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A Curious Connection

   Posted by: David

A Curious Connection

Many of the classics of modern channeled literature began on the Ouija board. Most quickly progressed from the board to automatic writing or to full trance mediumship or sometimes both.

In a sense “sacred” literature has always been channeled. This is what religious people mean when they say that their holy book was given by “inspiration.” I can hear the upset in some people with that statement so please allow me to clarify: It is not my intention to place contemporary channeled books in the same class as holy writing. It is my intention however to establish the importance of the Ouija board in modern channeled literature.

The channeled books by Pearl Lenore Curran (February 15, 1883 – December 4, 1937) are no doubt the most extensive and on a personal level, I find the case of Patience Worth the most compelling and interesting of all modern channeled literature. The relationship, the deep resonance and what I would call friendship shared by Pearl, the receiver, and Patience, the sender, is compelling on its own account but I also appreciate that Patience focused on literature as opposed to attempting to “enlighten” those of us on this side.

Pearl Curran

Pearl of course began with the board but progressed to automatic writing only when the board simply could not keel the pace.

Pearl had been meeting with a friend for Ouija sessions. Remember this was before Facebook, in fact, it was before television so people actually came together to spend time with each other. On July 8, 1913, the board came to life and that life said, “Many moons ago I lived. Again I come. Patience Worth my name.” And so began the most interesting collection of channeled work ever assembled.

Our Unseen Guest first published February 1920 by “Joan and Darby” (pseudonyms adopted to protect the identity of the actual authors), was also begun on the Ouija board.


“Our first experience with psychic phenomena occurred on the evening of December 7, 1916 by way of an Ouija-board. Neither Joan nor I had ever seen an Ouija-board before. The “toy” came into our hands quite by accident.

“We were taking our dinners at a private boarding-house some blocks from the apartment building in which we lived. On the evening in question a sudden storm blew off the lake, while we were at table, and after the meal Joan and I wandered into a deserted sitting-room to wait until the wind and sleet abated. There one of the resident guests had left the Ouija, a remnant doubtless of some Halloween party.

“How does the thing work?” Joan asked. I read the directions; we rested the board, whereon the alphabet was printed in two semicircles, upon our knees, and put the tips of our fingers on the flatiron-like pointer.

“Now,” said I, “this tripod affair is supposed to move from letter to letter, spelling out a message.”

“Thus we sat for a period—ten minutes, perhaps. We joked, I remember, of the good fortunes Ouija would tell us. But no message came. Then, just as we were about to give up, the tripod began to move.

“Quality of consciousness,” it spelled. A pause—then, once more, “Quality of consciousness.”

“Who are you?” I asked, addressing the empty air.

“I am Robert L, an American,” the tripod spelled…” and that is how the adventure that would become one of the great books of Spiritualist history began.

The Betty Book by Stewart Edward White 1937, also started with an Ouija session. The Betty Book is required reading by Morris Pratt, the Modern Spiritualist correspondence class. It documents the “excursions made into the World of Other-Consciousness” by Betty, Stewart’s wife, between 1919 and 1936.


From the book, “In the early nineteen-twenties a great many popular “psychic” books were published. A number of them had real value. A regrettable majority were more or less feeble and undigested accounts of alleged personal “communications.” These evidenced an extraordinary credulity on the one side, and an equally extraordinary ineptitude on the other,-providing one accepted their major premise of origin. Most of them began with an Ouija board.

“The procedure was almost standard. Two people-or a group-fooling with the thing as a lark or out of curiosity. It moves. It becomes coherent. It spells out “messages.”

“That was the start, the “take-off.” What happened after that depended on the people involved. The subsequent proceedings ranged from the “communications” of pure spiritualism to speculative philosophy. Nine in ten of them were spoiled for any serious consideration by what might be called the awed approach that inhibited any commonsense editorial appraisal. This was a pity. After a time even those especially interested in such things became inclined to shy off from “another Ouija board book.” Nevertheless, I am inclined to believe that the Ouija board may take honorable place with Sir Isaac Newton’s apple, Watt’s teakettle, Benjamin Franklin’s kite and other historic playthings which have led to many great results.

“This is such a book. It too started with an Ouija board, but it does not linger on that phase. The first experience with it followed standard lines. It would not be worth telling had it not an integral connection with Betty’s coming into the picture.

“In any research work it is always important to know the equipment of the experimenter. Before March 17, 1919, my own “occult” background might, I suppose, have been called average for a man who had lived an active life. That is to say, I had paid such matters very little attention; and had formed no considered opinions on them one way or another. By way of unconsidered opinion I suppose I would, if called upon to express myself, have taken my stand on the side of skepticism….The literature on the subject was totally unknown to me, except for Hudson’s LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA, which I had read in college twenty-five years before. A few “queer” things had happened to me, as to most. I had had some experience with such phenomena as the swift transmission of news by savages across wide wastes of sparsely inhabited country.

