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Clairvoyant Psychometry

The word "clairvoyance" means "clear seeing." In its present usage it
covers a wide field of psychic phenomena; and is used by different writers
to designate phases of psychic phenomena differing widely from each other.
The student is apt to become confused when he meets these apparently
conflicting definitions and usages. In the glossary of the Society for
Psychical Research, the term is defined as: "The faculty or act of
perceiving, as though visually, with some coincidental truth, some distant
scene; it is used sometimes, but hardly properly, for transcendental
vision, or the perception of beings regarded as on another plane of

Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, a distinguished writer on the subject of psychic
phenomena, in one of her reports to the Society for Psychical Research,
says: "The word clairvoyant is often used very loosely and with widely
different meanings. I denote by it a faculty of acquiring supernormally,
but not by reading the minds of persons present, a knowledge of facts such
as we normally acquire by the use of our senses. I do not limit it to
knowledge that would normally be acquired by the sense of sight, nor do I
limit it to a knowledge of present facts. A similar knowledge of the past,
and if necessary, of future facts may be included. On the other hand, I
exclude the mere faculty of seeing apparitions or visions, which is
sometimes called clairvoyance."

The above definitive explanation of the term clairvoyance agrees with the
idea of the best authorities, and distinguishes between the phenomena of
clairvoyance and that of telepathy, on the one hand; and between the
former and that of seeing apparitions, on the other hand. I, personally,
accept this distinction as both scientific in form, and as agreeing with
the facts of the case. You will, of course, see that the acceptance of the
existence of the astral senses throws light on many obscure points about
which the psychic researchers are in doubt, and reconciles many apparently
opposing facts.

All scientific authorities, as well as the best occultists, divide the
phenomena of clairvoyance into several well-distinguished classes. The
following classification is simple, and indicates clearly the principal
forms of clairvoyant phenomena:

(1) Simple Clairvoyance, in which the clairvoyant person merely senses the
auric emanations of other persons, such as the auric vibrations, colors,
etc.; currents of thought-vibrations, etc.; but does not see events or
scenes removed in space or time from the observer.

(2) Clairvoyance in Space, in which the clairvoyant person senses scenes
and events removed in space from the observer; and, often also is able to
sense such things even when they are concealed or obscured by intervening
material objects.

(3) Clairvoyance in Time, in which the clairvoyant person senses scenes
and events which have had their original place in past time; or scenes
and events which will have their original place in the future.

I shall describe each of these three classes, with their many variations,
as we reach them in their proper places in these lessons. Before doing so
however, I wish to explain to you the several methods by which clairvoyant
vision is usually induced. These methods may be designated as follows:

(1) Psychometry, or the method of getting en rapport with the astral plane
by means of some physical object connected with the person, thing, or
scene about which you desire to be informed.

(2) Crystal Gazing, etc., or the method of getting en rapport with the
astral plane by means of gazing into a crystal, magic mirror, etc.

(3) Clairvoyant Reverie, or the method of getting en rapport with the
astral plane by means of psychic states in which the sights, sounds and
thoughts of the material and physical plane are shut out of consciousness.

I shall now proceed to give the details regarding each one of these three
great classes of methods inducing clairvoyant vision, or en rapport
conditions with the astral plane.

Psychometry. Psychometry is that form of clairvoyant phenomena in which
the clairvoyant gets into en rapport relation with the astral plane by
means of the connecting link of material objects, such as bit of stone,
piece of hair, article of wearing apparel etc., which has had previous
associations with the thing, person or scene regarding which clairvoyant
vision is required.

Without going into technical occult explanations, I would say that the
virtue of these articles consists entirely of their associative value.
That is to say, they carry in them certain vibrations of past experience
which serve as a connecting link, or associated filament, with the thing
which is sought to be brought into the field of clairvoyant vision.

To reach clairvoyantly a thing, scene, or person in this way is akin to
the unwinding of a ball of yarn, when you hold the loose end in your hand.
Or, it is like giving a keen-scented dog a sniff at a handkerchief once
carried by the person whom you wish him to nose out for you.

