'I went to a séance and this is what happened'

·6-min read
Photo credit: Cosmopolitan UK / Marina Petti
Photo credit: Cosmopolitan UK / Marina Petti

I have always been intrigued (haven’t you?) by spiritualism and mediumship, so I didn’t hesitate to accept an invite to attend an online séance (yes that’s a thing now) with celebrity occultists, séance hosts, and mediums The Eckharts (Dan and Kat, a real-life couple, from Maryland US.)

What is a séance?

A séance is an attempt to communicate with spirits (the word séance comes from the French word for "session", from the Old French seoir, "to sit").

Kat and Dan view séances as a ritual. In order to hold a spiritually active séance, they employ a variety of communication techniques to draw the spirits in (most commonly a pendulum and automatic writing), to create the right atmosphere, and to raise the correct energy for a positive encounter with the spirit world.

Dan and Kat believe that a good séance requires definitive, positive contact with spirits and also that guests understand they are capable of experiencing spirit contact without them. The days of mediums being viewed as all-powerful figures because they, and they alone, hold the keys to the other side, are fading. Contemporary mediumship is much more about empowering people to explore their own talents. The séance is an opportunity to display that spirit contact is possible for everyone.

What is a medium?

Someone who can experience contact with spirits, mediating communication between spirits of the dead and living human beings. This can happen in a variety of ways. Kat, for example, feels the spirits first (clairsentience), then she gets visuals (clairvoyance) and hears messages (clairaudience). Dan is clairaudient. Some mediums may just know certain things. Ideas and insights enter their head (claircognizant). Some experience feelings and emotions from the spirits (clairsentient).

So, what happened in the online séance?

It happens via Zoom. I was asked to ~bring~ a pen and pad, a pendulum (I used a necklace), a scrying surface (crystal ball, mirror, glass of water even), tissues (they were needed…), any protective items (sage, crystals, salt - just in case), and any items belonging to the person I wished to communicate with, and to make my space candle-lit, comfortable, and atmospheric.

At precisely 2am (9pm EST), Dan and Kat appeared on screen and welcomed us. There were five of us in attendance. I kept my screen pretty dark and didn’t interact, but others did. The level of interaction was totally up to each attendee.

First off, we created a psychic circle, replicating digitally what would have been created by holding hands and meditating in person. Then we entered the ~séance space~ by interacting with our pendulum, and entering into a trance state to find our own liminal space (the ~between~ where spirits and living beings can meet and communicate) and Kat also began automatic writing. Messages started to arise for some people.

Finally, we entered the main section of the séance. Using our scrying surfaces, we were guided through a meditation to receive our own messages and ask questions of our passed loved ones, whilst Dan and Kat also started to share what they were picking up.

Everyone’s messages felt detailed, authentic, and reassuring. Mine came from my dad, who died a year ago to the day that the séance was held. I will keep that message within the séance circle, but it made me cry, and it left me feeling very comforted and at peace.

Throughout the 90 minute session, people experienced spirit activity around them such as loud bangs, scratching, items falling over, and weird smells among other things. Although it didn’t happen during my séance, Dan and Kate shared that the spirits often use modern technology to show they are present: such as manifesting audio distortions and strange shadows seen in Zoom windows. They were once kicked out of their own online séance while channelling the spirit of a woman who – as they were told by her daughter once they got back online – hated mediums.

Spirits use the tools that are available to them and those we are paying the most attention to. We often only notice spirit activity when activity is very obvious!

Who, from the spirit world, typically shows up most in seances?

The spirits who come through most frequently are the grandparents and parents of those present and spirits of place (those who just happen to be present in the space). Siblings or other family members often come through as well – those who have a strong connection with séance attendees. Occasionally, friends who come through if they have an important message to convey.

Those messages are often centred around conveying love and acceptance for those who are still living. Some spirits are very urgent and cannot wait to connect with their loved ones – often their message is something around “it’s okay. I love you. I’m still with you” or trying to resolve something they were unable to resolve in life. The feelings and visuals Dan and Kat receive when these messages come through are often very warm, with visuals of important family memories or things they enjoyed in life.

Spirits are fairly obsessed with family, and generally want to keep families together, protecting their lineage, and therefore often turn up in times of family dispute.

Looking out for spirit contact yourself

Most people don’t think they’ve had any spirit contact, because most of us assume we will see a shadowy figure or hear a clear voice. The Eckharts believe most spirit communications are not like that at all. The most common signs of spirit are actually visitations from butterflies, birds, or even personal visitations in dreams. Less commonly (but it happens more than you might think), people will see very brief apparitions of their loved one, which can happen at any time or place.

The easiest method to get in touch with spirits yourself is to use a pendulum. Pendulums, because they are an easy and very ~safe~ tool. You ask the questions, and spirits can respond in a binary (yes/no, sometimes maybe) way. Those who are less familiar with spirit communication tools can find comfort that they are very in control with very little effort.

The Eckhart’s Advice To Séance Beginners

Good reasons to want to participate in a séance include the desire to receive a message from a specific spirit, sheer curiosity, or an interest in unlocking your mediumistic abilities. However, if you are attending a séance to resolve an issue with a troublesome spirit, or a perceived paranormal problem, this would be a bad reason to join a séance – unless the host and everyone in attendance is prepared to tackle this issue. Generally, séances are an exploration into the spirit world, and although they do vary greatly depending on the medium(s) and purpose, they are not usually equipped to resolve issues such as this.

Watch out for mediums who say that they are the only way to receive messages from your loved one. Do a quick search of their website and social media profiles – do you like what they are saying? What does your intuition say? If you aren’t excited about getting a reading after you look them up, you might want to search for someone else.

A good medium should empower you to receive messages from spirits on your own, provide messages that make sense to you, and only occupy the role of a medium (not a lawyer, doctor, financial adviser, therapist etc.)

For a tarot reading with Kerry, head to www.tarotbella.etsy.com. For an online séance with The Eckharts, head to www.theeckharts.com.

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