Physical Mediumship weekend at the AFC, we did an evening of experimental spirit photography these are a few of the results of myself sitting in the cabinet. These photographs were produced by
Automatic writing is one of our oldest forms of Divination. Messages seem to come from nowhere through the hand and onto the paper. Whether the messages come from the Spirit world or from the Mediums sub-conscious is unknown and has been debated upon many times. Some mediums who have focused upon this form of mediumship have written quite extensively producing poems, songs, messages and even novels.
So how do we get started.
Whatever work I do with Spirit, I always like to begin with a prayer, I think this shows respect for the communication we hope to receive. But it also puts us in the spiritual frame of mind and it is the spiritual mind that we seek to work with.
1. Find yourself a nice quiet/comfortable spot where you wont be disturbed for the next 30 mins to an hour.
2. Sit at a table or desk, with writing paper pen or pencil in front of you.
3. Give yourself a few minutes to calm the thoughts and still the mind.
4. Rest the pen or pencil tip onto the sheet of paper.
5. Try not to think about anything to write, just keep your mind open.
6. If you feel that you hand wants to move, don't resist, let it happen.
7. Avoid looking at the paper or what has been written, you could even close your eyes or look away.
8. Give enough time, and patiently wait to see what if anything happens, dont expect it to come immediately, these things rarely do.
9. After a reasonable time, or when you think it is finished, then it is time to look at what is on the paper.
10. Try to decipher it carefully, remember it will all be joined up with no gaps between words.
11. In the beginning it may seem very slow, but as the development of this moves on it can become quite fast.
12. If it is just rubbish that come through or you don't feel comfortable with it, then simply close the session down with a prayer and wait until another day before trying again.
As with all mediuistic development care should be taken not to become to obsessed with it. If you don't feel psychologicall strong then maybe this isnt for you. As long as you are sensible and use common sense I believe that we will attract like wise minds from the spirit world.
Do not attempt this if you have consumed alcohol, drugs or if take any medication that has any mind altering effects.
Table Turning or "Table Tipping" is a type of séance in which participants sit around a table, place their hands on it, and wait for rotations. The table was purportedly made to serve as a means of communicating with the spirits; the alphabet would be slowly called over and the table would tilt at the appropriate letter, thus spelling out words and sentences.
In 1848 in America, the movement of Modern Spiritualism began, it first reached Europe in the winter of 1852–1853, the most popular method of consulting the spirits was for several persons to sit round a table, with their hands resting on it, and wait for the table to move.
If the experiment was successful the table would tilt or rotate with considerable rapidity, and would occasionally rise in the air, or perform other movements. Whilst by many the movements were ascribed to the agency of spirits,others were more sceptical and attributed the movements to physical/psychic energy.
In England table-turning became quite a fashionable diversion and was practised all over the country by people from all walks of life, in the year 1853. Dr. John Elliotson and his followers attributed the phenomena to mesmerism. The general public were content to find the explanation of the movements in spirits, animal magnetism, odic force, galvanism, electricity, or even the rotation of the earth.
Usually in the early stages the phenomena consist mainly of some creaks and groans from the table. There may also be soft tapping sounds and slight movements. Cold breezes are often experienced and, sometimes, small lights are seen on or under the table. In later sessions, the table may move more dramatically, often with a rocking motion. The table may also slide about on the floor and might lift onto two legs, or even just one. If things go really well, a complete levitation might ultimately be achieved, with the sitters' hands still on top of the table! There have even been reported incidents where a table has moved or even levitated while nobody was touching it at all.
I am a great advocate of the home circle for all Mediumistic development, I feel that the home circle is a more controllable, and a safer environment for the development of our sensitivity. This is particularly evident in the development of Trance/Physical Mediumship. This form of Mediumship requires the right conditions that will nurture and support the development of this deeper mediumistic aspect. Many people today ask, why has Physical Mediumship become so scarce in the Spiritualist movement over the last couple of decades. Well if we study the phenomena that was occurring just as far back as the 70/80 we will find that most of our physical mediums had a great support team behind them, ( the circle ), dedicated people who were willing and indeed privileged to sit week after week, even year after year, in order to help their medium develop a bond with the spirit world that could ultimately manifest superb visual and audible evidence of the continuity of the human soul after death.
