A séance is a meeting at which a spiritualist attempts to receive communications from the spirits of the dead. Here's how.
Difficulty Level: Medium (get it?) Time Required: 30 minutes - plus
- Assemble the participants. Gather together the people who will participate. According to some sources, the number of participants must be divisible by three. But this does not seem to be an absolute rule. No fewer than three people should attempt a séance.
- Choose a medium. You might want to choose a medium among the participants. This could be a person who has had experience with séances or someone who tends to have psychic abilities.
- Use a round or oval table. This helps create the symbolic circle believed necessary for the ritual.
- Set the table. In the center of the table, place some kind of simple, natural aromatic food, such as bread or soup. This is believed to help attract the spirits who still seek physical nourishment.
- Light candles. Also in the center of the table, place no fewer than three candles (or a number divisible by three) lit candles; the more candles, the better. Spirits still seek warmth and light.
- Create some atmosphere. Dim the lights and eliminate any distractions, such as music and television.
- Join hands. Seated around the table, the participants must all join hands in a circle.
- Summon the spirit. The participants must speak these words together: "Our beloved [name of spirit], we bring you gifts from life into death. Commune with us, [name of spirit], and move among us."
- Wait for a response. If none comes, repeat the chant until the spirit responds.
- Communicate. If and when the spirit responds -- either by rapping or some other means, or through the medium -- ask your questions.
- Begin simply. Ask yes and no questions at first -- one rap for no, two raps for yes, for example.
- Communicate directly. If a spirit chooses to speak through the medium, you may ask any kind of question.
- Maintain control. If the séance seems to be getting out of hand -- participants are becoming upset or the medium seems to be out of control -- end the séance by breaking the circle of hands, extinguishing the candles and turning on the lights.
- End the séance. When you're done with your questioning, thank the spirit for joining you and tell them to go in peace. Break the circle of hands and extinguish the candles.
- The table setting above is for a recently deceased spirit. To summon the spirit of the long-past dead, place the following in the center of the table: no fewer than three candles; surround the candles in a circle with fresh cut limbs from three different species of trees; surrounding the limbs in a circle place smooth stones from the bed of a stream; the stones must be touching to form an unbroken circle. In this case, the summoning chant should be: "Spirits of the past, move among us. Be guided by the light of this world and visit upon us."
- Don't allow participants who you don't think could handle a séance
psychologically. Children, for example, must never participate.