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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Subject: Paranormal Phenomena

Abductee

A person who believes he or she was abducted by extraterrestrials. Often, such a person does not have immediate recall of either the abduction or the events preceding, during, or immediately after the experience. The memories are triggered through chance events or during trancework such as hypnosis. Sometimes confused with contactees.




Absent Healing
A technique by which a healer is able to help a person although that person is not present. Often described as the “sending of healing energy” to that person.


Absent Sitter
A person not present at a séance, but for whom questions are asked at the séance.


Afterlife
Term used by some believers in reincarnation to describe the period of the soul’s or spirit’s existence after the physical death of the body but before reincarnation into a new physical body. There are many theories as to what happens during this period ranging from quiet, rest, and recovery to training in preparation for the next physical incarnation. In some instances the spirit may try to manifest on the physical plane, resulting in their appearance as ghosts.


Afterlife Actualization

During the life between lives we are progressively empowered to use past life experiences as critical growth resources to accelerate our evolution through next life planning.




Age Progression
While in a hypnotic trance, the process of taking a person into an imagined version of a potential future. Used for helping to set goals and in overcoming some fears.


Age Progression

Hypnotic age progression is an innovative approach that has demonstrated unusual effectiveness in identifying future events of both personal and global significance. The program uses self-hypnosis to induce the trance state during which awareness flows with ease along the time continuum until it is arrested either voluntarily or spontaneously to engage areas that command special attention. This approach is especially effective in identifying future happenings that can be either prevented or minimized through appropriate intervention measures. Crises related to business and personal concerns are particularly receptive to this approach. Note: This approach requires specialized training in self-hypnosis, and should be practiced only under appropriately controlled condition.

See Self-Empowerment Through Self-Hypnosis by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke and Joe H. Slate, Llewellyn Publications (2010).




Agent
A person who unintentionally causes unusual physical phenomenon described as poltergeist activity. The person may be shocked to know he or she is the source of the phenomena. Most often the agent is a girl going through puberty, although it may be a boy.


Agent
A person on whom a haunting seems to be centered.


Akashic Records
A recording of all events that have ever occurred and said to be stored in a spiritual substance, Akasha, that surrounds the earth.


Akashic Records
The collective unconscious is a kind of group mind that is inherited from all our ancestors and includes all the memories and knowledge acquired by humans and sometimes is called "the Akashic Records." It is believed to exist on the higher astral and lower mental planes and to be accessible by the super consciousness through the subconscious mind in deep trance states induced through hypnosis, self-hypnosis, meditation and guided meditation It is a function of the Astral Light to retain all that has ever happened in thought and deed; hence the Akashic Records are the enduring records of everything that has ever happened and the repository of all knowledge and wisdom, and the files of every personal memory. Being able to call up infinite information and integrate it into your present life needs is of enormous benefit—similar to but beyond the capacity of any present-day Internet Search Engine. Suggested reading: The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy by Cyndi Dale


Alien Abduction
An experience, usually unexpected or unwanted, of being kidnapped by alien beings. Often the experience has been repressed and is only recovered during hypnosis. This is different from the contactee experience where persons consciously desire communication with aliens and often stay in contact with supposed aliens.


Alien Forces
(Magick – Ceremonial) Are there such things? Are not all forces and beings part of a single and Divine Cosmos? Presumably, we have to say yes to that, but we also recognize that at different circumstances and times there are negative options. A snake bite can be poisonous. Even your pet cat can bite you and cause a severe, life-threatening infection. In the context of magick, we are excluding from the Circle anything alien or unfriendly to the intent of the operation. Note the instructions in the GBG Curriculum that the magician is to pace three times around the Circle while holding the concentrated thought that the circle is encompassing all good magick forces and is excluding all distractions and whatever alien forces. Circumscribing the Circle three times is traditional. Holding a “concentrated thought” is another way to state our “intention” to exclude unwanted influences. Important to this concept is to believe in the effect, and to have no fears or visions of frightful spirits or nasty forces trying to enter the Circle. In magick, as in any psychological practice, always keep the emphasis on the positive as already reality and avoid any thought of the negative while doing the operation. This practice of exclusion also applies to thoughts and fantasies and day dreams that are common indulgences. Especially in group working, members not active at a given moment sometimes do "drift off" and that interferes with the purity of the magickal atmosphere inside the Circle.


Alpha
The alpha brain wave is associated with inner levels of mental activity, tranquility, rest, and relaxation. It is also associated with inspiration, creativity, accelerated healing concentration, and ESP.


Alpha Level
The brain generates weak electrical impulses representative of its particular activities. As recorded by the electro-encephalograph (EEG), they fall into particular levels assigned Greek letters. Beta, at 14-26 cycles per second, is our normal waking state including focused attention, concentration, thinking, etc. Alpha, 8 to 13 cycles, is the next level down characteristic of relaxation, alert receptivity, meditation and access to the subconscious mind. It is at 8 cycles per second, the border between alpha and theta that Trance occurs. Theta, 4 to 7, is lower yet and occurs just before (hypnopompic) or after (hypnagogic) sleep and is characteristic of light sleep, deep meditation, vivid imagery, and high levels of inner awareness. Delta, 0.5 to 3, is characteristic of deep sleep.


Altered State of Consciousness
Also known as an ASC, a state of mind that is different from normal, waking consciousness. Examples of an ASC range from dreaming and daydreaming to trance, out-of-body experiences, and drug-induced states. Besides pointing out that “normal, waking consciousness” is simply something people agree upon (“consensus reality”) and implying that there is a greater reality than what we normally accept, certain magickal, mystical, and paranormal phenomena may occur during an ASC.


Altered State of Consciousness

Wakefulness and sleep are the two most familiar states of consciousness. Others include dreaming, meditation, trance, hypnosis and self-hypnosis, hallucination, astral projection, etc. ASCs can be induced by sleep deprivation, chanting, fasting, ecstatic dancing, drumming, sex, psychedelic drugs, and conscious self-programming. Once you’ve been "there," it is easier to get there again.





American Middle Pillar and Auric Energizer

A practical exercise to stimulate six psychic centers, energize the aura, circulate energy and awareness throughout the aura, and then to expand the aura and awareness to encompass all the earth.




Ancient Astronauts

The belief that aliens landed on Earth thousands of years ago. Some contend that this ancient beings helped humanity develop and even evolve. Others claim they used early humans for their own ends.




Animal Magnetism
A term coined by Franz Mesmer describing what he considered to be a type of “fluid” or force that had magnetic qualities in people and that could be used to heal. Although this was clearly a type of energetic healing technique, he often includes positive suggestions along with sending the energy, which produced a trance-like condition in patients. Followers focused only on the trance and suggestion aspect leading to various forms of hypnotism.


Animal Magnetism

Etheric, or life, energy that, like Reich’s Orgone, is present in all animal life. It can be concentrated, stored, transferred and projected by magical practices—essentially the use of a trained imagination. It formed the basis for many of the practices of Mesmerism, considered by some to be an early forerunner of Hypnotism.




Animal Mutilation
Strange cases where the bodies of animals, frequently cattle, are mutilated in ways not expected. Although experts attribute these cases to natural predators, others disagree, pointing out what appears to be surgical precision to the wounds, claiming that the mutilations may be due to satanic cults or aliens.


Animal Psi

Expression used to describe what appears to be psychic or paranormal abilities in non-human animals. Sometimes represented by the term, “Anpsi.”




Announcing Dream

A concept relating to reincarnation. When a soul is ready to reincarnate, it will announce itself, often to the woman pregnant with the soul’s future body. Sometimes, however, another person—such as the future child’s father or other relative—will have the announcing dream. Implies that the soul of a person does not enter the body at inception.




Anomalous Experience

An experience that cannot be explained by currently accepted Western scientific theories.




Anomalous Phenomena

Phenomena found in the natural world that cannot be explained by currently accepted Western scientific theories. Also known as Fortean phenomena (named after the famed collector of reports of such phenomena, Charles Fort), an example would be a rain of frogs.




Anomaly
Something found that has no explainable source; strange, unrecognizable shapes appearing in photographs taken at haunted sites and cemeteries.


Anpsi

See Animal Psi.




Antigravity

A term used to describe any device that can either overcome or not be affected by gravity. Such a device has numerous potential benefits, ranging from space travel to high-speed rail or even personal transportation devices. Current forms of such devices tend to use high-powered magnets to slightly counter the effects of gravity, however they have limited range. Other, devices that their inventors claim are not affected by gravity, have not been consistently and reliably demonstrated under test conditions.




Apparition
A visible presence usually identified as a ghost. Often associated with the soul or spirit of a person that for some reason has not continued on their spiritual evolution and is “earth bound” or trapped close to earth until some activity can be concluded. Apparitions can be recorded by cameras and may clearly be individuals or as swathes of light or small, glowing spheres.


Apparition
A disembodied spirit that appears either fully or partially visible to the human eye; may be captured in photographs.


Apparition

A projection of one’s image that is seen by another. Unlike Astral Projection, the appearance is mostly spontaneous and does not involve the projector entering into a trance state. Apparitions are often connected with a personal crisis or intense interest in the other person. Sometimes the apparition is coincidental with the person’s death.




Apperception

A phenomenon in which sensory perceptions are associated with inner, subjective impressions.




Application Programs

The aptitudes and capabilities you demonstrate.  Many self-improvement classes give you new aptitudes that augment your "Application Programs."




Apport
A physical object that appears from nowhere. Usually, apports appear during a physical séance, and often at the request of a medium. Some believe they are instantly created from ectoplasm, while others believe that come from another dimension or location. Apports are usually small items, however numbers of roses are not uncommon.


Apport

The appearance of an object as if moved from another location by psychic means. It is believed to involve the dematerialization and then rematerialization of the object.




Area 51

A remote site of Edwards Air Force Base about 95 miles north of Las Vegas, Nevada. Known to the CIA as either Groom Lake or the Nevada Test and Training Range, it is used to design and test advanced aircraft. Many people believe it houses alien space ships that are being reversed engineered for their technology. Others believe it houses either the bodies of dead extraterrestrials or even living aliens who are giving the U.S. technological secrets. 




ASC
See Altered State of Consciousness


Asport

Although it means theft and larceny, when it comes to Spiritualism the word "asport" means something removed from a séance room by unknown means. It's the opposite of an apport, and is often found in a nearby room. One famous medium who made possessions of her sitters disappear was Eusapia Paladino.




Astral Ascent

An astral projection procedure induced by hypnosis to survey past life experiences and retrieve those particularly relevant to current needs.




Astral Aura

Each body or vehicle is inclusive of the one “beneath” it in the familiar scheme of levels of consciousness. With basic aura seeing, each higher vehicle’s aura extends further beyond the skin of the physical body in this sequence: physical body, etheric double, astral, mental, and causal vehicles for a total of four. Higher vehicles are not perceptible by ordinary clairvoyance.




Astral Awareness

The essential goal of astral projection is to extend awareness beyond the limitations of the physical brain to become fully conscious on the astral plane. Moving beyond single body limitation to multi-body consciousness our horizons become infinite.




Astral Bleeding
An involuntary loss of astral matter, frequently called ectoplasm. Most likely to occur when someone is traveling on the astral plane and does not now how to protect themselves in that area. Generally, this “bleeding” is seen by psychics as occurring from the solar plexus.


Astral Blue Beltway

The fluid stream of psychic energy used to convey telepathic messages in the Astral Telepathy System.




Astral Double

An alternate term for "astral body."




Astral Flow

A procedure designed to arrest sleep and induce Out-of-Body travel to designated destinations.




Astral Genotype

The unique cosmic structure underlying each person's individuality as a conscious entity.




Astral Outsourcing

A procedure designed to acquire outer growth resources available only through Out-of-Body interactions with higher astral planes.




Astral PK

A procedure designed to muster PK resources during the Out-of-Body state, and focus them on specific health or fitness goals.




Astral Plane Therapy

Methods of therapy that occur while having an out-of-body experience.




Astral Surfing

An Out-of-Body induction procedure designed to facilitate Out-of-Body astral scanning of multiple planes.




Astral Sweep

A technique to examine the physical plane while having an out-of-body experience.




Astral Sweep

A procedure designed to induce Out-of-Body clairvoyant scanning.




Astral Telepathy

A system for communicating without physical contact that involves being out-of-body.




Astral Walk

An Out-of-Body induction procedure that introduces Out-of-Body walking as a figurative, multi-directional phenomenon.




Aura Goggles

In 1908, Dr. Walter Kilner invented aura goggles involving screens of dicyanin dye by which he could perceive the ultra-violet part of the field around the body that he termed "The Human Atmosphere" in a book of that title he published in 1911.




Aura Photography
  1. A procedure that photographs the aura. See Kirlian Photography.
  2. A questionable technique that uses special lenses to produce a spurious set of colors around a person in a photograph. Often found at "psychic fairs" where people charge for the pictures and their interpretation.



Auto-hypnosis
A form of self-hypnosis where a person induces hypnosis in himself or herself, and gives suggestions, without the assistance of a device such as a recording of the hypnotic induction and suggestions.


Automatic Writing
A means by which a non-physical entity—classically a spirit of someone who has died—can communicate with the living. A person holds a pen or pencil on some paper in a relaxed and expectant state of mind (some believe it requires a trance state). Either the spirit moves the hand externally, or the spirit temporarily inhabits the body to do the writing to leave messages for the living. Often, the comments from the spirit are in answer to question asked by “sitters” at the séance or by the medium. Debunkers point out that this could easily be produced by fraud.


Automatic Writing

A psychic strategy in which spontaneous or involuntary writing is used to bring forth information, typically from the subconscious mind or seemingly guided by spirits. A form of Channeling in which a person, sometimes in trance, writes or even keyboards messages generally believed to originate with spiritual beings, or with aspects of the subconscious mind. 

In automatic writing, the hand holding a writing pen typically rests lightly upon a sheet of blank paper and is allowed to write spontaneously. Not infrequently, meaningless scribble will precede meaningful writing that becomes the channel between consciousness and the information source during which specific messages from either the subconscious or directly from the spirit world are received through spontaneous writing and then communicated to conscious awareness.





