July 26th 2014- Event Paris Williams Psychologist and Author, and Beyond the Medical Model screening

rethinking Madness

 

On July 26th 2014, The Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ are hosting a talk by Paris Williams Psychologist and Author of Rethink Madness- www.rethinkingmadness.com 

We will share afternoon tea, then have a screening of the excellent ‘ Beyond the Medical Model’

See the trailer

All welcome.

Fickling Center, 546 Mt Albert Road, Three Kings, Auckland
12.30pm to 3.30pm
Come along and hear Paris Williams, watch the movie, and share afternoon tea and discussion. All are welcome.
COST: $5 for waged. Voice hearers and HVNANZ members free.
We will hold our Hearing Voices Network Annual General meeting afterwards at 3.30-4.30pm if you are interested in making a difference, please stay and join in.
For Bookings please email: hvnanz@gmail.com or tel : 027 265 0266

 

Hallucinations- a new book by Oliver Sack

Saw this morning, a book by neurologist Oliver Sack. Looks interesting. Will watch out for any more reviews and excerpts

http://www.npr.org/2012/10/24/163271304/exclusive-first-read-hallucinations-by-oliver-sacks

Hallucinations can be terrifying, enlightening, amusing or just plain strange. They’re thought to be at the root of fairy tales, religious experiences and some kinds of art. Neurologist Oliver Sacks has been mapping the oddities of the human brain for decades, and his latest book,Hallucinations, is a thoughtful and compassionate look at the phantoms our brains can produce — which he calls “an essential part of the human condition.” In this chapter, Sacks examines auditory hallucinations. “Hearing voices” has long been the classic signifier of mental illness, but many otherwise healthy people just happen to have hallucinatory voices in their heads, according to Sacks.Hallucinations will be published Nov. 6.

 

It shows chapter 4 on the blog

Kehua! by Fay Weldon

In the Weekend Herald this morning there is an interview with Fay Weldon. She has written a new book called “Kehua!” Which sounds interesting and entertaining. A fiction, here is a brief review from a site called www.lovereading.co.uk

Kehua by Fay Weldon
A kehua is a Maori ghost – the wandering dead searching for their ancestral home. Without the proper rituals to send them on their way, kehua are forced to remain on Earth to haunt their relatives. They’re not dangerous, and they even try to help the living, though it’s wise not to listen to them. They tend to get things wrong…In the wake of murder and suicide, a young woman flees New Zealand, hoping to escape the past and find a new life. But the unshriven spirits of the recently departed can’t rest peacefully, and are forced to emigrate with her, crossing oceans to finally settle in – of all places – Muswell Hill, London. Here their shadowy flutterings and murmured advice haunts the young woman and her female bloodline across the decades, across the generations. ‘Run!’ the Kehua whisper. ‘Run, run, run!’

Here is an excerpt from the interview with Fay Weldon from the Weekend Herald NZ.

Weldon is unsure when she first became aware of the existence of kehua. ” I have a Maori daughter in law and she has never mentioned them,” she says. “I must have read about them somewhere and then they came to mind when I was thinking about the story of the New Zealand family who have come over here and have this impulse to run.

I was wondering what caused that and perhaps it was the spirits of the country, the kehua. I then became interested in the sense of family and belonging, which is very important and strong in Maori Culture. At the beginning, this family have lost that feeling but they come to realise that there is a family that you belong to whether you like it or not, which is quite a compelling and comforting idea.

She compares the kehua to similar phenomena is other mythologies, such as the Scottish kelpies, the Greek furies, and the hungry ghosts of Chinese folklore. “in the novel, they’re the grateful dead, the dybbuks,” says Weldon, who suggests that they may be psychological manifestations of past traumas. “you can give them a name, call them spirits or ghosts, but they really are compulsions, which follow families through generations. All cultures have that. In England they tend to be domestic ghosts in old houses, this house being the house in the book.

Fay Weldons book  Kehua! is out now through Corvus.

 

The fragrance of an Angel and Helpful voices.

