Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field – Barbara Ann Brenna
Bantam, 1988, 294pp., 0553345397
This is a rereading review. Hands of Light was probably one of my first energy work books I read way back, I was possibly still in high school then, which is scarily more than a decade away… For various reasons I’ve felt the need to go back and recover some old stuff, and this book was high on my list.
Hands of Light is probably one of the best books I’ve read on the energy body and energy healing, it definitely has its flaws, but overall it’s a great book.
Let’s look at the flaws first. First and foremost this book is very newage in its delivery, the author’s language jumps from culture to culture with little-to-no understanding of the basics, but using them as buzzwords. (The highest levels of your chakras exist in the Ketheric template, for instance) The book deals with channelling, spirit guides, white light, universe as happy-love, and things like that. The material is great, and even when she’s framing it as newage as possible there is a lot of good stuff in the book, you just have to be willing to filter out some of that language. The second problem is this text is very prescriptive. Red means this. A bulge here means that. Cancer will look like this. If you don’t know me, I have issues with prescriptive texts like that, people can and do perceive (not even see) things radically differently, and our energetic bodies, like our physical ones, are too complex to say X=Y with certainty, but it might be a good indicator. Must like the newage language, if you’re willing to reframe her descriptions as personal and a bit nebulous you’ll get more from it. Originally I thought she was more of an authority, so I tried diagnosing and evaluating people by her colours and symbols, sometimes they were right, sometimes they were wrong. Perceptions don’t map 100% across people. (Normally I wouldn’t comment about that in a book, but as I went through that way back I thought I’d bring it up.) I assume that is in part due to Brennan’s background, she has an M.S> in Atmospheric Physics and worked as a research scientist with NASA (these claims pan out), which may not be the most conducive to accepting a more flexible subtle reality.
So what are the good things about this book? It is detailed. It’s nearly three hundred pages (which are 8.5X11) so there is a lot in here. It covers the aura, how it interacts with the “Universal Energy Field,” therapy and energy healing, physical manifestations of psychological-energetic imbalances, the chakras, major chakra patterns, how they operate and interact, past life damage and healing, layers of reality and the way templates affect the bodies, various methods of perception, how to heal and a lot more. Brennan covers the basics all books on the subject hit, but does so more in depth, and covers a lot more.
The book also has a lot of exercises, and case studies for you to work with, these really help people who want to learn, and they’re practical and effective. The perspective and depth of Brennan’s work is what sets it apart. Even after all this time it’s the only book I’ve read that really handles the idea of multiple layers of the energy body in a way that’s rational and informative. Usually it’s glossed over or not mentioned, but her model is the one closest to my own, as well as the models used by several groups I’ve worked with.
With everything she covers this book really is probably the best resource or place to start, if you’re willing to be a bit more flexible, and divorce the newage language. I honestly think if you work through this book, follow the instructions, then you’ll have an amazing foundation for energetic healing.
While it is white light newage, no doubt, if you’re looking for a book on the energy body, and how to work with and heal it then this book is a great starting point and resource.