery in the form of stories is disconcerting for the reader as it is something that could help the reader set goals to achieve and something to look forward to, yet the spare style does this, it allows the students to color the experience themselves and not try to live up to what the teacher has achieved.
Also the way some of this information is presented is confusing. The authors talk about Formula One, Formula Two and Formula Three, which are specific ways to do things to allow astral projection. But as one goes further into the book, this is built upon without really linking the formulas together in a manner that makes sense to the reader.
As I read this book, I also got confused by some of the terms used. Many of the common names for things like chakras (ie. the “root” chakra) are deliberately given names like “The Earth Center” which can be a bit off-putting for those reading the text. I also found titles like “The Egyptian Posture” for sitting in a chair with your hands in your lap to be more than a little pompous.
The Table of Contents is interesting. It gives the page number for the start of the chapter, and paragraphs of information below that as to what is contained in the chapter, but no page numbers for the various sub topics in the chapter, and it doesn’t even break out the various sub topics logically. The Table of Contents simply jumbles it all together. This makes finding a specific piece of information in this book very hard to do.
While there are two appendices, there is no index, which is also disconcerting. There is a four-page glossary that skims over many of the common terms used in this book, but leaves out other terms unique to this book entirely. So a quick refresher in what the Wand Position is necessitates a re-reading of the book, or a patient search through the Table of Contents.
The final chapter is very off-putting in my opinion. I was reading along, came to the end of the chapter and expected to see another chapter after that one. Instead I saw the appendixes, with no transition between the content of this book and the additional information. No Afterward, no final chapter saying that the student should continue to practice, nothing. I was left with the impression that the authors or publishers simply forgot to include a final chapter. It’s that abrupt.
In the final analysis, the information is good and should probably be read by anyone who is interested in the subject of Astral Projection, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the purchase price new. I’m giving this three stars out of five, or slightly better than average. It’s a good reference piece, and should probably be studied for the additional information and a different approach to doing things. I am not going to insist someone go out and purchase it. In other words, it’s a good AP 201 book, for advanced studies, which necessitates it being impossible to use as an AP 101 book.