A practicing shaman shares the wisdom he has gathered during his journeys in the spirit world.
In Kowalewski’s (Destiny Retrieval, 2016, etc.) first book on shamanism, he writes about his experiences as a psychopomp: a shaman who communicates with spirits that are trapped in limbo and “escort[s] souls to the Other Side.” He starts the book off by tackling “criticisms that the paranormal is fictional and that spirits don’t really exist.” However, the only studies that the author mentions include such statistics as “30 to 42 percent of respondents say they’ve felt in touch with someone who died” and “in 2005 almost 2 out of 5 Americans believed in haunted houses,” which hardly offer solid evidence. He later concludes that “there is a paranormal, there are spirits...the skeptics have been routed,” without immediately citing any sources other than the Journal of Near-Death Studies, although he does offer an extensive bibliography and chapter endnotes with more detailed citations. He goes on to enumerate the types of ghosts that he says he’s encountered, including those of children and addicts, and the most common places that he says he’s encountered them. He also asserts that possession by a spirit is sometimes “misdiagnosed by psychiatrists as having multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia.” The author often cites traditional folklore as evidence for a spirit realm, which makes for entertaining stories, and he devotes the second part of the book to his accounts of his experiences guiding spirits to the “Light,” including victims of genocide in various places and of the drug wars in Mexico. Finally, he relates the wisdom that he says that he has gained from his interactions with spirits and suggests that psychopomps could be used as “professional grief counseling for survivors.” Overall, this book will certainly be an engaging read for those fascinated by the paranormal, but it doesn’t ultimately provide a convincing scientific basis for its theories.
An uneven overview of the practice of psychopomping that will still appeal to readers interested in stories of ghosts and the afterlife.