Automatism

A generic term for any of a set of actions—from simple finger movements to more complex and creative activities such as drawing, writing, composing or playing music, etc.—that occur without the conscious control of the person(s) doing the action. Debunkers accurately point out that the actions may be caused by the unconscious mind controlling the body, but cannot explain the quality that may result. One famous debunker, known for testing people’s claims to psychic powers, refuses to even consider the quality of such automatisms.




Autoscopy

Often an aspect of astral projection, autoscopy refers to the ability to see oneself from a position outside the body. It may refer to seeing the astral double or, upon projecting, to seeing one’s own physical body.




Backward-Acting Influences

Richard Shoup of the Boundary Institute believes “we are surrounded by backward-acting influences, in which the future causes the present. The reason we don’t see most of these backward-caused effects is that they are often small and subtle, and because we are looking in the wrong places for them.” (Quoted in Dossey, The Power of Premonition.) We have to be attentive and expand our awareness, and above all we must want to know the future and give them a means to show themselves through our psychic tools.




Bad Vibes

An uncomfortable sensation experienced in connection with person or place and interpreted as a forewarning of something dire. 




Banshee
(paranormal) A Scottish or Irish spirit; its scream or wail indicates an impending death.


Banshee
(myth) (from Celtic bean, woman, and sidhe, fairie) A fairy who is attached to certain old family lines, she wails before a death in the family. If seen, she may be clapping her hands. It is believed that the keening (caoine) performed by people at some Irish funerals may be an imitation of the wail of the banshee. Another traditional visual that would accompany the banshee is the “coach-a-bower” (coiste-bodhar). Drawn by headless horses, this is a large black coach with a coffin on it. If you open your door when it comes up, a basin of blood will be thrown in your face. This may be related to the times of the great plagues when carts would carry the dead away and it would make sense to keep your doors closed.


Basic Technique
A term used by paranormal investigators used to describe a simple and standard type of card guessing. A deck is shuffled and the subject is asked to name the top card. After the guess, the card is turned up to compare to the guess and placed to the side.


Beings of Light
Spiritual beings that live in the hereafter, heaven, or spirit world.


Bennington Triangle

An area in southwestern Vermont where, between 1920 and 1950, five people mysteriously vanished. This name was given to the wilderness area by author Joseph A. Citro in two books he wrote.




Bermuda Triangle
Originally given this name by Vincent Gaddis in Argosy magazine and popularized in a book by Charles Berlitz, it is an area in the Atlantic Ocean where a group of ships and planes have supposedly disappeared in surprising numbers. The triangle is an area where there are large amounts of UFO activity. Also called the “Devil’s Triangle,” its “points” occur in Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. Numerous explanations for the loss of ships in this are have been given, while others have attempted to debunk the claims completely.


Bethelda
Angel who appeared to Geoffrey Hodson, the clairvoyant and Theosophist, in 1924. Bethelda told him that angels were divided into specialized groups such as the angels of healing and the angels of nature.


Bigfoot
A large, hairy bipedal creature said to exist in wilderness areas of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, but has supposedly been sighted in other areas of the U.S. including the Great Lakes region and southern states. Although hoaxes concerning the creature have occurred, its existence has been indicated through physical signs (footprints, handprints, fecal matter, hair, blood) and even one brief film. The film’s authenticity, however, has been questioned. The creature is described as being 7–9 feet tall, covered with hair, having a horrible smell, and having human-like feet that are 15–18 inches in length. One researcher claimed footprints of about three feet in length, hence the name. Reports of the creature date back to the 1920s in Washington state, but it became more widely known after reports of the creature in Humboldt County, California, during the late 1950s.


Billet Reading
A technique where questions are written on small pieces of paper, then folded up or sealed in an envelope and given to a psychic who attempts to answer the question with the help of paranormal powers of information from spirit guides. Unfortunately, since the paper is so small, it is easily manipulated by fake psychics. The small piece of paper is known as a “billet.”


Bilocate
The ability to appear simultaneously in more than one place.


Bilocation
The ability to be in two different places at the same time.


Bilocation

(Also spelled bi-location) Instances where a person appears simultaneously in two separate locations, one of which is believed to be the physical body and the other the astral body.




Bio-PK

Term used by psychic researchers to describe the use of the mind to have an effect on biological functioning by paranormal means. An example would be speeding or slowing cell division in a Petri dish.




Blind
In paranormal experiments, something for which a test subject is not informed. In some cases, the experimenters will say they are testing for one thing (the blind) when in reality they are testing for something else.


Blind
A procedure where an independent judge determines if a drawings made by test subjects match target images.


Body of Light
Also known as the astral body, it is a figure that is created out of astral substance and used during astral projection to house the consciousness.


Body of Light

Sometimes used as an alternative for the Astral Body, but more correctly as an image created ritually out of the astral light through the power of imagination and used by a magician as a vehicle for conscious perception and action.

Suggested Reading

– Ashcroft-Nowicki & Brennan: Magical Use of Thought-Forms – A Proven System of Mental & Spiritual Empowerment

– Slate, J.H. & Weschcke, C.L.: Astral Projection for Psychic Empowerment, 2012, Llewellyn





Bohm’s Theory
Also known as Bohm’s Theory of Implicate Order, it indicates that there is a deeper connection between everything in the universe. David Bohm thought that there may be a deeper reality or interconnectedness that explains non-local quantum events.


Borley Rectory

Originally built in 1862, this Victorian mansion in Borley, Essex, England, became famous in 1929 when reports of paranormal phenomena and ghosts, published by famed researcher Harry Price, were published. Immediately, reports of spirit sightings increased.

The house was heavily damaged in a fire in 1939 and demolished in 1944. In 1948, after the death of Price and demolition of the house, Price’s accounts were somehow investigated by the Society for Psychical Research which determined that what Price saw was either faked or from natural causes. This has not prevented continued interest in what has been called “the most haunted house in England.”




Bottom Space

An altered state of consciousness that may be achieved by being a Bottom.




Bridgewater Triangle

An area in southeastern Massachusetts, described by research Loren Coleman (Mysterious America), where a great deal of paranormal activity has occurred. Consisting of about 200 square miles, sighting in the area have included bigfoot, thunderbirds, UFOs, giant snakes, fireballs, cattle mutilation, and orbs.




Broken-Corona Effect

In electrophotography, the phenomenon in which the electromagnetic pattern around the fingerpad separates into two parts during the Out-of-Body state. See electrophotography.




Cabinet

A large enclosure with a curtain in the front. Usually, they were big enough to hold a chair and a table. During a séance, a medium would be bound and secured within the cabinet, often tied to a chair or post. Objects such as tambourines and bells would be placed on the table. With the curtain closed spirits would supposedly “come through” the medium in some way to play the instruments, move things around, cause lights to flash, etc. Some magic entertainers have been able to simulate this as part of their show. 

Perhaps the most famous use of a cabinet was a variation made by Houdini in an attempt to catch the medium known as “Margery” in fraud. He put her in a box with holes for her head and arms in order to control her. Houdini claimed he proved her to be a fake, but his assistant later admitted to planting false evidence on her by Houdini’s instructions.




Card Guessing

A basic form of ESP testing. It uses a deck of cards (such as regular playing cards or Zener cards) and repeated rounds of testing. This technique can be used to test for precognition, by having the subject guess a card before it is revealed, telepathy, by having the subject guess a card being looked at by the tester, etc.




Celestial Learning

 The Sleep-Learning program, also called Celestial Learning, is based on the premise that bodies of knowledge presently unavailable to conscious awareness exist in the astral realm and can be acquired through spontaneous out-of-body travel during sleep. The program recognizes individual differences in rates of learning and the possibility of accelerating learning through out-of-body interactions during sleep with advanced learning specialists. 

Celestial Learning emphasizes two critical conditions related to out-of-body learning during sleep: 

  1. Clearly formulated affirmations related to a specific goal (Example: I am becoming fluent in German), and 
  2. Review during drowsiness on previous learning experiences related to the designated goal.  

The study found that students actively engaged in a variety of learning situations experienced a rapid improvement in the rate of learning as well as retention through Celestial Learning. The program, rather than directly inducing our-of-body travel, simply established the pre-sleep conditions conducive to spontaneous travel.

 





Chalice of Power

In the PK Pool of Power, a procedure used to take water from the PK astral pool and pour it over the astral body. See PK Pool of Power.




Champ

A lake monster believed to inhabit Lake Champlain, which crosses the US and Canadian borders and the New York and Vermont borders. Similar to the more famous Loch Ness Monster (Nessie), there have been over three hundred sightings of this creature.




Chance

The occurrence and development of events without any obvious design; random, unpredictable influences on events that cannot be anticipated by normal means.




Channeler
A person who allows a spirit to speak through them. This involves the (usually) willing participation of the channeler who temporarily allows a spirit to “possess” their body. A spirit medium may or may not be a channeler. Also known as a “trance medium” (and incorrectly a “transmedium”).


Channeling
A technique of communicating with a non-physical entity. The channeler or trance medium allows a non-physical entity (usual a spirit) to inhabit or take over their body to they can more easily share information, guidance, etc.


Channeling

Receiving information from a discarnate entity or a higher spiritual being. It may also refer to communication with an aspect of one’s own subconscious mind. It is similar to, but not necessarily the same as, the spirit communication of mediumship. In both, however, one person serves as bridge between a spirit or spiritual intelligence and people of ordinary consciousness. In spirit communication, the medium is more often unaware of the communication; in channeling of spiritual intelligence, the channeler is more often aware and sometimes a participant. 

Automatic Writing is a form of Channeling in which a person, sometimes in trance, writes or even keyboards messages generally believed to originate with spiritual beings, or with aspects of the subconscious mind.

Suggested Reading –

Wiseman: Writing the Divine – How to Use Channeling for Soul Growth & Healing




Charles Fort

(1874–1932) Writer and novelist who achieved fame for collecting reports of paranormal phenomena in works such as The Book of the Damned.




Charles Richet

(1850—1935) Famed French physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1913 for his work on understanding acute allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis. Richet also studied Spiritualism, investigated mediums, and became the president of the UK's famed Society for Psychical Research (in 1905). He believed that there was a physical explanation for mediumistic phenomena, rather than adhering to the idea that the phenomena were caused by spirits. He believed that some of the phenomena were caused by the medium's "sixth sense" (the ability to perceive non-physical "vibrations"), not spirits. Other phenomena, he believed, were caused by the medium projecting a material substance from their bodies. He called this substance "ectoplasm," a term that is still widely used.




Check and Verify

A vital procedure in all astral training because astral consciousness includes the faculties of imagination and dreaming and untrained they lead to fantasy and even delusion. Variations of the phrase include “test and verify” and “trust, but verify.”




Cheval

See Horse.




Chupacabra

First reportedly sighted in Puerto Rico, this mysterious paranormal creature, or cryptid, is so named because it has become known for supposedly drinking the blood of domesticated animals, especially goats. The name is literally Spanish for "goat sucker."

Now believe to roam the US (especially in southern states), Mexico, and Puerto Rico, descriptions of the creature vary. It may have three large teeth, have a line of spikey spines running from its tail up its back to its neck, and be as large as a small bear. A few carcasses of animals have turned up that people claim to have been a chupacabra, but these have been revealed as mistaken identification or fraud.




Cipher Test
A code set up by a person that he or she intends to use to prove that they are actually communicating after their death.


circle
Another name for a group of people having a séance.


Clairaudience
One of several psychic abilities, this is the description of supranormal auditory talents, allowing a person to hear beyond the normal purview of the ears. Sometimes used to hear a message from a spirit.


Clairaudience

The psychic ability to hear things inaudible to most people, such as the voices of spirits, sometimes sounds of inanimate objects such as crystals, minerals, artifacts, etc. 




Clairsentience
One of several psychic abilities, this is a description of general supranormal feelings. That is, a person with this ability can sense or feel something beyond the normal purview of the physical senses. Sometimes described as a “knowing” of some information.


Clairsentient
A person with the psychic ability of being able to sense, feel or know information (including knowledge, smells, tastes, etc.) without the use of the physical senses.


Clairvoyance
One of several psychic abilities, this is the description of supranormal visual talents, allowing a person to see beyond the normal purview of the eyes. Such visual ability may allow a person to see past or future events or present events which were not physically observed. Also the ability to see non-physical things such as spirits.


Clairvoyance

Sometimes called “ESP,” the psychic ability to perceive things invisible to most people, such as auras, various health indicators, spirits, as well as things at a distance in space or time. It includes skrying.

Both clairaudience and clairvoyance, and other psychic skills, have been induced through hypnosis and self-hypnosis showing them to be innate to the human psyche.

"As part of the unfoldment of the human intellect into omniscience, the development occurs at a certain stage of human evolution of fully-conscious, positive clairvoyance. This implies an extension, which can be hastened by means of self-training, of the normal range of visual response to include both physical rays beyond the violet and, beyond them again, the light of the superphysical worlds…It is important to differentiate between the passive psychism of the medium, and even the extrasensory perception (ESP of parapsychology), and the positive clairvoyance of the student of occultism. This later, completely under the control of the will and used in full waking consciousness, is the instrument of research…to enter and explore the Kingdom of the Gods."

Hodson, Geoffrey: The Kingdom of the Gods, 1953, Theosophical Pub. House, Madras, India. (Page 9)

Suggested Reading –

Katz: You Are Psychic, The Art of Clairvoyant Reading & Healing

Owens: Spiritualism & Clairvoyance for Beginners, Simple Techniques to Develop Your Psychic Abilities

Slate & Weschcke: Psychic Empowerment for Everyone




Clairvoyance

Although generally used to mean any sort of psychic ability to know, see, hear things from afar, in the future or past, on the spiritual planes, etc., among Spiritualists it is specifically used to mean some form of psychic sight. It can occur to a person either as subjective clairvoyance or objective clairvoyance, and may be challenging for a person having this experience to discriminate between the two. Further, the difference between the two can be viewed as a continuum rather than as an either/or type of experience.




Clairvoyant
A person with the power of clairvoyance. A mental medium.


Clairvoyant

(“Clear-seeing”) A person who can obtain information through “seeing” things that others do not.




Clairvoyant Medium

A person who obtains information through “seeing” things, usually via spirit communications, that others do not.




Clairvoyant Reversal

A rare phenomenon in which clairvoyant information is revealed in reverse form. Examples are reversed numbers and spellings.




