As spiritualism came into vogue in the mid nineteenth century, spirit writing became a popular form of mediumship. A spiritualist or medium sat with pencil in hand, while others sat nearby ready to feed her/him blank sheets of paper awaiting the frantic script of the channeled messages. With the fringe attendees growing weary of the standard methods of “communication” like the auditory knocks of the Hydesville Fox sisters and other fashionable spiritualists used, spirit writing was just the ticket to renew a robust interest in the spirit realm and séances once more. The method of automatic writing opened the door for women of the Victorian era to achieve some notoriety. Taking up the spirit pen meant they could write, while not breaking any of the societal morals of the day. Blaming it on the spirits held up much better when confronted by an angry husband or father.
When it comes to the medium’s involvement in the process, some people slip into a trance-like state while doing this, while others are fully awake and simple let the words flow, usually not really aware of what is being written because the messages generally come in very quickly, as though the spirit has only so much energy to funnel the message to the medium. Some go into a complete trance, unaware of either the movement of the pencil or the words coming through, although some have reported feeling heat when angry words pour out and cool when the messages are calm. As though the feelings behind the messages come through clearly for some sensitive ones.
A NY state supreme court judge named John Edmonds, in the mid nineteenth century attended a session with the Foxes after he lost his wife. He had a friend who claimed to be a medium and pushed this man to try to channel famous authors and writers. What those automatic writing sessions produced are considered vague at best. The one thing the get-togethers did do was to stir even more interest in professional and public figures. Edmonds was lucky his position in the courts did not radically suffer from his dabbling in the spirit realms.
Over the next hundred and fifty years, not only was writing used, mathematics came through from the spirit world, music, song lyrics, poetry, erotica and art. Mandelas are said to be drawn by artists guided by “god”. Voodoo Veves and other magical symbology as well.
Spirit communication is here to stay, be it by word, tapping, ouija boards, automatic writing or spirit art. Humans will continue to strive to open more clear communication with those on the other side.