Talking With the Spirits, 5-7



Cyber-Psychics : Psychic Readings Online

Tamlyn Ryan


p. 133 psychics-pneumatics

"being able to help other people with their skills is paramount to what they term their spiritual work (Ryan, 2008). ... Indeed, many mediums and psychic call their skills a 'gift' from Spirit, and believe their life's purpose is to use that gift to help others (Wooffitt, 2006)." "a smaller, more specific section of the wider cultic milieu ..., placing emphasis on the spiritual orientations of psychic practices, may be more suitably termed the psychic-spiritual milieu (Ryan, 2008)."

Ryan, 2008 = Tamlyn Ryan : Cyber Psychics : ... Psychic Spirituality Online. MA diss, Univ of York.

Wooffitt, 2006 = Robin Wooffitt : The Language of Mediums and Psychics : ... Everyday Miracles. Aldershot (Hampshire) : Ashgate.

pp. 134-5 physical and mental spirit-mediumships

p. 134

"There are two particular ways in which a medium is said to receive information from spirit -- physical and mental mediumship.

Physical mediumship is ...

p. 135

by a spirit to produce psychokinetic effects

{If by "spirit", the effect would be /pneumato-kinetic/. The term /psycho-kinetic/ would indicate that the effect is produced by a "soul" (instead of by a spirit).}

such as 'raps' (knocking) ... (Fontana, 2005; see also

Mental mediumship, meanwhile, involves the medium communicating with spirits to pass on messages to the people they are reading for".

Fontana, 2005 = David Fontana : Is There an Afterlife? : a Comprehensive Overview of the Evidence. Ropley (Hants) : O Bks.

pp. 136-7 internet-websites

p. 136

"Craig and Jane Hamilton-Parker founded their very successful web community in 1998. ... .

p. 137

... is still highly regarded as an online social space in which one may learn the skills of mediumship and find others of like-mind.

Meanwhile, psychic and mediumship readings are freely offered on many other websites such as (see also,; Established in 2004, ... scheduled psychic development circles and real time psychic and mediumship readings take place."

p. 139 online religions

"Whilst studies of religious virtual online community have shed light on specific practices of mainstream religions

(see for instance, Campbell, 2005 ...),

{A later book edited by this authoress on this topic is DR.} {An earlier book on the topic is, e.g., GMThOR.}

the practices in which members of the psychic-spiritual milieu engage in online social spaces remains {remain} unknown."

Campbell, 2005 = Heidi Campbell : Exploring the Religious Community Online. DIGITAL FORMATIONS 24. NY : Peter Lang.

DR = Heidi A. Campbell (editrix) : Digital Religion : Understanding Religious Practice in New Media Worlds. Abingdon (Oxon) ; NY : Routledge, 2012.

GMThOR = Brenda E. Brasher : Give Me That Online Religion. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2001.

p. 140 increase of public interest in the praeternatural

"In the 1970s, interest in paranormal and psychic phenomena was not widely accepted. In contrast, ... activities such as ghost vigils, mediumship and psychic/holistic fairs are very popular in the twenty first century. Indeed, it could be argued that the Internet has faciliated the growth in popularity of these activities."



Spirit-Possession in East Africa

Barbara Sto:ckigt


p. 157 capitalist persecution of divinely-inspired seers (displaying ASC -- altered states of consciousness), vs. anti-capitalist declaration of divinely-inspired seers to be "desirable"

"There are centuries[-]old therapeutic practices that have been, and are still being, applied successfully in non-European contexts (see Ellenberger, [1970]), in particular, healing through the use of trance states and spirit possession. ...

While in Western {i.e., capitalist-materialist} societies ASC are predominantly the remit of psychiatry,

{Practioners of traditional shamanic rites are (without trial and without charges) involuntary immured (even for life) within so-called "insane asyla", in all capitalist nation-states.}

ASC are institutionalized

{as honorable and socially-beneficial practitioners of their peculiar spiritual abilities}

in up to 90% of non-European {non-capitalist anti-materialist} cultures, and often held to be desirable states with positive applications (see Bourguignon, 1973)."

