Thursday, May 28, 2009


The psychomantium is a gazing mirror used for making contact with those who have passed on. Dr. Raymond Moody (of the book "Life After Life" fame) made this ancient technique popular with his book "Reunions: Visionary Encounters With Departed Loved Ones."

The best description I’ve found of this technique comes from this website’s description:

“The initial setup is a little more complex and costly than that of a scrying mirror. A large mirror (4' high by 3-1\2' wide) is attached to a wall with the bottom edge about 3' from the floor. A comfortable, high backed chair is placed about 3' from the mirror. The top of the backrest of the chair should be below the bottom of the mirror. The feet of the chair should be trimmed to allow the chair to slant farther back than is normal.

The person sitting in the chair should not be able to see his/her reflection in the mirror. The area around the chair and mirror is surrounded by a black velvet curtain. This black void should be all that is reflected in the mirror. A lamp with a 15 watt bulb is placed behind the chair. This is the only illumination in the room.

This procedure is usually performed after dark to alleviate the problem of light entering the room through the windows. Thick, dark curtains or a room without windows would allow you to use the psychomantium even during the day. 

Proper mental preparation is essential for this procedure to work. Dr. Moody starts his participants at 10:00 AM. They are requested to bring personal items from the deceased person that is to be contacted. Throughout the day they discuss the deceased. At dusk the participant enters the psychomantium. He/she is told to stay as long as they like. They were also told to blank their mind except for thoughts of the deceased and to gaze into the mirror. “

Although my own experience with using a psychomantium is minimal (two sessions), I can attest to the fact that at one point a dark man’s shape appeared in the mirror and he stood there for some time before stepping back and out of sight. Whether that was an actual spirit or not is, of course, impossible to prove.

This experiment has two things working against it. One thing is that the participant must immerse herself in items of the deceased, go there with the intention of reaching that loved one, and all the emotional feelings that the desire to talk to the dead produces. The other issue is that a mirror and low lighting are use to see things and as anyone who was brave enough as a kid to call on “Blood Mary” or “Esmerelda come to me” knows, you can see all kinds of things by virtue of the lighting, reflectivity, and matrixing (or finding shapes in inanimate objects).

I would never advise people using this during periods of grief or those seeking a kind of resolution with souls of the departed. This is purely for experimental purposes and best used by people who have no existing emotional issues that might cloud the experience or leave them frightened. I would also want to exclude those of a highly religious background, as they might be more likely to fight against the taboo notions and hysteria that goes with trying to communicate with the dead. A lot of people, even as grownups, do not like gazing into mirrors in dim lighting. Highly suggestible people are most susceptible to ill effects and bad reactions.

If you decide to experience a psychomantium encounter, do not do so alone. Whether you realize it or not, just the active trying to create a portal to the dead can make feelings erupt and having someone there to sort it through with is helpful.

I do not see anything about the psychomantium to suggest it actually will help speak with spirits, but I do believe that such experiments might help to bring the mind into a place where it can receive information, somewhat like meditation or psychic trances. It is, however, an intriguing thought. I personally think it would be interesting in my writer’s office (once I’m a happily published horror author) to have a psychomantium in the corner of the room like some folks keep stationary bicycles. It is a unique way to open the mind to what is beyond our realm in a way that encourages you to be sort of deprived of distractions, a kind of focusing tool.

Whether you believe in the phenomenon of psychomantiums or not, they have been with man for a very long time (ancient Greeks) and will continue to be a curiosity for the living.


  1. Very informative! I had never heard of this before. I think it would be an interesting thing to try

  2. I have to admit, I was one of those fourth graders who rushed home to try Bloody Mary, so I find it fascinating. I hope some day to set up a more permanent one when I get some space so I can use it with my meditation and maybe start doing some writings of the things I encounter, whether their visual, auditory, or just psychedlic thoughts...

  3. I have never heard of this mirror before so thanks for telling us about it. As for "Bloody Mary", that little frolic was too scary for me to ever try.

  4. I tried the psychomantium one time to prove it doesn't work, but then something happened that made me wonder. I was focusing on a long departed male relative that I missed but it had been enough decades that I wasn't upset about the loss, just smiled when I thought of him. When the figure stepped up, I was confused. The shape of him didn't seen right. Then, I looked through the photos my relative sent of her deceased husband and I realized that he used to be slender and in the military with very squared off shoulders and posture. It looked almost identical to what was in the military photo from WWII. I do recall that when nothing was happening, I did feel a strange ability to sort of meditate at a level I don't normally achieve. I felt sort of all-seeing. It was an amazing sensation. It's just not always easy to find the right conditions, get the house completely quiet, and do it alone.

  5. I hadn't heard of this before either. Thanks for posting this interesting info. Sounds kinda spooky, I'd be afraid to try it.

  6. Hey Autumn, hey. Well, ever since I heard of this ages ago (!!!!), I've been wanting to try this. The nearest thing to the Psychomantium that I've tried was just having a candle lit, not reflected, and set off to one side of a mirror, LOOKING into it, not reflecting above one's head. images of ever-changing people DID appear next to me, trailing in to one side.

    I have to show you the photo oh the headless figure (yikes!) that came out on my CoolPix™ Nikon that my husband snapped of me right next to the ancient Newgrange Stargate in County Knowth, Éire! Broad daylight, too. What I "get" is that he was a well regarded man of certain social standing in his clan whose head was removed posthumously, not that their was a decapitation that caused his demise.

    I have to say that when I DID have a haunted house themed dream over there, one of complex, cinematic attributes, I DID think of you & laugh, for many days whenever re-reviewing it in my mind, what YOU must experience when encountering "revenants", whether they be fully conscious discarnates, malevolent spirits meant on possessing us, or mere geophysical recordings, replaying over & over & over again, whenever the right conditions arise.

    Have fun with the family seeing the brand new Sam Raimi directed horror fest, Drag Me To Hell, a revenge curse classic if e'er there were!

    Much Love & Eternal Light,
    Anadæ Effro (•:-)}

  7. Anadæ;
    Thanks so much for the comments. Yeah, that Stargate is amazing! I can't imagine how I'd feel walking the land there and feel it's history of the stones. I'm sure all my dreams would be quite lucid and interesting. I had forgotten all about the psychomantium until I was falling asleep one night and remembered using one in the past and wondered if anyone had heard of them. I was a big fan of Moody in the 70s when he had the "Life After Life" book. I love people willing to try and experiment with new ideas. I think I'm going to see the movie with my ghost hunting buddy because she loves horror and hubby doesn't like scary things. Can you imagine??? After all, he's married to me! Hee hee

  8. If you are still interested in the psychomantium phenomena and can find it, try reading "One Thing About the Night" by Terry Dowling. It brings up some intriguing ideas about what these devices can really used for..

  9. Psychomantium scares me so much! I hate it, I prefer other less creepy stuff!