I am currently going through all my Aromatherapy notes and books as I am preparing for my presentation on Aromatherapy for Hearing Voices at our September 18th 2010 seminar ( see our website www.hearingvoices.org.nz)  In mental health circles, seeing or hearing angels is usually considered delusional. Yet in many circles, many sane and respected people report similar occurences and often write about it. The difference of course is that they lead successful lives.

Here is an excerpt from a book called ” The Fragrant Heavens” By Valerie Worwood. I met Valerie when she came to New Zealand many years ago to hold an Aromatherapy workshop. She is a veritable aromatherapy expert and very well regarded in her field. 

 Pg 102

Some people believe in Angels because they have seen them, even in some cases before their eyes beheld them. Other people believe in angels because they have heard their voices, or smelt their sweet fragrances and known they were near. When these things happen, there is no turning back… you believe in angels…

… I met an angel twenty years ago and so have no doubt they exist. The light and peace that angels emanate is so profoundly different from anything on earth, it s impossible to confuse it with everyday reality. The light I saw was an overwhelming luminescence, shining in rays from every pore of the figure, who was beautiful  in the extreme. The sense of peace that settled upon me was amazing and it was alive in every molecule of my being…

… I know I have been helped many times by angelic beings, like when driving along, one whispered ‘pull over’ in my ear – which allowed me to avoid a collision and turned out to be excellent advice.

On experience I’m particularly grateful for happened on holiday some years ago. A group of us were sitting on a beach which was some distance away. The red flag was up, and we’d been advised that the sea was dangerous that day. With my three-year old playing with friends and their parents nearby, I lay on my front put my head on my arms and drifted off to sleep. I was awakened by a voice that said just one word “Sea”. It was  not a loud voice, nor a particularly insistent one, but it had me on my feet in an instant and flying like the wind to the seashore. I reached the water just as an enormous wave poised itself over my little girl, who stood there watching the watery crest above her, oblivious to the danger. I grabbed her in my arms, pulled her away, and thanked the voice from the bottom of my heart.

I’m inclined to think an angel whispered into my ear, rather than it being intuition, because I have seen a shining being standing in my own living room and that wasn’t intuition! Angels are very physical when they want to be and very etheric when they want to be. They straddle the two universes. This experiencing of them accords with the current theological position which, according to Canon Emeritus of Ely Cathedral, describes angels as ‘spiritual beings intermediate between God and mankind’… Pope John Paul II has stated that angels do exist and that they ‘have a fundamental role to play in unfolding of human events’.

pg 105

…Angels have a fragrance which in my experience at least, precedes their ‘appearance’ , or remains after they ‘disappear’. Perhaps the fragrance was also there when I actually saw the angel, but was ‘cut out’ as my senses focused intently on the vision in front of me. I tried really hard to remember each visual detail, and was mesmerised by what appeared to be wings. Each ‘feather’ seemed to be a center or vortex of energy made up of light – the spine in particular being a source of great light-yet also a route to the infinite, while each delicate strand coming off it was a chain made up of many sparkling lights. Each sparkle on each strand had its own energy field, and together they made the form of a superluminous ‘feather’, which was less a material feather than an arrangement of light in a feather shape. The overall effect was extremely powerful and ‘awe inspiring.

I’ve found the fragrance of angels elusive in the sense that it seems to have no source. It just suddenly appears and suffuses the whole body and mind. I can recall two aromas quite distinctly, neither of which I have encountered before. One was fairly similar to a heavy , deep, rose maroc. The other was a light fragrance that was sweet and floralish, but not just floral, also a resin- imagine frankincense as a flower but without the same aroma. Sometimes I will smell and angel without seeing one, and I know it’s the fragrance of angels because it’s so pervading and fills my nose even to the point that I feel I can’t inhale any longer.

After such powerful aromatic experiences I always have a good look and sniff around to see if there was any other possible source for the phenomenon. I check my clothes for perfume; my essential oil store for any open bottles or spills; I sniff all the plants and flowers; and run through my mind who has been in the house, possibly wearing scent; but no source for the strange scent has ever been found. Others in the house have smelt it too- and the mystery remains long after the fragrance has gone.” 

