Esoteric Empathy by Raven Digitalis

Esoteric Empathy
Raven Digitalis
Llewellyn Publications, 2016

wp34 review esoteric empathy

Review by Natalie Zaman.

Some books explore the nature of the Divine; reading them enhances our understanding of deity. Others are filled with means and methods to infuse magic into day to day living; practical manuals for building a lifestyle. Both are valuable and needed depending on where you are in life and on your path. Every now and again, however, there are books that manage to do both of these things: Offer techniques for a day to day practice with the end goal of looking deity straight in the eye.

Raven Digitalis’ Esoteric Empathy is an owner’s manual for our times. Our world(s)—magical and mundane—it seems like it’s become all too easy to judge, frustrate anger and offend. We need empathy, desperately, achingly. Empathy, Raven says is, “an emotional experience… the ability to feel what another person is feeling… taking place on numerous levels simultaneously.” If only we could really understand one another. Trying out the practices in this book just might get us there. To open yourself to your empathic abilities (everyone has them) unlocks the potential to see the face of god/dess in the faces of your fellow human beings. I caught a glimpse of this, thanks to Esoteric Empathy.

My initial thought on my first read (This is one of those books that’s destined to be dogeared, marked up and filled with personal notes—a note for the reprint, if space allows) was that this would be an excellent road guide to navigate the social/economic/spiritual/religious/political/etc. etc. etc. terrain we’re all trying to traverse every day. I expected to put some of what I read into practice (Favorite chapters were the necessary and detailed, “Grounding, Shielding and Energy Management,” and “Approaching the Mundane World.”) at my own pace and in my own time, but the universe (and perhaps Mercury Retrograde) had other plans. It was one of those days where everything went wrong. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say most of it took place at the Division of Motor Vehicles and what should have been a one, maybe two hour trip max turned into a full morning and afternoon affair. About half way into it I was drained, exhausted, and at the end of my patience. We’ve all been there. But I had a secret resource to draw on—a simple series of hand meditations—mudras—that I’d committed to memory after reading Esoteric Empathy (I’d read the book on a plane, and being a nervous flier, practicing these mudras helped me get through that as well).

In the chapter, “Balancing the Self,” Raven offers a series of four mudras for balancing, Prana, Rudra, Prithvi and Anjali, with accompanying breathing techniques and a mantra at the end. Mudras must, as Raven says in “Balancing the Self,” “be practiced with the utmost precision and focus,” and they lend themselves to this because of their simplicity. Practicing the mudras (which I was able to do discreetly in public) not only got me through what could have been a really terrible and stressful experience (17 year old’s birthday where he *almost* didn’t get his driving license), it boosted my energy and helped me remember that I was dealing with folks who were just trying to do their jobs, and who were as probably as tired and as frustrated as I was. Admittedly, I didn’t say the mantra exactly as it was written in the book (each of us brings our unique energy to all we do)—but it worked, and I will certainly be using it again.

Esoteric Empathy explores the nature of empathic ability (everyone has it) through analysis, anecdotes, exercises and meditations that draw on personal experience, pop culture, multicultural practices and world religions—empathy is, at its heart, a study of understanding. I would recommend reading this from cover to cover, but you can just as easily turn to any chapter (maybe even with a bit of bibliomancy—what form of empathy is needed today?) to, “open the window to the soul.”

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The Awakened Psychic by Kala Ambrose

The Awakened Psychic: What You Need to Know to Develop Your Psychic Abilities
Kala Ambrose
Llewellyn Publications, 2016

wp34 review awakened psychic

Review by Barbara Ardinger.

When we first enter the world of psychics, mediums, card readers, and invisible entities, we are often amazed at what we see, hear, and feel. When our innate psychic abilities begin to manifest, we are often bewildered. What’s going on here? we ask. Kala Ambrose, a teacher and the author of four previous books, has some answers. She’s been there, done that. “From training for years as a psychic medium,” she writes in the introduction,

I’ve learned how to create boundaries and to set the pace and tone for when I’m available to speak to the other side…. I’ve also learned how to set the intention for spirits to come through from a higher plane of existence only and how to banish the lower-level astral plane spirits. I also now interact with ghosts and understand the different types and how to communicate with them (p. 7).

