Setting the Stage: Location, Time, and Props
Where and when a sťance is held really depends on physical availability and time allotted. When investigating a haunted location it is ideal to hold a sťance in that location, as the energies of the ghostly visitors can paint us a portrait of who they were and why they are haunting that particular location. If you are just having an ancestral sťance any private location will suffice.
There are two camps of thought and much controversy about when to hold a sťance. Many believe that a sťance held at night delivers better results, while others do not seem to find much difference between a sťance held at night to one held in the day. The argument is that spirits show themselves better at night. But do they, or is it just that the psychic atmosphere is quieter and it is easier to perceive spirits? There have been many sťances held in the day that have yielded the same results as sťances in the night. It is a matter of personal preference and really doesnít make much difference to a spirit.
It is desirable to choose a quiet location where one will not be disturbed. Not every situation offers the stereotype ambience for performing a sťance, so work with what you have.
Another myth that surrounds the subject of communication circles is not to have more than one medium presiding. There have been many times when multiple mediums have sat together adding to the desired outcome. Not every sťance will hand over success easily. It takes time and experience, and even that is not a sure-fire guarantee.
Many people like to use candles, incense and music to set the atmosphere. These are wonderful tools to use but are really for the sitterís comfort, to get them in a sedative mood. Spirits generally have no concern about pomp and ceremony. When doing a sťance it is delightful to have all the props and hoopla that goes with the traditional way of thinking in what a sťance should look like, though donít miss out on an opportunity to speak with spirit just because there are no props available or it may be in the middle of the afternoon.
The sťance is not a dog and pony show and should not be treated like one. Those going into a sťance with a demanding and or playing attitude are in for a rude awakening. Too many unwanted things can happen or nothing can happen. One never knows. Every sťance is different and stands on its own merits with the outpouring of changeable results.
The important thing is to be comfortable and know what you are doing. Read as much about the subject that you can get your hands on, go to as many sťances as possible, learn all about the pitfalls and how to protect yourself from uninvited guests (both here and there) and most of all believe in what you are doing. A sťance ought to be approached with a sense of reverence, the same as a Sunday service or a ritual. Communication with either the living in this corporeal state or spirits of the beyond is a sacred act.
Pick a location where you will be undisturbed for at least an hour. Timing as to when the sťance is to be preformed is up to the individuals. It is best that a time limit of an hour or two at the maximum be agreed on by the participants, as anything longer than that can be draining on the sitters and yield futile results. Determine the purpose of the sťance. If you can sage the area with a smudge stick to clear away any previous energy, do so. If not, just picture a bright light covering the area and cleansing both your astral field and the geographical astral field that you are in.
Choose an experienced medium and point person. If working with multiple mediums, choose one who will act as the main contact person. A point person ideally ought to be someone who is not the medium. A point person is someone who keeps track of the time and deals with any unforeseen interruptions.
Set up the tape recorder and camera. Once the sťance has begun, you donít want to stop to get something you forgot. If candles and incense are desired, this is the time to light them.
The medium sets the tone of the sťance by having everyone take a couple of deep, cleansing breaths to relax. Release any tension from the mind and body, as this helps one to be more receptive to psychic energy. Then state your intention and prayers. These may vary according to oneís own belief system. Then call upon the Guardians of the Gate. Look upon them as the hosts of a party. As I mentioned before, when you are preparing for a sťance, itís as though a neon light goes off on the other side and advertises a communication party is happening. You are issuing invitation, and the Guardians will only allow those spirits to come through that you have put on your guest list.
After the sťance is over, thank the spirits who came through for their time and their messages. Also thank the Guardians and anyone else that assisted with protection and their watchful assistance. Let yourself slowly come out of your meditative state and regroup your energy.
Physical conditions, receptivity of the group and communication skills with the spirits are factors that determine if the sťance has been a success. It may take more than one sťance to establish a conversation with the spirit, or it could happen instantaneously. One never knows, as there are no guarantees that the spirit will or can answer. Donít be discouraged if contact is not made on the first attempt. You can always try again at another time.
It cannot be stressed enough that we sitters must remain in control of the situation at all times. A sťance is not a parlor game, and it is unwise to think of it as such. Knowing what one is doing and what can or cannot happen can never be stressed enough, as more often than not, the unexpected is to be expected.
During the sťance or on any other paranormal investigation, pay attention to the little nuances, such as smells, extreme temperature change, chills, hearing whispers or voices, and seeing things out of the corner of the eyes. Peripheral vision plays a key role in motion detection and low-light sensation. It has been preserved in the human evolution as part of our survival mechanism. Compound this with the fact that spirit moves at a faster rate in the other worldly dimensions, and we begin to understand why we see those images out of the corner of our eyes go by so quickly. They literally move in split-second time. That accounts for why most of us second-guess ourselves when we do see something. It happens too fast. Our rational mind does not have time to compute the information.
People often ask me how to develop their psychic abilities, and my response is that it is a process that is not done overnight, though the first thing to do, and especially on a ghost tour, is to bring all your attention into yourself. Take a couple of deep breaths and become aware of your body, and stay in the present moment. Our skin is the biggest sense organ we have, and bringing our attention to the body and the now offers us the opportunity to observe what otherwise we might miss.
I am not totally convinced that one has to be sensitive to psychic energies to have ghostly encounters. I have seen and heard of the most skeptical people and non-believers in the spirit world experience phantom manifestations. From my experience it appears that ghosts show up when they want and to whom they want. One never knows. My suggestion is go in with an open attitude with no expectations while at the same time being prepared for anything.