I think it is important to know that – sane people can hear voices and experience other beings, and tactile sensations and also that there are also good voices. For people who hear only distressing voices this can be a source of comfort.

Spirit Possession, Theology and Identity- a Pacific Perspective.

Some of you may be interested in this book. I know I would like to read it.

See the details and introduction here on   http://www.atfpress.com/atf/images/toc_spirit_possession,_theology_and_identity.pdf  

 It talks about Maori and Samoan view of spirits, the Spirits in the bible, Spirits through the lens of history and theology. There are sections by Henare Tate,Helen Bergin, Laurie  , Elaine Wainwright and many others   The cover says this ”

Growing contemporary interest in spirit possession prompted eleven past and present faculty members of the University of Auckland’s School of Theology and 2 recent post graduate students to offer essays that explored the reality of spirit possession in Oceania today.”

 I think it is great to have a thorough exploration of a subject where a lot of people have only horror movies to use as reference of such an experience.  The truth will set you free…

Living with Voices-50 Stories of Recovery- new book released-ISBN13 9781906254223

This is a new book released, edited By Marius Romme, Sandra Escher, Jacqui Dillon, Mervyn Morris and Dick Cortens –

It looks like a must read for anyone who hears voices, or works with those who are distressed by them.

A new analysis of the hearing voices experience outside the illness model, resulted in accepting and making sense of voices. This study of 50 stories forms the evidence for this successful new approach to working with voice hearers.

This book demonstrates that it is entirely possible to overcome problems with hearing voices and to take back control of one’s life. It shows a path to recovery by addressing the main problems voice hearers describe – the threats, the feelings of powerlessness, the anxiety of being mad – and helps them to find their way back to their emotions and spirituality and to realising their dreams. This book also holds true for those who have been given a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

At the heart of this book are the stories of fifty people who have recovered from the distress of hearing voices. They have overcome the disabling social and psychiatric attitudes towards voice hearing and have also fought with themselves to accept and make sense of the voices. They have changed their relationship with their voices in order to reclaim their lives.

All the people in this book describe their recovery; how they now accept their voices as personal, and how they have learnt to cope with them and have changed their relationship with them. They have discovered that their voices are not a sign of madness but a reaction to problems in their lives that they couldn’t cope with, and they have found that there is a relationship between the voices and their life history, that the voices talk about problems that they haven’t dealt with – and that they therefore make sense.

Our own Debra Lampshire well known in New Zealand for her work with those that heaer voices, has her story within its pages.

If you want to order the book it is available online here from their publisher PCC books 

IF anyone has read it, I would love to hear your comments.

Carl Jungs “RED BOOK” soon to be published

There is a fascinating article  here in the New York Times.  It talks about a famous”THE RED BOOK” written by Carl Jung, that has been held in storage by his family and never been published is soon to be released.

 Here are interesting tidbits from the 10 page article:

 

” What happened next to Carl Jung has become, among Jungians and other scholars, the topic of enduring legend and controversy. It has been characterized variously as a creative illness, a descent into the underworld, a bout with insanity, a narcissistic self-deification, a transcendence, a midlife breakdown and an inner disturbance mirroring the upheaval of World War I. Whatever the case, in 1913, Jung, who was then 38, got lost in the soup of his own psyche. He was haunted by troubling visions and heard inner voices. Grappling with the horror of some of what he saw, he worried in moments that he was, in his own words, “menaced by a psychosis” or “doing a schizophrenia.”He later would compare this period of his life — this “confrontation with the unconscious,” as he called it — to a mescaline experiment. He described his visions as coming in an “incessant stream.” He likened them to rocks falling on his head, to thunderstorms, to molten lava. “I often had to cling to the table,” he recalled, “so as not to fall apart.”