“These incidents, and especially this transmission of news, I had been unable to explain by any theory that covered the whole circumstances. But I did not try very hard to explain. I was too busy. Such things did not especially concern me. I did not have to explain them; any more than I had to insist on a detailed understanding of a trolley car before I would ride in it, or a chemical analysis of a cloud of saffron smoke just because I happened by and saw it. Nothing had happened really to catch my interest.

“As with numerous others, our interest in the Ouija board began quite casually. On the date I have mentioned, some friends called on us bringing one of these with them. They had bought it as a toy, to try out, without belief that anything in particular would happen to it. Somebody suggested that the heart-shaped indicator was a clumsy affair, so we substituted a small whiskey glass, upside down.

“The occasion was derisive and gay, and pretty muddled. It did not impress me much, but I agreed to try my turn provided my opposite would agree not to fake.

“The little glass moved, and without the slightest conscious volition on my part. That much I could determine. How far unconscious muscular action went, I could not for the moment decide. After a time whenever the glass moved away from me I let my fingers go limp and allowed the mechanism to pull them after it. It did so; and once or twice dragged the glass from under them. This was interesting. The force that moved that glass away from me was either an outside force, or my VIS-A-VIS. It certainly was not myself.

“Here was a peculiar unanalyzable movement of an inanimate object beneath our fingers. The fact that it spelled out simple sentences of whose purport we none of us had any conscious inkling was an entirely secondary consideration. For my part my main attention was concentrated on the feel of the thing under my fingers. It had, it seemed to me, a peculiar thrill of vitality; but I fully acknowledged to myself that such an effect might well have been imaginative, following a strained attention. It also seemed to me that its movements preceded rather than followed even the slight unconscious muscular pressures; but that too could not be certain….There was not a scrap of “evidential.” But once, in the middle of our laughter and buffooning, the glass moved with a sharp quick decision as though impatient, in striking contrast to its customary fumbling.

“Why do you ask foolish questions?” it spelled.

“Those sitting at the board denied having anything to do with this: it was too apropos! Nevertheless we suspected them, and they suspected each other.

“Next our attention was caught by the repeated spelling out of the name Betty. Now there was present a young woman nicknamed Betty. She was standing in front of the fireplace after a very brief trial at the board and a somewhat scornful trial at that. We insisted that she was being paged and that she must try again. She was reluctant, thinking this merely an attempt of those sitting to lure her back into the game, but finally yielded and took her place.

“Immediately her fingers touched the glass it began to move in circles. Around and around it went, faster and faster until she and her partner could hardly keep their fingers on it. So comically like a dog frisking in delight was it that we all burst into laughter.

“It’s glad to get Betty,” said we….

“Get a pencil,” it spelled, “Get a pencil,” insistently, over and over.

Betty had heard that there was such a thing as automatic writing, though she had no knowledge of it beyond the mere fact of its existence. Some days later, privately, she did “get a pencil,” and sat with it poised on a sheet of paper, her hand resting inert and her mental activity reduced to a mere question mark. The pencil began to move just as the whiskey glass had moved on the Ouija board.” And so began The Betty Book. Later in 1940 after Betty crossed over she communicated to the medium responsible for Our Unseen Guest and the two of them, Betty the sender and “Joan” the entranced receiver produced The Unobstructed Universe (1940).

The Unobstructed Universe would later inspire one of the great paranormal scientist of our time Susy Smith who herself would begin her career on the Ouija board.

Finally in 1972, Jane Roberts began to publish what is no known as the “Seth Material.”


From Seth Speaks, 1972, “My husband Rob, and I experimented with a Ouija board late in 1963. After the first few sessions, the pointer spelled out messages that claimed to come from a personality called Seth.

“Neither Rob nor I had any psychic background. When I began to anticipate the board’s replies, I took it for granted that they were coming from my subconscious. Not long after, however, I felt impelled to say the words aloud, and within a month I was speaking for Seth while in a trance state.”

So many books, so much influence, all from the humble beginnings of a night with an Ouija board.

Much love,


Edmund Gurney

   Posted by: David

Edmund Gurney

Edmund Gurney

From the very beginning in1848 the claims of Modern Spiritualism have been challenged, tested, and scrutinized by the scientific community. The relationship of Spiritualism to science has been at times affirming and at other times disheartening but unlike any other religion Spiritualism presents itself as both a religion and a science. As a science, the claims of Spiritualism require objective proof and Spiritualist have always cooperated with scientist who test their claims in an effort to provide this proof.

One of the earliest scientist to devote considerable time to the investigation of spirit phenomena was Edmund Gurney. Edmund was an English psychologist and psychic researcher. Born on March 23, 1847, he crossed over to the unobstructed universe on June 23, 1888, in Brighton, United Kingdom.

From accessed Saturday, August 15, 2015

“In June 1888 Gurney apparently received a letter asking him to go to Brighton, which he did, without telling his wife or anyone else the reason. He stayed overnight (and alone) at the Royal Albion Hotel and was found dead in bed the next morning with a chloroform pad over his face.

“Was it suicide? He used chloroform to relieve his neuralgia, so the coroner’s verdict was accidental death, but Trevor Hall and others have suggested that he killed himself….considering that his depression was growing worse, he had failed in three careers, his high hopes for psychical research were probably foundering, and he had reached the age when mid-life crises tend to loom…” But, “A strong argument against suicide is Gurney’s concern for his wife and daughter, whom he would not want to hurt,” however “she married again a few months after he died….At least Gurney died just two months too soon to be a possible Jack the Ripper; or, given his medical training and gloomy temperament, some Ripperologist would have accused him by now.”

But it is not his death but his life that is of significance to me. Edmund was a founding father of the Society for Psychical Research. One of the first scientific organizations dedicated to the study of spirit phenomena. His book, written after years of research, Phantasms of the Living (1886), stands as one of the first scholastic records of what would eventually become paranormal psychology.

It was at least in part the work of Edmund Gurney who inspired William James to found and serve as vice president for the American Society for Psychical Research. The ASPR in the USA worked in cooperation with the English Society for Psychical Research. These two organizations together laid the groundwork in the Victorian era for all psychic research in the years since.

From accessed Saturday, August 15, 2015

“The late Victorian period was a time of great optimism about human progress. Twenty-seven years before the First World War destroyed that optimism, Gurney was skeptical. The optimistic view of human progress towards a perfect future, he believed, is invalidated by the sufferings of individuals throughout history. Only the hope of some supernatural underpinning can make life worthwhile.”

“The keynote of life without Supernaturalism is resignation; the keynote of life with Supernaturalism is hope.” – Edmund Gurney

As Zig Ziglar often said, “Where there is hope in the future, there is power in the present.”

The Spirits of Ouija: Four Decades of Communication by Karen A. Dahlman


Until I read The Spirits of Ouija I was convinced that the two greatest books on Ouija had already been written. Those two books are Voices from the Void by Hester Smith (1919), and The Ouija Book by Gina Covina (1979). It is my delight to these two great books to add a third – The Spirits of Ouija.

There are three elements within the pages of The Spirits of Ouija that I believe make it a must read for anyone interested in contact with Spirit or the use of the board.

First, Karen offers solid evidence of the continuity of life. I don’t want to give away in a review what I thought was the most breathtaking part of her book but I was excited by her blindfold test that provided clear evidence to her sitters of the continuity between this life and the next. Our consciousness does survive the transition we call death and we can communicate with those on the other side. Karen has proven this and she provides details of that proof in her book.

The Spirits of Ouija is honest and personal and I think, as a reader, you will find this attractive.

Second, Karen’s tone is positive, affirming, and optimistic. In fact this is the most optimistic book on the use of the spirit board that I have ever read. Karen is convinced that you can have a good and life affirming experience with the board and in her book she will teach you exactly how to achieve that outcome.

Gina Covina and Hester Smith, as talented as they were, they did not live in the time of fear and prejudice that is, in our time, in the back of every person’s mind when they hear the name “Ouija.” Karen address and I believes overcomes that fear with detail after detail of positive experiences over four decades.

Third, Karen offers clear guidance that, if followed, all but assures a positive outcome from your work with the board. In any field of endeavor it helps the beginner greatly if he or she can benefit from the insights of those that have extensive experience. Karen has more than 40 years of successful experience working with the board and you can benefit from her expertise by reading her book.

Many books offer theory, supposition, or speculation about the board. Karen backs everything she says up with documented results. She has kept careful records of her sessions so when she recounts a session or experience there is no loss of detail; she shares it as it happened and every example she chooses to share is in some way instructive.

In her introduction Karen said, “It is liberating to find out that life never ends…the deceased never leave us. You are never alone.” Karen, it is both liberating and refreshing to read a book that not only affirms the continuity of life but demonstrates for one and all how to connect with that eternal life.


Pamela Colman Smith

   Posted by: David

Pamela Colman Smith


Victorian winters in London were harsh and cold especially for the working class. Science of the time encouraged residents to keep their windows open so that even in the darkest and coldest months at least the bedroom window was slightly ajar.

The poverty of the working class contrasted sharply with the upper classes and nobility but even for the nobles the winters were frigid. The Victorians slept and lived in layers of woolen clothing. They bathed standing up, only removing that area of clothing that was the focus of the wash, one area at a time.

