Waking interactions with the dead

Lore tells us that contact with those who have left this world is most likely to occur on Samhain, the night when the veils between worlds is at its thinnest. Indeed, I have had the best success with large groups in that general season. Each year for some time, we have held a public celebration called the Real Witches Ball. I cannot remember a time when someone who attended main ritual did not fall to his knees overcome with tears because he had made contact with a loved one that had passed. With main ritual attendance in the hundreds, one might think our ritual team was highly trained in such matters. The truth is, absolutely nothing ever goes as planned. Nonetheless, it still works because everyone who is in attendance brings her past loved ones with her. We do not convince our guests' ancestors and loved ones to enter our circle; our guests do because they have no choice. Each and every one of us has a permanent connection to every one we have ever loved.

The hardest part about making contact is finding a time and place to be alone and uninterrupted. You will need two candles, a very comfortable chair, a room that can be completely darkened, and a large mirror. You will also need mugwort, lavender, sandalwood, and the ability to burn natural incense. I prefer freestanding oval mirrors. Be aware that you will probably lose all track of time, so unplug the telephone and plan on staying up late.

Wash the mirror with an infusion of mugwort and place an incense burner stoked with charcoal. Light the coals in a different room and bring them into the room only once they have stopped sparking. The sulfur that is in many self-lighting charcoals is a banishing agent. The same is true of the candles if you are lighting them with a match. Arrange your furniture such that the chair is close enough to the mirror that the mirror takes up at least one half of your horizontal range of sight. Place the candles behind you and to the left and right at about a foot below eye level. You should not be able to see the candles' direct reflection in the mirror, but they should slightly illuminate the smoke that will rise from the incense burner.

Concentrate on your most recent memory of a conversation with the person you wish to contact. As you do, toss some of the lavender onto the coals, then some sandalwood. Try to generate just enough smoke that it is noticeable in the darkness, but not so much that the mirror will be obscured.

Try to focus just beyond the surface of the mirror. See it as having depth, like a pool of water. Focus your eyes on the fish that swim beneath the surface of that water. Continue to focus your mind on your most recent memory of a conversation with the person you wish to contact. If that person is willing and able, he will interact with you through the visual aid that you have used to create a portal to your mind.

Achieving this interaction is easy. Understanding the language in which you can exchange information is not. When your session is over, write down every impression you received during your efforts. Meaning may not instantly associate itself with everything that you observed; sometimes it takes a while before the messages take on clear meaning. Do not despair; this method seems to work for just about everyone.

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