Had he been a psychiatric patient, Jung might well have been told he had a nervous disorder and encouraged to ignore the circus going on in his head. But as a psychiatrist, and one with a decidedly maverick streak, he tried instead to tear down the wall between his rational self and his psyche. For about six years, Jung worked to prevent his conscious mind from blocking out what his unconscious mind wanted to show him. Between appointments with patients, after dinner with his wife and children, whenever there was a spare hour or two, Jung sat in a book-lined office on the second floor of his home and actually induced hallucinations — what he called “active imaginations.” “In order to grasp the fantasies which were stirring in me ‘underground,’ ” Jung wrote later in his book “Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” “I knew that I had to let myself plummet down into them.” He found himself in a liminal place, as full of creative abundance as it was of potential ruin, believing it to be the same borderlands traveled by both lunatics and great artists.

Jung recorded it all. First taking notes in a series of small, black journals, he then expounded upon and analyzed his fantasies, writing in a regal, prophetic tone in the big red-leather book. The book detailed an unabashedly psychedelic voyage through his own mind, a vaguely Homeric progression of encounters with strange people taking place in a curious, shifting dreamscape. Writing in German, he filled 205 oversize pages with elaborate calligraphy and with richly hued, staggeringly detailed paintings.

What he wrote did not belong to his previous canon of dispassionate, academic essays on psychiatry. Nor was it a straightforward diary. It did not mention his wife, or his children, or his colleagues, nor for that matter did it use any psychiatric language at all. Instead, the book was a kind of phantasmagoric morality play, driven by Jung’s own wish not just to chart a course out of the mangrove swamp of his inner world but also to take some of its riches with him. It was this last part — the idea that a person might move beneficially between the poles of the rational and irrational, the light and the dark, the conscious and the unconscious — that provided the germ for his later work and for what analytical psychology would become.

The book tells the story of Jung trying to face down his own demons as they emerged from the shadows. The results are humiliating, sometimes unsavory. In it, Jung travels the land of the dead, falls in love with a woman he later realizes is his sister, gets squeezed by a giant serpent and, in one terrifying moment, eats the liver of a little child. (“I swallow with desperate efforts — it is impossible — once again and once again — I almost faint — it is done.”) At one point, even the devil criticizes Jung as hateful.

He worked on his red book — and he called it just that, the Red Book — on and off for about 16 years, long after his personal crisis had passed, but he never managed to finish it. He actively fretted over it, wondering whether to have it published and face ridicule from his scientifically oriented peers or to put it in a drawer and forget it. Regarding the significance of what the book contained, however, Jung was unequivocal. “All my works, all my creative activity,” he would recall later, “has come from those initial fantasies and dreams.”

Jung evidently kept the Red Book locked in a cupboard in his house in the Zurich suburb of Küsnacht. When he died in 1961, he left no specific instructions about what to do with it. His son, Franz, an architect and the third of Jung’s five children, took over running the house and chose to leave the book, with its strange musings and elaborate paintings, where it was. Later, in 1984, the family transferred it to the bank, where since then it has fulminated as both an asset and a liability…

…Carl Jung’s secret Red Book — scanned, translated and footnoted — will be in stores early next month, published by W. W. Norton and billed as the “most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology.”  

“It is the nuclear reactor for all his works,” Shamdasani said, noting that Jung’s more well-known concepts — including his belief that humanity shares a pool of ancient wisdom that he called the collective unconscious and the thought that personalities have both male and female components (animus and anima) — have their roots in the Red Book. Creating the book also led Jung to reformulate how he worked with clients, as evidenced by an entry Shamdasani found in a self-published book written by a former client, in which she recalls Jung’s advice for processing what went on in the deeper and sometimes frightening parts of her mind.

“I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can — in some beautifully bound book,” Jung instructed. “It will seem as if you were making the visions banal — but then you need to do that — then you are freed from the power of them. . . . Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book & turn over the pages & for you it will be your church — your cathedral — the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them — then you will lose your soul — for in that book is your soul.”

…lastly on page 10

ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH the Red Book — after he has traversed a desert, scrambled up mountains, carried God on his back, committed murder, visited hell; and after he has had long and inconclusive talks with his guru, Philemon, a man with bullhorns and a long beard who flaps around on kingfisher wings — Jung is feeling understandably tired and insane. This is when his soul, a female figure who surfaces periodically throughout the book, shows up again. She tells him not to fear madness but to accept it, even to tap into it as a source of creativity. “If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature.” 

