The Word Foundation



Vol. 22 DECEMBER, 1915. No. 3

Copyright, 1915, by H. W. PERCIVAL.


Ghosts That Never Were Men.

ANOTHER magical feat done with the aid of nature ghosts is prophesy of future events. In ancient days those who could not get the information at all times nor get it directly, were aided if they could come under the favorable environment furnished at certain times and places by some physical object, through which nature ghosts will communicate. Those who desired to reach nature ghosts and so obtain information as to future events, sought out such magical places where elemental influences prevailed and made the giving of information and the receiving of it possible. Magic environment was found at holy stones, magnetic stones and boulders, as in the stone circles at Avery and at Stonehenge. Other places which were magical were groves of certain trees, among them oaks, elders, laurels, yews. There were magic springs and pools in the woods, subterranean streams, or fissures and caves through which airs came out from the interior of the earth, or a rocky recess from which the fire appeared without human intervention. If the conditions as furnished by nature were not sufficient, the ghosts would direct their worshippers to procure the erection of temples, statues, altars, where the followers could propitiate the influences and where the ghosts could advise and give information and instruction. The information was usually given in the form of oracles.


Priests and priestesses had often to learn a language or code to receive and interpret an oracle. The communication may have been made under the form of signs or sounds, which, however meaningless to the multitude, were definite and instructive enough to the initiated. Sometimes the mantic information was given to a priest or priestess unconscious in frenzy, whose utterances were received by other priests or interpreted by the inquirer. The priests wanted certain information for themselves, while the multitude wanted information concerning human interests, such as the results of voyages, of enterprises, of encounters, of love affairs, or of battles. Many times the foretellings of the future were direct and unequivocal; at other times they seemed ambiguous. The ghosts did not desire to elude the questioners in the prophesies which they made. But the ghosts could only tell what had already been decided in the past by destiny, that is, by the motive, thought, and actions of those who were to participate in the events, or those who gave consent to the events, but which decision was not yet known through an occurrence in the physical world. As to matters which had not yet reached a final decision, the ghosts could only foretell as far as the decision had been reached, and the prophesy was cleverly worded, so that it could be given several interpretations. The different interpretations would allow for any one of the several decisions which were possible, but had not yet been made definitely.

Often there was a moral instruction embodied in the mantic wisdom. The nature gods did not possess the wisdom, but gave it under the guidance of Intelligences, which used the ghosts as channels for imparting moral rules to men.

The oracles remained genuine as long as the priests remained true to their vows and followed the instructions of the gods, and as long as the people held allegiance to the gods. The gods did not always pay attention to all of the requests for answers, and so the priests substituted the results of their own speculations as answers by the gods. Gradually the connections between the priests and the ghosts were severed. The ghosts no longer communicated; but the priests kept up the oracular institutions.

Although the mantic words were usually given to the priests or priestesses by signs, symbols, or sounds, a nature ghost sometimes assumed his other, human, form and, appearing in person, communicated directly. Often a temple was erected at a place where the gods appeared in person, and the influence of such an institution lasted far into the decadence.

Fortune-telling and Nature Ghosts.

Fortune-telling has, through credulity added to the selfishness of the people, become a source of income for many frauds and charlatans, and the policemen now try to protect dupes from themselves by arresting fortune-tellers. Nevertheless, some parts of the future can often be revealed. Certain persons are so constituted psychically that the ghosts of the elements will be attracted to them, when their attention is focussed on some object, with the desire of foretelling from that object future conditions. So fortunes are told from cards, tea-leaves in a cup, or coffee-grounds. Neither the fortune-teller, nor the inquirer, nor the person whose future is read, nor the tea-leaves or cards, are the revealers of the future, but nature ghosts which are attracted reveal sometimes what is to come, in so far as the one through whom it is done, will not interfere with the interpretation, but lets his mind be simply responsive. The psychic nature of the inquirer is connected with the ghosts through the fortune-teller, and the ghosts communicate what portends the inquirer through the media of coffee-grounds, tea-leaves, cards, talismans, or any other object on which the attention is focussed.

In the case of tea-leaves or coffee-grounds, the little parts in the bottom of the cup are pictured by the mind as signifying a man or woman, and the reader of the cup connects that with the person inquired about or with some event concerning him. Then the ghosts, reading from the astral screens something of what has there been projected by the persons concerned, suggest the thoughts or words to the mind of the reader of the cup. No guessing is needed on the part of the reader; all that is required is a negative attitude and a readiness to transmit the impressions received. It is not that the tea-leaves or coffee-grounds have any magical properties in them; any number of loose particles, like sand or rice, would do about as well. But the dark color, the white porcelain, the curve of the concave bowl, working like a magic mirror, assist in reflecting through the eye to the mind, the sights suggested in the cup. The atmosphere for transmission is made by the eagerness of the inquirer and the response of the reader and the presence of the ghosts, which is due to the receptivity of the medium reading fortune from the coffee-grounds. The ghosts share in the sensations produced by the reading and are so paid for their services.

