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

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

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

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

Also available as a PDF File.

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

The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Séance


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

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

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

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

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

Also See: Seance


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

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

While most people are probably familiar with legendary creatures such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Chupacabra, and Jersey Devil, there is a myriad of weird beasts that are less known, but equally as elusive. What is surprising is that there are accounts of modern encounters with these enigmatic monsters on record, indicating that there... read this article
Four Powerful Ways to Live a Joyful Life Today
A Tarot Built for Magick: Modern Spellcaster's Tarot
Exercise: How to Feel Good
Investigating Haunted Bridges
Bodies of the Gods

Most recent posts:
The Biggest Challenge
Psychic Tarot by Nancy Antenucci and Melanie Howard In Psychic Tarot, Antenucci and Howard tell us that integrating the wisdom from a reading...

Author Michael Newton Has Passed
Today we sadly mark the passing of author Dr. Michael Newton, who authored several bestselling books, including Destiny of Souls, Journey of Souls,...

Demons and Pagan Gods: Re-evaluating My Stance
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...

Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
Wheels of Life Wheels of Life
A User's Guide to the Chakra System

By: Anodea Judith
Price: $21.95 US,  $25.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Pacific Homicide Pacific Homicide
A Mystery

By: Patricia Smiley
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN