The word “séance” has come to be most associated with a group of people gathering and sitting to attempt to contact spirits, either loved ones who have passed away, or other entities who roam the alternative planes of reality.
These entities are generally held to comprise of remnants of the ancient gods and pagan spirits.
Mediumship involves an act where the practitioner attempts to receive messages from spirits of the dead and from other spirits beyond The Veil.
Some mediums are fully conscious and awake while functioning as contacts; others may slip into a partial or full trance or into an altered state of consciousness.
I prefer myself, to live my entire life in a partial trance, which I achieve by way of always being slightly tired, buzzed on coffee and hung over. This way, it is very easy for me to slip into a hypnagogic state.
Sadly however, I have no mediumistic ability, so we instead planned a Halloween entertainment in the classic style of the Victorian parlour séances.
Read on for thrilling real-life footage!
On Halloween night we gathered together to attempt to Pierce the Veil and contact Those On The Other Side. Halloween is the perfect night for this, as Samhain is a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the next can be most easily crossed.
My co-blogger The Magic Mixolotrix is in London with me, so we were together to create the traditional Samhain feast, where a place is left at the table for the souls of dead kin.
Feast for the Aos Sí
Coffin-shaped jelly Kamikaze shots
The Corpse Reviver # 2
Cheese, wine & fruit with the Bread of the Dead
The kamikaze shots recipe is from the excellent Jelly Shot Test Kitchen. We used a coffin-shaped silicon mould bought from Lidl the day before, but you could use any silicone mould.
1/4 cup Roses Lime Juice
1/2 cup water
2 envelopes Knox gelatin
1 cup vodka
1/4 cup Cointreau
1 teaspoon agave nectar (if required)
Combine the lime and water in a saucepan and sprinkle on gelatin. Let it sit for a couple of minutes. Heat gently until gelatin is absorbed, for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add vodka and Cointreau. Add agave syrup if you think it needs to be sweeter. Pour into moulds (in this case, graveyard moulds), and chill for at least 2 hours.
The Corpse Reviver #2 is traditionally used as a hangover cure, hence its name. We find ourselves that it’s just as good for inducing hangovers, so here it is:
Equal parts lemon juice, gin, Cointreau and Cocchi Americano, shaken together in a chilled shaker with a dash of absinthe.
Coffin cakes were made with those handy silicone Halloween moulds again, using a basic spice cake recipe:
3 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, mixed spice, cocoa powder, vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups of water with 1/4 cup oil
Chopped dried fruit, whatever you have around. I used tropical mix, but anything will do.
Combine dry ingredients, then mix in the water and oil. Bake in a moderate oven, checking after 15 minutes as these are small shapes and may cook very quickly.
These are made on the same principle as the traditional soul cakes, marked with crosses and handed out on All Souls Day.
Apart from myself, there were 7 at the table. 7 was considered a god number in ancient Egypt. The Pharaoh usually ordered things in groups of multiples of 7. In Western culture it is considered lucky.
After my welcoming the group and any spirits which might be gathering, The Magic Mixolotrix rang the spirit bell to alert our presence to the Otherwhere, and said a prayer of protection for the group.
We all joined hands around the table, and my calls to those Beyond the Veil were finally answered with a variety of raps, rustlings, footfalls and the sound of a cat mewing where no cat could be hiding.
A mechanical toy on a shelf broke into spontaneous movement, and shadowy figures moved around the room.
Each present asked a question of the Other Side, and each was answered in turn.
A climax was reached when I sensed a Presence in the room which was so huge and overwhelming that I eventually lost consciousness for a few moments, just as a spirit abruptly materialized in the form of a huge, glowing man plunging through the ceiling.
Although I did not see the materialization myself, I felt a cold horror rushing through me, which grew to unbearable levels as a dark, faceless figure emerged from the shadows.
This horror eventually emerged in the form of a scream! I think we all screamed for a moment, and this release of group energies was enough to dispel any further supernatural visitors for the night.
We were careful to keep the circle unbroken at all times, and to bid formal farewell to the entities and oddities who had joined us for the evening.
These meetings are not a method of the devil, but instead a communication device that has its roots in the most ancient methods of energy manipulation, giving us a better understanding of the “other side”.
“From ghoulies and ghosties / And long-leggedy beasties / And things that go bump in the night, / Good Lord, deliver us!” – traditional Scottish prayer