A gathering of people for the purpose of investigating or experiencing supernormal or psychic phenomena. In the past they were sometimes called 'circles', because participants, called 'sitters', sat around a table (or on chairs arranged in a circle) in order to link hands, in the belief that this boosted the psychic forces which encourage paranormal manifestations.
Generally seances are held in the dark and involve a medium who enters a trance-like state and contacts a 'spirit friend' or 'spirit helper'. The spirit then communicates with the gathering through the medium, either mentally, or directly using the medium's vocal chords. In the 19th century, seances were dominated by physical manifestations, such as rappings, strange smells, levitation, and materialization, most episodes of which were eventually exposed as fraudulent. Because of these fraudulent associations, the term 'seance' has fallen into disuse, and modern psychic researchers and mediums use the term 'sitting'.
A favorable environment is an indispensable condition for a sιance. Excitement or fatigue before the sitting should be avoided. The medium should not take any stimulants, instead, he or she should be very relaxed, comfortable and maintain a genial frame of mind.
See Altered State of Consciousness, ESP, Materialization, Asport, Rappings, Automatic Writing, Findhorn, Glastonbury Scripts, Theosophy, Psychic Archaeology, British Society for Psychical Research, Parapsychology, Poltergeist, Spiritualism, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Tarot Store, The Chakra Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: (1) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (2) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (3) The Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Handy Volume Edition, Oxford University Press; (4) Shepard, Leslie A and Melton, J. Gordon (Editors), Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Gale Group.
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