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Book Review: “Spiritual Cleansing” by Draja Mickaharic

September 11, 2009
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Spiritual Cleansing: A Handbook of Psychic Self-Protection
Draja Mickaharic
2003 (Expanded Edition) 1982 (Original Edition), Weiser Books
10 out of 10

Draja Mickaharic is among the best living occult authors, and is one of the last remaining genuine professional magicians. He keeps things simple, without bogging his books down in a ton of theory. His work is all written with the assumption that the reader has access to a spiritual worker or a teacher who can answer such questions one-on-one. Even so, his material is useful right out of the gate.

He moved to the US from Bosnia in 1939 and has spent much of his life working as a magician (though he calls himself a “witchdoctor”), collecting the lore of natural magic from around the world, and writing it down in manuals like Spiritual Cleansing, and collections of notes and short essays like Magical Techniques.

The present book, Spiritual Cleansing, is the single best book I’ve seen on the topic of practical psychic self-defense. Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defense is, of course, an unrivaled classic, but it is mostly a collection of anecdotes and theories with only a handful of immediately applicable techniques. Mickaharic, on the other hand, provides what may be described as a companion volume to Fortune full of baths, spells and herbal treatments suitable for the cleansing of oneself, one’s friends and family, and one’s home. Included also are programs for “basic maintenance” which anyone can implement to improve their own spiritual, mental and emotional lives.

Mickaharic himself admits that his book is more of a “first aid” manual than anything, and is not intended to take the place of either one’s regular spiritual and religious practice, nor of professional magicians and spiritual workers who can go into much greater depth than an untrained individual could do for him- or herself. Still, first aid and basic hygiene are as important spiritually and psychically as they are physically and this is the perfect manual for it.

There is still a lot of useful material in Spiritual Cleansing for even the experienced magician. It can be extremely useful, for example, to have a pre-mixed herbal preparation to quickly and simply accomplish the same goals one would normally leave for a complex cleansing ritual. Such tools also make it very much simpler to prescribe “treatments” to your friends, family and coreligionists when they ask for help with a specific problem. Instead of having them to teach them a ritual, all that is required is to give them a pouch of a bath mixture and send them on their way. Above all this, the “recommended treatment” program given at the end of the book is very good, and will serve even the most practiced of magicians well in their daily lives.

All in all, I cannot recommend this book enough to just about everybody. Magician and layman alike will find a lot of use in these pages for their own general psycho-spiritual wellbeing.

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