It was in February, February 16 of the year 1878 that Pamela Colman Smith was born. I can’t say for certain that she was born in her parent’s home in England but the likelihood is great that she was.

Her parents named her Pamela but as she grew they would come to call her Pixie.

Pixie’s dad, was of the merchant class but wealthy and successful, a hard-working man from Brooklyn New York, Mr. Charles Edward Smith, the son of a Mayor. He fell in love with the sister of the then famous artist Samuel Colman. Her name was Corinne Colman.

Does artistic talent run in families? Maybe, for certain young Pixie was exposed to art and she was exposed to travel. Her family traveled between London, Jamaica, and Brooklyn for many years.

When one travels one is exposed to the culture of different people. So it was with Pixie. As she grew she developed as an artist but also as a free thinker. She had a particular fascination with Jamaican folklore, she worked with Bram Stoker to illustrate his work, but most significantly for us, she became a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1901. It was through her association with the Order that she met A. E. Waite.

Waite wanted a redesigned and reimagined tarot and he needed an artist “in the know” for the task. In 1909 A. E. Waite paid Pixie a flat rate to illustrate the tarot that would become the standard by which all other tarot decks are measured.

Many believe that Pixie went far beyond Waite’s instructions to create the rich imagery and symbols that now adorn both the major and the minor arcana. When Waite hired her she was a fellow member of his the Golden Dawn but she also had a reputation as a clairvoyant. Pixie was a seer in the Victorian sense of the word, a mystic and psychic, one connected to the Great Mystery.

Some believe that it was Pixie to whom we should be grateful and not A. E. Waite, that it was Pixie whose ability not only as an artist but as a medium of higher knowledge gave us the greatest divination device in the history of humankind. But the Rider Waite Tarot as it came to be called was a Victorian invention and in the sad tradition of the Victorian era Pixie’s name would not be associated with the deck that she created until our own time.

Today we no longer refer to the deck she created as “Rider Waite” but as the Rider Waite Smith Tarot. It is Pixie’s art that serves as the foundation for almost every modern variation on the tarot including my personal favorite the Hanson Roberts Tarot.

Many tarot decks are designed by a team of a mystic thinker on the one hand and an artist/illustrator on the other. The contribution esoterically speaking of the mystic and the artist varies from deck to deck. But in the case of the Rider Waite Smith Tarot it is clear that Pixie was more than a hired hand – she was a co-creator. She was hired because she had the ability to make a contribution not only artistically but interpretively and because of her work we take for granted today that the minor arcana is fully illustrated. It wasn’t before Pixie.

Pamela Colman Smith would live to see great change, she would live to see two world wars and the advent of rock and roll. She lived 73 years crossing over on 18 September 18, 1951.

Thank you Pixie for your great gift to humankind.

Much love,


Tarot Heritage

Wikipedia – Rider Waite

Wikipedia – Pamela Coleman Smith

The Biography of Pamela Coleman Smith


Ouijacon April 25, 2015

   Posted by: David

Ouijacon April 25, 2015

I am home from Ouijacon and I can’t wait to post.
I had been looking forward to this event for months.
People traveled from all over the world to be here in Baltimore for this event.
As it happens Baltimore is my home town.

We all owe a huge debt to Robert Murch not only for making this event happen but for doing for Ouija what Jason and Grant of Ghost Hunters did for paranormal investigations only Robert has done it without the benefit of television coverage.

The speakers were awesome, the vendors were awesome, and the panels were amazing.

While I was in the vendor area a nice young lady asked me if I wanted to participate in an experiment. I did.
They hooked some kind or retina tracking gizmo to my head while I and another person operated a board. They also recorded the sitting.
We didn’t get a whole lot of action for them to record but we had a great time trying.

There is a comradery among Ouija collectors that Robert spoke well to during the collector’s panel.
At the auctions we compete against each other but bring us together and we are family.

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The following is from the Talking Board Historical Society website:

Celebrate Ouija’s 125th Birthday in the City where it was Born: Baltimore!
OuijaCon – April 23-25, 2015 – Baltimore, Maryland

Come celebrate the history and legends of the Ouija board with some of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject. The conference includes lectures, workshops, plus collectors from around the globe will be setting up a temporary museum showcasing over a century of talking boards.

OuijaCon is the Talking Board Historical Society, Inc.’s inaugural event.
All proceeds will go to benefit the society, a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization.
See the World’s First Travelling Talking Board Museum!

Collectors from around the globe will have some of their prized pieces on display.
There has never been a collection brought together like this before.
Come see 125 years of history and artifacts related to talking boards, dial plates, spirit trumpets, and much more!


