Extract from the Book
Psychic Self-Defense by Dion Fortune
THERE are two forms of “haunting” which have to be considered, the one which is due to a discarnate soul who interferes with a particular person, and the one which is due to the conditions prevailing in a particular place, and which affects any person sufficiently sensitive who happens to go there. Except in cases where the influence is exceptionally strong, the insensitive person is immune. To perceive a “haunting” one needs, as a general rule, to be slightly psychic; it is for this reason that children, Celts and the coloured races suffer severely from such interferences, and the stolid Nordic type is comparatively immune, and, to a lesser extent, the lively, materialistic and sceptical Latin.
Let us consider first of all the question of interference by a discarnate soul, It will be noted that I use the term “interference” and not “attack.” The disturbance need not necessarily be an attack, any more than the drowning man who clings to his rescuer and drags him under is motivated by malice. The entity that is causing the trouble may be a soul that is itself in distress on the Inner Planes, and is too ignorant of post-mortem conditions to know the harm it is doing by clinging so desperately to the living. It is for this reason that the wide dissemination of Spiritualistic teachings is of value, for it helps to relieve the tension between this world and the next.
As far as my experience goes, I am inclined to think that deliberate malevolence is rare; but this panic-stricken clinging is not uncommon, and explains why the survivor of a pair sometimes goes through very unpleasant experiences after the death of the partner. There are also cases, though rarer, wherein a soul who has some occult knowledge but is bound strongly to earth by sensual desires, uses a curious form of rapport in order to gratify those desires through the physical body of another.
There are innumerable instances of both these types of astral interference in occult and spiritualistic literature, but as I am confining myself to cases within my own experience, I will not cite them, but limit myself to listing the literature of the subject in the bibliography.
Someone of my acquaintance lost, after a long illness, her husband to whom she was much attached, but whom most people would have thought she was well rid of, as for many years he had been addicted to drink, and died finally after a long illness during which he was kept under morphia for prolonged periods, taking enormous quantities. He was a man of intensely malignant and selfish disposition, and died unrepentant. She, however, during the course of his last illness, when, being bedridden, he could do no more harm, elected to idolise him, and as soon as he was safely dead, canonised him into the family saint. She was interested in occultism and in the habit of practising meditation and invoking the Masters. In spite of all counsel to the contrary, she began to try and get into psychic touch with her husband, invoking him as her guide. Like many other men of a sensual disposition, he had clung desperately to life, remaining in articulo mortis for days. Fortunately for all concerned, it had been possible to persuade her to have his remains cremated, but despite all persuasion she brought all his belongings from the nursing-home where he had died and kept them in her bedroom, and made a little altar around his photograph and used it as the focus of her meditations.
The last illness had been a long and trying one, and she had been living at the end of a telephone wire, in a state of constant anxiety for weeks, but had had no physical strain, so there was nothing physical to account for the serious illness which ensued after the strain was over. It soon became noticeable that she, who had previously had a very lovable and gentle disposition, was gradually changing, so that not only in temperament, but in facial expression, she was growing like her late husband. Next a curious thing ensued. Her husband had died of an inflammatory spinal lesion which caused no pain at the site of the trouble, but intense pain in the nerves that issued from the spine at that point, so that the pain was referred to a particular distribution in the hands and arms, more upon one side than the other. This lady developed a severe neuritis that exactly corresponded in its distribution to her late husband’s symptoms.
Another illustrative case is that of Miss E., whose fiance was killed during the War. She says in a letter written to the person whom she consulted with regard to her problem:
“I was able to rise above the loss and separation at the time, but six months later I suffered nervous breakdown, from this time I have been troubled with weak nerves. For the last two months I have been having very extraordinary experiences which are causing me much perplexity and rendering me unfit for work. It is a night experience and has not once occurred during the day. After I have composed myself for sleep I find that gradually my body is losing all sensation; it feels as if I was being slowly frozen stiff. (I don’t know how else to describe it.) At this stage I can sometimes rouse myself and overcome it, but I cannot always do this. My efforts to rouse myself are in vain, and although fully conscious I feel unable to move or call. Usually after this I sink into some kind of sleep. I have all kinds of experiences. Sometimes I visit strange places and talk with people I don’t know. Sometimes my experiences are beautiful beyond description; sometimes I am threatened with danger of drowning or falling, but in these cases I always rise in the air and travel for miles, it seems to me. Sometimes I feel that I am just floating in the air. How long the dream lasts I cannot tell. When I wakeup, however, I have great difficulty in moving for some time; but gradually I regain the power to move about, and after a lot of stinging sensation in the limbs I get up, usually feeling very tired and unrefreshed, but sometimes I feel none the worse for the strange experience. But it is under mining my health and happiness, and it cannot be good.”