A well-known authority on the subject of psychic phenomena has said on
this point: "The untrained clairvoyant usually cannot find any particular
astral picture when it is wanted, without some special link to put him en
rapport with the subject required. Psychometry is an instance in point. It
seems as though there were a sort of magnetic attachment or affinity
between any particle of matter and the record which contains its
history--an affinity which enables it to act as a kind of conductor
between that record and the faculties of anyone who can read it. For
instance, I once brought from Stonehenge a tiny fragment of stone, not
larger than a pin's head, and on putting this into an envelope and handing
it to a psychometer who had no idea what it was, she at once began to
describe that wonderful ruin and the desolate country surrounding it, and
then went on to picture vividly what were evidently scenes from its early
history, showing that the infinitessimal fragment had been sufficient to
put her into communication with the records connected with the spot from
which it came. The scenes through which we pass in the course of our life
seem to act in the same way upon the cells of our brain as did the history
of Stonehenge upon that particle of stone. They establish a connection
with those cells by means of which our mind is put en rapport with that
particular portion of the records, and so we 'remember' what we have

One of the simplest and most common form of psychometry is that in which
the psychometrist is able to tell the physical condition of a person by
means of holding to the forehead, or even in the hand, some trinket or
small article such as a handkerchief recently worn on the person of the
individual regarding whom the information is sought. In the case of some
very sensitive psychometrists, the psychic person "takes on" the condition
of the other person whose former article of clothing, trinket, etc., she
is holding. She will often actually experience the physical pain and
distress of the person, and will be able to indicate from what ailment the
person is suffering. Some persons attain great proficiency in this
direction, and are a great assistance to wise physicians who avail
themselves of their services. Some successful physicians themselves
possess this faculty well developed, and use it to great advantage,
though, as a rule they keep very quiet about it, from fear of creating
unfavorable comment from their fellow-physicians and from the general
public who "do not believe in such tom-foolery."

A step further is the power of some psychometrists to correctly describe
the personal characteristics, and even the past history of persons with
whom they come in contact, or whose "associated article" they have in
their hands. Some very remarkable instances of this phase of psychometry
are related in the books containing the history of clairvoyance. An
interesting case is that related by Zschokke, the eminent German writer,
who relates in his autobiography his wonderful experience in this
direction. Listen to the story in his own words: "It has happened to me
occasionally at the first meeting with a total stranger, when I have been
listening in silence to his conversation, that his past life up to the
present moment, with many minute circumstances belonging to one or other
particular scene in it, has come across me like a dream, but distinctly,
entirely involuntarily and unsought, occupying in duration a few minutes.
For a long time I was disposed to consider these fleeting visions as a
trick of the fancy--the more so as my dream-vision displayed to me the
dress and movements of the actors, the appearance of the room, the
furniture, and other accidents of the scene; till on one occasion, in a
gamesome mood, I narrated to my family the secret history of a seamstress
who had just quitted the room. I had never seen the person before.
Nevertheless, the hearers were astonished, and laughed and would not be
persuaded but that I had a previous acquaintance with the former life of
the person, inasmuch as what I had stated was perfectly true.

"I was not less astonished to find that my dream vision agreed with
reality. I then gave more attention to the subject, and as often as
propriety allowed of it, I related to those whose lives had so passed
before me the substance of my dream-vision, to obtain from them its
contradiction or confirmation. On every occasion its confirmation
followed, not without amazement on the part of those who gave it. On a
certain fair-day I went into the town of Waldshut accompanied by two young
foresters, who are still alive. It was evening, and, tired with our walk,
we went into an inn called the 'Vine.' We took our supper with a numerous
company at the public table, when it happened that they made themselves
merry over the peculiarities of the Swiss in connection with the belief in
mesmerism, Lavater's physiognomical system, and the like. One of my
companions, whose national pride was touched by their raillery, begged me
to make some reply, particularly in answer to a young man of superior
appearance who sat opposite, and had indulged in unrestrained ridicule.

"It happened that the events of this person's life had just previously
passed before my mind. I turned to him with the question whether he would
reply to me with truth and candor, if I narrated to him the most secret
passages of his history, he being as little known to me as I to him. That
would, I suggested, go something beyond Lavater's physiognomical skill. He
promised that if I told the truth he would admit it openly. Then I
narrated the events with which my dream vision had furnished me, and the
table learned the history of the young tradesman's life, of his school
years, his peccadilloes, and finally, of a little act of roguery committed
by him on the strongbox of his employer. I described the uninhabited room
with its white walls, where to the right of the brown door there had stood
upon the table the small money-chest, etc. The man, much struck, admitted
the correctness of each circumstance--even, which I could not expect, of
the last."

