Often considered a fringe topic in the realm of the paranormal, automatic writing was popular in the Victorian age when mysticism was all the rage. Learn how to do automatic writing and about the fascinating history behind this intriguing skill. You might just trigger a great work from beyond the veil!
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What is Automatic Writing?
Automatic writing is believed to be writing that is channeled – much like a medium channels spirits – which is produced by supposedly occult or spiritual means, in place of the writer’s own conscious intentions. It is also believed by some to be the subconscious thoughts of the writer.
After entering a meditative state or trance, the writer puts pen to paper and records whatever streams through. There are other methods that have been employed, such as the writer blindfolding themselves or even going to extremes such as putting themselves under the extreme influence of alcohol, which is not advisable!
Not to be confused with stream of consciousness, where the writer or artist consciously produces work unfettered by rules or self-censorship, automatic writing appears to be spiritual intervention, where other “agencies” or entities come through the writer in order to convey their messages or to tell their own stories.
The writer is merely a vehicle, conduit or channel used by the disembodied spirit. Once the writing is done, it is then deciphered or interpreted by the writer and others who might be involved in the experiment.
A Brief History of Automatic Writing
Also called “psychography”, automatic writing has been used as a spiritual practice since the late 1800’s, with practitioners reporting seeing visions and feeling like external entities had taken over their bodies.
Sometimes related to occult activities such as the use of Ouija boards, it has been reported that the writer’s arm is taken over by supposed spirits, with the sensation of lightness being felt during the process.
Spiritualists in the early 1900’s used automatic writing in order to produce letters, messages and even books, after entering a trance. Investigators have advised that it’s the subconscious coming through rather than external spirits, which is still debated to this day.
How to Prepare for Automatic Writing
Create a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted. Keep your desk or table clear of clutter, which is apparently a good way to make sure the spirits won’t be distracted. If you prefer to believe that what comes through will be from your subconscious – having a clear and uncluttered space will be conducive to making sure that you can focus.
Using a pen may be a better option, seeing as pencils can either break or wear down. A large sheet of paper will allow an uninterrupted flow of the writing, but if you think you’d prefer a notebook and can trust yourself to keep turning the pages and not writing on the surface underneath, then that will work fine.
Try not to have a candle or anything flammable nearby, in case you accidentally knock it over. The same goes for drinks, vases filled with water and flowers or other objects which could get in the way or destroy your work. Wear comfortable clothing and try not to have any music or the TV on in the background, so you won’t be distracted.
How to do Automatic Writing
Take the pen in your hand and place the nib at the beginning or top of the page. Go into a meditative state by focusing on your breathing. Take at least a few minutes to get into the right frame of mind – by clearing or ignoring all random thoughts that will appear in the screen of your mind.
The idea is to suppress your own ideas and thinking so that there will be a clear space for the spirit (or your own subconscious) to come through. When your hand starts writing, do your best to either keep your eyes closed or focused on a spot on the wall, etc. Continue trying to keep your mind clear throughout the process.
If it feels as though your hand is straying away from the paper, pull back without looking at the page. Continue as long as it feels natural. When you feel that the time has come, put the pen down and take a look at what you’ve produced. Is it decipherable or a mish-mash of scribbles? You might only find a few words that make sense.
The idea is to try and interpret what was written without using your own personal filters, in case you muddle the message with your biased opinions or thoughts. If someone tried to use you as a conduit for their message, what are they trying to tell you? If it’s from your own subconscious, what secrets have been divulged?
The following video is an effective guided meditation for using automatic writing, to contact your spirit guide and receive messages from them.
The art of automatic writing can be a fun way to discover secrets about yourself and the world, but you can also use the same techniques for automatic drawing. Play around and see what comes out. Whether you receive messages from your spirit guides, important alerts from the dearly departed or insights into your own spirituality, you'll be amazed with what you find!