They sat not for themselves but for the love of the spirit, to be within the power of the spirit was enough. The rewards were, that in time they would witness first hand the evidential manifestation of spiritual power & the wisdom that came forth from the philosophy of intelligent minds who came and spoke through their medium.
These home circles didn't run for a few months or a couple of years but in many cases for 20 years and more to achieve the results that produced such refined Trance & Physical Mediumship. The message we have heard many times from the spirit world is, that they have not taken Physical Mediumship away from us, but we have stopped producing the right conditions for the production of this type of mediumship. It is rare these days to hear of a circle that have sat together for 5 years or more. We live in an instant world and expect the development of an ancient gift to comply with our demand for speed, we want, and we want it now attitudes do not work in any form of mediuistic development, and for Trance & Physical there are no short cuts.
If we want to encourage the growth of Trance & Physical phenomena we have to commit ourselves to years of development, to building bridges of trust and co-operation between two worlds, so that our future generations will not be reading about Phenomena of the past as if it were a fairy tale, but will be privileged enough to sit within the power of spirit in its most evidential form, to see, to hear and maybe on occasion even able to touch those the world considers gone forever.
Guidelines for starting a development circle for Trance/Physical
If you know who the Medium is great, but if you are sitting as a new group and not sure who has the strongest ability for this form of mediumship, then you need to sit together for several weeks and ask the co-operation of the spirit world in selecting the strongest candidate to become the focus medium.
1. Put together some aims and ideal for the circle. i.e. do you want to sit for Trance, for Physical, can each person commit themselves to weekly or regular circle arrangements.
2. I would'nt have more than 7 people in my home circle, and you can run it with as little as 3/5 people if they are dedicated to the work of the spirit.
3. It is an ideal situation if you can have a regular meeting place, with a separate room from the daily family activities. As energy does appear to build over a period of time when the same conditions are used regularly. Sit on the same day and same time each meeting.
4. One person, who is not afraid of taking control, become the selected circle leader. Which means it is your responsibility to see that the room and the conditions are as good as you are able to get them. It also means that if there is any disruption from a circle member, or a particular member does not follow the circle rules, the leader should have final decission and have authority to ask that member to leave the circle.
5. Requests/Questions/ Instructions should come from the circle leader until the spirit controls advise or invite otherwise.
6. No alcohol/Drugs to be used by circle members ideally 12 hours before the circle meeting. Try to eat light before circle too or you will feel the discomfort of your digestion if you are too bloated with food, and this may also make you feel sleepy when you are sitting in the darkened, peaceful conditions in the seance room.
7. If a circle member has a health problem, and or needs to take strong medication, this should be discussed prior to joining the circle, so address the circle leader or medium if there could be potential problems.
8. Insist on regular attendance at circle, no excuses, and if there is a holiday booked or a sudden emergency where by a member can not attend the circle meeting, the leader should be notified at the earliest possible time.
9. When you sit in this kind of circle you may be sitting for one and a half to two hours, so try to make sure that seating is comfotable, but not too comfy as to encourage a nap, also advise sitters to wear comfortable clothing, belts and tight waistbands are not ideal.
10. Make sure the room is well ventilated, you may need water in there, or you may feel a few flowers or a plant will add to the ambience. Some like soft lighting, this can be done with a dimmer switch or a candle Some circles like music, others prefer silence or some singing.
11. Start and end each circle with an opening and closing prayer, this shows respect for what you are working for and for the work that the spirit world is co-operating with.
12. If you have arranged to sit at 7:30, circle leader should make sure that everyone is in their seats and ready to start work at the appointed time.
13. Try to make sure that people don't take any negative disccussions into the seance room, any worldly negativities should be left outside the circle room, so if you have a bad day leave it out of the circle.