Baltimore Harbor Hotel
101 W Fayette Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201


Thursday, April 23rd:

6:00 PM to 10:00 PM – Meet and greet party in the Ouija & Talking Board Museum in Baltimore Harbor Hotel Conference Room International A. The Ouija & Talking Board Museum will be open throughout the event. A cash bar will be available.

Friday, April 24th:

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Brandon Hodge: Ghosts in the Machines—a history of spirit communication devices before talking boards

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Robert Murch: Ouija—the making of an American icon

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Lunch break

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Jeff Belanger: Beyond Ouija—spirit communication from talking boards to modern-day ghost investigations

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM The City of Baltimore will come in to make a mayoral proclamation that April 25, 2015 is the 125th anniversary of Ouija and will unveil a plaque that will mark the building where Ouija was named. Ouija cake will be served!

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Dave Schrader: Nightmare Creatures—a look at the creatures that go bump in the night, chilling real-life encounters from Ouija to Black-Eyed Kids, shadow people, and more

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Rosemary Ellen Guiley: Weird Ouija—a look at some of the strangest stories on record involving Ouija boards

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM A Supernatural Look at Spirit Communication Panel: Rosemary Ellen Guiley, John Zaffis, Karen Dahlman, Darren Evans, and Chip Coffey (Moderator: Jeff Belanger)

7:30 PM Vendors close for the day

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM Dinner break

9:00 PM Chip Coffey: Are You Afraid to Play with Your Ouija?—followed by a séance where Chip will attempt to communicate with the spirit who named Ouija 125 years ago!

Saturday, April 25th: (Ouija’s Birthday)

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Karen Dahlman: Practical Ouija—getting the most mileage out of your Planchette

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Darren Evans: The Zozo Phenomenon

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch break

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Calvin Von Crush: The Ouija Board—Fact vs. Fiction

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Brand Hodge: Baltimore’s Lost Occultist—the rise and fall of T.H. White

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM John Zaffis: What Happens When Something Negative Comes Through? A Q&A

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Ouija Collectors Panel: Robert Murch, Calvin Von Crush, Mike Zohn, John Kozik, Andrew Vespia, and Janet Mattei Romano (Moderator: Dave Schrader)

7:30 PM Vendors close

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM Dinner break

9:00 PM Mega Ouija Experiment/Party: bring your Ouija board! A cash bar will be available.

This event was a dream come true for every Ouija collector in the world.
Thank you Robert Murch for making it happen for us.

Much love,


Emanuel Swedenborg

   Posted by: David

Emanuel Swedenborg


Emanuel Swedenborg was not a Victorian.
He was born on January 29, 1688, in Stockholm, Sweden.
He crossed over March 29, 1772, decades before the Victorian era began.

So why include him in a section on Victorian influences on the way we experience the paranormal today?

He is considered by many to be the forerunner of modern mediums.
His influence was keenly felt in the Victorian era, in modern Spiritualism, and today.

He was a leading scientist and inventor of his generation.

He was appointed Assessor of the Board of Swedish Mines by Charles XII.
Two years later he was appointed to the House of Nobles.

Swedenborg spent the first two-thirds of his life in the pursuit of science and the last one third of his life opening his spiritual sight.

From: Wikipedia
“In 1741, at age 53, he entered into a spiritual phase in which he began to experience dreams and visions…this culminated in a “spiritual awakening,”…so that from then on he could freely…talk with angels…and other spirits.”

From: Swedenborg dot com
“The life of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) was steeped simultaneously in the rational world of the physical sciences…He lived during the height of the Enlightenment, a period when intellectuals rejected dogmatic religious teachings in favor of science and reason, and his theology reflects a long struggle to understand the world of spirit through investigation of the physical world. Ultimately, that struggle was resolved when (as he described it) his spiritual senses were opened and he began to interact directly with the denizens of heaven…and the world of spirits…In keeping with his early scholarly training, he presents his ideas in a logical order, drawing examples from everyday life as proof of the truth of his words, inviting readers to judge for themselves.

“Starting in 1759 a series of incidents demonstrating Swedenborg’s interactions with the spirit world drew international attention.

“The first, in July 1759, happened while Swedenborg was attending a dinner party in the Swedish city of Göteborg. During the party, he suddenly became agitated and began describing a fire in Stockholm—more than 250 miles away—that was threatening his home. Two hours later, he reported that the fire had been extinguished three doors down from his house. It was not until two days later that messengers from Stockholm arrived in Göteborg and confirmed the details as Swedenborg had relayed them.

“In 1760, the widow of the recently deceased French ambassador to Sweden was presented with a bill for a very expensive silver service her husband had bought. She was sure he had paid, but could not find the receipt. After asking Swedenborg for help, he had a dream in which her husband revealed the location of the receipt, a dream which turned out to be accurate.