Clairvoyant Sweeping

Liberation of the clairvoyant faculty to probe other realities. See Astral Sweep.




Clear
The process of driving evil or negativity from a person, thing, or area. Witches and magickal practitioners clear an area before performing magick. Similar to a banishing, but often does not use a formal ritual.


Closed Deck

A set of cards used in ESP testing such as Zener cards. A subject tries to determine or “guesses” the symbol on card being viewed by a tester or predicts the next card and each card appears a fixed number of times. Statistical analysis of tests run using a closed deck uses different protocols than testing using an open deck. (See “Open Deck.”)




Cloud Busting

A technique used by Wilhelm Reich wherein he used a device that supposedly fired Orgone energy at clouds to make it rain. He officially used it twice and received some level of success, eventually abandoning the practice for fear of lawsuits from people who might claim too much rain or that he was taking rain away from other areas. Instead, he used the device to "shoot down" what he believed were UFOs that were trying to destroy our world.




Cloud Dissolving

A supposedly psychic technique of choosing a small cloud and causing it to quickly dissolve at will. This is also used by some people as a test of their psychic abilities or to prove one's psychic abilities to others. Debunkers claim this is not real, as most small non-storm clouds will dissipate on their own (especially on windy days) within about 20 minutes. However someone trying to make clouds dissolve will usually achieve his or her goal in a few seconds or minutes. 




Cold Reading
A technique used primarily by fake psychics and false mediums to deceive people. The basic principle of cold reading is that people can be pumped for information and then made to believe that this data was received supernaturally. This is combined with people’s almost egocentric tendency to find serious meaning in general statements. Most people help the “miracle” along by tending to read deeper into something than is justified.


Collective Apparition
An apparition seen by more than one person simultaneously.


Collective Clairvoyance

The combining of clairvoyant faculties of two or more persons to gather clairvoyant information.




Collective Vision
The name for the experience of several people simultaneously observing a visual image such as an apparition.


Color Ray of Influence
Every mineral reflects some portion of the natural color spectrum. These reflections connect the crystal energy and earth power of the mineral to the human mind. These are the Color Rays of Influence.


Color Wheel of Influence
Shows the cycles of human life and the cycles of the Earth combined within the color spectrum. It matches human activities, desires, and life events to the cycles of the Earth and depicts the appropriate color ray of influence for a talisman.


Communication

In the discussion of mediumship, a message from a non-physical entity. “I received this communication from spirit.” Also see "Spirit Communication."




Composite Strategy for Telepathy

A two-component strategy for activating telepathic sending and receiving.




Contact Mind Reading
A technique, traditionally used in the beginning of training for the development of telepathy, where one person reads the mind of another while lightly touching the other person (usually holding the hand or an arm). Also known as muscle reading or Hellstromism, after the performer Hellstrom who demonstrated this in public shows. To develop true mind reading, first learn contact mind reading, then, instead of touching the person, connect with the person through a hard objects such as a yardstick or broom handle. Once that is perfected, replace the hard object with a soft one such as a handkerchief. When that is perfected, eliminated the physical contact, but look at the person’s eyes. Finally, perform tests without looking at the person.


Continuum of Attentiveness

A phenomenon characterizing the liberated discarnate state, in which command of past experiences exists on a need-to-know basis.




Continuum of Awareness

A phenomenon characterizing the typical incarnate state of constricted memory.




Control Group

A group of random people who are given a test, the results of which give a baseline range or “norms” as part of clinical experimental protocols. A subject would then be tested and the results of his or her tests would be compared to the norms.




Corn Circle

See Crop Circle.




Corona-Discharge Photography

See electrophotography.




Cosmic Actualization

The full realization of personal growth potentials related to past-life experiences.





Cosmic Expose

A strategy designed to activate Out-of-Body precognition by focusing on external, cosmic sources of precognition.




Cosmic Gateway to Power

A Procedure leading to self-empowerment through astral projection facilitated by a framed sheet of clear glass.




Cosmic Map

In Past-Life Excursion, a chart of the orbs and lines representing elements of our past, including pre-incarnate, incarnate, and discarnate experiences. See Past-Life Excursion.




Counterpart

The astral double. That aspect of physical matter—alive or not—that exists only on the astral plane. The counterpart can survive after its physical plane aspect has ceased to exist. 




Creative Motion

An OBE preparatory exercise designed to extinguish any subconscious resistance to astral projection by focusing on moving images outside the body.




Crisis Apparition
An apparition seen on (or just before or after) the anniversary of their death.


Crop Circle

Sometimes associated with, but not limited to, UFO lore in which 1) often crudely formed "amateur" geometric patterns are found in agricultural fields of such crops as grass, corn, wheat, etc. 2) Finely detailed and "professional" complex geometric patterns in the midst of field crops. In both instances, these large scale "drawings" happen at night. In most of the "amateur" class examples, pranksters have admitted to dragging wood beams to break down the crops. In the case of the "professional" class examples, no human explanations have been uncovered. Theories range from alien communications to unusual natural gravitational or electromagnetic effects. Until understood, the phenomena remains classed as paranormal.




Cross Correspondences
Some sort of message from non-physical entities such as spirits.


Crossroads
The intersection of two roads, such a location is sometimes a locus of paranormal activity. This may be related to the ancient worship of the Greek goddess Hekate. Besides being the goddess of the home, of newborns, and of Witches, she was also considered the goddess of the crossing of three roads. Often, a small pile of stones at such sites would mark the location of her worship. By the end of the sixteenth century, such worship was downplayed and the location of three roads (tri via) resulted in a word, trivial, meaning ordinary, commonplace, or vulgar. In the early 1900s, Trivialities was the title of a book by L.P. Smith which popularized the term as meaning “things of little consequence.”


Cryptethesia

A term used by some Spiritualists to describe all aspects of mental mediumship. This is where there are no physical phenomena produced; however, the medium is able to bring forth messages to the sitters. The term was coined by Charles Richet.




Cryptomnesia

Supposed original thoughts that are actually the recall of forgotten memories. These may be mistaken as paranormal revelatons and may explain some past-life memories.




Crystalline Sphere

A technique that uses an out-of-body session to re-experience past-life origins of traumas that have resulted in negative effects in you current life and liberating yourself from their impact.




CWW

See Cosmos Wide Web.




Deathbed Experience

The experience that some dying people seem to have wherein they see and communicate with dead friends and relatives.




Debunker
A person who attempts to disprove false beliefs, facts, or information. Some debunkers, rather than doing this, attempt to disprove any beliefs, facts, or information that refutes their own beliefs, often relying on such techniques as misrepresentation, “straw man” arguments, and ridicule rather than using science or logic.


Decline Effect

In aura photography, the decline in brightness of recorded images.




Decline Effect

In tests of psychic abilities, an expression that describes how some subjects may have decreasing results over time.




Deja Vu
The feeling that current experiences are repetitions of something that has happened previously.


Deja Vu

Traditionally written déjà vu [French], a phenomenon in which a new event appears familiar or as if it had been previously experienced.




Delta

An umbrella term for any anomalous experience.




Dematerialization

An inexplicable fading away or sudden disappearance of a physical object.




Dematerialization

The fading away or disappearance of an entity or object that is usually invisible, such as a spirit or ghost.




Demystifying the Paranormal

The process of exploring paranormal phenomena to make it less mystical and more scientific.




Derma-optic Perception

Seeing (stimulation of the optic nerve receptors) through the skin.




Destination Control

A strategy utilizing sleep to induce out-of-body travel.




Developing Circle

A term used by Spiritualists to denote a group of people, generally ones who meet regularly, with a goal of being trained to develop mediumistic or psychic abilities.




Dice Test

One of any type of tests uses by parapsychologists using dice to test the psychic abilities of a subject. Skills tested for may include the ability to predict or control the numbers that will appear on the next (or a future) throw of the dice, or the ability to determine the number showing on dice that is either observed by the experimenter or hidden from the experimenter.




Dicyanin
A blue dye that has allegedly been made difficult to possess since WWII. Walter J. Kilner (1847–1920), a British physician, developed “screens” consisting of two sheets of glass with dicyanin sealed between them. He believe that by looking through them you could sensitize your eyes, allowing you to see onto the astral plane. For years, FATE magazine sold small versions of these “Kilner Screens” or “Dicyanin Screens” known as “Aura Goggles.”


Dimension

The term “dimension” has certain specific meanings in mathematics and physics, such as the three dimensions of length, width, and height. To mystics and occultists, a dimension is the area in which we exist and which is bounded by the extent of our normal five senses. Thus, we normally experience life in this physical dimension while the next or astral dimension is outside of our normal apprehension and is usually observed only via paranormal senses.




Dimension

Each Plane or level of reality has certain distinctive characteristics of Space, Substance, Energy, Consciousness, Nature, and “Rules of Engagement” that must be recognized as determinate for phenomena at that particular level and for efficient and effective functioning of consciousness at the chosen level. According to the esoteric teachings of Henry Laurency the increase from three dimensions at the physical plane to four at the astral, five at the mental, etc. seven at the manifestal. 




Direct Voice Phenomenon
The hearing of voices, usually sharing of information or answering questions, primarily during a séance. The voices are heard coming from near the medium or out of a megaphone known as a “horn” or “trumpet.” The voice does not come from the medium.

One of the most famous cases of DVP took place during séances given by “Margery.” While being tested by Houdini, she had to breathe into a device that would visually indicate that she could not be using her own voice. Houdini claimed that he proved her a fake, but his assistant later claimed that the master magician had him plant fake evidence.


Direct Voice Phenomenon

When a medium allows a spirit to directly speak through her/him, it appears to be the voice of the deceased.




Direct Writing
During a séance, the appearance of writing on a surface that was unmarked. It may appear all at once, either suddenly or gradually, or it may appear letter by letter. Supposedly, the writing is from a spirit.


Directive

"A directive is a small sample, or token, of what you are going to search for: a little bottle of water for instance, a chip of whatever mineral, a sample coin or artifact, a few leaves if you seek a particular plant, or, no matter what may be your quest, its name in bold lettering on a piece of card. These are only a few examples of possible directive; there is no end to their variety, and dowsers exercise great ingenuity sometimes in devising tokens to represent successfully something of which no sample can be had."




Discarnate
Literally “outside of the body,” it is a synonym for a ghost, spirit, or non-physical entity.


Discarnate History

A record of one's personal existence in the discarnate realm between past lifetimes and following one's final incarnation.




Discarnate Manifestation

Any of a myriad of manifestations of the discarnate realm, to include ghosts and hauntings.





Displacement

Certain parapsychology tests involve series of turns, such as guessing a series of cards. In some occasions, subjects have shown greater accuracy not of the immediate target, but of one two, three, or more in the future. This type of result is known as displacement.




Dissociation
In occult terminology, the separation of the astral body from the physical body. In psychology it means moving from a position of first person to third person. In some situations, this can be a good thing. For example, it can be a natural response to abuse and violence to protect the mind. However, staying is a dissociated state is a sign of extreme mental illness.


Distant Viewing

See Remote Viewing.




DMILS

An abbreviation for Direct Mental Interaction with Living Systems, it means that the subject has been able to show some sort of influence via paranormal means over natural physiological processes.




Doors

A strategy that emphasizes imagery, choice and self-determination in acquiring psychic information, particularly of a precognitive nature to possibly allow conscious influence of future events.





Doppelganger
(German for “double walker”) An astral or non-physical spirit that looks identical to a physical person. Often seen by the person for whom the döppelganger is a duplicate.


Doppelganger

A seemingly unconscious projection of the astral body.




Double Blind

In scientific research, including parapsychology, a procedure wherein neither the subject nor even the experimenter is aware of valuable key aspects of the experiment. For example, one experimenter could put a variety of photos in separate envelopes. A second experimenter would randomly choose one of the envelopes and could not have any idea of what is in the envelope. The subject would try to determine, paranormally, what is in the envelope.




Down Through Technique

A parapsychological test where the subject is required to guess (or determine paranormally) the order of a set of symbols (such as cards) from top to bottom.




Dreamholders
A secondary power of the minerals that form in the monoclinic crystal system. These minerals often appear to have a hazy surface as if there is something veiled from our sight just beneath the surface. They are used to aid us in focusing our energy to hold onto our dreams.


Earthbound
The spirit or soul of a deceased person that, for some reason, is trapped on earth and unable to spiritually evolve. Reasons for being earthbound include a spirit’s need to give a message to someone, the atonement for an act committed while living, fear of “moving on,” watching over a loved one, etc.


Earthbound

The belief that some spirits, especially those dying in sudden and unexpected transitions, and children, cling to the earth experience they knew and fear moving on and resist the natural process.

Suggested Reading

Davidson: Spirit Rescue, A Simple Guide to Talking with Ghosts and Freeing Earthbound Souls.

Crawford: Spirit of Love, a Medium’s Message of Life Beyond Death




Earthquake Effect
A spectacular paranormal phenomena produced by the medium D.D. Home (pronounced “hume”) where an entire room would shake, as if there were an earthquake.


Ecto Mist
A misty or cloudy substance that had been recorded on film. It often has the appearance of fog and may not have been visible to the eyes.


Ectoplasm
A viscous substance said to come from the spirit world. Usually milky white in color when visible, this substance, is claimed to be the means by which spirits produce poltergeist or telekinetic activity. Highly controversial during the heyday of séances, it would sometimes become physical by way of a “physical medium,” being exuded from her orifices, solar plexus, or fingertips. The substance is said to be “plastic,” that is, highly moldable, and can form faces, limbs, or complete human figures. Often accompanied by an acrid smell similar to ozone.


Ectoplasm

A misty appearing substance emitted from various body orifices of the medium believed to originate from the etheric body.




Edgar Cayce

(1877–1945) An American psychic known as the "Sleeping Prophet" due to his delivery of thousands of readings during a trance-like state. The founder of the Association for Research and Enlightenment, many of his readings gave unorthodox healing methods that many people claim are highly effective. Although a Christian, many of his channelings are decidedly non-orthodox, including a belief in reincarnation. He also gave information on Atlantis, wars, the end of the world, etc. Many of his ideas were accepted as part of what later became the New Age Movement. As with most people called psychics, some skeptics have denounced him. Others have pointed out that his belief in five human races, following in the teachings of Madame Blavatsky, was endemic to the times, allowing for the acceptance of racism, anti-Semitism, etc.




EEG

Electroencephalography. A practice often used during parapsychological testing that observes and/or records (via an electroencephalogram) the electrical activity of the brain, especially in the cortex, the outermost layer of the cerebrum (it appears folded and gray) that seems to play an important role in consciousness.




Electrokinesis

The paranormal ability to generate and manipulate forms of energy, especially electricity, using only the powers of the mind.




Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)
Ghostly activity is frequently accompanied by changes in an area’s electromagnetic fields. Paranormal investigators use EMF detectors to discover paranormal “hot spots.” Sudden changes can also indicate that some sort of unusual activity is about to begin.


Electronic Voice Phenomenon
A spiritual voice that is recorded on tape or disk. Although paranormal investigators may be able to reproduce EVP at sites of hauntings, amateur investigators have had great success in producing such recordings in graveyards. The technique involves using a recorder and microphone turned to maximum recording levels. The result is the recording of wideband noise (often called “white noise” or “pink noise”), which has within it ghostly voices that may be very clear.


Electrophotography

Developed by the Russian scientists Semyon and Valentina Kirlian in 1939, electrophotography is a technique in which an object being photographed, such as a finger tip, is placed in direct contact with film placed on a metal plate charged with electricity of high voltage and frequency. Electrophotography was hailed by many parapsychologists as “a way to see the unseeable” and “a window on the unknown” which could revolutionize our concept of self and the universe” (Ostrander and Schroeder). These authors concluded that the Kirlians had photographed the etheric or energy body and provided a new technique for “exploring the energy body of ESP.”

See also Kirlian Photography.

Suggested Reading: Ostrander, S. & Schroeder, L.: Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain.




Elemental Essence

The primary substance composing subtle bodies.

Suggested Reading – Bladon, L.: The Science of Spirituality




Elf Fire
A fire produced by psychically. Also, a type of phosphorescent light seen around swamps also known as a will o’ the wisp.


Elongation

A rare physical phenomenon observed as occuring to some mystics and mediums wherein a paranormal extention of the physical body appears.




Emotional Clairvoyance
A psychic episode during which an individual receives a mental image accompanied with intense feelings of dread or grief over a current or future traumatic or disturbing event.


Emotional Matter

The substance (matter) of the astral plane, of its energies and “operating system” is defined as Emotion. Whenever and however we experience what we know as emotion (feeling, love, desire, affection, ambition, gratitude, etc.) our astral body and the astral world are the field of action. Emotion is the energy "powering" most intentional psychic and magical operations, the energy responsible for many types of psychic phenomena, possibly including hauntings, poltergeists, rapping, etc.




Empath
A individual with the psychic ability to perceive, absorb, and directly experience the strong emotions and/or intense physical sensations of others.


Empath Suffering
The anguish experienced by empaths who unwittingly absorb the mental ills and bodily pain of others. Empaths who experience this phenomena are extraordinarily sensitive to emotional and bodily energies and must protect themselves from taking on the psychological and physical symptoms of those around them.


Empathy
The ability to psychically perceive, absorb, and directly experience emotions of others.


Empowerment
The acceptance or assertion of some form of personal power, which can be worldly or spiritual. Some groups use the term as a name for certain initiation rituals.


Energy
The ability to accomplish work. In metaphysical terms, there are two broad categories for this energy. Personal energy is created from within the body. Universal energy is exterior to the body and is either considered to be “from the universe” or from the Divine. The energy may be directed by the will for such functions as magick, healing, charging talismans, etc.


Energy Ball
A collection of inner energy that forms a sphere-like shape. The creation of energy balls between the hands is a common exercise when learning how to generate, extend, and direct personal energy (sometimes combined with universal energy). The purpose is to prove to a person that the energy does exist (it is tangible) and as preparation to direct the energy for everything from healing to telekinesis.


ESA

See Extrasensory Apperception.




ESP

(Also E.S.P.) See Extrasensory perception.




ESP Cards

Also known as Zener cards, a deck of twenty-five cards consisting of five sets of repeating symbols believed to be easily and clearly visualized and differentiated. The five symbols are a cross, a circle, a square, three wavy lines, and a five-pointed star. The cards were designed by a perceptual psychologist, Karl Zener, in the 1930s, for use in experiments by his colleague, J.B. Rhine. 




Etheric Training Memory Stations Procedure

A very systematic process for training memory and visualization skills, focusing on one “station” at a time within a short walk within the home, preferably leading from the sleeping area and back in a circle. After extensive “live practice,” the walk is repeated entirely in the imagination. It is a valuable preparatory technique for astral projection and lucid dreaming. It is adapted from The Art & Practice of Astral Projection by Ophiel.




Exorcism
A rite or ritual used to force unwanted entities or spirits to leave a person, place, or thing.


Exorcist
A person who performs an exorcism. In Roman Catholicism, a priest who has been trained and authorized to perform a special rite for this purpose, made famous by the movie of the same name.


Expansive Consciousness

An Out-of-Body state in which personal identity remains intact with acute awareness of one's own being as an independent entity.




Experiment

A test of a theory, preferably performed under scientific conditions and controls. Many occult magicians consider rituals to be types of experiments.




Experimental Group

In parasychological scientific research, an experimental group is a set of people who take the same tests to rate their paranormal ability. This compares with a control group, who are similarly tested and form a base line to compare against the experimental group.




Experimental Method

Derived from the practices of medieval alchemists, the experimental method is at the heart of Western science. It involves these steps:

  1. Through observation and research, an educated guess or hypothesis is made concerning the cause and action of the observation.
  2. The hypothesis is tested via more observation and the use of controlled experiments to determine its accurateness. If the hypothesis does not explain all of the observations, it needs to be changed. When the final hypothesis explains all data, the method moves to the next stage.
  3. The researcher calls on other experimenters to duplicate his or her work. Experiments to prove or disprove a hypothesis are not considered valid unless everything can be successfully reproduced. If others cannot duplicate the research, the original experimenters may return to the beginning and start over or abandon this completely. However, if the research is replicated and other researchers agree with the hypothesis, that hypothesis may be developed into a theory.
  4. Theories should be able to predict other observations and behaviors. If experiments by different people show that the theory is correct, and if the theory accurately predicts the observation and behavior of something based on discovery within the theory, that theory becomes a scientific law—until superseded by another theory that better explains all observations.

Thus, a theory in science does not mean one explanation out of many. Rather, it means the best and most complete explanation of all known data.

Also known as the "scientific method."




Experimental Parapsychology

The description of actually performing experiments studying the paranormal rather than merely theorizing, reviewing other tests, comparing anecdotal reports, etc.




Experimenter Effect

Although long acknowledged by occultists, the experimenter effect has only recently been accepted as a potential reality by mainstream scientists. The effect states that the experimenters behavior, personality, observation, or mere presence may alter the results of scientific testing.

 



Extra

Term used by Spiritualists to describe the appearance of a face, a partial figure, or complete person within a photo even though that image was not seen when the picture was taken.




Extradimensional

Something or some entity that exists outside of our normal dimension. Sometimes, extradimensional entities or objects may cross over and appear in our dimension.




Extrasensory Apperception

A phenomenon in which sensory perceptions of changes produced in external objects are related to internal psychic elements or faculties to reveal new psychic knowledge. Examples are sand reading and the wrinkled-sheet technique.




Extrasensory Perception
Also written as Extra Sensory Perception, this is a phrase introduced by Dr. J.B. Rhine of the Department of Parapsychology at Duke University. It is used as a general term to describe all sorts of phenomena that cannot be perceived through our usual senses. This includes clairvoyance (seeing things at a distance farther than our normal vision would allow) and clairaudience (hearing things at a greater distance than our normal hearing would allow). These perceptions may not only be from a greater distance, but also from different times or from areas that are not on the physical plane.


Extrasensory Perception
A term created by Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine of Duke University to describe the apparent ability of some people to obtain information without the use of the five physical senses.


Extraterrestrial

Something, especially an entity, that comes to the planet Earth from someplace other than Earth. Usually not equated with extradimensional.




False Memory Syndrome
While under hypnosis by a person not trained in proper ways to recover memories (“forensic hypnosis”), or by use of intimidation or simply being in a position of authority, a victim may be coerced into creating “memories” and actually come to believe such confabulations to be objectively real. The result has been harmful to victims and their families, as such “memories” often include wild stories of satanic and/or sexual abuse. In some situations, court cases costing millions of dollars have been based on statements of people suffering from this syndrome.


Feedback

At the conclusion of parapsychological experiments, giving test subjects information about the relative success they had on the test.




Feedback

At the conclusion of public rituals, a discussion of what worked and what was less successful.




Fetch
A type of guardian angel.


Fetch
A name for the astral body.


Fetch
A spirit sent, as the result of a spell or ritual, to retrieve something.


Field
Another term for the environment. It encompasses everything from our living environment—such as the air we breathe, the water we drink and the influence of the people around us—to our own private world. Our private world includes such things as what we eat, how we experience physical activity, how we feel about ourselves, how much stress and anxiety we feel and so on. In other words, the field or environment means everything in our existence: thoughts, beliefs and feelings; how we nurture and care for our physical bodies; and the world we live in, whether that be a peaceful house in the country or the excitement and chaos of a big city.


Field

The First Thing, the field of manifestation. Consciousness, from which first Energy and then Matter arose as Energy/Matter packets that manifest as Waves or Particles. The Field is the Source for all that follows – today as yesterday and as tomorrow. The Field can be accessed through deliberate thought and responds to emotion expressed with intention.

Through the Field we can change ‘reality,’ hence it is the field of magic, phenomena, and of miraculous things that matter.

Suggested Reading

McTaggart: The Field, the Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe

McTaggart: The Intention Experiment, Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World




Final Frontier

The concept that we must develop consciousness raising psychic technology to facilitate our search for knowledge & understanding to continue our evolutionary journey beyond perceived physical limitations.




Fire Walk

The ability to walk barefoot, with no burns or tissue damage, not on fire per se, but on coals that are red hot or hotter. Many practitioners claim it requires an altered state of consciousness to walk across the super-heated coal. It certainly requires an attitude of willingness to cross what appears to be highly dangerous. Debunkers have given multiple reasons as to why this is possible, but as of this time have not shown that any of their reasons is the actual one that allows this phenomenon. Debunkers have been aided in their position by the fact that the first person to fire walk in the West was well-known Indian magician Kuda Bux (1906–1981).




Flare
A bright area in the aura that indicates some sort of problem or emotional turmoil associated with that level of the aura (as well as the location in the aura).


Flying Rods

A photographic phenomenon where video cameras or still cameras take photos that seem to show rod-like images or objects traversing the photo. Some debunkers have claimed that these are simply flying insects that form a blur and move too fast or too close to the lens to be clearly photographed.




Flying Saucer

On June 24, 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing flying objects he could not identify. He described them using terms such as “pie-plate,” “ disc,” and “saucer.” News media reported this as Arnold seeing a flying saucer and the term stuck. The term is generally considered obsolete as it doesn't include the shapes of other such sightings of triangles, spheres, oblongs, etc. As a result, the usual modern expression is UFO or Unidentified Flying Object.




Focal Person

During the investigation of poltergeist (or poltergeist-like) activity, it is usually discovered that the sounds, movements, etc. are centered around one person, most often an adolescent female. Such an individual is known as a focal person.




Force, The

The primal Energy in the Field. As the Force, Prana, Chi, Orgone, etc. it is everywhere and is the Power the gives us Life.  




Forer Effect

Named after psychologist Betram R. Forer. In 1948 he created an experiment that showed that if people receive general descriptions that could apply to anyone, they will accept it as specifically applying to themselves. Debunkers use this phenomenon to explain away the methods of people claiming to give psychic readings. Examples of phrases used to represent this effect are sometimes called Barnum Statements.




Fortean Phenomena
Named after author and researcher Charles Fort (1874–1932) who collected such information, Fortean phenomena are strange, bizarre, and almost always inexplicable through current scientific theories. Example: rains of fish, stones, or frogs.


Four Elemental Winds Exercise

A basic exercise consistent with that of the Magic Circle and the Qabalistic Cross that awakens and balances the elemental forces in your own psyche.




Fourth Dimension

While Time is called the fourth dimension in Relativity Physics, it is also a non-spatial addition to the physical three dimensions of space found on the astral plane enabling a clairvoyant to see all three dimensions of an object at once.




Fox Fire
Another name for the mysterious lights often seen over marshy ground or old cemeteries at night. Also known as Will O’ the Wisp. In Japanese folklore, glowing balls carried by foxes (kitsune-bi).


Fox Sisters
Two young girls who, in the mid-19th century, began hearing spirits making knocking sounds in their New York home. This quite literally started the popularity of séances to obtain spirit raps in the US, and helped to get going the religion of Spiritualism, part of which is the belief that you can communicate with the deceased through the help of a medium. Later they became professional performers, sank into alcoholism, admitted they were fakes and had created the knocks through non-paranormal means, and later recanted their admission.


Fraud

Deliberate faking of paranormal phenomena for the purpose of notoriety, manipulation, financial gain, etc. When done for entertainment it is not considered fraud.




Free-Response Test

An ESP test where the subject, without knowing what targets the testers are considering, freely talks, draws, writes, etc. When the test concludes, a judge compares what the subject has done with the targets and rates the subject's success.




Ganzfeld

German for "entire field," it is an experimental technique originally devised in the 1930s by Wolfgang Metzger for investigating a psychological theory. Some parapsychologists have used the protocol as a way of increasing ESP. Generally, the technique forces a subject to turn inward through a type of sensory deprivation. The subject hears only white or pink noise. Ping pong balls are cut in half and placed over the eyes with red lights shined upon them. This bland environment supposedly results in a person turning inward for stimulation, resulting in enhanced senses: ESP. Some researchers have declared that the results are strongly and quantifiably successful, but others say the results are non conclusive.




Gas Discharge Visualization

Also known as GDV, Gas Discharge Visualization is a form of aura photography developed by Russian scientist, Dr. Konstantin Korotkov, using glass electrodes creating a pulsed electrical field to detect stress levels in preventative medicine. This technology led to the creation of the GDV (Gas Discharge Visualization) camera to photograph energy fields at the quantum level enabling the user to observe the real-time effectiveness of medical treatments. The GDV camera is now certified as a medical instrument and is used in Russian hospitals and among medical professionals. One of the particular uses has been to identify plants and flowers useful in treating human health needs.