In conversation she amplified the statements in her letter, and said that during the experiences described, someone, she thought it was her fiance, was trying to prevent her from getting back into her body again after these nocturnal expeditions.
The case was entirely cleared up in one week by means of telepathic treatment. The notes on the manner in which the work was done are of considerable interest.
“The treatment was given to the entity that was causing the trouble, not merely to the patient, and it was the release of the obsessor from his plane of work and helping him Heavenward that gave freedom to his victim.”
In the other type of haunting, that in which it is the place which is the focus of manifestation, not a special person, we must distinguish between the earth-bound entity which remains attached to a particular spot, and the thought-atmosphere which is left behind after violent emotions have been experienced there.
Let us consider first the question of thought-atmosphere, of which I can give a very illuminating example. A friend of mine who was a student at a school of dramatic art consulted me concerning an attack of stage fright she had had, which left her rather nervous as to its recurrence. She was an experienced student, in fact a pupil teacher, and she was having some extra tuition from the head of the school. Going for her lesson one afternoon, she found that her teacher had just finished taking the junior students for their end-of-the-term examination in elocution. She went on to the stage and stood beside the small table which had been placed there for the convenience of the examiner, and commenced to recite the piece on which she was to have her lesson. She herself had no occasion for nervousness; as had already been noted, she was an experienced speaker and teacher; moreover, nothing of importance hung upon this lesson, it was merely one of a series. Nor was she usually nervous or self-conscious. But as soon as she tried to start, she experienced a complete “dry-up,” and stood paralysed, unable to utter a word. A little prompting soon started her off, however, but she had experienced a nasty attack of stage fright, and it shook her nerve.
From the psychic point of view, the explanation was not far to seek. She was standing in the mental atmosphere created by a series of girls who had gone on to that platform for an examination upon which a good deal depended for them, and who had all been correspondingly nervous. She herself, being sensitive, had been affected by this atmosphere, which induced in her a similar mental state by means of which is called “sympathetic induction,” a phenomenon well known in electricity and in acoustics, but equally valid in psychology.
No doubt the unfortunate examinees themselves were infecting each other. It may well be that the “microphone panic,” so well known to broadcasters, is caused by the thought-atmosphere generated by a succession of nervous people who have stood upon the same spot.
An experience of my own may be of interest in this connection. I took a bed-sitting-room in a hostel, and as soon as I came there, I found myself afflicted with the most intense depression. I am not usually subject to the blues, being normally a cheerful soul, but as soon as I entered this room, which was a sunny and pleasant one, the cloud descended upon me, but lifted again as soon as I went out of it, whether into the dining-room of the hostel, or out of doors. I soon recognised that here was something that needed to be dealt with, and enquired as to the history of the room. I was told that it had previously been the bed room of the last owner of the house, who had been addicted to drink and had gone bankrupt. It is a curious fact that drunkards and drug addicts make very evil psychic atmospheres, whereas a person who is a common criminal, however bad, is not nearly so noxious and his atmosphere fades rapidly.
In these two cases there was no question of an entity, discarnate or incarnate, being concerned in the matter; there was merely an unpleasant mental atmosphere generated by some powerful and painful emotion that had been experienced over a considerable period at that spot.
Such a concentration, if very strong, will linger almost indefinitely. The structures that saw the concentration may have been pulled down and new ones built, nevertheless the forces remain, like a previous exposure on a photographic plate, and sensitive people are affected by them. The insensitive may escape comparatively scatheless.
It is not altogether an easy matter to determine whether the disturbance is due to atmosphere alone, or whether an earth-bound entity complicates the situation. Where an entity is present, it will usually be seen sooner or later. Moreover, it will usually be heard as well as felt. This latter sign, however, does not invariably indicate the presence of an organised entity, for I know of a case wherein a room that had been used as a lodge of ritual initiation was subsequently partitioned into an office and two bedrooms after the lodge was moved elsewhere, and the bedrooms were practically uninhabitable owing to the din of cracks, bangs and thumpings that went on at night. In such a case there was no reason to suspect the presence of any entity, for the rituals had not been of an evocative type, nor was the influence evil. It was merely force in a state of tension. It was sheer physical noise that made the disturbance, as I can testify, for I have slept, or rather, tried to sleep, there.