Fascinating stuff. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

The Third Man Factor- By John Geiger

There is a great write up about this book in the Sunday Star Times Today – the Focus section. I also found it online at this site here

Book cover
Book cover

Here it is

MYSTERY OF THE THIRD MAN
Liz Porter
 

June 28, 2009

WHEN John Geiger read Sir Ernest Shackleton’s memoir of his 1914-1917 Antarctic expedition, he was transfixed by the legendary polar explorer’s tale of his battle for survival after the team’s ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice.

In the final weeks of the expedition, Shackleton and two companions had made a heroic, last-ditch attempt to reach a British whaling station, so they could get help to the other members of the expedition who were sick, exhausted and waiting 1100 kilometres away at Elephant Island. Filthy, ragged, dehydrated and ill-equipped, the trio trekked 38 kilometres across glaciers and icy mountain ranges on the island of South Georgia, reaching the British settlement 36 hours later.

The Toronto-based writer was in awe of Shackleton’s powers of physical endurance. But it was the metaphysical aspect of the story that stayed with him — the “unseen presence” that, according to the explorer, had accompanied the three men on the last harrowing stage of their journey.

“It seemed to me often that we were four not three,” Shackleton wrote in his memoir, South. Later, in his public lectures about the expedition, he referred to this presence as his “divine companion”.

Geiger, 49, is chairman of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s expeditions committee, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the legendary New York-based Explorers Club. Five years ago, when he first opened the Shackleton memoir, the four non-fiction books on his CV included two about failed polar expeditions. But Geiger had never heard of the phenomenon that Shackleton described. “It seemed like an odd admission to appear in this heroic survival story,” he says. Wondering if other explorers might have had similar experiences, he started looking for examples.

He says the “miracle of Google” provided a cluster of leads on the phenomenon that 1975 Mount Everest climber Doug Scott described as “the third man syndrome: imagining there is someone else walking beside you, a comforting presence telling you what to do next”.

Geiger discovered aviator Charles Lindbergh’s account of on-board “phantoms” during his 1927 attempt to make the first solo non-stop trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris. As the pilot struggled to stay awake during the 33-hour flight, he felt that his companions were friendly and helpful. “(They were) conversing and advising on my flight … reassuring me,” he wrote about them later.

Geiger started to think he might have another book on his hands. “There was something interesting going on. Not just a fluke hallucination. I soon reached a dozen (cases). Then 25. And in the end I had 100-plus.

“I felt it was important that people understand just how common this experience is. It’s not highly unusual and freakish. It’s an experience that people have in all sorts of environments and conditions — and that lends it a lot of power.”

Meantime, the writer had discovered that the syndrome was endemic among climbers, from Peter Hillary, to Lincoln Hall and Reinhold Messner. But discussion of it had remained secret climbers’ business — quarantined to the kind of books and magazines mostly read by other climbers.

Geiger emphasises that he is laying no claims to discovering the “third man factor”. British neurologist MacDonald Critchley, for example, had alluded to the concept in his 1955 essay The Idea of a Presence, which drew on the scientist’s 1943 study of 279 shipwrecked sailors and airmen. It included statements from a pilot and his observer who had both kept imagining a third person adrift with them in their rubber dinghy in the North Atlantic.

“But nobody in the scientific realm was pursuing (the idea),” says Geiger. “And nobody in the popular realm was attempting to pull it together and tell the story of what I think is a very important survival mechanism.”

If the “third man factor” had been confined to climbers, the writer concedes, he might have been less intrigued by it because a clear and logical explanation for the phenomenon — altitude sickness-induced brain malfunction — seemed so readily at hand. Once he started to discover more examples of “third man syndrome” — at sea-level, in the jungles of New Guinea, in space capsules — he felt he was facing a phenomenon that was both universally appealing and perplexing.