As a result of GDV technology, there is a new perception of the body as a web of energies that also extend beyond its borders to intercommunicate with its environment including other human, plant, animal and the energy fields of the planet. In addition Dr. Koroktkov and his associates experimentally confirmed the esoteric concept that there is a kind of collective intelligence or spirit relating to a garden of vegetation, a forest grove or garden, and even of humanity as a whole and of the Earth Being. 




Gauss Meter
An instrument that measures electromagnetic fields. May be used in ghost hunting.


General Extrasensory Perception

In some instances of ESP, either unregulated or under test procedures, it is unclear as to which sense—clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition, etc.—is in play. Rather than try to define it after the fact, it is simply called general extrasensory perception.




Genuine Haunt
Some hauntings have more to do with the known or unknown psychic abilities of people in the area. A genuine haunt is when where all or part of a spirit’s consciousness is earthbound. Sometimes, there is a state of dementia and the spirit may not even be aware that the body has died.


Gerard Croiset

(1909–1980) A famous Dutch psychic, parapsychologist, and practitioner of psychometry. Although he claimed to have helped find some missing persons, debunkers have questioned this.




GESP

See General Extrasensory Perception.




Ghost
Although a ghost is classically the spirit or astral body of a person now deceased (often recently deceased) and that has not yet “moved on” to another plane, it is now a general term for any sort of disembodied spirit.

Traditionally, ghosts stay near (“haunt”) the location where they lived before death. The more the deceased feels like they have “unfinished business” (seeking forgiveness, justice, love, revenge, etc.), the more they will make themselves known. The experience of the living encountering ghosts is consistent throughout history. As a result, many investigators with a scientific bent have tried to come up with explanations other than the survival of the personality for the presence of ghosts.


Ghost
From the German geist, spirit, or Old English gast, meaning soul, spirit, life, or breath, it is popularly known as a manifestation of an earthbound soul of a deceased person. However, other non-physical entities have been known to impersonate


Ghost

1) Earthbound spirits "haunting" a particular location.

2) A psychic "recording" of emotional energy released during traumatic experiences of suicide, murder, accidental death and painful dying. As a psychic recording, it can be reproduced and experienced by psychically sensitive people and almost always at night when nothing competes with the reception. These experiences are often accompanied by fear which then reinforces the initial energy. Like other kinds of recording, the original energy can often be released or erased by "overwriting" with other strong releases of emotion such as a ritual exorcism, happy children, shamanic practices, and even loud music.

Suggested Reading:

Danelek: The Case for Ghosts, An Objective Look at the Paranormal

Wilder: House of Spirits and Whispers, The True Story of a Haunted House




Ghost Lights
Eerie, colored lights that sometimes appear and are often photographed in haunted houses, cemeteries, on deserted roads and train tracks, in mountains and woods, and in large open areas.


Global Telepathy

The psychic engagement of a global interaction for such purposes as bringing forth global peace.




Glossolalia
Unintelligible speech often produced while in a trance state. Also called “speaking in tongues.”


Goals

In the absence of consciously determined goals, paranormal phenomena is spontaneous and hap-hazard. When goals are determined, paranormal energies and skills have direction and produce desired results. 





Goat

Term used by parapsychologists for a subject in an ESP test who does not believe in the phenomenon being tested.




Gray Lady
A ghost given this name due to their being seen wearing gray or other dark colors such a black or dark brown. It is believed they are the spirits who died while focused on a lost love or an unrequited love.


Guardian Angel
Although the biblical concept of an angel is that of a special class of non-physical created being, the popular concept is that of a highly-evolved soul or spirit of a deceased person, as if “angel” were a degree of advancement after ghost. In this concept, certain angels are assigned (by God?) to watch over and protect a specific person. Among some, the concept of the guardian angel is synonymous with spirit guide.


Guide

See Spirit Guide.




Guided Meditation
A way of achieving a trance-like state. One person will describe a way of relaxing and slipping into the desired state. Often, there is a goal to this form of meditation such as divination or distant viewing. Sometimes the meditations involve stories that take people on a visualized journey after achieving the desired trance state. Such guided visualizations are also known today as Pathworking.


Guided Meditation

A meditation led by an experienced guide following established inner pathways to access particular iconic collections of knowledge and experience. A typical example would be found in Kabbalistic Path-Workings progressing on the Paths from one Sphere to another on the Tree of Life.

Suggested Reading:

Lorenzo-Fuentes: Meditation

Clayton: Transformative Meditation, Personal & Group Practice to Access Realms of Consciousness

Mumford: Yoga Nidra Meditation – Chakra Theory & Visualization – Audio CD




Haemolacria
A rare disease in which a person’s tears contain small amounts of blood. The blood tints the clear tears and gives the impression that the tears are made completely of blood. Crying tears of blood is sometimes considered a sign of a “gift” from God and proof of God’s presence. Crying tears of blood may be a symptom of other diseases.


Haunting

See Ghost.

Hauntings are confined to specific physical spaces and are associated with such experiences as "bad vibes" and uncomfortable feelings, strange and scary sounds, sights of swirling mists, and of deceased people. The phenomena almost always occurs at night when there is no competition for the experience and most often in locations that are rarely disturbed such as abandoned houses and churches, old cemeteries, ancient religious sites, etc. There are claims that haunting experiences fluctuate with the phases of the Moon.

Suggested Reading:

Belanger: Haunting Experiences: Encounters with the Otherworldly

Goodwyn: Ghost World: A Guide to Poltergeists, Portals, Ecto-mist & Spirit Behavior




Helen Duncan

(1897–1956) Scottish medium born Victoria Helen MacFarlane and who married Henry Duncan in 1916. Unfortunately, even when tested by the pro-Spiritist group, the London Spiritualist Alliance, her mediumistic abilities were shown to be fraudulent. Duncan is perhaps best known for being the last person imprisoned, in 1944, under the British Witchcraft Act of 1735. It is believed that her trial was, in part, responsible for the repeal of that act (it was replaced by the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951), which allowed for the work of Gerald Gardner and birth of Wicca and modern Witchcraft and Paganism.




Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
A Russian woman who was the guiding force behind the founding of the Theosophical Society. Many members of the Golden Dawn were also members of this society. Her importance is also due to two large books she wrote, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. Many mystical and occult writings or so-called “channeling” are directly or indirectly based on these two books.


Heterohypnosis
The use of hypnosis and suggestion by one person on another. The opposite of self-hypnosis.


Hit

In ESP testing, an instance in a series where the subject correctly responds to the testing method. Thus, each correct guess or prediction is called a hit.




Holding Space

When one person is in an altered state of consciousness, another may help that person by "holding space," being physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually available to enable that person's experience while altered. This process may include being comforting, spiritually encouraging, and listening without judgment. Holding space is a practice used by some Neo-Tantrics to help a person who has achieved an altered state through breathwork, visualization, Tantric sexuality, or other means.




Home Circle

Within Spiritualism, the name given a group of people that regularly meets in a private home to learn about and develop the members' mediumistic and psychic abilities.




Horse

A Voudoun term for a person who is possessed in ritual by one of the Loa.




Houdini
Born Ehrich Weiss (1874–1926) in Budapest, Hungary, and moved with his family to the US in 1878. At 9, he made his public debut as a trapeze artist. He also spent time working as a locksmith. Houdini started performing magic tricks professionally, especially with cards and coins, in 1891. He added handcuff escapes. Met and married Bess Rahner in 1893. He and Bess had an act where she was a psychic medium, but they abandoned it when their agent tells them to focus on escapes. They go to Europe and by 1904 he became a huge star.

Many conjurors today acknowledge that Houdini was not the best magician of his day, but he was certainly the best advertiser and publicist. Even so, by the 1920s his career was flagging and he needed a new publicity focus. Combining his knowledge of magic, locksmithing, and earlier work as a fake medium, he started to debunk small-time mediums and psychics. When he went up against well-known medium “Margery” (Mrs. Mina Crandon), a furor took place. At first, she was declared real by a scientific committee, but after Houdini participated in tests with her, the declaration was rescinded. Houdini’s assistant at the time, James Collins, alleged that Houdini had him place false evidence against her during a test. There is still a great deal of debate over Margery.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, became a friend of Houdini. However, Doyle’s belief in mediums and Houdini’s antipathy toward them eventually broke their friendship.

Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 from appendicitis and peritonitis. A recent book claims that Houdini was also a spy and that his death was murder.


Hunch

Intuition. A "feeling" expressing the "truth" of a situation.




Hyperacuity

See Hyperaesthesia.




Hyperaesthesia

A state in which your senses are exceptionally acute.




Hypnagogic
A dreamy state that occurs between wakefulness and sleep, often accompanied by visual, auditory, or kinesthetic hallucinations. Its opposite is the hypnopompic state, which can have the same hallucinations, but which occurs between sleep and wakefulness.


Hypnagogic

A state between being awake & falling asleep. It is also called the "Borderland Consciousness." It is during this state of consciousness when we are most receptive to images, symbols, impressions, sounds, ideas and feelings. It is also a state very receptive to Intuition. Its counterpart, between sleep and being awake, is called the hypnopompic state.




Hypnagogic Imagery

Images that appear to the mind while in the dreamy state between wakefulness and achieving sleep.




Hypnopedia
The ability to memorize things while hypnotized.


Hypnopompic

A dreamy state that occurs on arousing from sleep but before being completely awake. May be accompanied by visual, auditory, or kinesthetic hallucinations. Its opposite is the hypnagogic state, which can have the same hallucinations, but which occurs between wakefulness and sleep.




Hypnopompic

A state between sleep and being awake. It is also called the "Borderland Consciousness." It is during this state of consciousness when we are most receptive to images, symbols, impressions, sounds, ideas and feelings. It is also a state very receptive to Intuition. It's counterpart, between being awake & falling asleep, is called the hypnagogic state.




Hypnopompic Imagery

Images that appear to the mind while in the dreamy state between sleep and fully achieving wakefulness. 




Ignis Fatuus
Luminous lights seen in meadows, marshes, and bogs. Folk names for these faint, wavering lights include Will o’ the Wisp and Jack o’ Lantern. A “wisp” was the name of a torch made of straw, so both names imply someone carrying a lamp or light. Supposedly, the purpose of Will and Jack is to fool travelers and lead them to their deaths. Another myth is that they are the spirits of people who died in the area.

Ignis Fatuus is the scientific Latin name indicating that indeed, these lights do exist. However, they are not spirits or the souls of unbaptized infants. Rather, they are methane, a flammable gas produced by fermentation of organic waste that is released from the damp ground and under certain conditions can become luminescent.

In March of 1966, a wide variety of people in Southeastern Michigan saw multiple UFOs perform amazing maneuvers. The US Air Force sent its expert, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, to determine what had taken place. After investigating and talking with dozens of witnesses, including several police officers, he concluded that there were no UFOs and what the people saw was simply swamp gas. Debunkers have declared that UFOs were swamp gas ever since. However Dr. Hynek, originally a doubter, eventually changed his mind and came to believe that UFOs exist.


Imaging

A popular, modern, non-occult name for creative visualization.




In-Body Travel

An OBE practice exercise involving centering attention on isolated body parts and inducing new physical sensations.




Incline Effect
When tests for paranormal abilities are repeated, there is sometimes an increase in successful performance.


Incorruptibility

Lack of decay. Allegedly seen in the corpses of some very spiritual people.




Indirect Voice
During a séance, it is called an indirect voice phenomena when the voice of the spirit comes from the throat of the medium. Even though it uses the medium’s breath and vocal chords, it may sound dramatically different from the medium's normal voice.


Intelligent Haunting
Ghosts who are capable of intelligent interaction; communication with ghosts.


International Parapsychology Research Foundation

Established at Athens State University in 1970 by Joe H. Slate, Ph.D., this foundation is committed to the study of parapsychology and related topics. It has conducted extensive research and established student scholarships in perpetuity at Athens State University and the University of Alabama. The president of the foundation is District Judge Sam Masdon of Montgomery, AL. For more information, contact Joe H. Slate, Ph.D. at joehslate@aol.com




Intuition
A message sent from the unconscious to the conscious.


Intuition

A blinding flash of insight answering a question or solving a problem originating at the Soul level of consciousness. Instinctive knowing without actual knowledge and sensory validation. "Our central nervous system automatically responds to events that have not yet happened and of which we are unaware in the present." (Research by Dean Radin of the Institute of Noetic Sciences quoted in Larry Dossey’s The Power of Premonitions.)




IPRF

See International Parapsychology Research Foundation.




Jamais Vu
The belief that a familiar activity is being experienced for the first time. The opposite of Déjà Vu.


José Arigó

(1921–1971) Also known as Zé Arigó, he became famous as the first "psychic surgeon" as the result of a book, Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife, by John G Fuller. He would go into a trance and become overtaken by the spirit of a Dr. Adolf Fritz, who would use the body of Arigó to perform surgeries using common kitchen utensils or even his bare hands. Although some disbelievers have claimed to debunk him, thousands of people came to him for healing. An auto accident took his life.




Judge

In ESP testing, a person who compares a subject's responses with targets and determines when the subject has made a hit or a miss.




L-Field

See Life Field.




levitation
The rising into the air of a person or thing by an unseen force.


levitation

Non-supported elevation of physical objects and persons.

  1. Partial elevation is common to "Table-tipping" in which the attendees place fingers lightly on a table and ask questions of supposed spirit presences. The table responds by lifting two or three of the four legs and taps answers.
  2. In some cases, the entire table has elevated.
  3. During spiritual séances, various objects are elevated and move about the séance room.
  4. During séances, the medium has actually been elevated and even moved outside the room through one window and returned through another.
  5. During meditation and prayer, some people "bounce" and in other cases fully levitate.



Ley Lines
These are lines of unseen energy that cross the earth. When the lines intersect, an energy vortex is formed. Ancient mystical sites are said to be built on such vortex points, and they attract non-physical entities. Homes or buildings near these points are more likely to be haunted than are other locations.


Life-Between-Lifetimes

One’s existence in the spirit realm between one’s lifetimes in physical incarnation. It is believed there is a period between the previous life and the next life during which the past life is reviewed and the next life planned.