Ellenberger, 1970 = Henri-Frédéric Ellenberger : The Discovery of the Unconscious. NY : Basic Books. (translated by Gudrun Theusner-Stampa into German as :- Die Entdeckung des Unbewussten. Zu:rich : Diogenes, 1985.)

Borguignon, 1973 = Erika Bourguignon : Religion, Altered States of Consciousness, and Social Change. Columbus : OH State Univ Pr.

pp. 160, 163 spiritual healers

p. 160

"healers came from healer families. For ... spiritual healers, their healing gift was first revealed by a serious illness. ... . ... the disease persisted until the healing gift was ... accepted, but if the spirits were not listened to the illness would recur."

p. 163

"a psychological and physical disorder can exist because of a possession by healing spirits, signifying the existence of a spiritual gift. The healing spirits want to get attention through the disease or punish the afflicted if they are not listened to."

p. 164 creation by "God"?

"All spiritual healers agree that spirits are a natural creation of God".

{On this planet, the only religions claiming that any divinities are "created" (rather than engendred) by some other particular deity or deities, seem to be : Christianity, its sources and its offshoots.}

{It is well-known that in Africa, Christian (and likewise Muslim) invaders have for centuries kept up at terrorizing tribesfolk into submitting to monotheist tyranny; so that whenever any Africans pay lip-service to dogmata of monotheism, this can be discarded as a forced gesture, never sincere.}

p. 166 Luyia tribe : human religious practitioners specializing in categories of divinities

category of divinity

human practitioner

omu- ('practitioner')

"plant spirit"



"water spirit"



"animal spirit"

"priestly adviser"


"earth spirit"



"sun [spirit]"

"prophetic visionary"



"night runner" {somnambulant}


p. 167 Mijikenda tribe : all divinities are friendly

"a spirit ... is harmful to people if not listened to, or if his demands are not fulfilled. So long as they are respected and attended {to}, all spirits are friendly towards humans."

p. 169 healing forces act between worlds

"Through his spiritual abilities, the spiritual healer is an intermediary and traveler between the human and nonhuman worlds (see Scharfetter, 1992).

This dynamic, inseparable relationship between man and transcendent forces allows healing (see Katz & Wexler, 1989)."

Scharfetter, 1992 = Christian Scharfetter : "Der Schamane : das Urbild des Heilenden". In :- Karl Hauck (ed.) : Der historische Horizont der Götterbild-Amulette aus der Übergangsepoche von der Spätantike zum Frühmittelalter. Go:ttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 422-32.

Katz & Wexler, 1989 = R. Katz & A. Wexler : "Healing and Transformation : Lessons from Indigenous People". In :- Karl Peltzer & P. O. Ebigbo (edd.) : Clinical Psychology in Africa. Enugu : Univ of Nigeria. pp. 19-43.

pp. 169-71 spiritual healing by entranced healer

p. 169

"During the spirit possession many spiritual healers experience a complete or partial amnesia. As a result of this amnesia,

assistants are very important to healers, enabling them to pass on the instructions of the healing spirits. ...

{Assistants review and emphasize the instructions with patients, so that the patients understand and remembre them.}

p. 170

During the possession the healing spirits talk and sing through the spiritual healer, ... and give instructions for treatment.

In the possession the healing spirits have a body and a form and therefore the ability to exert influence on the physical world.

{While not possessing material-bodied beings, the possessing-deities reside only in subtle (immaterial) bodies, less capable of directly influencing the material world.}

With the same methods with which the healing spirits are called, especially by the rhythm of the drums and the singing of certain songs, the spirits are lured out of the patients. ... Spirits ... when visible ... reveal their secrets. ... When the spirits of {i.e., harassing} the patients appear, the healing spirits can make contact with them. First, the ... spirits ... talk to each other, ... they may even dance together. ... The meeting of the spirits ... is characterized by strong expressions and emotions ... (see Leff, 1981)."

p. 171

"Some interviewed healers said they feel a little dizzy or tired after a possession".

