This is a hard review for me to write because I am not in any way unbiased about this e-book. I met Boyd down in Glastonbury in 2007 and we started chatting about how we fitted into the group and she explained how she had actually witnessed many of the events that were described in Graham Phillips’ book “The Eye of Fire”. She mentioned that she had made and kept some notes and I was enthusiastic about knocking them into a publishable format.
Fast forward to today and these notes have found their way into a wonderful personal account of the Eye of Fire adventure. Be warned: this is not a rewrite of the original book. In fact it had been so long since I had read EoF that I had to go back and read it again to refresh my memory of the sequence of events.
Where the original was melodramatic and slightly frenzied, Boyd’s account is deeply personal, more measured and more reflective. Because of this both books actually stand well together as complementary rather than contradictory. You feel reading Boyd’s account that it is less like a horror movie and more like a diary coming to life and it is all the more powerful for that.
I don’t want to say too much more. You need to read it for yourselves. Suffice to say that the writing style is very polished, quickly bringing those heady days back to life in your mind’s eye. I very much suspect that Boyd’s account will become a fixed part of the questing canon and that future generations of questers will seek it out, not just for the unique perspective it offers on the EoF story, but because of the very practical questing techniques it contains.
There are a surprising number of strands in Alex Langstone’s new book “Spirit Chaser”, intertwined and running like luminous DNA through the pages of the book.
At the most immediate level this is a “psychic questing” story in the classic mould. We follow Alex on a series of journeys (both physical and psychic) around the British Isles and watch as the threads of synchronicity, symbolism and psychic experience weave a fascinating picture about some of the early Celtic Christian saints. Through traditional (though painstaking) research Alex is able to corroborate much of the information that is psychically transmitted. Even what is not immediately backed up adds entirely believable detail to the skeleton story.
As well as this, however, he mixes in an imagined historical biography of Saint Bega – the focus of the book – and traces how she and her Celtic colleagues may have left a legacy for us in the present day.
Still more, he breaks off his own narrative and hands over to “guest” authors such as Yuri Leitch and Gary Biltcliffe whose own impressive research is shown to dovetail seamlessly with Alex’s. This is a great example of an inclusive, co-operative attitude that breaks down the possessiveness that often stifles genuine sharing of information and which can only strengthen the questing community.
Lastly the book is a meditation on the spiritual nature of the British Isles. As an Irishman living in England with three half-English, half-Irish children, I found this aspect of the book both surprising and touching in a way that I hadn’t expected. I was powerfully reminded that in those days the sea was easier to cross than the land and the communities dotted around the Irish Sea were far more connected than you would imagine. The ancient perspective probably inverted todays default view and envisaged the Irish Sea as the container and focal point rather than the land around it.
In all of these areas Alex writes honestly and engagingly. In fact, at times he is probably too modest and does not accompany some of the more astonishing events with the fanfare that they deserve. He traces his own spiritual development as the quest unfolds and clearly illustrates how questing can provide a framework for this kind of inner exploration.
In summary, this is a great addition to the questing canon and Alex is to be congratulated on a truly inspired and inspiring work.
*** Newsflash: Amazon are currently offer a discounted rate on Spirit Chaser with free delivery. More here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spirit-Chaser-The-Quest-Bega/dp/0956355420/ref=pd_ybh_12
It’s been just over two weeks now since I returned from Andrew Collins’ Psychic Questing Weekender (PQW08) and my brain still feels as if someone buzz-sawed off the top of my head, reached inside and polished up my brain until it squeaked.
I had previously attended a number of QuestCons, starting in 2000, and while I had initially enjoyed the big set-piece lectures from high-profile authors, I began turning more and more to what were then classified as the “fringe lectures”. With PQW08, everything else has been jettisoned and the “fringe” is now centre stage. [Click on the "Read More..." link to continue] Continue reading
“And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?”
I’ve had to read this book twice before I reviewed it.
The first time I read it I was distracted by the quality of the production – from the glossy, vibrant layout of the pages to the integral artwork that crystalises and complements the subject matter of the book.
I couldn’t get out of my head that the author was Yuri the gracious and generous host; Yuri the stalwart supporter of this website. Yuri, who, for me, has been the self-effacing conduit between the old guard of Psychic Questing and the “new wave” of wannabes.
How, in all honesty, could I be objective about this book?