Where a ghost is seen, it is usually also heard because for a form to be sufficiently substantial to be visible there must be a modicum at least of ectoplasm in its composition, and ectoplasm is capable of exercising force on the physical plane, in some degree at least. Where a ghost is both seen and heard, we may be sure there is an actual haunting. Where it is seen, but not heard, it may possibly be that a person with psychic tendencies is perceiving the images in the reflecting ether, the photographic plate of Nature, and there may be no actual entity present. Where the disturbance is heard, but not seen, it may be due to astral forces set in motion by ritual magic, and which continue for a while after the original impulse is withdrawn. These may be perfectly harmless, save that they disturb the sleep in the same way that a rattling window would do. On the other hand, if powerful evocative rituals have been performed, and the clearing of the sphere has not been properly done, profound disturbances may result and the whole situation be exceedingly unpleasant.
Examples will again help to make the problem clear. As an instance of a non-ritual haunting, I may cite the case of a friend of mine who went to live in a block of modern mansions. From the first she was not happy there, and as time went by the oppression and distress strengthened. Coming into her drawing-room one evening at dusk, she saw in the half-light a man standing with his back to the room, gazing intently out of the window. She switched on the light, and found that there was no one there. On several occasions her maid saw someone walk down the passage leading to this room. Moreover, the hall door had a knack of coming open of its own accord.
My friend’s depression deepened until finally, when standing herself at the drawing-room window one day, she had a sudden impulse to fling herself out. Then she realised that things were serious and that liver-pills and a week-end at the seaside would not put them right. Being an occultist, she understood the significance of the happenings that had been going on in her flat, and she made enquiries concerning the history of the square in which this block of modern mansions had been built. She learnt that it was the site of an old madhouse of sinister reputation. The form that she and her maid had seen was probably that of some unfortunate patient of suicidal tendencies who had succeeded in giving effect to his impulses on a spot corresponding to the situation of her room. The terrific emotional forces generated by his brooding and last desperate act were photographed on the atmosphere, as it were, and suggested to her mind thoughts of self-destruction just as the ill-temper or depression of a companion will induce a similar mood in ourselves without any word spoken.
Another example within the sphere of my experience, although it was not actually my case, is of much interest in that it combines an example of a very definite poltergeist haunting with vampirism.
I was once consulted by a mental healer to whom a very curious case had been brought. Some charitably disposed people had raised funds to found a home for unwanted babies, and a suitable house had been purchased on the outskirts of a village not far from London. The house had been a conspicuous bargain and they were very pleased with it.
Soon, however, they began to be disturbed by some very curious phenomena, and also by inexplicable illness and seizures among the babies. One child, in fact, actually died, and its death was not satisfactorily accounted for. Then one of the nurses, an Irish girl, began to be affected also. Celts are notoriously susceptible to psychic influences, and are always the first to be affected by them. It will be observed that the babies went down first under the attack, their resistance being low compared to that of an adult; and then the most sensitive of the adults was affected, the Irish Celt.
On several occasions the sound was heard of a cart and horse coming up the drive, but when the maid went to the door to open it, there was nothing to be seen. Soon the ghost became even more energetic, and took to shoveling the coal from side to side of an outhouse. It would shift several tons of coal in this way in a night, the occupants of the house lying shivering in their beds while lumps of coal thudded and rumbled’ against the sides of the bunkers. As to why or wherefore this particular manifestation should take place, I can offer no suggestion.
On several occasions different people saw a strange man crossing the hall, and immediately afterwards children were taken ill.
Finally, in addition to all other troubles, mysterious fires began to break out all over the house. A basket of clean linen in an empty room was found to be on fire. Curtains were found to be smouldering. Meanwhile the unfortunate Irish nurse went from bad to worse, lying in bed too weak to stand up, and rapidly going off her head.
It will probably be suggested that some mischievous or demented person was at the bottom of the trouble, but it is difficult to know what human agency either could or would shovel a truck-load of coal across a shed single-handed during the night.
The superintendent of the home was interested in mental healing and knew enough of the mind side of things to realise that something abnormal was happening in the house under her charge. She consulted a mental healer, who in her turn consulted me.
I made a psychic diagnosis of the case, and reported that in my opinion the house had at some time been occupied by someone who had a knowledge of occultism, and who, being upon the Left-hand Path, objected strongly to going to face his portion of Purgatory after the death of the physical body, and that he was maintaining himself in an intermediate state as an earth-bound spirit by drawing upon the vitality of the unfortunate children, and had accidentally drawn too much from one, thus killing it outright.