Suggested Reading:

Newton: Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives

Newton: Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives

Newton: Life Between Lives: Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression

Newton: Memories of the Afterlife: Life-Between Lives Stories of Personal Transformation

Slate: Beyond Reincarnation




Life-between-Lifetimes Regression

A trance state in which one experiences one’s existence in the spirit realm between lifetimes.

Suggested Reading:

Newton: Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives

Newton: Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives

Newton: Life Between Lives, Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression

Newton: Memories of the Afterlife – Life-Between Lives Stories of Personal Transformation

Slate: Beyond Reincarnation




Light Rod
Straight, luminous beam of light; may be any color. Seen at locations where there is paranormal activity.


Little System

A basic system of training and development, mostly of the Etheric Double, for astral projection developed by Ophiel in his The Art & Practice of Astral Projection.




Loch Ness Monster
Loch Ness is a long (24 miles), deep (Maximum depth: 755 feet) lake in the northwest of Scotland. Its volume makes it the largest freshwater lake in Great Britain. Reports of a large creature living in the loch date back to the time of St. Columba in the 6th century. Locally known as “Nessie,” the history of the creature is filled with errors, hoaxes, and tantalizing clues. Some believe the creature is some sort of plesiosaur, but how it (or its progeny) could have lived hundreds of years with a relatively small food source is unknown. The tangible and known result of the creature includes tourist trade to the area. Occultist Aleister Crowley once leased a house on the loch.


Lower Astral

The lower sub-planes of the Astral Plane with vibrations close to the physical level. It is the realm of ghosts, hauntings, and poltergeist phenomena.




Lucid Dreams
Lucid dreams are dreams in which the dreamer

a) becomes aware that he or she is dreaming, and b) achieves a degree of control over the content and direction of the dream.

Once an experienced lucid dreamer recognizes that she’s experiencing a dream, she is able to tailor the setting, the characters, and the action to suit her personal tastes.


Lucid Dreams

A particularly vivid dream in which the dreamer himself appears. It is believed to be a form of astral projection, and if the dreamer can take conscious control of dream it then becomes a full out-of-body experience.

Suggested Reading:

McElroy: Lucid Dreaming for Beginners




Luminous Phenomena

The appearance of lights or glowing that cannot be explained by normal means. They may occur during a séance, during a peak experience, or during paranormal research.




Majority Vote Technique

A protocol in paranormal research where several subjects try to guess a target. The guess most often given is considered the actual guess and is compared to the target to judge whether or not the guess was accurate. Alternatively, a subject may think about a target and give his feelings, essentially making several guesses. In this protocol it is common for the subject to come back to the same idea or very similar ideas. The most common one is then considered the choice and compared to the target.




Margery
The name used by Mina Crandon (1888–1941) during her time as a medium. Her husband, a doctor during WWI, was fascinated with the possibility of life after death. She experimented with séances and became a powerful medium. At the time (1924), Scientific American magazine was offering a prize for anyone who could prove psychic ability. After testing, they were ready to give her the prize, but they contacted Houdini, who also tested her. The tests were controversial, with a claim that Houdini had planted false evidence on her. Houdini’s assistant verified this, but Houdini denied it. The award was not given.

Her specialty was producing voices and a substance known as ectoplasm. Later, she was able to produce fingerprints in wax. She claimed they were those of her late brother, but they turned out to be those of her dentist. Debunkers use this a proof of fraud while defenders say that originally she had been real but later faked some things.


Materialization
The physical appearance of an object (see: apport) or complete or partial person from the spirit world.


Materialization

When something appears as from nowhere. Apports reappear after being de-materialized. It is also associated with poltergeist-like activity when stones appear in mid-air to fall on a house. Materializations of human forms or just of limbs and hands sometimes occur in séances, and wax impressions have been made of them.




Matrix

The background framework for all and any manifestation. It is a union of Consciousness in the Universal Field of primary energy/matter potentials. The universal matrix is the pattern for evolving universe and all within it. The individual matrix is the pattern of energy/matter guiding the development and function of each life form. It is mostly a function of Mental, Astral and Etheric levels of consciousness guided by an intention expressed at the Soul level. It functions as the Etheric Body.

Suggested Reading: Bradden: The Divine Matrix, Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief




Medium
A person, most frequently a woman, who communicates with spirits, usually on behalf of another person. There are several overlapping types of mediumship:
Spirit Medium: communicates with spirits
Trance Medium: goes into a trance to communicate with spirits
Mental Medium: answers question given by “sitters” at a séance
Physical Medium: less common that 100 years ago, this is the type of medium who produces paranormal activity during a séance.


Medium
A person who is sensitive to the vibrations from the spirit world. They are able to communicate with those on the spirit side of life through various means, delivering information and assistance to those who ask. All mediums are also psychics.


Medium

See also "Channel." Most mediums enter a trance state and then—often through the agency of a "control" or "guide," enable communication with a discarnate person. Often the Control speaks for the Spirit seeking communication.

Suggested Reading: Mathews: Never Say Goodbye: A Medium’s Stories of Connecting with Your Loved Ones.




Mediumship

The study and development of the skill necessary to function as a spiritual medium facilitating communication between the worlds of spirit and the living. See also Spiritualism.

Suggesting Reading: Van den Eynden: So You Want to be a Medium? A Down-to-Earth Guide.




Memory Library

The memorized images of interest to an individual that make up a particular aspect of his astral resources. Each image is an "icon" (or thought form) that contains emotions as well as facts, historical reality as well as fantasies, actual stories and imagined ones, etc. The original photographs and illustrations themselves are “auric signatures” that include etheric and astral energies derived from all that has ever occurred to the place, thing or person photographed, and that will happen.

Suggested Reading – Slate, J.H. & Weschcke, C.L.: Astral Projection for Psychic Empowerment, Llewellyn 2012.




Memory Palace

A memory technique in which you learn to visualize rooms in a carefully designed pattern and you would associate learned facts and lessons with similar facts and lessons in assigned rooms.




Mental Imagery

The ability to visualize specific images is an acquired cognitive skill. Mental images are the language of the subconscious mind. Combining imagery with self-talk, you can successfully interact with your subconscious resources and even expand them. You can awaken your dormant resources and exercise them in ways that enrich your life with new potentials for growth and success. With the powers of your subconscious mind at your command through a combination of self-talk and imagery, literally nothing is impossible for you.

Through self-talk and mental imagery you can energize your biological systems and even influence brain activity to rejuvenate and recreate yourself. You can increase the length and quality of your life by protecting and fortifying your innermost energy system. 




Mental Projection
The ability to send your mind to a location distant from your physical body. Not true Astral Projection.


Mental Radio
A term used by Upton Sinclair, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, to mean what is commonly called “telepathy.” Along with his wife, he experimented with this for several years, and wrote a book about those experiments named Mental Radio.


Mental Telepathy

Mind to mind communication by non-physical means. Usually, an image of the intended receiver is held in mind while a simple message, such as, "Call me," is projected. Once the message is sent, it is important to "let go: of it rather than doing constant repetition.




Metal Bending

The paranormal ability to bend a piece of metal without applying physical pressure to it. For some reasons, this is usually done with silverware, especially spoons. Popularized in the 1970s by the entertainer Uri Geller, who stands by the claim that it is a paranormal ability. Debunkers have duplicated Geller's feats. Whether they are using the same method is not known. Since 1988, Jack Houck has been running “PK Parties” where people learn to bend silverware without applying that pressure that it would normally take to bend the metal.




Metamorphosis

A change. Usually refers to shamanic shapeshifting.




Metamorphosis

In conjuring, an illusion popularized by Houdini, wherein an assitant is placed in a sealed crate and the magician stands on top of the crate, brings up a curtain, and changes places with the assitant in what appears to be mere seconds. There are many variations of the effect.




Mind Over Matter

See Psychokinesis.




Mind Power

Astral and other subtle powers applied to consciously directed projects. The Mind is the organizer, manager, and directors of such psychic powers as psychokinesis where material reality is changed.




Mind Reading

The apparent ability to determine someone's thoughts without physically contacting that person through writing, speech, etc. See Telepathy.




Mirror Image

A reversed (mirror) image sometimes used in magickal spells.




Mirror Image

An induction procedure utilizing a full-length mirror to facilitate astral disengagement from the biological body, an OBE.

Suggested Reading—Slate, J.H. & Weschcke, C.L.: Astral Projection for Psychic Empowerment, 2012, Llewellyn.




Moon View

An Out-of-Body experience preparatory exercise that involves focusing on the moon and imagining visiting it.

Suggested Reading—Slate, J.H. & Weschcke, C.L.: Astral Projection for Psychic Empowerment, Llewellyn Publications, 2012.




Morphic Resonance
A term coined by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake. It relates to the idea that all things have an underlying form which has its own energy that he calls a “morphogenetic field.” Morphic resonance is the idea that a morphogenetic field can have an effect on other such fields without any direct contact.


Multi-location

The capacity of consciousness in the Out-of-Body state to simultaneously engage itself in multiple realities. See bi-location.




Nazca Lines
Name for ancient drawings etched in the Nazca plateau in Peru. They can only be viewed from the air, making some people wonder if the ancient Peruvians had aircraft or were appeasing alien visitors.


NDE

See Near Death Experience




Near Death Experience
A phrase coined by Dr. Raymond Moody to describe the experiences reported by people who clinically die (or come very close to death) and are then revived. Only a small percentage of people who are revived report having such experiences. Although the most well known of such experiences includes “moving toward the light” at the end of a tunnel and being welcomed by deceased relatives or spiritual beings, other less than positive experiences have been reported, too.


Near Death Experience

People near death, and sometimes those who have been resuscitated after dying, report common experiences of peacefulness followed by separation from the body. At first there is darkness then seeing a source of light and moving into the light, sometimes through a tunnel. At this point, many turn or are turned to move back into the body. Sometimes they see family and friends, and other times a "presence," who all advise that it is not yet the time for the person to pass over. Other times there may be a review of the lifetime and a decision made by the person to return to complete unfinished business. It is nearly always a very positive and transformative experience, giving the person a much greater appreciation of life.




Noetic

Traditionally the metaphysical study of the mind and the intellect. More recently, the term has become a catchword meaning just about anything having to do with spirituality and consciousness. A group known as the Institute of Noetic Sciences describes it as the way our beliefs, intentions, and thoughts have an effect on the physical world.




Non-local

Infinite, everywhere, omnipresent. Non-local events are eternal, immediate, timeless, and unmitigated by time or distance.




Null Hypothesis

A scientific theory that explains away minor indications of paranormal phenomena as being merely chance. Since you can't prove that such minor indications are due to chance, ether a predetermined indication of what constitutes the paranormal has to be agreed to before experimentation or people accepting the null hypnothesis are doing so based on their own beliefs.




OBE
Also known as OOBE, it is an abbreviation for Out of Body Experience, also known as astral projection.


OBE Levitation

A method to induce an OBE through the visualization of weightlessness.




Object Haunt
This is the association of a spirit to some type of object. Usually it involves an object to which the dead person has some sort of attachment during life. The mechanism of this may be that the spirit is there, or it may be some sort of “psychic echo or imprint” that has been impressed onto the object.


Objective Apparition
Although many people report seeing ghosts, there are often potentially subjective causes for such visions. When an apparition can be shown to be completely non-subjective, and the vision of it is not related to the current state of one’s thoughts or feelings, it is said to be an objective apparition.


Objective Clairvoyance

An expression used by Spiritualists to indicate the psychic power of being able to objectively see objects, non-physical entities, etc. This skill may be inborn or developed. The difference between objective clairvoyance and subjective clairvoyance is that with objective clairvoyance a person clearly understands the intended meaning of the vision.




Occam's Razor

The popular (and incorrect) definition of this expression is that the simplest explanation that covers all possibilities is the correct one. Whether or not that is valid, it's not the original meanng of Occam's Razor. Attributed to William of Occam (c. 1285–1349) the actual meaning is that when explaining a phenomenon by selecting one of two competing theories that are otherwise equal, you should select the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.




Omniscient Sight
The phenomenon of viewing things on the astral plane from simultaneous multiple points-of-view, or seeing the full 360-degree spectrum.


OOB

See out of body experience




Open Deck

A series of cards used in ESP testing where a subject tries to determine or “guesses” a card being viewed by a tester or predicts the next card. With an open deck any particular card may be drawn at any time, leading to multiple appearances of some cards, few appearances of others, and possibly some cards not appearing at all. Statistical analysis of tests run using an open deck uses different protocols than testing using a closed deck. (See “Closed Deck.”)




Orb
White balls of light caught on film. Nobody is sure what they are, but it is believed they may be some form of energy. Others claim they are “trapped souls.”


Orb
A sphere of electromagnetic energy produced by spirit; actual embodiment of spirit in varying sizes; representing spirit. They appear at sites of paranormal activity, often in photographs.


Orb

In astrology, an orb is the amount away from a perfect angular relationship the astrologer allows for the points to still qualify as having that angular relationship. Thus, although an Opposition is 180°, many astrologers will define planets that have a relationship of 182° as being in Opposition. Generally, aspects between major bodies, such as between two planets, or with major aspects such as oppositions, are allowed larger Orbs than those of minor aspects such as sextiles. The larger the Orb (i.e., the further away from an exact aspect), the less the impact of that aspect.




Orgone
A name used for Prana, Ruach, or Chi, the universal Life Force, by Dr. Wilhelm Reich.


Ouija
Now the trademark of a “game” owned by Parker Brothers, it is simply a board that has letters, numbers, and perhaps a few words printed on it. In use, people put their fingers on a pointer known as a planchette, ask a question, and allow their minds to calm. Soon, the planchette starts to move, seemingly on its own, pointing to the symbols on the board to respond to the questions. Answers may come from spirits or from the participant’s unconscious minds.

The use of this type of spirit communication using a “talking board” was popular in the late 1800s, often using an overturned goblet to point to the letters. In the 1890s, two businessmen patented the planchette with a board and sold them as a novelty. Their employee, William Fuld, eventually started to market his own version which he called the Ouija (from the French Oui, and German Ja, both meaning “yes”) and claimed to have invented it.

Although Fuld’s version is the best known, others have marketed similar board and planchette combinations that have different appearances to about trademark disputes.


