Research has shown that imaginative, creative people —particularly artists— score better in ESP tests than systematic thinkers. Some of my first psychic insights came while I was painting in oils. I was inspired by the surrealist painter Max Ernst, who used the decalcomania technique, which involved putting pigment on the canvas, laying sheets of paper or glass on top, and removing them quickly. Just as we did with our inkblots, Ernst would recognize images in the paint’s shapes and added colour, light, and shadows to emphasize what he could see, thus making the images obvious to the viewer. My favourite is his painting called The Eye of Silence (1943–44, Washington University Gallery, which includes bizarre images reminiscent of those we see in the inkblot experiment.
As with the work of many surrealist painters, Ernst’s pictures have a threatening theme but nonetheless is of interest to anyone studying the projected imagination methods I have described. It is interesting to note also that many surrealists were influenced by Spiritualism. In particular, the surrealists were interested in automatic drawing and writing and hailed the French psychic Helen Smith as the “muse of automatic writing.” Personally I find some of her communications from Martians a little suspect, but I can see how this interested the surrealists. Surrealists rejected Spiritualism in its manifestos but nonetheless adopted its methods. For example, the surrealist Robert Desnos (1900–45) performed séances for poetic purposes but made no claims to the truth of their revelations.
During it’s hey day Spiritualism saw some incredible psychic artists at work. One of the most famous was the Scottish medium David Duguid (1832–1907,) who could produce oil paintings of landscapes in total darkness, at an amazing speed, and independently of his hands. The psychical investigator Frank Podmore witnessed these incredible feats of psychic mediumship—called precipitation—so that there would be no opportunity to cheat. Also of note are the mediums Allan B.Campbell(1833–1919) and Charles Campbell (born Charles Shourds) from Lily Dale near New York. More widely known as the Campbell brothers, they precipitated spirit-inspired pastel and oil portraits, including an interesting rendition of Allan Campbell’s spirit guide, Azur.
The Bang sisters, whose pictures manifest in front of an audience, accomplished some of the most astonishing precipitation of art. In one famous demonstration in August 1911, at the Chesterfield Spiritualist Camp in Indiana, they precipitated a painting of a young girl. Gradually a picture the background appeared, followed by the face of a young girl with her eyes closed. Then the eyes opened and the picture was complete. A non-Spiritualist dignitary named Mr. Alfords claimed the portrait was the exact likeness of his “dead” daughter, Audrey.
If you have artistic talent, the spirit people will encourage you to use it in your mediumistic work. Working with images also connects the medium to the unconscious, and colour, light, natural form, and geometry appeal to our spiritual nature. For this next experiment you will need paper and coloured pencils. You do not need drawing skills, as this can be accomplished by anyone.
Auragraphs are drawings or paintings produced by psychics and mediums to depict the aura. One of the first exponents of this technique was the medium Harold Sharp, who worked under the influence of his Chinese spirit guide. This enabled him to design an artistic diagram of the human aura, which is called an auragraph.
Most auragraphs are produced as a circle to represent the wholeness of the self. Sharp produced coloured circles with pictures in them, but I also have seen mediums produce auragraphs in other ways, including working with shapes such as a butterfly, with one side representing the inner life and the other the outer life. I have also seen auragraphs in the shape of a peacock feather or as a pictorial mind map that starts from a single point and weaves into lines and tangents and eventually fills the page with written comments and imagery as the reading progresses. Auragraphs can be very personal and later you may devise your own way of working.
Auragraphs usually show other information that is intuitively received by way of the aura, such as the story of a person’s life, their spiritual condition, their way forward, and so on. Sometimes auragraphs are a direct representation of the aura as it appears around the body with an explanation about what the various colours say about the recipient. Auragraphs can also be drawn in an abstract way and will usually include symbolism, particularly the symbolism associated with colour.
For this next experiment we are going to produce a simple auragraph in the shape of a mandala, but you may experiment with whatever style or drawing method you like. The form is not as important as the content, which will include psychic information about the person being given the reading.
The word mandala comes from Sanskrit for “magic circle.” Mandalas are sacred, geometric designs used for meditation purposes. The simplest kind of mandala is a circle but, particularly in Tibetan Buddhism, they are usually intricate drawings in paint or sand with a series of concentric circles or squares radiating from a central point. For Tibetan Buddhists the mandala is a blueprint by which a person meditating can realize specific spiritual states represented by its geometry and symbolism.