“In 1761, Swedenborg was presented at the court of Sweden’s Queen Louisa Ulrika (1720–1782), and she asked him to relay a particular question to her deceased brother, Prince Augustus Wilhelm of Prussia (1722–1758). Swedenborg returned to court three weeks later and gave her the answer privately, upon which she was heard to exclaim that only her brother would have known what Swedenborg had just told her.”

While he was one of the great scientific minds of his day Swedenborg is better known as the “forerunner of the New Dispensation.”

From FST dot org 
The New Dispensation refers to “events which took place on the evening of March 31, 1848, along with those which followed, literally shook the world into confronting the reality that our loved ones, in Spirit, not only survive death, they can draw close to us and communicate with us.” This date was when the Fox sisters engaged in an interactive exchange with the spirit of a murdered peddler who remained in their home.

F.W.H. Myers said that, “To Swedenborg goes the recognition, for it is to Swedenborg first that the unseen world appeared as a realm of law, a region not of mere emotional vagueness…but of definite progress according to definite reactions of cause and effect.”

Much love,


Spirit Guides

   Posted by: David

Spirit Guides

I have been posting a lot of articles and images but this will be my first You Tube video.
I hope you enjoy it.
Much love,


Andrew Jackson Davis

   Posted by: David

Andrew Jackson Davis


Born: August 11, 1826
Crossed Over: January 13, 1910

The John the Baptist of Modern Spiritualism
The Poughkeepsie Seer
The Father of Modern American Spiritualism

Davis was given the title of the Father of Modern Spiritualism by a Unitarian minister by the name of Copeland in an article he wrote for the Religion Philosophical Journal, dated April 6, 1872.

In 1843 Davis was placed in a trance state and while in trance he discovered that he had clairvoyant abilities and that he could view the human body as if transparent also known as X-ray clairvoyance.

When Edgar Cayce discovered the history of Davis, Edgar knew he was not alone in his abilities.

Five books written by Davis:
The Principles of Nature
Beyond the Valley
Nature’s Divine Revelation
Event in the Life of a Seer
The Magic Staff

Some of the prophecies of A.J. Davis as documented in Nature’s Divine Revelation and Penetralia include but are not limited to:

• the discovery of the eighth and ninth planets of the solar system
• an account of a civilization in South America that was not discovered until 1903
• automobiles
• airplanes
• the dawn of Modern Spiritualism

From: White Crow Books accessed Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Known as “The Poughkeepsie Seer,” Andrew Jackson Davis (August 11, 1826 – January 13, 1910) is remembered as a “seer” – in effect, a clairvoyant able to enter into a higher state of consciousness and access information otherwise unavailable to humans. In a trance state, he could diagnose illnesses and recommend cures and give lengthy lectures on esoteric subjects, in spite of the fact that he had a very limited education. He is said to have been able to read closed books and to see the body as if it were transparent. He discussed the existence of Neptune and Pluto before their actual discoveries, predicted air travel, and discoursed on the theory of evolution a decade before Darwin published On the Origin of Species. His primary teachings, however, were on death and man’s state after death.

Later he earned a medical degree and became a doctor.

From: Spirt Writings accessed Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Davis said before March 1848:
“It is a truth that spirits commune with one another while one is in the body and the other in the higher spheres–and this, too, when the person in the body is unconscious of the influx, and hence cannot be convinced of the fact; and this truth will ere long present itself in the form of a living demonstration.”

In his notes dated March 31, 1848, the following statement occurs: “About daylight this morning a warm breathing passed over my face and I heard a voice, tender and strong, saying: `Brother, the good work has begun–behold, a living demonstration is born.’ I was left wondering what could be meant by such a message.”

In his book, The Temple, he described the death process as he observed it:

“Death is the word used to signify ‘the end of life,’ spoken by persons who see not that seeming death is really ‘the beginning of life,’ and the opening of the sacred volume of eternity. But let us peer through the seeming, into that which is within the veil.

“The person is now dying; and it is to be a rapid death. Observe something about temperature. The feet are cold; the hands hot and white; a coldness pervades the entire cuticle. See? What is that accumulating in the atmosphere just over the pillowed head? It is an ethereal emanation – a golden magnetic halo – a throbbing, almost self-conscious atmosphere.

“The bodily temperature is now lowering rapidly. The coldness has extended upward from the toes to the knees, and from the fingertips to the elbows; while, in exactly the same ratio, the emanation has ascended higher over the head. The arms are now cold to the shoulders, and legs to the hips; and the emanation, although not higher in the air, is more expanded, with a compact white center, resembling the bright nucleus of a miniature sun. This brilliant central spot, is, in very truth, the brain of the new spiritual organism now forthcoming.

“The death-cold steals over the heaving breast, and around on either side the temperature is greatly diminished. Look now! The psychic emanation contains some proportion of every principle composing the soul – motion, life sensation, ethers; essences, vital magnetism, vital electricity, instincts – and, much enlarged by accessions, it has floated up in a compact mass, and now occupies a higher altitude near the ceiling.