Nature Ghosts Behind the Cards.

The case of fortune-telling by cards is different. There are definite figures on the cards, and, according to the system of the fortune-telling, the cards with their figures group themselves, through shuffling and cutting, under the suggestion of the ghosts, until they present the aspects needed to convey the thoughts, which are conveyed through the cards to the mind of the card-reader. The part the ghosts take, if the fortune-telling is ghostly and genuine, is the grouping the cards through the hands of the fortune-teller, and the suggestion to interpret the combinations. Here, as in the case of the foretelling from coffee-grounds, there is the same enjoyment of sensation by the ghosts, in exchange for their assistance. The surest prophesies are made when the reader guesses not at all, nor adds to what is suggested, nor withholds any impressions received, but simply lets flow the impressions as they come to her.

Playing cards are the present form of an ancient system of vaticination. The pictures and symbols came from persons who knew the mystery of form and the magic effect of form in attracting elementals. The modern pictures and numbers retain to a large degree the powers used to fascinate elementals, though the direct purpose of playing-cards would hardly lead to that supposition. So elementals are attracted to playing-cards when handled in a mere game. The amusement, the idleness, the sensations in gambling and cheating at cards, are feasts for humans as well as for elementals, and the humans pay the piper for both. The elementals lead to the playing at cards, and keep the players at it.

The Tarot Cards Attract Nature Ghosts.

The set of cards which preserves more of its magic power than do those used for playing is the Tarot. There are different sets of Tarot cards; the Italian is said to be the most occult because of its symbolism. Such a pack consists of seventy-eight cards, made up of four suits of fourteen cards each, in all fifty-six, and twenty-two trump cards. The four suits are sceptres (diamonds), cups (hearts), swords (spades), and money (clubs). The twenty-two trumps, corresponding to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, are at once seen to be symbols, among them the Magician, the High Priestess, Justice, the Hermit, the Seven-spoked Wheel of Destiny, the Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, the Devil, the Tower struck by Lightning, the Last Judgment, the Foolish Man, the Universe.

There is power in the Tarot cards, under whatever modifications they are shown. Many of the people who tell fortune from the Tarot cards, and try to make a mystery of them, and do not understand the mysteries of which these cards are symbols, prejudice others against the study of the Tarot. The symbols on the cards show the panorama of life. The reason why the Tarot cards are so fascinating to those who are interested in the study and practice of occultism is that the lines of the figures on the cards are drawn in such geometrical proportion that they attract and hold elementals. The configurations of the lines are magical seals. These seals command the presence of elementals, which reveal the future to that degree in which the reader of the cards is able to transmit the communication. Rarely are the cards used for other purposes than the common foretelling of love affairs, money matters, journeys, the outcome of a sickness. These are low subjects and feed selfish interests. The cards were intended to reveal the inner phases of life and to show to the inquirer the means by which he could overcome his baser nature and develop and grow into his higher nature.

Magic Mirrors.

A way of seeing into the future and into the past, and so obtaining information of the destiny of persons, is by looking intently into magic mirrors. There are various kinds of these. Magic mirrors may be flat, concave, convex, or a sphere. The material maybe a pool of water, a pool of ink, the polished surface of gold, silver, copper, steel, or glass, backed by a black substance or by quick silver or by gold; but the best magic mirror is generally a ball of rock-crystal, though some persons succeed best with mirrors having flat surfaces. Among geometrical symbols a crystal globe is the most perfect symbol of the mind. A crystal sphere is like the mind when freed of all impurities, at perfect rest, in harmony with itself, and capable of reflecting in itself equally all surrounding objects, and without suffering contaminations. As the crystal reflects surrounding objects, so will it reflect the thought or the desire held in the mind of the seer while the eyes gaze fixedly into it. What that thought is will determine the elemental presences which are by thought attracted around the crystal. The human mind, looking at its own symbol, creates the atmosphere into which the elementals are attracted. These elementals produce the pictures seen in the crystal and in the room itself. The pictures will take on the movement, forms, and color of life, and reproduce past actions of persons, as well as their present condition if they are distant, and also show the scenes in which they will take part in the future. One who is not positive and cannot command the magic mirror to reveal, without becoming himself passive and unconscious, always runs the danger of becoming a medium and subject to the control of elementals and even of the desire ghosts of the dead (The Word, October-November, 1914).

Magic mirrors have been made to reproduce to the seer a certain scene. In such cases the mirror is magnetized by its maker to that scene which was recorded in the astral world. In fact, all magic mirrors do reflect scenes from the astral world, except where the pictures shown are produced directly by elementals. If the seer is in touch with the mirror, and is able to formulate the question and hold the thought in mind, then he may inquire about and have revealed to him any scene in the past history of the earth, no matter how far distant it may be in time. Geological changes, and transformations of the fauna and flora and changes in the human races may be thus inquired into and true information may be so obtained. Though many scenes from the past are sometimes flashed before the seer, he may not always be able to hold the scenes nor interpret their import.

To be continued.