REMARKS AND SUGGESTIONS.
- Evening is the best time to hold a circle, for the reason that the cares and duties of the day being past, the individuals composing it are, as a general thing, in their most passive condition, and all their surroundings in a quiet, subdued state, favorable to the efforts of their spirit friends to accomplish the purposes they have in view.
- As many hours as possible previous to the time of holding the circle, its members should gain what repose they can from the fatigues of the day, and endeavor to attain an equable mental condition by disabusing their minds of all distracting thoughts of business or study. It is best to dispense with the evening meal until after the circle; or if partaking of it, the food should be light, with no meats or strong tea or coffee.
- The table employed should be of a size to comfortably seat the members of the circle uniformly around it, without any great distance between them; and no cloth or other article should be on it, except paper and pencils, ready for use should occasion require. An equal number of each sex is desirable, and these should be seated alternately;
but if there is a preponderance of either, that of females is preferable to males, on account of their usual great passivity and impressibility. Flowers in the room will be an assistance; and in the winter season potted plants will be a valuable auxiliary in the production of spirit phenomena.
- The most perfect confidence in the firm integrity and honesty of of every should exist in the mind of each. This being established, the absence of light will not be objectionable to any, and will greatly facilitate the development of individual mediumship. However, if total darkness is in the least degree objectionable, a soft, much subdued light, so placed as not to throw its direct rays upon the table or the faces of the sitters, may be employed.
- The first indication of spirit presence is likely be the sensation as of cool, gentle breeze passing over the hands or faces of the sitters, though if is possible some one or more may be so largely mediumistic that an involuntary movement of the hand may occur,
in which case it may be advisable to place pencil and paper where they can be used by that person. If required; even the appearance of lights, the production of raps, a tipping of the table, partial or full entrancement with its accompanying phenomena, or other manifestations, may be the earliest evidence of success.
- Should the manifestations take the form of raps or of tipping the table, the usual signals may be employed: one rap or one tip for No; two for Doubtful, or Do not know; three for Yes. When this is understood by spirits and mortals, questions relative to proper conditions of the circle for the best results will be first in order, such as: Are we seated right? Shall we sing? Shall we converse? and any other of like nature, bearing in mind that the question must be a simple and not a compound one;
for instance, you can ask: “Shall we sing?” but not “Shall we sing or converse?” as the latter cannot be answered by a code of signals; that indicate only Yes, No, and Doubtful. Names, dates and messages may be obtained by some one of the circle repeating aloud the letters of the alphabet and the numerals, and noting at which rap or a tip of the table occurs. If neither raps nor tips can be produced, the letter or figure is sometimes indicated by an involuntary movement of the hand.
- Communication having been established, the form of mediumship to which each person is best adapted will be made known by the spirits in control of the circle, and directions given for further development.
- The length of time the sitting is to be held on each evening will depend, when communication with the spirits is impossible, upon the condition and disposition of the sitters; and when communication is possible, upon direction of spirits having the circle in charge, But in no case should it be continued after a sense of weariness is felt.
This, however, should be distinguished from that of drowsiness, as spirit influence may be mistaken for the latter. Actual bodily fatigue from too long sitting exhausts all, and may; and most frequently does, neutralize all advance that has been made during the evening; therefore when it; appears, the sitting should terminate.
- The chief qualifications for every one who investigates Spiritualism, either in a private circle of their own or in a public one, are: patience, perseverance, and a disposition to recognize a truth and freely admit it to be one when convinced that it is.
The latter is of special importance and value, and does more to aid the spirit than we of earth can possibly realize; whereas, on the other hand, a stupid silence, or what might be termed a willful offishness in this respect, dampens their ardor and retards their work.
- The number of sittings to be held before satisfactory results are obtained is variable; the first, second or third may witness them, or it may be very many will be called for before their attainment. One thing must be borne in mind: the absence of visible results is no proof that no advance has been made. Often most is done when the least is evident to any of our senses.
Much has to be done by the spirit operators doubtless much severe toil engaged in by them before the object of your meeting is accomplished. They are the workers; you simply wait to receive the inestimable blessings that through their labors are bestowed upon you. Therefore it is not unreasonable to ask that you bring to each session of your circle the requisites above mentioned: patience, perseverance and recognition.