Overshadow

In Spiritualism, the name for the experience of a spirit lightly taking over control of the medium. This is sometimes confused with Transfiguration.




Paradox

A philosophical argument that has within it an absurdity or inconsistency.




Paranormal
A term used to describe anything that is beyond (para-) our normal experience. It has been adopted by many because it can encompass a wider range of unusual phenomena than previous terms such as extra-sensory perception.


Paranormal
Something that is beyond what is usually considered normal. A term frequently used today to indicate a more scientific grounding to the study of such things a ghosts, UFOs, abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance.


Paranormal
Occurrences that take place outside the natural order of thins: ghosts, UFOs, ESP; difficult to explain; beyond the normal, yet in the realm of the natural; something that is beyond the range of normal human experience.


Parapsychologist

A person, often having a degree in psychology, who uses scientifically controlled and designed tests to study paranormal phenomena. See Parapsychology.




Parapsychology
A term popularized by Dr. J.B. Rhine of Duke university to separate the study of unusual phenomena from mainstream psychology. Simply put, parapsychology is the study of phenomena that are currently inexplicable using widely accepted scientific theories.


Pareidolia

The psychological tendency to give random stimuli—such as sounds, events, images, etc.—a meaningful structure.




Percipient
A person who sees an apparition.


Percipient
In parapsychology, a person who receives information using means outside of the standard physical five senses.


Percussion

A term used by Spiritualists to describe a loud rapping sound supposedly caused by spirits.




Peyote

A small, psychoactive cactus used by some as an entheogen. Especially used by some Native Americans. Members of the Native American Church are legally allowed to use it for religious rites, even though it is generally illegal to posses.




Phantasm

A ghost, spirit, or apparition. Also, a delusion or illusion.




Phenomenology

A branch of philosophy focused upon the investigation of experience. Also, an approach to research that has the purpose of clarifying a person's understanding of a specific event (or set of events) or phenomena.




Physical Phenomena

An expression original uses by spiritualists to indicate phenomena that occurs during a séance that can be experienced by or perceived by the physical senses. Examples of physical phenomena include very subtle things such as a whispered voice or movement of air to more obvious phenomena such as the movement or even levitation of objects and people.




PK

See Psychokinesis.




Place Memories
A location that captures the energy of an event (usually an emotional one such as an important birthday, a death, etc.) and later replays that event to percipients.


Planchette
A small device used as a pointer on Ouija boards.


Plane
A term used to describe different levels of reality, moving from the most tangible physical plane to the most intangible etheric levels. Because these different levels or planes are often pictured as forming a hierarchic or ladder-like structure, this sometimes leads to the inaccurate interpretation of the planes as being separate and on top of each other. In fact, they interpenetrate. Theosophists do see separate layers, but ones that gradually blend into each other rather than having hard separations.


plasmoid
Captured on file, it is a moving (usually quickly) orb. Because of its speed it appears to leave a trail.

See: Orb.


PMIR

See Psi-Mediated Instrumental Response.




Poltergeist
German for “noisy spirit.” Poltergeist activity is rarely harmful to people, but is often bothersome, malicious, and even destructive. It can range from something no longer being in its usual location and being found in an unexpected place to the sudden movement of an object, along with loud noises and even the starting of fires. Although many people associated poltergeist activity with a spirit, some researchers see the agent of such activity as being a teenaged girl with temporary psychokinetic abilities.


Pool of Power

The center of energy that can be tapped into during astral projection and used to achieve goals on the physical plane, including changing the physical body such as for healing.




Possession
The inhabiting of a person’s mind and body by a non-physical spirit. This may be willingly encouraged, especially with benign spirits (as in channeling, invocations, and some Voodoo practices), or unexpected and possibly terrifying, especially with a negative and/or unwanted spirit. In some cases, a special rite called an exorcism is required to remove an unwanted or negative spirit from a possessed person.


Precognition
Knowing that something is going to happen before it happens.


Premonition
A psychic vision of the future.


Presence

The sensation that there is another person or entity in the immediate environment.




Pseudo Ghosts
Entities similar to the Little Nasties. By reading the Astral Light they can tell you about your past and future, giving the appearance of being the ghost of a loved one. They “feed” off the energy given to them by those thinking they are the spirits of deceased relatives.


Pseudo-Random Numbers

In ESP testing, some experiments involve having a list of random numbers for a subject to guess. Often, such a list is developed on a computer. However, it’s difficult to progam for randomness, so usually the computer is given a complex mathematical calculation that results in a seemingly endless set of digits that do not have a pattern. Even though this is based on a formula and not truly random, such pseudo-random numbers, for all practical purposes, are unpredictable and effectively simulate a list of random numbers.




Psi
(Pronounced “sigh”) The twenty-third letter of the Greek alphabet, it is also the first syllable of the word psychic. As such, it is used in describing anything having to do with psychic abilities, paranormal phenomena, etc.


Psi-Hitting

An expression that indicates a significantly better than chance performance on a psi test.




Psi-Mediated Instrumental Response

Theory put forward by St. Johns University psychology professor and “psi explorer” Rex G. Stanford that psi activity is used to serve an organism’s needs.




Psi-Missing

An expression that indicates a significantly worse than chance performance on a psi test. Although it is not obvious, psi-missing is also evidence for psi. Being able to go so far below chance indicates that something realated to ESP is going on. One theory is that the only way a target can be consistently missed is if the test subject uses some form of ESP to "know" what a hit would be and then unconsciously makes a wrong choice.




Psychic
(Adj.) A knowing, sensing ability. This is a mental act, such as, when the telephone rings, knowing who is calling, or sensing that your children are in danger at a distance. Everyone is psychic to a certain degree.

(Noun) A person with outstanding psychic abilities. Some professional psychics are medium while some are not.


Psychic Ability

Any of various paranormal skills possessed by almost every person, but usually undeveloped. 




Psychic Art

A form of mediumship that unites physical phenomena and non-physical phenomena. The medium or psychic goes into a trance and attunes or channels a spirit. While the medium keeps her or his eyes closed, they are able to draw on paper an image of the spirit communicating with them. This has expanded to include any sort of art that is inspired by non-physical sources and exhibits artistic qualities and abilities beyond those of the medium or psychic.




Psychic Awareness

A state of awareness in which the mind becomes consciously aware of information from sources beyond the usual five senses.




Psychic Development
Techniques to develop and enhance your natural abilities that extend beyond the five senses of touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell. The techniques usually include methods of relaxation, meditation, and focus. In some cases, it includes the use of external devices such as those that give biofeedback.


Psychic Photography

Photographs produced by the power of the mind. Popularized in the 1960s by Ted Serios, who supposedly projected images directly onto the film of a Poloroid instant camera. Some people also use the term to describe Kirlian Photography.




Psychic Protection
The key to psychic self-defense lies in knowing how to strengthen your life force to withstand the daily barrage of negative energy hitting you. With exercises that strengthen your "psychic" muscles, and techniques that bolster your energy, fear from the reality of outside aggression and manipulation diminishes.


Psychic Vampire

A person who drains you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Most often they do not recognize they are doing this. Such a person may come to you looking for advice or assistance and spend hours of your time using all sorts of excuses as to why your advice won’t work. Finally, they accept part of your suggestions, but in a short time it has all been abandoned and they will come back seeking more help and advice. It is best to avoid psychic vampires. 




Psychical Research

The scientific study of paranormal phenomena, especially ESP and mediumship. The term was coined in the late ninetheenth century and is now considered archaic. The modern term is “parapsychology.”




Psychism
The ability to exhibit psychic talents.


Psychism
A Gnostic concept of people who have been given souls and free will, and that their souls may be saved through the positive use of their free will.


Psychism
The belief that there is a spiritual “fluid” throughout the universe. This fluid is evenly dispersed. It animates all living creatures.


Psychokinesis
The ability to move an object without physically touching it; “mind over matter.”


Psychokinesis

Name for the ability to use paranormal mental abilities to influence physical events and processes. A typical example would be to use the mind to move an object without physically touching it.




Psychometry
The ability of a medium or psychic to obtain information about a person or place by holding or touching an object which belongs or belonged to that person or place.


Pyramid Power

The belief that shapes that reproduce the angles and relative dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Cheops have powers such as giving better sleep, causing food to remain fresh, and keeping razor blades sharp.




Pyrokinesis
A supposed psychic ability to cause things to burst into flames. The reverse of this ability, the talent of causing things to freeze, has been described but is unnamed.


Quantum Vacuum Fluctuations
Also known as zero point energy, the production of particle-antiparticle pairs in the vacuum of space.


Random Event Generator

A device, usually electronic, that uses a random physical process such as radioactive decay to generate random events or random numbers. Most often, however, REGs actually use an artificially-created long series of numbers (such as created by finding the square root of pi), which only seems to be non-repeating. This produces pseudo-random numbers, but has the same effect.




Random Number Generator

See Random Event Generator.




Random Number Tables

A method of coming up with a selection of random numbers that combines computers or random number generators with human interaction. Random number tables generally consist of a printed table of random numbers. These are usually made up of multiple rows and columns of computer-generated numbers similar to a spreadsheet. A tester would begin by making a random selection of two numbers. This could be accomplished by throwing dice or making selections from a shuffled deck of cards. The tester would then work though the table—moving vertically, horizontally, diagonally, skipping numbers, skipping several numbers, etc.—according to a previously chosen or selected set of systematic rules. A person being tested for psychic ability might be directly tested by guessing the numbers thus selected.




Random Numbers

A series of numbers that has an unpredictable and unstructured sequence. Such numbers are frequently generated (by a random number generator or a computer program) and used in testing for psychic ability.




Raps
Loud or quiet knocking sounds heard around some poltergeist activity or during some séances with a physical medium.


Raudive Voices

Discovered by Konstantin Raudive, this is the phenomenon of voices being heard when playing back recordings of silence or white noise.




Receiver

See Percipient.




Receptive Hand
The hand of a person believed to most easily receive magickal energy. Usually the hand oppopsite to the one a person uses for complex manual activities. The left hand in most right-handed people. Opposite to projective hand, which can be used to send energy and good wishes.


Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis

A term used by paranormal researchers for poltergeist activity. This is prefered as it doesn’t imply a supernatural or “ghostly” source.




REG

See Random Event Generator.




Regression

A statistical analysis of a series of data that leads to the ability to accurately predict following members of the set.




Regression

A technique used in meditation and hypnosis that allows a person to relive or observer past events in this life or of previous lives. In some people it may occur spontaneously, often giving the experience known as déjà vu.




Relational Continuity
A phenomenon in which highly meaningful past-life relationships continue beyond death to re-emerge in future lives.


Remote Image Phenomenon
A small point of glowing energy occurring outside the normal range of activity in the aura.


Remote Viewing
The paranormal ability to become aware of what another person can see or experience at a distance. This was investigated by the US government for military use. Today, there are people teaching this ability in workshops and video programs.


Remote Viewing

Non-sensory knowledge of non-local events that are contemporaneous.





Residual Ghost
A term used to describe a spirit’s energy that is trapped in a continuous time loop and reenacts certain events repeatedly.


Residual Haunting
A phenomena where spirits or ghosts keep repeating events. Residual hauntings usually occur in older locations and may be the ghosts reliving important events in their lives—marriages, births, deaths, etc. Some researchers claim that the events are not ghosts in the classic sense, but are energies trapped in the location that repeat like a recording on an “endless loop” of magnetic tape.


Response

In paranormal testing, an action by a subject as part of an experiment.




Response Bias

In paranormal testing, the tendency of a subject to give certain responses. This can skew results as the subject is responding to personal influences rather than objectively responding to the test.




Retroactive Psychokinesis

The description of a change to the result of an experiment by a subject (or other paranormal means) after the experiment has concluded.




Retrocognition
The paranormal ability to see events that took place in the past.


Revenant
The medieval belief that certain corpses could rise from the dead in order to bother the living. Causes for revenants include such things as problems with handling the burial, jealousy on the part of the deceased, a curse, etc. A vampire is a type of revenant.

Numerous descriptions of revenants by medieval English historians are still available. Such descriptions are usually of particular individuals who recently died, although animals can be revenants. In fiction, revenants return from the dead to achieve a goal (usually revenge) or to complete an unfinished task. Also the name of a popular computer game, a monster in another computer game (Doom), the name of a space ship in a comic book, and a record label.


Right Brain

The right hemisphere of the brain. It seems to deal, in part, with thinking processes that deal with patterns, poetry, spirituality, etc. 




RNG

See Random Event Generator.




RSPK

See Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis.




Run

One set of a group of trials in an ESP test.




RV

See Remote Viewing.




Sceptic

See Skeptic.




Score

A number given to the results of an ESP test that indicates the quantity of correct hits made by the test subject. An analysis of the score compares it against chance. A larger score in relation to chance imples greater psychic ability.




Scoring

The technique used by a tester to determine a subject's score.




Second Sight
Another name for clairvoyance or the ability to see events in the future or at a great distance.


Sender

A person, also known as an agent, who concentrates on something such as a number or visual image, in an attempt to send that idea to a subject during a test of the subject’s ESP.




Sensitive

Anther term for a psychic.




Sensitive

Being open to sensations that come to a person via means other than the standard five senses.




Series

A set of runs in an experiment for psychic ability.




Shadow Ghost
A black form with no discernable features; often appears in photographs as if caught unaware.


Sheep

Term used by parapsychologists for a subject in an ESP test who believes in the phenomenon being tested.




Sheep-Goat Effect

Discovered by parapsychologist Gertrude Schmeidler, “sheep” (people who believe in paranormal phenomena) score higher than chance in psi tests while “goats” (people who don’t believe in paranormal phenomena) score lower than chance.




Significance

Because testing for psi abilities often includes multiple series of tests, experimentors look for responses that are significantly above chance. For example, if you had 100 runs of a guessing test, guessing 51 or 52 correctly is above chance, but not significantly enough above chance to be considered remarkable. Generally, a set of responses must be 5% above chance (less than 1 in 20) to be considered significant. In the example of 100 runs, a success rate of at least 55 would be required to be considered significant.




Silver Cord

An infinitely plastic (bendable, stretchable) cord, thread, or beam of energy that connects the astral body to the physical. It is said to link at either the solar plexus, heart, third eye, or top of the head. At physical death, the connection breaks. 