14. Circle leader must watch out for any jealousies, or negative remarks aimed at the medium, as this hinders the circle development as a whole, only the circle leader should use clairvoyance or other aspects of mental mediumship, as this can take away from the Trance/Physical energy. The objective is that everyone see and hear what id happening through their physical senses.
15. If the circle leader feels that the energies on any particular evening do not feel right, or what is coming through is sub-standard to the usual quality. Then close the circle down with prayer and finish with an open discussion as to what everyone was feeling and what they felt went wrong.
16. With patience, dedication trust and no fear, you will quickly establish a raport with the spirit workers for the circle. If you want to introduce anything to the circle like a table or trumpet, etc, ask the permission of the circle controls, advice is better coming from them.
Enjoy the communion with spirit, all your efforts will be rewarded with time. You can not give to the spirit world without receiving back 10 fold.
Well I think that we can all agree that the debate about Orbs, and what they actually are is wide and varied and likely to continue for some time to come.
I do feel that the majority of Orb photographs that we see, are indeed the result of Dust particles, and Insects or moisture in the atmosphere. It makes sense that if we go and investigate in a old or derelect building, then we are going to cause lots of disturbance by our movements and the sensitivity of our digital cameras could easily pick particles in the atmosphere up as a light anomallies.
When we investigate out side we are even more likely to photograph dust, insect and moisture particles, that is why I dont pay too much attention to the Orbs photographed out doors for the reasons I have stated. However we still need to keep an open mind, whilst the greater majority of Orbs can be explained away as natural causes, I am sure that it would be wrong to throw away the whole range of possibilities for alternative explanation even if it were only for 5% of the Orbs caught on camera.
Whilst we do not want to fool ourselves nor fool other people, we have to be honest and realistic and look first for the natural causes, when all those have been exhausted we can then begin to look at those Orbs which are beyond normal explanation.
I am sure that those intelegent minds in the spirit world are, like us, constantly reaserching and looking for ways in which they can use our modern day tecnology in order to communicate with the living world.
I myself tend to be more impressed by the Orbs that display an indication of intelegence, for instance I saw a video recording of a group of people who sat in a circle and placed a photograph of a deceased person in the centre, you could see an Orb entre from the left, went straight down to the photograph, deliberatley circled it twice and then left quickly to the right. Now I can not think of any dust particel, insect or moisture droplet that would show that kind of intellegent interest in a photograph. So for that instance I definately keep an open mind.
I have photographed Orbs myself when on investigation, some seem to move at great speed if we consider the speed of the camera lens and how quick it clicks to capture the image. I am still not sure what these moving Orbs are, and I am keenly interested for more research into this subject.
Below are a few Orb photographs that we took on an Investigation. :
1. The first photo shows an Orb that was moving at great speed, we were in pitch dark but I felt an energy beside me, and asked for a photo to be taken, this is what came out.
2. Again in pitch black - we felt like we were being watched by a group of people, we took this photo as we were leaving the room, and this is the result.
3. This shows a double Orb, again in the pitch black, and we could not see anything that would be a reflection of the flash.
I personally want to keep my mind open about these images, because a closed mind doesnt learn anything. I have seen lots of Orbs that are different colours and when blown up on a computer appear to have faces in them, some I have to admit do look pretty clear, others are a little bit like looking into the fire or cloud formation and seeing faces, or some photographs of trees seem to show up human like faces. So again lets look more deeply into the phenomena whether it be Natural or Paranormal it is worth investigating further.
Apports are materialized objects produced by mediums during Spiritualistic seances. These objects can range from flowers, jewelry,buttons, badges,crystals, religious artifacts and even live animals or insects. The production of the apports was and is still one of the most prominent and effective aspects of the seances. The appearence of these objects vary from flying through the air, to landing on sitters laps or left under the chair, to falling from the seance trumpet or seemingly emerge from the mediums body. Manifestation of these may be linked to teleportation or telekinesis by one or more of the people in the room. Often the gift has symbolic or sentimental significance for the person receiving it. According to spiritualists teaching, such objects are first dematerialized by the spirit communicators, then reassembled in the seance room.