His conviction that the topic merited a book-length study was underlined when he heard examples of the “third man” appearing in urban environments as well as in the wilderness. After a department store collapsed in Seoul, Korea, in 1995, killing more than 300 people, a 19-year-old clerk, Park Seung-hyung, survived for 16 days in an air pocket beneath a crushed lift shaft. When rescued, she reported that a monk had appeared to her several times during her ordeal, giving her an apple and keeping her hope alive.

On September 11, 2001, trader Ron DiFrancesco was the last person out of the south tower of the World Trade Centre before it collapsed. Fighting his way down stairs he felt he was being “guided”, with “an angel” urging him not to recoil from flames in a stairwell, but to run through them. DiFrancesco was a man of deep religious beliefs who explained his experience as “divine intervention”. But religious people are a minority among the many cases that Geiger presents in The Third Man Factor.

The book chronicles the history of the phenomenon, recording early references to it in classical writing, in the Bible, and describing the first modern instance in 1895, when Nova Scotia-born Joshua Slocum’s 12-metre sloop, Spray, was caught in a cataclysmic storm on the first leg of his attempt to become the first person to circumnavigate the world. Ill and delirious, Slocum was visited by a “strange guest” who took the helm for 48 hours as he lay incapacitated on the floor of his cabin.

“Third man” experiences have happened to adventurers who have voluntarily sought adventures that ended in ghastly ordeals, trapped in underwater caves or on snow-topped mountains.

But they have also touched the lives of prisoners, such as Israeli army medical officer Avi Ohri, captured by Egyptian soldiers in 1973. Kept awake for long periods, he endured beatings and mock executions. Sitting alone in his cell, blindfolded and with his arms tied behind his back, he had “visits” from “presences”. One was his wife, then in Geneva. Another was an old friend from medical school.

He spoke to them, urging each visitor to save him. But each time the presence vanished as soon as he heard the approaching steps of his interrogators. Despite this, the visits encouraged him, he said later, and gave him hope that he would soon be released.

The book also surveys the theories advanced to explain the syndrome. The author quotes Dr Griffith Pugh, the physiologist on Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1953 Everest expedition, who dismissed it as a “decay of the brain functions”.

Geiger then points out the many cases where climbers claim that their “third man” helped them compensate for altitude-related impairment. He includes the views of psychologist Woodburn Heron, who explained it as a reaction by the brain in the state of pathological boredom created in isolated and monotonous environments. He cites the “principle of multiple triggers” — the combination of extreme fatigue, pain and deprivation suffered by Antarctic explorers — as a cause.

Geiger refers to the “widow effect”, in which widows and widowers regularly sense the presence of a departed loved one. He also quotes recent research in Switzerland, in which doctors testing a patient with epilepsy found that she reported a sense of “a presence” when they stimulated a particular area of the brain. But in this case there was none of the usual “third man” sense of the presence being helpful. Instead, the feeling was “vaguely creepy”.

To Geiger, the suggestion of a neurological basis to the “third man” raises the notion that the capacity to conjure up a third man might have been a useful evolutionary adaptation. “You can imagine if primitive man had this ability to call upon help it would improve a person’s odds of survival over others who don’t have it.”

Ultimately, the author feels most comfortable describing the “third man factor” as a “coping mechanism”. “It is a way for people who are under great physical and psychological duress to cope with their situation. There is nothing more helpful to people undergoing hardship than a sense that there is another person there, helping them.”

The Third Man Factor is published by Text Publishing along with reviews of the book.

A website for the book itself can be found here which allows you to see excerpts of the book.

It can be purchased in NZ for $40.00

 

 

“How to Hear Your Angels” – A BOOK REVIEW

“How to Hear Your Angels” By Doreen Virtue PhD ISBN 978-1-4019-1705-0

This book is available at the Auckland Public Libraries NZ.

Many people think only of mental illness when discussing hearing of voices. But there are many sectors of our international community that actively seek, and enjoy the experience of hearing voices. Their voices are seen as helpful guides offering inspirational advice upon their life paths. Doreen Virtue is one of these people. She has written many books on her experiences of talking to and seeing Angels, in fact a quick tally at the front of this book lists 31 of them.