{Dizziness is also experienced at the coming of the deity during an initiation (in the Kongo; and I have felt this dizziness while reading that Kongolese text)."

Leff, 1981 = J. Leff : Psychiatry around the Globe : a Transcultural View. NY : Marvel Dekker.

p. 172 existence of "God"?

"In many religions and cultures, present and past, spirits are understood as divine or transcendent beings which act as an intermediary between God and man."

{Wrong! In almost no religion is there any so-called "God" (defined as as an autocratic tyrant terrorizing the universe) acknowleged; "God" is the fictitious boogeyman feigned only by despotic monarchies (who intend by this humbug to frighten commoners into submission to their tyranny). According to nearly every religion (virtually every religion on this planet being polytheistic), the only "government" existent in divine worlds is of a mutually co-operative sort, with egalitarian co-operation amongst collectives of deities.}



Emergence of Spirits ... in Havana

Diana Espi`rito Santo


pp. 181-3 mediumship tricky & extended

p. 181

"in Cuba, developing mediumship involves embracing a sort of 'unboundedness', for the medium must ... cater to the perspectives ... of the spirit guides ... . The spirit medium's endeavor ... is an extended one ... of possession ... (Levy et al., 1996), ... the experience of 'spirits' proper".

p. 182

"spirit possession is a tricky subject matter because it

p. 183

is so widely misunderstood ([Huskinson & Schmidt] 2010, p. 12)."

Levy et al., 1996 = R. Levy; A. Howard; J. M. Mageo : "Gods, Spirits and History". In :- Jeannette Marie Mageo & Alan Howard : Spirits in Culture, History, and Mind. London : Routledge. pp. 11-28.

Huskinson & Schmidt 2010 = L. Huskinson & B. E. Schmidt : "Introduction". In :- Bettina E. Schmidt & Lucy Huskinson (editrices) : Spirit Possession and Trance : New Interdisciplinary Perspectives. London : Continuum, 2010. pp. 1-15.

pp. 183-4 Sonhay deity-mediumship

p. 183

"For the Songhay, spirits are 'carried' by their mediums at all times; their presence is both a source of pride

p. 184

and a burden ([Stoller] 1989, p. 49). In Cuba, by contrast,

all persons are though to have ... spirit guides, although developing them as tools for serving others is a burden only some are called to.

{The "undeveloped spirit guides" which "all persons" have, are commonly known as /guardian angels/ (/fravas^i/, in Persian).}

Like Songhay mediums, espiritistas too, are connecting devices between worlds ... .

And ... in 'existential limbo' (ibid, p. 50), as Stoller states for the mediums in Niger, they too have been frequently faced with the socially and physically disrupting aspects of their relationships to the spirits."

{This "existential limbo" is caused by the socially disruptive nature of capitalist-materialist Christianity (which is a thinly-disguised form of atheism), which is quite disrespectful of divinely-guided spirit-mediumship.}

Stoller 1989 = Paul Stoller : Fusion of the Worlds. Univ of Chicago Pr.

p. 186 resolving destinies

"Religious technologies work, particularly in the Afro-Cuban religious field, because they 'resolve', as people say (Hagedorn 2001, p. 212). And espiritismo arguably 'resolves' by providing the means by which religiosos can construct ... their destinies through increasing knowledge of their muertos and the potentialities they carry forth."

Hagedorn 2001 = Katherine J. Hagedorn : Divine Utterances : the Performance of Afro-Cuban Santeria. Washington (DC) : Smithsonian Institution Pr.

p. 186 cordo`n; crossed spiritism

"While the eastern provinces of Cuba are known for the prevalence of a spiritist variant called 'cordo`n' (Garci[`]a Molina et al., 1998; Marti[`]nez & Sablo`n, [2000]), ... in Havana ... On the other hand, the so-called espiritistas 'cruzados' form an extensive city-wide web of semi-isolated practitioners -- generally immersed in other Afro-Cuban religious engagements -- who mostly consult from home and who participate sporadically in the collective rites of misas espirituales (spiritist masses), whereby the dead are summoned and incorporated in lively possession ceremonies."