Simulacrum

A term for the astral double. 




Simultaneous Dream

A dream that is very similar to the dream another person is having at the same time.




Sitter
A person who attends a séance.


Sitting

“Going to a sitting” is an objective and archaic expression for attending a séance.




Sixth Sense
A popular term for all forms of Extra Sensory Perception (ESP).


Skeptic
Traditionally a term describing a person who doubts or questions all accepted opinions (in its extreme philosophical form, a person who denies the possibility of knowledge or even rational belief in any specific area). It might best be equated with the simple expression in regard to any concept or datum, “prove it.” The term today is used by some people as a euphemism for a type of “debunker,” specifically a person who attempts to disprove any beliefs, facts, or information that refutes their own belief system.


Sleep Learning

The idea that you can learn something by having it repeated, such as using a tape loop, while you are asleep. Research has not proven the effectiveness of this technique.




Sleep Learning

The ability to tap into knowledge not normally available to the conscious mind during spontaneous out-of-body experiences while sleeping. See Celestial Learning

.




Sleep Paralysis

The experience, after going to sleep, of awakening (or believing yourself to be awake) and not being able to move. Sometimes frightening, this experience has been associated with paranormal phenomena, including ghosts, demons, etc. However, according to surveys, this may be a natural phenomenon with as many as 60% of respondents claiming to have had this experience. Because predicting when it will occur is not possible, an accepted cause or set of causes for this phenomenon has not been determined.




Somnambule

Term used to describe a person who performs physical activity while asleep (i.e., a sleep-walker).




Somnambule

Archaic term that was sometimes used to describe a person in a deep hypnotic trance.




SPE

An abbreviation for Subjective Paranormal Experience or subjective Psi experience.




Specter

Another name for a ghost, apparition, etc.




Spectre

See Specter.




Sphere of Availability
A concept first described by the occultist Ophiel (née Edward Peach). The idea is that things you can achieve or gain through magick must be usable by you. If you cannot use them you are prevented from obtaining them as they are outside your Sphere of Availability.


Spirit Communication
Based on the belief that our soul survives death, spirit communication is the belief that people alive today can communicate with the souls or spirits of those who have died. Spirit communication is a major part of the religion of Spiritualism. Some people use spirit communication to speak with ghosts in an attempt to discover why they are haunting some location and with the hope that such information can help end the haunting.


Spirit Cure

A healing of a physical or psychological ailment believed to have occurred as the result of an intervention by one or more spirits.




Spirit Photography
A photograph that reveals a person or shape not in the setting where the photo was originally taken. Some people claim the streaks, orbs, shapes and faces are deceased relatives of someone involved with the location or the picture.


Spiritism
Spiritualism. Sometimes used as a derogatory term.


Spiritist
Spiritualist. Sometimes used as a derogatory term.


Spiritual Healing

Although generically used to mean any type of healing achieved via non-physical actions, spiritual healing specifically deals with the interrelationships of the multiple bodies each person has (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, etc.). The idea is to in some way adjust or affect the spiritual body in order to have an effect on the physical body.




Spiritualism
A religion, science, and philosophy that believes in continuous life, based upon communication with those who live in the spirit world, as demonstrated through mediumship. Through such communication one is able to receive guidance in mundane and spiritual matters from spiritual beings who are knowledgeable. Personal responsibility, the golden rule and the belief that the door to reformation is never closed are embraced.


Spiritualist
One who believes as the basis of their religion in the continuity of life and personal responsibility, and endeavors to mold their character and conduct in accordance with the highest teaching derived from communion with the spirit world. They may or may not be a medium.


Spontaneous Cases

Descriptive expression for instances of paranormal phenomena that occur unsought and unexpected.




Spontaneous Human Combustion
Highly controversial, this refers to instances where people have burst into fire with no obvious source. Some have claimed that the people burn from the inside out, while skeptics point to bizarre coincidences to explain what took place.


Spoon Bending

See Metal Bending.




Statistics

The use of various mathematical techniques for analyzing and interpreting (usually large amounts of) numerical data. Statistical methods are often used to determine if large collections of data from ESP tests indicate that subjects responded at mere chance level or if they seemed to exhibit actual ESP.




Stigmata
Unexplained wounds or marks on the body, usually corresponding the person’s conception of where the nails were put into the body of Jesus.


Subject

Impersonal term sometimes used to describe a person whose psi ability is being investigated.




Subject

An archaic term for person who has been hypnotized by another, such as the client of a hypnotherapist.




Subjective Clairvoyance

An expression used by Spiritualists indicating the experience of having non-physical sources create images within a person's mind. Even assuming that the images are accurate, they may be of past, present or future, represent something nearby or distant, or may simply be something in the mind that the non-physical source, such as a spirit, wants to convey. Besides numerous potential meanings, the individual who has the vision may also have personal desires, beliefs, interests, etc., that result in a highly personal or subjective interpretation of the images. Although they are clairvoyant in nature, because of the numerous ways they can be interpreted, they may be extremely challenging to someone just developing their clairvoyance or who has never had a clairvoyant experience and not yet developed objectivity in interpreting the image(s). 




Subjective Paranormal Experience

Also called a Subjective Psi Experience, this is an expression describing an experience by a person that the person believes to be paranormal in nature.




Subliminal Perception

Being able to perceive objects or actions without conscious awareness or those objects or actions.




Super-ESP Hypothesis

The idea that people are capable of unlimited ESP and that mediumistic phenomena (i.e., communicating with the dead) is not actually being in communication with the surviving spirit of a deceased person, but rather that the medium is using super-ESP abilities.




Supercharged Orb
A film that shows an orb that has color. Most frequently the color of supercharged orbs is red or green.

See Orb.


Sylvia Browne

(1936–2013) Famous American psychic who appeared on numerous radio and TV shows. Among her thousands of predictions, several proved to be egregiously incorrect, something attacked by debunkers.




Table Tilting
Also known as Table Turning, this refers to mysterious movements of a table, usually at a séance. It can be used to answer questions (tap once for “yes,” twice for “no,” etc.) and some people have recreated the phenomenon outside of the séance circle.


Table Tipping

See Table Turning.




Table Turning

Also known as “table tipping.” A way spiritualists believed they could communicate with the deceased. Sitters would lightly place their hands on a central table and in a few moments the table would move, rotate, rise up on one leg, or even completely levitate. By rising up on a leg and coming down with a knock, a code could be set up with the deceased (1 for A, 2 for B, etc.). Unfortunately, this was very time consuming and other systems, especially the Ouija, developed.

Skeptics determined that the actual cause of the table’s movements (excluding outright fraud) were unconscious muscular actions also known as ideomotor responses. What they couldn’t describe, however, is where those messages came from, especially when the participants couldn’t have known the transmitted information.




Tapping Energy

Expression for a variety of ways by which a person may link into or collect energy from an external source to use for magickal, healing, or similar purposes.




Telekinesis
The movement of objects without physical contact. One form of telekinesis, psychokinesis, implies that this is a type of human ability. Telekinesis may be created by any source, human, alien, non-physical spirit, etc.


Telepathy
Ability to know what another is thinking, experiencing, etc. May be difficult to distinguish from clairvoyance.


Telepathy
The ability to communicate with another person or spirit through the mind alone.


Teleportation
The paranormal ability that allows a person to cause an object to disappear from one location and appear in another. Usually, this happens with either no passage of time or only a very brief time period.


Temporal Lobe Activity

Electrical activity in the temporal lobes of the brain as registered via electroencephalography. Activity in the temporal lobe has been associated with strange sensations, time distortions and hallucinations. As a result, some pseudo-skeptics, as well as legitimate scientists, have used TLA to explain apparitions and alien abduction.




Therianthropy

The belief that someone can change into an animal form and then back to their human form. Also called shapeshifting.




Thought Transference
An expression meaning telepathy, the ability to communicate without speaking, mind-to-mind.


Thoughtography

See Psychic Photography.




Time Distortion
The phenomenon of experiencing time as going slower or faster than what is actually occurring. This frequently happens during rituals, where participants come out thinking that the ritual lasted a short time when it actually took much longer, or they believe that it lasted a long time when the duration was actually rather short. Time distortion is also a common phenomenon that occurs during hypnosis.


Timeslip
A “blip” in time when time passes for others but not for you, or vice versa. Usually these periods are short. Also a name for temporarily traveling forward or backward in time.


Trance Medium

A person who produces mediumistic phenomena of all kinds after entering a state of trance. Sometimes spelled “transmedium” by people who are stressing the idea of transcending normal reality and by people unfamiliar with the original concept.




Transitional Travel

A technique used to facilitate easy out-of-body travel during sleep and to actualize the empowerment potential of the travel experience. 




Transmedium

See Trance Medium.




Transmigration
The belief that after death the soul “migrates” into another form, such as an animal or another person. Another term for reincarnation.


Transvection

Levitation or astral projection. Can be induced through the use of entheogens, sex magick, etc.




Traveling Clairvoyance

A term used by early parapsychologists for out-of-body experiences. Now rarely used.




Traveling Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance exhibited by a subject while he or she travels in their imagination to another location.




Trumpet

A conical tube of light metal such as aluminum. Sometimes it is divided into sections, allowing the trumpet to collapse for storage. They can be relatively short to over a meter in length. In some instances, luminous tape or paint is applied to the larger end. It gives off a small amount of light so it can be seen in a darkened room.

The trumpet was a common tool seen in seances. The horn might levitate in a darkened room and function as a megaphone for the voices of spirits. Fraudulent mediums and mentalists have been able to recreate the phenomenon without a dependency upon non-physical entities.




UFO
UFO—Unidentified Flying Object, also known as a flying saucer


UFOs and Aliens
UFO is an abbreviation for Unidentified Flying Object. Although this could describe any object in the sky that cannot be identified by an observer, it usually is associated to vehicles from another planet piloted by aliens—entities from that planet. Although most such sightings of UFOs are eventually identified, the quantity of sightings by qualified, expert observers (such as professional pilots) or by large numbers of independent observers that remains unidentified is considerable.

Due to the massive distance between planets and current inability of people on earth to know of a way to traverse such distances quickly, some researchers have developed the belief that UFOs may be from the future, from another dimension, or are unusual—and unexplained—natural phenomena.


Unidentified Flying Object

See UFO.




Up Through Technique

A parapsychological test where the subject is required to guess (or determine paranormally) the order of a set of symbols (such as cards) from the bottom of a stack to the top.




Uri Geller
Controversial Israeli psychic. In the 1970s he burst onto the world stage through apparent demonstrations of psychic ability. The most famous of these powers is the ability to bend silverware without applying any form of strong pressure. He also starts watches that have ceased to function, reproduces unseen drawings, etc. Geller semi-retired in the 1980s, but occasionally makes appearances. He has done a good job marketing himself through games, websites, and through authoring more than a dozen books. Although his powers have been duplicated by magicians and some of his public demonstrations have been “debunked,” his popularity continues. He claims that he has made a fortune by dowsing for such things as oil and gold for companies that refuse to be identified. He currently lives on a large estate he owns in England.


Vampire Surfing
A phenomenon in which experienced psychic vampires survey a group and draw small amounts of energy from large numbers of people.


Veridical

Data or the reporting of an experience that is confirmed to be objectively accurate.




Veridical Dream

A dream that has events, previously unknown to the dreamer, that are the same as objective reality. A veridical dream may be predictive of events yet to come, but it may also accurate represent events occurring while the dreamer is in a dream state or that occurred previously.




Vibration
Slight repetitive motions. Often refers to the speed of the repetition of those motions. All energy (and all matter which is made of energy) has a different vibration rate. Spiritually it is said that spiritual matter vibrates at a higher speed than more physical matter.


Vibration

A term used by Spiritualists to indicate different levels of consciousness.




Vimana
Flying chariots, UFOs, or space ships described in ancient classic Indian Sanskrit spiritual books.


Visualize

The process of forming a visualization. To form a mental image. It may or may not be visible. It is the technique for creating something on the astral plane which must eventually manifest on the physical plane.




Vortex
A funnel of energy used by ghosts as a conveyance in which to move about easily, while at the same time maintaining their energy fields.


Walter Kilner

(1847—1920) A British MD involved with the use of electricity for healing purposes (not electroshock or electroconvulsive treatments). He is most famous, however, for his research into the human aura, including one of the first Western books on the subject, The Human Atmosphere (1911). He believed that the aura was an actual electromagnetic energy and described three levels, coining the terms Etheric Double, Inner Aura, and Outer Aura.

Kilner also developed a training method so that any person could train themselves to see the aura. This involved looking through "Kilner Screens." These were two pieces of glass containing a blue dye made of a substance called dicyanin. While these are claimed to be very successful (indeed, a popular version of them were sold as "Kilner Goggles" or "Aura Goggles"), the problem was that dicyanin was both expensive and toxic. Although actual Kilner Screens or lenses have fallen out of favor, the use of them is sometimes simulated using glass or plastic lenses that are deep cobalt blue or purple. Once you were able to see the aura using this device you were supposed to decrease your use of them as you should be able to see the aura without them.




Water Sprinkling

When séances that produced physical phenomena were more available than today, water sprinkling was not unusual. The expression describes how sitters at the séance are sprinkled with water or perfume as a gift from spirits. Unfortunately, this phenomenon could be easily faked.




Water Witch
A person who uses a divining rod, often in the shape of a forked branch, to find subterranean water.


Will O' the Wisp
Strange lights that appear at night. They are usually quite pale, silent, and have flame-like qualities.


Wraith
A spirit that is earthbound until it can avenge its death.


Wraith
An energy that is typically negative and destructive, although sometimes this is a matter of perspective. A wraith can be a spirit or a magickal creation. Sometimes a wraith spirit comes as a warning of impending death or serious misfortune. Wraith spirits also serve as guardians of mystical realms or enchanted treasures.


Xenoglossy

The ability to write or speak a language that was not learned by natural means.




Zener Cards

Also known as “ESP cards,” this is a deck of 25 card using a repeating set of five simple geometric shapes (circle, square, wavy lines) used to test for ESP. The cards were designed in the 1930s by Karl Zener, a perceptual psychologist, for use by famed parapsychologist J.B. Rhine. 




Zooform Phenomena
Entities that seem to be animals, but have paranormal qualities or exhibit paranormal behaviors.



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