I was reading this book when I read of Shane Fishers story in the newspaper ( see below) who was hospitalised for talking and hearing his angels, it seemed appropriate to post a review. Important to validate his belief that one can talk to an angel. It seemed ironic while some seek ways to get rid of voices, Doreen Virtue is selling books teaching people to be able to hear voices. One student complains that she can only hear a few words at a time. But by the end of the course, she is having full conversations with her angels and is very releived.

This book is a good comprehensive guide. Doreen is a Clairvoyant and was also once a psychotherapist. As such her book also touches on clairvoyant experiences and mentions receiving messages from beloved ones that have passed on. She has many techniques of discernment, which is an important key to dealing with voices.  There is a brief overview of what and who the different angels are, and what “areas” they each specialise in.

Here is her description of Angel Sandalphon

Archangel Sandalphon’s name means “brother”, because like Archangel Metatron he was once a human prophet (Elijah) who ascended in angeldom. Sandalphon is the archangel of Music and prayer. He assists the Archangel Michael to clear away fear and the effects of fear (with music). Put on some soothing music and call upon him to dispel any spiritual confusion.

Interestingly anyone who deals with those that are distressed by their voices will testify that listening to music is one of the main coping strategies first used.

As a clairvoyant she has a chapter on talking to the deceased, and another on messages from children in heaven. This all very light mainly positive uplifting reading. She is of the opinion that all those that have passed on are more uplifted and of a good disposition looking young and happy without the troubles of earth life. This varies from views sometimes expressed by other mediums. Maori people often report seeing an angry ancestor, if there is some transgression of tapu. Some spirits present themselves as the way they appeared at the time of death so that the clairvoyant has more information to give to the deceased. Buddhists beleive that sometimes spirits can become confused and loss. She does mention lower energies, though to be fair, and does have some techniques with dealing with it, or at least differentiating from the higher energies.

 Her advice on how to “know” if it is the angels- is good advice for all who hear voices. There is a  practical guide to differentiate between the good and the bad. Here are only a few of her points that I selected to give you a brief idea. Her list is much fuller and comprehensive.

ANGELS:involving FEELINGS: feel warm and cuddly like a Hug;makes you feel safe even if warning of danger; feel like someone is touching your head, hair or shoulder;

             involving THOUGHTS: be positive and empowering; involve you taking some human steps and doing some work; Ring true and makes sense; Be consistent with your natural talents and interests.

             involving HEARING: The voice is loving and positive even if warning you of danger; you may hear your voice being called upon awakening; You might receive a message about self improvement or helping others; The voice is to the point and blunt.

She also lists points for

FALSE GUIDANCE: Be discouraging an abusive, consists of depressing or frightening thoughts; Seem hollow and ill conceived, Be unrelated to anything you’ve previously done or been interested in.

The Hearing Voices Network, however see abusive voices can indeed be a guide( not an angelic one) but a pointer perhaps to the wounds in our spirits that have not yet healed. When we can see these too as loving entities in their strange way, often the healing we need occurs.

We do agree that discerning the positive from the negative is important. One of the HVN techniques for successfully coping with the voices is asking the positive ones to help you to cope with the bad ones. The angel book as such would be a good pointer on how to bring the positive uplifting ones forward.

If you do have clairvoyant abilities this book has good pointers on identifying spirits and their messages, such as hearing a song in your head, a smell associated with them, a feeling/ knowing of the person.

It includes some techniques for psychic protection and for cleansing “psychic debris” from your energy. There are some guided meditations , and some clear visualisation exercises. One of the discernment techniques suggested in the how to recognise and receive guidance section was to keep a journal, so that you could accurately assess the guidance and ideas received. This is something at the HVN we suggest for voice hearers, so they can sort out the helpful from the unhelpful.

I found the book well written, clearly laid out, uplifting and positive in nature. It addressed many issues around the hearing of voices, no doubt due to her informed background. She included some research , was thorough and would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the subject of angels, or divine communications.