A classic trope of witchcraft is the ability to curse (hex) as well as heal; it's also terribly misunderstood. Rasbold is a professional spiritual healer who has seen it all and in Uncrossing, has written the book we need.

Words have power and every word of Uncrossing is valuable, even when you don't like what's being said. First value offered: the words you use on  yourself are a spell, how are you hexing yourself?

Opening with a discussion about what, exactly, a psychic attack is, Rasbold places this ancient perspective squarely within the modern world. They then discuss how misfortune can feel a lot like an attack, but isn't. (This inability to discern the difference is probably the biggest reason people do not understand what a psychic attack actually is, and feels like.) Second value offered: doing a spiritual cleansing can only bring about an excellent outcome.

We are then brought into a long, meaty discussion of the different types of attack, broken into four chapters: Incidental Attacks, Deliberate Attacks, Controlling Others Through Magic, and Self-Crossing. Incidental attacks are  what happens when there is no deliberate intention of doing harm, but the energetic system is injured. This is when strong emotional energy is projected, such as when the office bully is doing their thing, your friend is envying your beautiful garden, or your partner gets too loud at a party, embarrassing you. These may be called "evil eye" and Rasbold notes that they are very common in unhealthy relationships. I found their assertion that bigotry and discrimination are psychic attacks novel, and obvious once pointed out. Incidental attacks are difficult to defend against, being random and almost unconsciously projected, just a nasty symptom of modern society.

  • Deliberate Attacks are those we all know from media -- you know, poppets and black candles and  strange-sounding words muttered before blood is spilled. (Ick.) Rasbold divides these into three: curses (long-term and often multi-generational), hexes (personal), and demon possession. I confess, I almost stopped reading at that point -- who believes in demons? That said, if we believe in entities, then demons are just as likely. Most of the chapter discusses how deliberate attacks are generated.
  • Controlling Others is a fascinating discussion about manipulation and how frequently we (as humans) want others to do what we want them to. Rasbold notes that much of magic involves manipulating the free will of others, no matter how much we state, "for the good of all." It was a thought-provoking discussion that I was glad to work my way through.
  • Self-Crossing is a meaty chapter that, I suspect, will have most readers recognizing much of what Rasbold describes. This is what happens when we are complacent, allow toxic people into our lives, speak negatively about ourselves, form unhealthy attachments, gossip, whine, humilate, or otherwise engage in behavior that undermines our ability to be healthy, purposeful people within the world.

In Part Three we are given tools for discerning whether what we are experiencing is actually a psychic attack or the result of medical issues or plain old bad luck. This single chapter is worth the cost of the whole book.

Part Four goes into detail, over several chapters, about how to manage -- and by this I mean how to cleanse oneself of -- a psychic attack. This section is daunting, cleansing oneself is fairly straightforward if you are comfortable with ritual or spell work already. However, the best way to spiritually cleanse oneself requires a trusted partner which may feel impossible or daunting. (Nonetheless, it can be done on oneself, it just might need to be repeated several times.)

Rasbold closes the book with a section discussing the vital aspect of self-care after cleansing. Her wisdom about how this isn't like a car wash -- one cleaning and you're good to go! Many times a cleaning will require follow up and support. For example, if your attack led you to eat a bar of chocolate every day for a year, you'll miss that habit (and taste) post cleansing, so what will you do instead? This is also the section where they honestly discuss the ethics of retribution in a manner refreshingly free of judgment.

Fair warning, Rasbold's perspective is a bit alarming in that they believe that people attack one another energetically all of the time, that entities are like viruses and can be contracted just walking through a public place, and generational curses are far from rare. If you absolutely cannot see that as a possibility, this is not the book for you. Similarly, if you aren't comfortable with an author who does not react negatively to the idea of cursing someone, to death even, then this is not the book for you. (Or, read only the chapters on identification and managing and ignore the rest.)

In the end, I do not understand why this book isn't blowing up the chart and selling like hotcakes on Shrove Tuesday. Get it, read it, and change your life for the better.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Author: Katrina Rasbold
Llewellyn Publications, 2021
pp. 240, $17.99