The above incident is typical of this class of psychometry, and many
persons have had at least flashes of this phase of the power. The only
remarkable thing about this particular case is its faithfulness regarding
details--this shows a very fine development of the astral sense. The
feature that makes it psychometric, instead of pure clairvoyance, is that
the presence of the other person was necessary to produce the
phenomenon--a bit of clothing would probably have answered as well.
Zschokke does not seem to have been able to manifest time-clairvoyance
independent of the presence of the person concerned--he needs the
associated link, or loose end of the psychic ball of yarn.

Next in order in the list of the phenomena of psychometry is that in which
the psychometrist is able to describe a distant scene by means of a bit
of mineral, plant, or similar object, once located at that place. In such
cases, the psychometrist gets en rapport with the distant scene by means
of the connecting link mentioned. Having obtained this, he is able to
relate the events that are happening on that scene at that particular
moment. Some very interesting cases are mentioned in which the
psychometrist has been able to "spy" in on a certain place, by means of
some small article which has recently been located in that place. For
instance I once gave a young psychometrist a penholder from the office of
a lawyer, a friend of mine, located about eight hundred miles from the
psychometrist. She gave a perfect picture of the interior of the office,
the scene across the street visible from the office window, and certain
events that were happening in the office at that moment, which were
verified by careful inquiry as to persons and time. Every occultist, or
investigator of psychic phenomena has experienced many cases of this kind.

Another phase of psychometry is that in which the psychometer is able to
sense the conditions existing underground, by means of a piece of mineral
or metal which originally was located there. Some wonderful instances of
phychometric discernment of mines, etc., have been recorded. In this phase
of psychometry, all that is needed is a piece of the coal, mineral or
metal which has come from the mine. Following up this psychic "lead" the
psychometrist is able to describe the veins or strata of the surrounding
land, although they have not yet been uncovered or discovered.

Still another form of psychometric discernment is that in which the
psychometrist gets en rapport with the past history of an object, or of
its surroundings, by means of the object itself. In this way, the
psychometrist holding in his hand, or pressing to his head, a bullet from
a battle field, is able to picture the battle itself. Or, given a piece of
ancient pottery or stone implement, the psychometrist is able to picture
the time and peoples connected with the object in the past--sometimes
after many centuries are past. I once handed a good psychometrist a bit of
ornament taken from an Egyptian mummy over three thousand years old.
Though the psychometrist did not know what the object was, or from whence
it had come, she was able to picture not only the scenes in which the
Egyptian had lived, but also the scenes connected with the manufacture of
the ornament, some three hundred years before that time--for it turned out
that the ornament itself was an antique when the Egyptian had acquired it.
In another case, I had the psychometrist describe in detail the animal
life, and the physical phenomena, of the age in which a fossil had existed
when alive--many thousands of years ago. In the proper place in this book,
I will explain just how it is possible to penetrate the secrets of the
past by psychometric vision--that is to say, the psychic laws making the
same possible.

Some of the most remarkable of recorded instances of this form of
psychometry known to the Western world are those related in the works of a
geologist named Denton, who some fifty years ago conducted a series of
investigations into the phenomena of psychometry. His recorded experiments
fill several volumes. Being a geologist, he was able to select the best
subjects for the experiments, and also to verify and decide upon the
accuracy of the reports given by the psychometrists. His wife, herself,
was a gifted psychometrist, and it has been said of her, by good
authority, that "she is able, by putting a piece of matter (whatever be
its nature) to her head, to see, either with her eyes closed or open, all
that the piece of matter, figuratively speaking, ever saw, heard, or
experienced." The following examples will give a good idea of the Denton
experiments, which are typical of this class of psychometry.

Dr. Denton gave the psychometrist a small fragment broken from a large
meteorite. She held it to her head, and reported: "This is curious. There
is nothing at all to be seen. I feel as if I were in the air. No, not in
the air either, but in nothing, no place. I am utterly unable to describe
it; it seems high, however I feel as though I were rising, and my eyes are
carried upwards; but I look around in vain; there is nothing to be seen. I
see clouds, now, but nothing else. They are so close to me that I seem to
be in them. My head, and neck and eyes are affected. My eyes are carried
up, and I cannot roll them down. Now the clouds appear lighter and
lighter, and look as though the sunlight would burst through them. As the
clouds separate, I can see a star or two, and then the moon instead of the
sun. The moon seems near, and looks coarse and rough, and paler and larger
in size than I ever saw it before. What a strange feeling comes over me!
It appears as if I were going right to the moon, and it looks as if the
moon were coming to me. It affects me terribly."

