Many people have their first psychic experience through 'psychometry', the ability to be able to give information from holding a physical object such as a ring. If you attend a beginners workshop or taster session it likely that you will be able to try psychometry yourself, it is something that can work particularly well for the novice and provides encouragement by demonstrating that something is actually going on and they are not deluding themselves.
The student will simply take an object provided by one of the other sitters or group members and hold it, turn the item over in the hand, or rubbed it, which ever works for the individual, until perceptions start to flow. These may be a simple observation relating to a situation about that person at that moment or may relate to quite detailed events in the past.
How does this work?
The most logical answer (and the one which is most probably correct) concerns energy. We will assume to be correct that every one has a field of energy around them, this is referred to as the auric field and this can even be seen by some as colours. Energy can never be destroyed, it can do work or it can be transferred into another form, but it can never be destroyed. It also seems reasonable to assume that if we come into contact with an object, such as our example of the ring, we will transfer energy or an energy residue onto it. This transfer may also extend to the energies around it, not just those which are relating to the person that has worn the ring. Therefore, if the energy emanation has been strong enough it is likely that some record, or part thereof, has been imprinted on the object. If the psychometrist can then attune to this energy, they may be able to play back some of this information.
Those feelings that we get when entering a room at times are likely to be a result of the same forces that enable psychometry to work. We may pick up this emotionally charged energy residue that still exists within the room, these can be both positive or negative dependent on what has occurred in the past within that room.
Essentially, anything may be thrown up and two psychometerists may get different results from the same ring. This is because one may attune to one aspect of the information contained another picks up another aspect. It may be helpful to think of it in this way; we know that a video cassette has a sound track and a visual track, if the equipment is not correctly tuned in you may get one without the other. Further tuning, practice in our case, will be required to get the best picture and sound.
We should be aware of two very important things here, as they have greater implications than just telling someone about the information impressed in the object.
1. As with all types of clairvoyance, the information is independent of time and space.
2. The information will often continue to flow after the object is passed back, demonstrating that the act of holding the object is just a tool to enable the practitioner to focus on the link. The information that the psychometrist is receiving may be coming from a source other, or in addition, to that which is recorded on the object. i.e. A Spirit link may have been established.
If you think about these two statements for a moment, you will begin to glimpse a much larger concept.
Sometimes, confusion can occur if the object being held has been owned by someone else, such as a mother or uncle. When presented with an object, it is always advisable for the reader to enquire if this is the case.
An object, say our ring, is likely to have come into contact with many people before it has reached you. The miner who dug the diamond for the setting. The person who cut the diamond, the jeweller who made the ring, the packer, the wholesaler, the assistant in the shop, the other people that have tried it on and decided not to buy that one. Finally, the person that gave it to you may have held it as they wrapped it. More often than not the only one of these people that may figure in the reading is the last one. Why? Probably because they are the only one who had any emotional involvement with it. This also provides an indication that what are given is focused on the person receiving the information.
A very brief history of Psychometry
The ability to sense things from an object has, undoubtedly been around for a long time. Psychometry's more modern roots can be traced back to a time before the American Civil War, when a certain General Polk noticed that whenever he touched brass, he experienced a metallic taste in his mouth, even in totally dark conditions.
Dr. Rhodes Buchanan became aware of this strange ability and began to experiment with his own students. His research found that some of his students showed the symptoms associated with certain drugs that he asked them to hold in glass phials, even though they had no direct contact with the material inside.
A mineralogist, Professor Denton also took up the research with his sister Mrs. Ann Denton Cridge. She was found to be able to describe visual images by holding geological specimens to her forehead. Extensive testing was done at the time; much of it was what we would now call 'double blind' testing, where neither the person conducting the experiment or the participant knows anything about the object. The object or experimental material being provided by an independent third party who is not involved with the experiment. This is to eliminate any chance of telepathy or observational effects from the experimentation. His results were published in a book entitled The Soul Of Things.
Professor Denton called this ability to obtain perceptions about the past from an object 'psychometry'. Psychometry is derived from two Greek words which mean 'psyche' - the soul and 'metron' - to measure. Given the understanding that the ancient Greeks had of such matters, I think it is no coincidence that he used Greek terms rather than, say Latin to describe this ability.
A criticism of psychometry can be the fact that an observant person can glean a great deal of superficial information from an object merely by looking at it closely. This is well demonstrated by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (a notable researcher of the paranormal himself) in one of the Sherlock Holmes short stories.
Holmes is presented with a pocket watch, after examining it for a few moments he correctly informs his astonished assistant Watson, that the owner of the watch is a was a wealthy man who had fallen upon hard times and taken to drink. Holmes then reveals that his statement comes not from mysterious powers, but as always, logical deduction.
The watch was of good quality, indicating that it would only have been purchased by a man of some financial means. The inside of the back cover contained a number of pawn broker's scratch marks demonstrating the man had fallen upon hard times and had to pawn the watch in order to obtain cash with which to pay his creditors. The area around the winder was scratched and damaged revealing that the man had grown careless and was probably suffering from the effects of drink when he tried to wind it with the key.
This fictional account is very good, not only for this example, but it reminds us not to be taken in by things that at first appear mysterious, rather the work of a clever illusionist or careful observer who has a critical eye.
At this point it may be worth discussing an extreme example where psychometry may play a part and one that disproves the careful observation argument and that is Postal Readings.
A postal reading is done by a medium where the person seeking the reading lives to far away for a personal sitting. If done correctly, this is completely blind with the medium being sent a self addressed envelope and no other information. The medium then uses the envelope to create the initial link to obtain information or impressions about the situations around the sender; this can also include Spirit links. The information is then written down and posted back to the sender in the envelope provided. Hopefully, the medium may get some feed back, which is always encouraging.
Conan Doyle, A - The Complete Illustrated Short Stories.
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