The psychologist Carl Jung noticed that mandala images often emerged in dreams and paintings during analysis of his patients. His research led him to the conclusion that mandalas are an archetypal expression of the self and wholeness. Jung would ask his patients to draw mandalas and discovered that they were very powerful tools that could be used to reveal the processes happening in the unconscious. He found that drawing mandalas was also very therapeutic and stimulated a sense of inner harmony in the artist.
We will use the geometry of a mandala for our auragraph. Other examples of how to do auragraphs are described in my book The Psychic Workbook.
How to be a Psychic Artist
- Step 1. The group leader pairs everyone; one person will draw the auragraph and the other will receive the messages.
- Step 2. With a compass and ruler the reader draws a large circle and divides it through the centre into four equal segments, so it looks like a compass. The top two segments represent the higher self and the spiritual aspirations of the sitter. The bottom two segments represent the worldly concerns of the sitter. (This shape also promotes harmony, as it corresponds with Carl Jung’s theory of “fourfoldness,” which in mandalas is often represented by a perfect geometrical grouping of four, a square, or the quartering of a circle.
- Step 3. The human brain has two hemispheres that perform different psychological specializations and this is represented in the auragraph mandala. The two segments on the left of the circle represent all that is logical and rational. On this side of the circle you will give information about things that the sitter is conscious. The remaining segments on the right represent the sitter’s intuitive nature, his or her feelings and creative nature. This side also shows issues that the recipient is not consciously aware of. The very centre of the circle represents the most powerful driving forces and aspirations that are with them at this time. This division of spiritual at the top, worldly below, rational on the left, and intuitive on the provides a simple framework to build your visual representation of the sitter’s spiritual and psychological situation.
- Step 4. If you find my framework a little complicated just work in any way you feel best. As I have said, content is more important than form. As you interpret the drawing, tell your sitter what you are sensing and discuss it. Try not to feed back things the sitter has told you but trust your intuition to give you the insight you need.
- Step 5. As you sense information about the person sitting in front of you, add colour patterns and pictures into the appropriate areas of the auragraph. For example, if you feel the person has high spiritual ideals you may add the colour violet to the segments at the top If you feel that this is something that is just beginning to flow, you want to add patterns in swirl of violet tones here to show a flow of energy. Or you may have a feeling that you want to add red to the shape. If you look up red in the aura section, you will read that if this colour is found in the body aura, it shows a dynamic—possibly angry—person. However, red added to the spiritual areas of the aura high above the head can show spiritual power, such as mediumship. If it was anger you sensed, then you would probably want to add red tones to the one of lower segments, perhaps on the bottom right, as here is represented the root of the emotions. If the red comes to you as a spiritual colour, then you would add it to one or both of the top segments: on the left to show mediumship that the sitter is aware of, and on the right to indicate mediumship that is developing.
- Step 6. Draw patterns with your coloured pencils to represent the nature of the energy itself. For example, discordant or jarring shapes may indicate conflicts, whereas flowing lines and circles may show harmony. Squares suggest a standstill, which may mean that the sitter’s potential is either not being used or is stagnating. Using a combination of patterns and shapes will give you many ways to represent how you feel about the sitter’s energy. At this point in your development we do not expect you to be able to sense or see the aura, but your intuition will, nonetheless, tell you a great deal about the person before you.
- Step 7. Also add simple doodles and pictures to the drawing. As with the inkblot experiments, these images may represent things about the person’s situation or character. Draw the images and interpret them. To jog the sitter’s memory later you can also add a few key words that explain the most important things you have said. Scribbling down your flow of thoughts and using lots of colours distracts your conscious mind and allows you to naturally express your psychic side.
- At first your auragraphs may be a little messy, but with practice they can become decorative artworks that have value in their own right. Auragraphs are like large coloured doodles that you produce as the psychic intuition flows. They are visual recordings of the readings that will be of value to the recipients.
- Step 8. When you have finished reverse roles.
I hope you enjoyed this extract from my book. There are more detailed instructions and illustrations of psychic art and auragraphs in the published book. You can buy it now from Amazon and help to feed this poor starving psychic artist!!
PSYCHIC READINGS AND AURAGRAPHS
You can book psychic readings on this website either with Craig or with his psychic phone readers. We are not currently offering auragraphs or psychic art for psychic readings at the time of posting this article. However we are planning to offer psychic art readings so please take a look at the profiles and Craig’s pages to see what’s on offer today.