“Now the lungs have ceased to breathe, the pulse is still, the physical heart is motionless; while the brain cells, the corpus callosum, the medulla, and the spinal cord and ganglia, are ablaze with contractive and expansive energies, which gently pulsate and seem to direct and govern themselves by a kind of automatic self-consciousness. See! The negative (gray) substance of the brain is interiorly throbbing – a slow, measured, profoundly deep throb – not painful, but massive and harmonious like the deep heart-beat of the sea.

“Look up! The exalted emanation, obedient to its own changeless laws, is now elongated, and has attained a position at right angles with the horizontal body below. Behold! See how the outline of a beautiful human form is being fashioned within that emanation. Beneath it is still tied by a white life-cord to the medulla and the corpus callosum within the brain.

“You observe that a very fine vitalic thread still connects the vortices and central fibers of the dying brain with the lower extremities of the exalted outlined human being in the atmosphere. Notwithstanding the existence of this life thread, which acts like a telegraphic conductor – conveying messages in opposite directions at the same moment – you observe that the shadowy image enveloped in a golden emanation, continues almost imperceptibly to ascend skyward.

“There! What do I now see? A symmetrically shaped human head rising above the mass – slowly, beautifully rising out of the golden cloud of substantial principles. And now appear the outlines of a spiritual countenance – a quiet face and full of beauty, surpassing the power of words to delineate. Look again! Behold emerging the fair neck and beautiful shoulders; and see! as we gaze, outcome one after the other, in a rapid succession, as if influenced and directed by the wand of a magician, all the parts of a new body – a bright, natural looking, yet spiritual image – only a little less than the deserted physical body, a perfect re-appearance of the person in the immediate heavens, prepared to accompany the celestial group of superintending intelligences to the Summerland.

“What was that? In the twinkling of an eye the vitalic electrical telegraphic thread was snapped – the yet lingering particles and principles were suddenly attracted upward and absorbed into the spiritual body – and lo! The new organization is free of terrestrial gravitations, is instantly and absolutely independent of the weights and cares that chained it firmly imprisoned to earth. (Those only are free at death who have lived righteously. Any enthralling passion, the least feeling of duty undischarged, of injustice committed, holds the spirit to earth, as a ship is fastened by a heavy anchor. Only the pure are free.)

“Here now behold a true, substantial, immortal, spiritual body. It was sown in darkness and dishonor; it is raised in beauty and brightness. Behold the contrast – the vastly wide difference – between the interior and outward. Cast your eyes around the room. There are many friends, aged relatives, and little children, in the death chamber; they mourn, without the comfort even of blind faith; they grieve, with only the whisperings of hope to the doubting ear; they gather around the prostrate, cold body; they press together the lids of the sightless eyes; in silence and in sorrow they withdraw from the scene; and now other hands commence those final preparations with which the living consecrate the dead.

“But let us open our brighter eyes – the eyes that we shall all have when clothed with the deathless garment of immortality. See! The newly organized spiritual body – surrounded by a group of guardian angels – moves gracefully off in the direction of celestial shores. The arisen personality follows a vibrating thread of magnetic attraction, which while the dying mutations were in process we noticed penetrating the apartment and fastening itself to the earthly brain of the resurrected. It comes floating down from the sensorium of superior intelligences – a golden fibrillous stream of telegraphic light – sent from on high, to greet with love and guide with wisdom the newly arisen. The thought-laden love-thread tranquilly draws the new born higher up and farther away.

“Over the velvet lands and flower fields of the celestial country the bending bow of eternal promise is visible, filling with indescribable beauty the boundless ocean of world-laden skies, which cover the infinite loveliness the immeasurable zone-lands of the Hereafter.”

A Body Blown to Bits

At the Civil War battle of Fort Donelson in 1862, Davis witnessed a soldier blown into many parts by a cannon ball. “I saw that all the particles streamed up and met together in the air,” he wrote. “The atmosphere was filled with those golden particles – emanations from the dead – over the whole battlefield. About three-quarters of a mile above the smoke of the battlefield – above all the ‘clouds that lowered’ upon the hills and forests of black discord, there was visible the beautiful accumulation from the fingers and toes and heart and brain of that suddenly killed soldier. There stood the new spiritual body three-quarters of a mile above all the discord and din and havoc of the furious battle! And the bodies of many others were coming up from other directions at the same time.”


Tarot and Spirit

   Posted by: David

Tarot and Spirit

spirit guide 1

If you read most of the books on tarot you might come away believing that a particular card signifies a particular thing. This isn’t necessary an erroneous hypothesis but it is restricting.