In his work Man's Survival After Death the Reverend C. L. Tweedale described an incident which involved his mother,his wife and himself. His mother had suffered a cut on her head. They were all in the dinning room. His wife had just parted the older woman's hair to examine the wound. The minister suddenly looked and saw coming through the air with force from an opposite corner of the room, a jar of ointment. The jar was one which his mother kept locked away in a chest. To him, the obvious indication was to apply the ointment to his mother's injury. Tweedale notes other similar incidents in his book.
This was unfortunatley open to fraudulence, where mediums have been caught with objects hidden in their clothing, but I think I am safe in saying that the majority of Apports are completly genuine, no fraudulence was found at the seance and the appearance of apports have been witnessed by many sitters.
I myself, have recieved a very small sample of objects appearing in mid air, one afternoon I was sitting on my sofa when a movement & flash of light caught the periphery of my vision just above me, I saw something fall that I thought looked like confetti, when I looked on the floor two small metallic images, the sort that people stick on crafts or use as confetti for special occasions, it was a small gold Teddy bear and a small Red heart, neither of these had ever been in my house before so they didnt come from around me. About six months later I was looking at the little pouch where I kept the apports, I got up and left the room leaving the pouch on my desk, when I returned on top of the pouch were several small fragments of turquoise stone. Up to date nothing else has appeared, but I am open and ready to recieve should the spirit world wish to present me with a gift.
The actual practise of capturing ghosts on film actually dates back a century and a half to around 1861. Not surprisingly this type of photography was seen to be controversial and the subject of much debate and accusations over the years that have followed.
It appears that the lack of acceptance of many spirit photographs dates back to the past where it was riddled with fraud. Strangely though, it is spirit photography that seems to provide the most scientific evidence of ghosts. With the advent of advanced photographic methods it has become easier to capture the ghostly image.
Today our digital cameras are so much quicker and easier to to use, and so it has opened the possibility of capturing spirits on camera to evey camera user. Photographs are still a great assest to the scientific approach to Spiritual Phenomena, and in particular to Paranormal Investigations.
It is still unfortunate that much of the fraudulent reputations of fake spirit photographs of the past have damaged a lot of spirit photography, this does tend to make the sceptics oppinions more valid, and gives them the fuel they need to light a fire under the reality of capturing on camera a spirit presence, but as always I do advise to keep an open mind, we can not place every experience of spirit contact in the same catagorie and label it all fraudulent just because a percentage of the past photographs were found to be so. I have looked at the works of William Hope, from Crew, Cheshire, Uk. 1863 - 1933. Mr Hope is one of Spiritualisms finest examples of a spirit photographer, many claimed that not all of his work was genuine, but I am very impressed with the results that I have seen of his work.
How could an old fashioned plate camera capture images of the so-called dead, when conducting a photographic sitting, Mr Hope took stringent precautions to rule out any posibility of fraud.
He always used a plate camera, and his sitters even brought their own plates with them for the sitting. These plates would still be sealed when the sitters brought them to the seance room. After the sitters had examined the plates they were asked to sign them so that their own signature would appear on the finished photograph. They would then place their own plates into the camera, and also remove them after the photograph had been taken.
They would then accompany Mr Hope into his dark room whilst the photograph was developed, to be witness to the fact that Mr Hope had not interefed with the plates during development.
Spirit photography has brought comfort to many thousands of people over the years, and still has its place in Spiritualism today. I would like to see more Mediums looking into the possibilities of Spirit Photography with todays modern equipment, and we have wonderful research labs that can quickly confirm or debunk the authenticity of such photographs. From a scientific veiw point it is an excellent medium for the validation of spirit presence.
It is not only the ghostly images of human forms that have been caught on film, many animals have also been found as extras on family photographs.