Garci`a-Molina et al., 1998 = José Antonio García Molina; Mercedes Garrido Mazorra; Daisy Fariñas Gutiérrez : Huellas Vivas del Indocubano. La Habana : Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2007.

Marti`nez & Sablo`n, 2000 = Carlos Córdova Martínez & Oscar Barzaga Sablón : El Espiritismo de Cordo`n. La Habana : Fundación Fernando Ortiz, 2000.

pp. 189-90 spirit-guides of African nationalities; spiritist mass as Afro-Cuban rite

p. 189

"both black and white mediums manifested spirit guides who were Africanos de nacio`n -- Lucumi`, Mandinga, Mina, and Congolese tribesman ...

p. 190

(Cabrera, 1971, pp. 64-65). ...

Nowadays spiritists fulfill such a vital function in their Afro-Cuban milieu that ... their misas are simply not performed if not as as an integral part of an Afro-Cuban religious rite (Castellanos & Castellanos, 1992, p. 195)."

Castellanos & Castellanos, 1992 = Jorge Castellanos & Isabel Castellanos : CULTURA AFROCUBANA 3 : Las Religiones y las Lenguas. Miami : Ediciones Universal.

p. 191 initiation dependent on a spirit in one's cordo`n

"a person will only be allowed to become initiated in Palo Monte if they have {he or she hath} a spirit in the cordo`n who 'knew of such things' and who wills it."

p. 194 reality of spirits manifested through correspondences

"spirits become real -- both to themselves

{"real" in the meagre sense of having some immediate functionality in the material plane -- whereas they are always already real in regard to their own plane-of-existence}

and to their social actors and audience -- when they are put to work in a public setting through the medium; and

this can only be achieved via a series of material correspondences that speak to their existence in a given social sphere".

{Correlatively, such ritual symbolism would be embodied in the substance of whatever other (than the material) plane-of-existence (or subplane) whereinto they may otherwise be summoned.}

pp. 195-6 co-operation of couple is spirit-possession rites

p. 195

"[A certain female spirit-medium] not only consistently 'passes' {experienceth} her own spirit guides -- an Indio (indigenous spirit) and an Africana (a spirit of African descent) -- but also her husband's, who relies on her ... to communicate with or receive counsel from his own entities in more direct forms. [His (her husband's)] predominant espi[`]ritu de trabajo (work spirit) is ... wise and religiously savvy ... . ... When he descends, this spirit takes on a slow and deliberate posture, ... and passes on his advice kindly ... . ... .

p. 196

... the couple had come to know their spirits to such an extent that very often they were already privy {as} to when exactly these would make an appearance at one of their misas."

{This could accomplished through their divinities' whispering to them this information at some time prior to the divinely-scheduled performance.}

pp. 197-8 historic currents of deities

p. 197

"Buddhas, Krishnas, Native-Americans ... to ... African figures ... of any given house generate a plethora of seemingly discrepant representations via their historical and biographical specifics, in Cuba known as 'corrientes.' While many spirits come bearing African ancestry ..., other manifest Asian, European or

p. 198

Middle-Eastern qualities which must be rendered palpable in their representations and the nature of their offerings."

p. 199 cell-telephone to the spirits

"Matter, in the form of dolls, icons, images, or saints' figures ... can become, in his {a devotee's} words, 'a cell-phone to the dead.'"

p. 200 "sleeping" spirits

"In Cuba spirits are ... worked ... through varying performative ... and imaginistic technologies. ... for the mediums, too, spirits are ... social creatures, made real ... among the living ... . An undeveloped spirit is, I was often told, a 'sleeping spirit,' mute and impotent to effect positive influences in the lives of those it protects."


Jack Hunter & David Luke (edd.) : Talking With the Spirits : Ethnographies from Between the Worlds. Daily Grail Publ, Brisbane, 2014.