In my opinion the emphasis placed on a particular card during interpretation depends on the surrounding cards, what you already know about your sitter, what your intuition is telling you about your sitter, and what Spirit is telling you about your sitter.

Many readers never think to contact Spirt during a reading.

I open every reading by asking Spirit for guidance and I close every reading with thanksgiving and gratitude for the Spirit’s leading. I do this silently but there is no reason why you shouldn’t simply tell your sitter, “I will open by asking Spirit to lead me and close by thanking Spirit for what is provided.”

When I find myself wondering how to interpret a spread or a card, I often ask my spirit guides if they can get in touch with or put me in touch with my sitter’s spirit people. Once I feel I have contact, I will ask them how they want me to interpret what I am seeing in the spread.

Sometimes I hear their voice in my head, other times I get an impression but regardless of how Spirit chooses to communicate with me during a given reading I find that communication to be an invaluable tool. This method of reading will also help you transcend the spread so that you can obtain information about or for your sitter that is not in the spread at all.

Also, this method of interpretation is good prep work for mediumship because it will get you used to and provide you with practice making contact with someone else’s spirit people.

The next time you are reading and feel stuck or want clarification or guidance, give it a try. In fact, make a habit out of it even when you aren’t stuck. I think you’ll be astonished at the results.

Much love,


Ouija and the Subconscious Mind

   Posted by: David

Ouija and the Subconscious Mind

Hallouija Board

Like any other psychic tool, Ouija is an amplifier of the natural psychic ability inherent in every human being. Hester Smith said that a spirit board, “produces an abnormal condition in the sitter…various qualities come to the surface which lie dormant in the normal state…clairvoyance may appear in a person who shows none of that power otherwise…telepathic powers are developed under the same conditions.” Impressions that may seem vague when presented to your mind alone take on substance and clarity when spelled out on the board.

Critics of the board argue that the messages originate in the subconscious mind of the sitter and are transmitted via subconscious muscular movements. These movements are often referred to as “ideomotor effect” or an “ideomotor response,” (see William Benjamin Carpenter). Many proficient mediums would agree to the extent that the subconscious mind forms a link to Infinite Intelligence, God, the spirit world, and even other minds around us but the intention of the critics is not to suggest a subconscious link to the infinite. Rather they suppose that the source of the message is either the imagination or the subconscious mind of the sitter.

I think the critics, in their devotion to materialism, grossly underestimate the reservoir of knowledge available to us through the subconscious mind. It is through the subconscious that a link is formed to God and by the abstract term “god” I mean to imply not only the creator being but the infinite in general.

Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you,” Luke 17:21. Of course there are many interpretations of this expression but to me it means we are capable of accessing limitless information through our subconscious mind.

Our subconscious is the link to other minds making telepathy not only possible but probable. Our subconscious contains every thought, memory, or impulse we ever had not only in this life time but in every lifetime assuming you believe in reincarnation.

An alternative to reincarnation might be a twist on the Jungian concept of the collective unconscious. A survey of the literature on reincarnation will yield some astounding results. If we take the phenomena of past life recollections at face value, it seems to me, we are left with one of two explanations: either we each live multiple times and those memories are accessible through our subconscious mind or we can access the memories of other people, who have lived other lives at other times also through our subconscious mind. Either way the spirit board can be of assistance when our objective is the exploration of either our own past lives or the lives of those who have lived in the past.

Even if we dismiss the concept of past life regression altogether, the subconscious mind can connect us with our earliest childhood memories. So, the argument that the spirit board “only connects us to our own subconscious mind” is to me equivalent of saying, “What an indispensable and marvelous tool it is.” What would you give for a tool that could reveal more to you about yourself than any other tool?

Assuming there is no pre-incarnate state, no previous lifetimes, and no other spirits in this vast universe to connect with (and I don’t assume this, just the opposite, but for the sake of argument let me make that assumption for the moment), the information we can learn by tapping into our own subconscious mind is virtually limitless.

Ever since the dawn of Spiritualism the debate has raged over the origin of the information. Is it pure fraud or fiction, is it telepathy, does it originate in the subconscious mind of the medium, or is it evidence of the continuity of life, of human and non-human intelligences external to ourselves?

What is and is not “external” is a complex question. An adequate discussion of this question is beyond the scope and purpose of this book. Whatever the ultimate source, the evidence is clear that information that we had no conscious knowledge of before a sitting can be ours after.
Sometimes the information we receive is reliable and “true,” sometimes not. Anyone who consults a medium or practices any type of mediumship or divination must do so with an awareness of his/her susceptibility to misleading or false information.

The spirit board is a good source of information but the information obtained via a spirit board session should never be accepted uncritically. Check the facts or claims presented at a session and accept only what is demonstrated to be true. The rest is mere entertainment.

Much love,