Dr. Denton adds: "She was too much affected to continue the experiment
longer. Had this aerolite at some period of its history, come within the
sphere of the moon's attraction, and had its velocity so increased that
its augmented centrifugal force had carried it off into space again,
whence, drawn by the superior attractive force of the earth, it had fallen
and ended its career forever?"

At another time, Dr. Denton tested the psychometrist with a whalebone
walking cane. She supposed it to be wood, but when she began to report her
psychic impressions, they came as follows: "I feel as though I were a
monster. There is nothing of a tree about it, and it is useless for me to
go further. I feel like vomiting. Now I want to plunge into the water. I
believe that I am going to have a fit. My jaws are large enough to take
down a house at a gulp. I now know what this is--it is whalebone. I see
the inside of the whale's mouth. It has no teeth. It has a slimy look, but
I only get a glimpse of it. Now, I see the whole animal. What an awful
looking creature."

Another time, Dr. Denton gave the psychometrist a minute piece of the
enamel of the tooth of a mastodon, which had been found thirty feet below
the surface of the earth. The psychometrist had not the slightest
knowledge of the character of the tiny flake of enamel handed her, but
nevertheless reported: "My impression is that it is a part of some
monstrous animal, probably part of a tooth. I feel like a perfect monster,
with heavy legs, unwieldy head, and very large body. I go down to a
shallow stream to drink. I can hardly speak, my jaws are so heavy. I feel
like getting down on all fours. What a noise comes through the woods. I
have an impulse to answer it. My ears are very large and leathery, and I
can almost fancy they flap in my face as I move my head. There are some
older ones than I. It seems so out of keeping to be talking with these
heavy jaws. They are dark brown, as if they had been completely tanned.
There is one old fellow, with large tusks, that looks very tough. I see
several younger ones. In fact, there is a whole herd. My upper lip moves
curiously; I can flap it up. It seems strange to me how it is done. There
is a plant growing here, higher than my head. It is nearly as thick as my
wrist, very juicy, sweet, and tender--something like green corn in taste,
but sweeter. It is not the taste it would have to a human being--oh no! it
is sickenish, and very unpleasant to the human taste." These instances
might be multiplied indefinitely, but the principle is the same in each.
In my own experience, I gave a small piece from the Great Pyramid of Egypt
to a psychometrist who was uneducated and who knew nothing of ancient
Egypt or its history. Notwithstanding this, she gave me such a detailed
and complete account of the life of ancient Egypt, which was in such
complete accordance with the opinions of the best authorities, that I
would hesitate about publishing the report, for it certainly would be
regarded as rank imposture by the average scientific authority. Some day,
however, I may publish this.

There are no special directions to be given the student in psychometry.
All that can be done is to suggest that each person should try the
experiments for himself, in order to find out whether he has, or has not,
the psychometric faculty. It may be developed by the methods that will be
given to develop all psychic powers, in another part of this book. But
much will depend upon actual practice and exercise. Take strange objects,
and, sitting in a quiet room with the object held to your forehead, shut
out all thoughts of the outside world, and forget all personal affairs. In
a short time, if the conditions are all right, you will begin to have
flashes of scenes connected with the history of the object. At first
rather disconnected and more or less confused, there will soon come to you
a clearing away of the scene, and the pictures will become quite plain.
Practice will develop the power. Practice only when alone, or when in the
presence of some sympathetic friend or friends. Always avoid discordant
and inharmonious company when practicing psychic powers. The best
psychometrists usually keep the physical eyes closed when practicing their

You have doubtless heard the sensing of sealed letters spoken of as
clairvoyance. But this is merely one form of psychometry. The letter is a
very good connecting medium in psychometric experiments. I advise you to
begin your experiments with old letters. You will be surprised to discover
how readily you will begin to receive psychic impressions from the
letters, either from the person who wrote them, or from the place in which
they were written, or from some one connected with the subsequent history.
One of the most interesting experiments I ever witnessed in psychometry,
was a case in which a letter that had been forwarded from place to place,
until it had gone completely around the globe, was psychometrized by a
young Hindu maiden. Although ignorant of the outside world, she was able
to picture the people and scenery of every part of the globe in which the
letter had traveled. Her report was really an interesting "travelogue" of
a trip around the world, given in tabloid form. You may obtain some
interesting results in psychometrizing old letters--but always be
conscientious about it, and refrain from divulging the secrets that will
become yours in the course of these experiments. Be honorable on the
astral plane, as well as on the physical--more so, rather than less.

Next: Clairvoyant Crystal Gazing

Previous: Mind Reading And Beyond

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