Field Guide to the Spirit World
The Science of Angel Power, Discarnate Entities and Demonic Possession
by Susan Martinez, Ph.D.
It is always interesting to me to read books regarding the occult/paranormal/esoteric that are written by those scientific academics that offer the opportunity to confirm the alliance between science and the spiritual/magickal. As the sub-title suggests, Field Guide to the Spirit World: The Science of Angel Power, Discarnate Entities and Demonic Possession does a fine job of forming a dialogue between the confirmable and the unknowable. The book’s author, Susan Martinez, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University, the perfect foundational ground from which to explore the realms of spirits and ephemeral beings. And, as would be expected the bibliography is diverse in selections from the scientific community and those luminaries within the paranormal community.
… I have long been writing to prove that the spirit world is
not an invented thing, but a reality with which
we have fallen out of touch…1.
In reading Field Guide to the Spirit World we are brought to the realization that many of the mental/medical conditions for which there have been no rational explanation are often misdiagnosed and remain untreated, save for those few who look deeper and at the very least raise the question of inquiry into otherworldly sources. Conversely there have been cases of true illness that has gone untreated being subscribed to possession, overshadowing or more. And, the futile attempts made by one who does not have the scientific knowledge has caused death on more than one occasion.
Field Guide to the Spirit World is divided into eleven (11) chapters and concludes with three (3) appendices that encapsulate some of the core concepts. The title itself is indicative of a scientific journey into lesser-known territories and such is the case as you move through each of these chapters. What you may have already believed to be the truth of the Spirit Realms, Death and Demons is further dissected with case studies, valid scientific correlates and a healthy does of respect for what in ineffable and fleetingly complex in its very nature.
We are introduced to some familiar diagnoses such as PTSD, OCD, multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, to name a few and the general sense of Dr. Martinez is that these are often times a combination of personality/consciousness and manipulation from entities.
I am not entirely clear who the intended audience is for Field Guide to the Spirit World as it felt to be a selection that could add more clarity to those engaged in the world of wellness and add a differing perspective to those who work with Spirits in whatever way they have been trained. Coming more from the practitioner side vs. the scientific, it was an interesting read, although I did not necessarily agree with all of the premises. The problem being, that there are subtle nuances to any of this work that can’t be measured or that don’t clearly map to symptoms and patterns regardless of the seeming patterns provided by multi-case studies. And, just as there are frequent patients who don’t fit the mold, the same is true of the limited knowledge we have of the who’s who and what’s what in the realms of spirits and other discarnate beings. All in all, it is obvious that a lot of research and time went into the crafting of this book and I honor the bridging of the concrete and the mysterious.
1. p. 3
About the Author:
Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.
She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):
It’s Written in the Stars
The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two
The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three
The Eternal Cord
A Collection of Esoteric Writings
Aligning the Parts of SELF
Musings on the Magick of the Natural World
Nights of Devotion
Musings for the Year
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