Working on this hypothesis, the healer undertook to give the case “absent treatment.” Needless to say, the officials of the home were not taken into our confidence.
The result of this treatment was that the manifestations immediately ceased. No more children had seizures and the Irish nurse rapidly recovered. The superintendent was then told the hypothesis upon which we had worked. She was greatly interested, and made enquiries in the village as to the history of the house, and learned that it was notoriously haunted, which was the reason they had obtained it so cheaply. It appeared that no tenant could stop there long, and that there was a constant record of these exhausting and mysterious illnesses. It also transpired that about sixty years previously the house had been occupied for a long period by a man who was viewed askance by his neighbours as an eccentric and mysterious personage, and was reported to be engaged in some sort of research which necessitated the use of a laboratory into which no one was ever allowed to go, and in which he worked by night.
It is interesting to note that neither the mental healer or myself ever visited the house or were within twenty miles of it; for it shows in what way these unseen forces can be manipulated from a distance.
A final example, taken from The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, will serve to show the nature of a haunting produced by ceremonial magic in which the forces invoked are not adequately dispersed.
“The demons connected with Abramelin do not wait to be invoked, they come unsought. One night Jones and I went out to dinner. I noticed on leaving the White Temple that the latch of its Yale lock had not caught. Accordingly I pulled the door to, and tested it. As we went out, we noticed semi-solid shadows on the stairs; the whole atmosphere was vibrating with the forces we had been using. (We were trying to condense them into sensible images.) When we came back, nothing had been disturbed in the flat; but the Temple door was wide open, the furniture disarranged, and some of the symbols flung about the room. We restored order, and then observed that semi-materialised beings were marching round the main room in almost unending procession.
“When I finally left the flat for Scotland, it was found that the mirrors were too big to take out save by the way of the Black Temple. This had, of course, been completely dismantled before the workmen arrived. But the atmosphere remained, and two of them were put out of action for several hours. It was almost a weekly experience, by the way, to hear of casual callers fainting, or being seized with dizziness, cramp or apoplexy on the staircase. It was a long time before these rooms were re-let. People felt instinctively the presence of something uncanny.”
It is well known to all psychics that the sites of ancient temples where mystery-rituals have been worked, are always potently charged with psychic force. This force need not necessarily be evil, but it has a powerfully stimulating effect upon the psychic centres and stirs up the subconscious forces; and as the majority of civilized people suffer in a greater or lesser degree from what Freud calls ” repression,” such a stirring of the subliminal mind produces a feeling of profound disturbance. We should not unquestioningly attribute evil influences to a place or a person that causes us discomfort; it may merely be that psychic force at a greater tension than we are accustomed to is disturbing our equilibrium.
The sites of monasteries that were disbanded with persecution at the time of the Reformation are also frequently badly “haunted” by psychic forces. The group-mind of a religious community is a very potent thing, and when it is disturbed by the corporate emotion of its members, the forces thus let loose are not readily dispersed. Moreover, the monks, initiates of the Mysteries of Jesus, would not be likely to hand over their sacred places to the despoilers with any good will. It has been reported again and again that a curse rests on those who profited by the spoliation of Church lands. This is too well known to require discussion in these pages.
There is another fact in connection with Church property, however, which may not be so well known, and that is the frequency with which psychic happenings are reported in connection with vicarages. In enquiring among friends and fellow-workers for data in connection with the research that has gone to the making of this book, I have been astonished how frequently a vicarage has been mentioned in connection with the phenomena of which I have been told.
The rituals of the Church are, of course, ceremonial magic, as is admitted by even such an orthodox authority as Evelyn Underhill. The average clergyman is not conversant with the technique of occultism, and has therefore little or no understanding of what he is doing. What influences he brings to the altar, and what forces he takes away therefrom, must therefore be an open question in each individual case. A man whose consciousness has been exalted by ritual, and who does not know how to seal his aura and return to normal, is liable to psychic invasion.
Objects associated with any form of ceremonial operations are invariably highly charged with magnetism and intimately linked with the force whose uses they have served. I remember, many years ago, when I had but little know ledge of occultism and no pretentions at all to psychism, that two friends and myself were amusing ourselves by turning over each other’s trinket-boxes. I picked up a handsome amethyst cross from one of them, and immediately exclaimed:
“There is something extraordinary about this cross. It feels as if it were alive.”
