Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

May/June 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Seance

DEFINITIONS

Séance: A type of ritual where a group of people known as “sitters” get together with a person (the “medium”) who has powers to communicate with non-physical entities for the purpose of communicating with spirits, usually of the dead. Also known in some areas as a “sitting” or a “circle.”

Although there is a long history of this sort of activity, it became popular in the West in the mid-19th century as part of a religion known as Spiritualism or Spiritism. Many occultists of the period were involved with this movement, and some occult groups looked askance at it. Two fake spiritualists, Mr. and Mrs. “Horos,” tricked the head of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, into believing in them, and this episode ended up making the Golden Dawn public in an embarrassing way.

After the massive deaths of WWI and the flu epidemic that followed, the desire to contact the dead achieved a fever pitch. Many scientists in other fields were involved, as was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and possibly Abraham Lincoln.

Whenever such an interest grows, there are people who take advantage of it, and the history of séances and Spiritualism, unfortunately, has many darker and fraudulent markers. When the famous magician Houdini needed to put some fire under his flagging career, he started exposing fake mediums, a practice some conjurors continue to this day.

Spiritualism and the séance are still practiced today, albeit in smaller numbers. Many of the practices were absorbed into New Thought, the New Age movement, and various occult traditions and orders.Donald Michael Kraig

Also See: Seance

ARTICLES

Spiritism
Spiritism, or as it is more commonly known, Spiritualism, is a religion which holds that it is possible to communicate with the souls of those who have gone through the transition known as death. Although some occultists would disagree with this ...
Relevance:  43 % 43%


The Astral Body in the Séance Room
We have already mentioned briefly the role astral guides play in mediumistic seances. These guides serve as "controls" who facilitate communication between discarnates on the astral plane and the living persons at the seance. But what happens to ...
Relevance:  17 % 17%



When I ask people about their dreams, many times they will recount experiences of crazy landscapes where anything can happen (and probably will). But more often than not, what I hear about is the regularly recurring, repetitive dream that has haunted the dreamer their entire life; I hear over and over again from people that they "always dream of... read this article
5 Ways to Heal with the Wheel of the Year
5 Simple and Instant Creativity Boosts
Reading Tarot Cards: Divining Our Life Path
Ghost-Hunting at the Old Charleston Jail
Visualization for People Who Have Trouble Visualizing

Most recent posts:
The Soul Needs Time
Nancy Antenucci’s book Psychic Tarot is filled with great ways to enhance your connection to the cards and to spirit. It is also filled with...

The Art of Changing
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tiffany Lazic, author of the new The Great Work: Self-Knowledge and Healing Through the Wheel of the...

Using Imagery for Manifestation
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melissa Harris, author of the new 99 Keys to a Creative Life. I hope this writing finds you in a...




Where You End Where You End
By: Anna Pellicioli
Price: $9.99 US,  $11.50 CAN
Bite the Biscuit Bite the Biscuit
By: Linda O. Johnston
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Come to Harm Come to Harm
A Novel

By: Catriona McPherson
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Llewellyn's Complete Dictionary of Dreams Llewellyn's Complete Dictionary of Dreams
Over 1,000 Dream Symbols and Their Universal Meanings

By: Michael Lennox
Price: $24.99 US,  $28.95 CAN
The Final Reveille The Final Reveille
By: Amanda Flower
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN