Skip to main content

Chain, Forming a

Chain, Forming a

In Spiritualism, a popular practice entails the joining of hands of sitters around a table, whereby it is believed that a "magnetic" current is established and reinforced. Baron de Guldenstubbe gave the following directions for forming a chain: "In order to form a chain, the twelve persons each place their right hand on the table, and their left hand on that of their neighbor, thus making a circle round the table. Observe that the medium or mediums if there be more than one, are entirely isolated from those who form the chain."

Dr. Lapponi, in his Hypnotism and Spiritism (1906), gave an alternative account of the proper procedure for the forming a chain.

He [the medium ] makes those present choose a table, which they may examine as much as they like, and may place in whatever part of the room they choose. He then invites some of the assistants to place their hands on the table in the following manner: The two thumbs of each person are to be touching each other, and each little finger is to be in communication with the little finger of the persons on either side. He himself completes the chain with his two hands.

The concept of forming a continuous circuit for the transmission of psychic force is also related to the procedures of mesmerism, in which the hands of all the sitter rest together on the edge of the table.

(See also planetary chains ; séance )

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chain, Forming a." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . 22 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Chain, Forming a." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . (January 22, 2019).

"Chain, Forming a." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved January 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.