Two pages later, she adds

As a psychic consultant and teacher, I enjoy helping people understand what is happening in their life from a spiritual perspective so that they can find solutions to their problems and live a better life. … For more than twenty-five years, I’ve offered my psychic services in almost every type of situation possible to clients around the world… (p. 9).

Ambrose, who grew up in Louisiana as a member of a family that “knew” things, opens The Awakened Psychic by describing one of her earliest psychic experiences: her grandfather was dying, and her dead great grandmother came to tell her about it.
The eleven chapters are chock-full of insights, lessons, and advice for readers who are stepping into the psychic universe, possibly for the first time. In Chapter 1, “Discover Your Hidden Psychic Talents,” she defines terms: clairvoyance (seeing “clearly”—the clair syllable means “clear”), clairaudience (hearing), clairsentience (“to see by feeling”), clairtangency (the “ability to read an object psychically by touching it, what we usually call psychometry), claircognizance (which includes both precognition and retrocognition), clairgustance (psychic tasting), and clairalience (“being able to smell death [or decay] on a person”). Chapter 2, “Empathic Abilities,” tells what empathic abilities are and how an empath, one who feels what everyone else is feeling, can operate in the world by learning to dissipate negative energy with white light. In Chapter 3, “Premonitions and Intuitive Hunches,” Ambrose writes that the “best way to begin understanding [how to use premonitions] is by following the hunch and then gaining further clarity through your psychic skills” (p. 59). Chapter 4 explains reading auras and Akashic records, mediumship, mother’s intuition (another form of premonition), postcognition and precognition, and telepathy. The exercise at the end of Chapter 4 is consulting your spirit guide. In Chapter 5, “Divination Techniques,” Ambrose says to start a reading by getting “in the zone,” i.e., relaxed and receptive. We can use many divinatory tools: crystal balls, tea leaves, seashells, gemstones, even dowsing with rods or a pendulum. Chapter 6, “Psychic Adventures,” is basically about astral traveling, remote viewing, and lucid dreaming. In Chapter 7, the author discusses possible conflicts between the logical mind and the creative mind, the law of attraction, and how we sometimes sabotage ourselves. Chapter 8 is about psychic self-defense and cleansing using white light again. (Do non-Caucasian people use white light?) Chapter 9 is about ghosts and spirits; the author says that seeing ghosts can be like watching a movie. The major difference between ghosts and spirits is that ghosts remain bound to the earth plane, whereas spirits go someplace else. Exercises include visits with loved ones and ancestors.

In Chapters 10 and 11, Ambrose addresses ethics and professionalism. She begins Chapter 10, “Ethics, Protocol, and Responsibilities with Readings,” with this tip:

Listen to your intuition, trust the process, and have the courage and fortitude to find the reading style that is right for you. Create a list of guidelines based on the wisdom of your experience…and write your own psychic handbook. My handbook is focused on always asking for the highest and best guidance from the other side when delivering information, so that it is only helpful and never hurtful for the person I am sharing information with (p. 181).

The question of ethics has been faced by every reader of cards, crystals, hands, natal charts, auras, and [complete the list yourself] who takes the work of divination seriously. We ask questions like Should I share this information with my querent? Are there questions I shouldn’t ever answer? Do I really want to be a psychic reader? As we answer these questions, we should keep the concept of “highest good” in mind. She opens Chapter 11, “Standards and Challenges of Being Psychic,” by stating that “one of the toughest challenges of reading for people…is that you are held to impossible standards. … People expect psychics to be 100 percent accurate, 100 percent of the time” p. 187). Hundred percent accuracy is unreasonable, of course, and Ambrose presents her ideas for successfully living the psychic life. The book ends with a bibliography of sixteen books we should already have read—Alice Bailey, Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater, H.P. Blavatsky, Joseph Campbell, Edgar Cayce, Dion Fortune, Manly P. Hall, Louise Hay, Carl Jung, Paramahansa Yogananda, and a few others.

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