“That was the cross that was given me at my first communion,” replied my friend,” and it was originally a bishop’s pectoral cross.”
Her sister was greatly interested, and immediately brought her own jewel-case to me and asked me if I could pick out her first communion cross also, for, like her sister, she was a Roman Catholic, and these crosses that were given them as presents on the occasion of their first communion had been specially blessed by the priest. I was greatly interested to observe that from three or four ornamental crosses I was able to pick one which felt warm and living and electric to the hand, and pass it across to her, saying, “This is your communion cross,” and it was.
I remember once, as a small child, picking up a dying rook; the creature lay motionless on my knee for a few minutes, and then gave a flutter and died. I had never seen death before, but I needed no one to tell me that I saw it now. The “feel” of the creature, before and after that flutter, was different. I can only compare the feel of the magnetised and the unmagnetised crosses to the difference between the living and the dead bird.
But the Christian is not the only religion that can magnetise its ceremonial instruments. There are other ritualistic religions, and some of these are debased. We ought to use much caution before we place about our rooms as ornaments objects which may have been associated with cults whose nature we do not understand. Many of them, of course, belong to the Brummagem cult, and are dedicated to no more desperate deity than Mammon; but the genuine curio is a different matter.
I had an example of this once in the British Museum. I was visiting the room in the basement which contains a collection of plaster casts of the famous statues of antiquity, the originals being elsewhere. Suddenly I became aware of a sense of magnetic power. I turned towards it, and saw a small altar. Reading the label, I found that this was not a cast but the original. It is a very interesting test of psychism to sample the atmosphere of the different rooms of the British Museum. The benign and brooding peace of the Buddhist Room is a thing to be remembered. The flavour of the long Ethnological Room is a thing to be got out of the mouth as quickly as possible. To me, at any rate, the Egyptian Room is disappointing; the mummies all seem neither malignant or benignant, but merely cynical. Perhaps I should feel differently, however, if I spent a night with them. Magnetism, which is dispersed during the day, charges up again during the silence and darkness of the night. I remember visiting Stonehenge amid a crowd of trippers and chars-a-blancs, and thinking that the glory had departed; but it was a very different affair when I visited it in the desolation of a bleak spring day after its long winter solitude. It had charged up again, and was as formidable as anyone could wish.
I should hesitate, therefore, to say that because the mummies and I have never struck sparks when we met in the British Museum, that their reputation is groundless. At the time that Tut-ankh-amen’s tomb was being opened I said to myself, If the mummy’s curse does not work in this case, I shall lose my faith in occultism. We all know how it has worked, even unto the third and fourth generation. No novelist, deriving his ideas of ancient Egypt from an encyclopedia article on Egyptology and some photographs, would have dared stretch the long arm of coincidence anything like as far.
The Egyptians attached great importance to the preservation of the physical body. The tombs of great men, as is well known, were protected by means of what are popularly called spells, and the power and scope of Egyptian magic are things that very few people realise. The modern student of occultism who reads Iamblichos on the Egyptian Mysteries, will have a surprise.
In most cases, however, the purchaser of Egyptian curios has nothing to fear; the worst that they will yield to psychic investigation is a vision of labour disputes in a mass- production factory. I have, however, heard of a very wonderful psychometric reading which was obtained from a mummy which, when subsequently unrolled, was found to consist entirely of French newspapers of recent date!
I have always been greatly amused by the indignation of Egyptologists against tomb robbers. After all, is there any distinction between the earlier and later visitors to a tomb save that one lot work by day and the other by night? In the view of the people who made the tomb, and spared nothing to render it inviolate and preserve the peace of their dead, the workers by night would probably be preferred, for they merely robbed, and did not strip and expose the nude bodies to the public gaze. There was a terrible outcry recently when some bodies were moved in a village church yard to make room for the monument chosen to decorate the grave of a famous public man. Even the people whose religious feelings were not outraged by this act of sacrilege regarded it as in shocking bad taste. Yet nobody proposed to strip the graveclothes from the body of someone’s wife or mother and photograph it stark naked. When it comes to the question of a mummy’s curse, I am afraid that my sympathies are entirely with the mummy.
The initiate is strictly counselled that he should never blaspheme the name by which another knoweth his God, for it is the same force that he himself worships represented by another symbol. “The ways to God are as many as the breaths of the sons of men,” says the old Arab proverb. We should have enough sympathy with the struggles of another soul towards the light not to desecrate the things that are sanctified by his hopes and endeavours, even if by nothing else. The Father of us all may understand their significance better than we do, and by His acceptance consecrate them for ever.
