Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published August 18th 2010
What could be better than hosting a party where you could have anyone you want, alive or dead, attend? The way to do it is to host a séance.
It might seem like an old fashioned thing to do [or a complete load of bollocks], but there can only be more spirits around now than when séances were at the peak of their popularity about 200 years ago, so it should be easier than ever to chat to the dead between your mains and deserts.
If you don't believe in spirits, think of it as a themed dinner party where scaring your guests is part of the fun.
Essential elements The spirit realm is apparently partial to the number three, pale colours and lilac shades, (which are good for promoting psychic awareness) the scent of cinnamon and sandalwood and rounded shapes. So it's best to conduct your séance on a round table, preferably one that's made of natural materials – wood is perfect. Séances should be held once the sun has gone down – full moons are best – so you might want to light your room with candles to cultivate the mood. But remember you want your candles to be divisible by three. You may also want to ensure your guests have had at least three drinks.
While there seem to be several different ways to summon your spirits and arrange your séance there are a few pieces of séance etiquette that everyone agrees upon and it's probably a good idea to communicate these to your guests (both alive and dead) before they arrive. The key points are similar to the standard one expects from an all living party:
Don't interrupt or speak out of turn unless you're invited to.
Don't yell or shout, even if you're surprised.
Don't get up until everyone is completely finished.
Living guests should come prepared. That means preparing some polite questions to ask the dead, or if you're trying to summon someone you know maybe an item that once belonged to them.
Hosting the spirits It's up to you whether as host you want to be the one asking the questions and into whose body the spirits may want to enter. Ideally, if this is your first séance you might want to include a medium, a psychic professional, or someone who claims to be able to see dead people on the guest list, as the spirits may respond well to the idea of familiar territory.
Channelled spirits can manifest themselves in different ways, some of them may want to speak though the medium, but other spirits will feel more comfortable acting on inanimate objects. These could be felt or heard, so don't be surprised if there's tapping, thumping, soft breezes, temperature changes or the table levitates – these things have all been recorded at séances.
If you're a bit squeamish about being possessed in any way then you may want to invite the spirit world to communicate with you via a ouija board. If this is your preference you can make your own basic ouija using a smooth board on which you place the letters of the alphabet in a circle, and a shot glass which you use as the planchette: the sliding part on which everyone involved in the séance must place two fingers.
If you're using a ouiji then the medium is the one to ask the questions and the spirit will use the planchette to indicate responses. Probably a good idea if you have a 'yes' and 'no' option as well as the alphabet. Naysayers amongst your party should, at this point, be reminded that if they feel any pressure on the glass they should pipe up. The fact that there are many fingers resting lightly on the glass means that if the glass is anything less than smooth you'll know that someone's trying to intervene with the answers. And the spirits probably aren't going to like that.
Let the spirits take over Once your ouiji is in place and your medium is ready you and your guests should invite the spirits to join you with a little chant. Some people like to hold hands but it's not strictly necessary – sitting in a circle is. Chant something like "Dear 'X' we respectfully ask that you join us tonight to offer your knowledge and your answers, we summon you with the power of love & light" – seances became popular in the 19th Century, which might be why spirits appreciate this level of propriety and charm, but the important thing is to invite nice spirits over bad. Now comes the tricky bit: getting everyone to a relaxed, open and meditative state. Once you feel something shift – both figuratively and literally - you'll know the spirit/ spirits have joined you and it's time to ask them the questions you've prepared.
Saying goodbye It's also key that once the questions have been answered and you're ready for supper that your guests thank the spirits and dismiss them politely. Something like: "Thanks awfully for coming dear spirits."
Whether or not you believe in souls lingering around after they've passed over, it's still important that your guests get into the spirit of the occasion, so make sure there's lots of spiritualist chatter, Victorian Gothic inspired décor and menu and cultivate an air of eerie mystery implying that anything could happen...
If all else fails you could prepare a few gentle deceptions to spook your living guests into a more open minded attitude. But there's no way to trick the dead, and if you fake it you might live to regret it. Albeit for a short time.
I think I would be way too scared to try that. I do not even believe that you can talk to ghosts and spirits, however I would not like to be proved wrong because I would be terrified. If it is real and people claim to have done it, then it would be a beautiful thing if you are communicating with a loved one from the past.
By Lil Uni Girl - senior reviewer Saturday, 1st of January @ 04:34 am