Thursday, December 6, 2012

Solitary Seance by Raymond Buckland

Unlike the other books I've reviewed this one is not for magicians it's for the general public. It is a book aimed at people who want to contact the spirits alone at home. I would like to do a seance show and host a legitimate seance and following the advice to read everything one can on the subject both for the performer and for the layman I decided to get this book. When I asked the clerk in the store about this book he told me he had not read but when comes to spirit communication and people saying "he wrote the book on it" that Raymond Buckland is who they are talking about. He may have wrote the book but all I got was the introduction. Now I've not read any of his other works but at times this book feels padded, especially when he says thing like 'A is correct but that's not to say that B lacks merit'. One example of padding is the section titled "Religion or Practice" after he answer the question, he spends three pages going over the history of the spiritualism based religion, including the fascinating but pointless tidbit about how one building was built by repeatedly lifting the whole structure and building a new bottom floor. While interesting the information provides no real value, at best it is vague historical context and has a tenuous justification for being under that heading.

The book itself is rather on the small side the text portions are easily obscured by my hand, and it may just be the cynic in me but I feel the reason for the diminutive size is two fold first if it were a larger book most of the entries would shrink from several pages to barely one to one and a half and the book would only be a third of it's thickness and thickness matters more to the subconscious of the shopper. In the section on spirit boards there is a not so subtle suggestion to purchase his own board over the Ouija board (a quick google reveals that his board is less than aesthetically pleasing). He could have at least split up the derision of the Ouija and the suggestion for his own. One thing I don't care for is the huge amount of divination systems touched on in the book, the author does explains his justifications of how they can be considered a form of spirit communication, but I kind of feel that is out of place. Although I suppose the aim for a solitary ability may have necessitated the need. I did a lot of skipping when it came to the the actual how and meaning of things the few time I checked in I found nothing there I wasn't already familiar with. Like I said it was touched on, all the info that was given is what could be best described as the bare minimum information needed to attempt the divination.

I'm having trouble feeling like this book earned my $15 I don't really know anything leaving that I didn't going in beyond historical factoids. My main issue lies with the shortness of the chapters, simply because for every subject in the book to which only a few scant pages are dedicated there are whole books to be found. I'm rather sure I've wrote longer Skype messages on some of the subjects. It's more an introduction to various spiritualistic and divinatory techniques than a book on how to perform a seance alone. You could buy it, find the ones you prefer, and then get the longer tomes on the subjects. I feel I would have been better served had he narrowed it to a few techniques and gone in depth on them than the brief runs downs provided.

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