Chain, Forming a

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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 )