[Written By: Liam James]
How to Conduct a Seance:
Welcome back my fearless friends to the second blog post of Spooktober! I hope that you all had a bloody great start to October and if not…don’t worry I’ve got your back. This week I am inviting you all into my parlour as we dim the lights, open our minds and contact those on the other side. I’m like a chubby, white Oda Mae Brown but don’t worry Molly, you’re not in danger girl. Séance or seance (depending on how fancy you feel) comes from the French word for “session” or “sitting” which derives from the Old French “seoir” which means “to sit”. A seance is the attempt to communicate with spirits and ghosts and was a very popular past-time in the Victorian era. Nowadays we commonly use Twitter to communicate with disembodied voices of those we cannot comprehend. There are many different ways of holding a seance but I’m going to keep it nice and simple. So just call me Seancé Knowles because we’ve got a date with destiny, child.
Before You Begin:
It is important to plan thoroughly rather than jumping straight into a seance. You really don’t want to piss off whoever or whatever it is that you’re trying to communicate with and if you disrespect them in any way then…well I’m sure you’ve watched enough horror movies to know what could happen. First of all you need to consider the environment that you’re hosting your seance in. It doesn’t necessarily need to be haunted or creepy but it absolutely does need to be quiet. You don’t want to sit there thinking you’re talking to your dead grandma but it’s actually your next door neighbour having a Golden Girls marathon. So choose a space where there won’t be any interference and where any method of communication can be delivered and received clearly. You also need to be sure that the lighting is dim – spirits are a sucker for mood lighting! Whether you are trying to reach a loved one then make sure you know who it is and what you want to ask them. If you are making contact with an entity that is haunting you, a place or others then be sure to have clear, concise questions prepared. If you feel nervous or unprepared in any way, it is better to ask an experienced medium to help you.
Setting Up and What You Need:
There are numerous ways to conduct a seance and you can even hold one on your own! I consulted with a medium friend of mine about what should be used for the best results and also what to use to keep you safe. Full disclaimer by the way: I hold no responsibility for any possessions, hauntings or paranormal activity that happens to you. Who you gonna call? Somebody else.
Candles: The one thing that ghosts and I have in common is that we bloody love a candle! However, be sure to save your best Yankee Candle because they aren’t as fussy as me. For the best results use plain, unscented, white candles and be sure to have one lit for each person participating in the seance. The candle will act as your tether to the physical world and will protect you as long as it remains lit. Using a plain, unscented candle is important as you pour your astral self into the candle during the seance and will mean that you should return to your physical form with no unwanted ghostly hitchhikers.
Incense: Okay this is getting spooky now because I also love incense. Frankincense has appeared in many ancient texts and spiritual writings due to its divine properties and is believed to be able to help people achieve access to the spiritual world when burned. Although it is not necessary to use, it will help to speed up the process of connecting to the otherworldly being that you are trying to communicate with.
Spirit Board: Spirit boards/Ouija boards, we’ve seen them used in all manner of media as a means of effectively communicating with all manner of other-wordly beings. They can be a great method of effectively communicating and offers an easy way for the spirit to communicate with us. You don’t need to go out and buy a fancy one and you can even make one yourself! Do you have Scrabble lying around the house somewhere? Use the letters! Arrange them in a circle alphabetically and be sure to use a glass, pendant or planchette as the “compass”. Spirit boards are not essential though. Any experienced medium or somebody psychically inclined can actually hear the voices of those they are trying to contact.
Personal Item: This is only needed if you are trying to communicate with the spirit of somebody close to you. The personal item of the deceased will help in being able to reach out to the right person. Just make sure it’s not something that you stole from them while they were alive. You don’t want an angry spirit coming after you because you forgot to return that top that one time.
Sage and Crystals: Sounds like a Stevie Nicks song right? Anyway, you need to be sure to cleanse away any bad vibes once you have finished your seance. The burning of sage has been used since ancient times to cleanse negative energy from people and spaces and is best to be used once you have completed your seance. If you don’t have a stick of sage to hand then you can use crystals in a similar way. Black obsidian, amethyst and selenite all have cleansing properties. Place them around the room before you start your seance and then cleanse them afterwards.
Some Basic Rules:
Before you begin your seance, I want to go over some basic rules with you.
- Be Respectful. Do not disrespect whatever it is that you are trying to contact. Don’t invite people to join you that you think may end up turning into a big joke. They will soon come to regret their decision.
- Be Patient. Something might not happen straight away, especially if you are doing this without the help of an experienced medium. Just persevere, be patient and you’ll soon be chinwagging with the afterlife in no time.
- Be Confident. If you are attempting to contact something that is haunting a space then you need to be confident. If you appear scared, weak or submissive then they will be sure to take advantage of this. Remember – it’s just a bunch of hocus pocus…right?
Holding the Seance:
Now you are all set-up and have the room prepared then let’s begin. Firstly, all participants must sit shoulder-width apart, with their lit candle placed in front of them (be careful, don’t accidentally knock it over and become a ghost yourself). Everybody must close their eyes and picture the pure, brilliant flame of their candle and picture it floating upwards and entering their chest, filling them with a glow and leaving a bright white trail that connects them to it. Once tethered and everybody feels safe to do so, it is time to call out to the spirits. It is best to leave this to the medium if you have asked one to join but if that is not the case then take it turns to politely reach out and ask for the spirit to join you. Make sure you use your best customer service voice because they can be complete Karens if you’re not sincere! Once you feel you feel a presence, calmly ask them to give you a sign that they are there and are willing to speak to you. Do not ask for a specific sign! Just patiently wait for them to do so. Once that is done, if you are using a spirit board then get everybody to place a single finger onto the pendulum/planchette/glass and apply no pressure. Ask whatever questions that you have for them and allow them time to answer. Remember to keep the questions relevant and do not anger the spirits! If the spirit starts to become rude, angry or harmful then simply thank the spirit for joining you and ask them to leave. This should invoke a response so then you must immediately blow out your candles.
Finishing Your Seance:
Now that you have finished, you need to cleanse both the seance area and anybody that participated. Using your sage or crystals, simply slowly walk around the person with the sage/crystal at arms length and allow the cleansing properties of these to slowly absorb any negative vibes from them. Be sure to do this to the whole area that the seance took place in too. Dispose of all candles used in the seance, taking them directly outside to the bin. There is a chance that something may linger and that’s okay! Be sure to repeat the cleansing process daily until things return to normal. It is also worth checking in on everybody that took part too. Just make sure that everybody is feeling okay and just be a decent human being basically.
*ALSO – If you fancy trying out your very own seance and want the perfect way to set the mood, why don’t you check out our ‘Playlist’ over on Spotify – SONGS TO SEANCE TO!
And that’s your lot for this post! Thank you all for joining me as I felt my complete Mystic Meg fantasy and I wish you all happy hauntings…
So until next time, keep it creepy!