Reflections of Spirit: A Modern Day Psychomanteum

March 22, 2016

The Necromanteion of Ephyra
Dr. Raymond Moody's classic 1993 book, Reunions focuses on the ancient practice of mirror gazing.

Mirror gazing, is a form of scrying - a very old way of connecting with other side by way of any reflective or dark medium such as metal, water, obsidian or blood.  

This method of connecting with spirit, so interested Dr. Moody that he constructed his own psychomanteum in a second floor chamber in his Anniston Alabama gristmill for the purpose of studying the experience of others.

The psychomanteum, as prepared by Moody, is a darkened chamber which allows the sitter to gaze into a mirror angled up and away from his own image.  In this dark field the forms of those who have passed may appear and meaningful communication frequently follows.

Reunions includes a survey of the practice of mirror gazing through the ages - including biblical references, the experience of the ancient Greeks and that of such notables as Elizabethan occultist John Dee.  Moody goes on to discuss research conducted in the psychomanteum, including first hand accounts of spirit communication experienced by both visitors and Moody himself.  Specific information for those interested in setting up their own home psychomanteum is provided.

As Moody explains it, the modern psychomanteum can be traced backward in time to the necromanteion of the ancient Greeks.  Necromanteion means "Oracle of Death" and several active necromanteions operated throughout the ancient world.  These sites were the destination of thousands of pilgrims hoping to be reunited with those they had lost.  As ancient records show, many of these seekers realized their quest.

Of all these sites, the Necromanteion of Ephyra was the most well known and referenced by many ancient historians.

This is where Odysseus found himself after he was instructed to "make a journey of a very different kind, and find your way to the Halls of Hades."  His experience at Ephyra included the sacrifice of a ram and ewe (providing the medium of blood) and visions of a multitude of spirits including his own deceased mother.

John Dee's Obsidian Mirror
Dr. Moody discusses his visit to this site in Reunions, and has based his own psychomanteum upon his study of these ancient methods.

In Reunions, Dr. Moody relates that approximately 50% of visitors to his psychomanteum obtain a direct experience of spirit and I am curious if I'm the lucky one of two.

UPDATE 2024: In deciding which old posts to republish, I chose this post because I'm curious as to how the chamber Dr. Moody wrote about actually worked. Is it a form of sensory deprivation or is it something else?

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