There are many Europeans who have a great affection for the Buddha, and have His statue in their rooms (though sometimes they confuse it with Chenresi, the stout and beaming god of good-luck). That the influence of that great Being, the Light of Asia, is noble and benignant, I would be the last to deny; but the statues of the Buddha are a different matter, and need to be approached with caution if genuine. Some of the worst black magic in the world is a debased form of Buddhism. To say this is not to insult that venerable faith, for it is only lack of opportunity that prevents the Black Mass from occupying that dubious eminence. In the Thibetan monasteries of the Dugpa sect there are temples each one of which contained literally thousands of statues of the Buddha. On various occasions one or another of these monasteries has been raided, either by rival religionists or Chinese troops, and its curios scattered. To be the possessor of one of these Buddhas, magnetised by Dugpa rites, is not a very pleasant thing.
I had a curious experience with a Buddha upon one occasion. It was an archaic soap-stone statuette, some nine inches high, and its owner had dug it up herself on the site of a Burmese city that had fallen in ruin and been swallowed by the jungle. It was placed on the floor in an angle of the stairs, and served as a doorstop upon occasion. I had a flat on the top floor, and had to pass the melancholy little Buddha each time I came in or went out, and to me it seemed a desecration to see the sacred symbol of another faith treated thus. I tried to point this out to her, and asked her how she would feel if she saw a crucifix thus utilised, but without result. Meanwhile the little Buddha sat there patiently, getting the carpet-sweeper pushed in his face and receiving libations of slops.
One day, passing upstairs bearing a bunch of flowers, I was prompted to throw before him one of the traditional marigolds of Indian devotion. Immediately I was conscious that a link had been formed between myself and the little statue, and that it was sinister. A night or two afterwards I was returning home rather late, and as I passed the Buddha I had a feeling that there was something behind me, and looking over my shoulder, saw a ball of pale golden light about the size of a football separate itself from the Buddha and come rolling up the stairs after me. Thoroughly alarmed, and disliking this manifestation very much indeed, I immediately made a banishing gesture and the ball of light returned down the stairs and was reabsorbed into the Buddha, who, needless to say, got no more marigolds from me, and received a very wide berth until I left the flat shortly after. The experience was a singularly unpleasant one, and was a sharp lesson to me not to meddle with the sacred objects of another system unless I knew exactly what I was about. I learnt subsequently that some of these statues are consecrated with the blood of a human sacrifice.
I do not mean to imply by this that all Buddhist statues have been so treated; such consecrations are, I should imagine, comparatively rare; but I think no one who has a knowledge of the facts will deny that they occur, even as one might occasionally come across a Crucifix which had been used upside down at a Black Mass.
It is not every case of psychic disturbance, however, which originates externally. It is a well-known cosmic law that everything moves in circles, and whatever forces we send out, and whatever thought-forms we extrude from our auras, unless absorbed by the object to which they are directed, will return to us in due course. One of the most effective, and also one of the most widely practised methods of occult defence is to refuse to react to an attack, neither accepting nor neutralising the forces projected against one, and thus turning them back on their sender. We must never overlook the fact that a so-called occult attack may be evil thought-forms returning home to roost.
There are certain types of insanity in which the lunatic believes himself to be the victim of an attack by invisible beings, who threaten and abuse him and offer base or dangerous insinuations. He will describe his tormentors, or point to their position in the room. A psychic who investigates such a case can very often see the alleged entities just where the lunatic says they are. Nevertheless, the psychologist can come forward and prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the so-called “hallucinations” are due to repressed instincts giving rise to dissociated complexes of ideas in the patient’s own subconscious mind. Does this mean that the psychic is mistaken in thinking he perceives an astral entity? In my opinion both psychic and psychologist are right, and their findings are mutually explanatory. What the psychic sees is the dissociated complex extruded from the aura as a thought-form. A great deal of relief can be given to lunatics by breaking up the thought-forms that are surrounding them, but unfortunately the relief is short-lived; for unless the cause of the illness can be dealt with, a fresh batch of thought-forms is built up as soon as the original ones are destroyed.
For further reading on Psychic Self Defence and Dion Fortune
7 Basic Psychic Self Defense and Energy Protection Techniques
Introduction to Psychic Self Defense