Chain, Forming a
In Spiritualism, a popular practice entails the joining of
hands of sitters around a table, whereby it is believed that a
‘‘magnetic’’ current is established and reinforced. Baron de
Guldenstubbe gave the following directions for forming a
chain ‘‘In order to form a chain, the twelve persons each place
their right hand on the table, and their left hand on that of
their neighbor, thus making a circle round the table. Observe
that the medium or mediums if there be more than one, are entirely
isolated from those who form the chain.’’
Dr. Lapponi, in his Hypnotism and Spiritism (1906), gave an
alternative account of the proper procedure for the forming a
chain.
He [the medium] makes those present choose a table, which
they may examine as much as they like, and may place in whatever
part of the room they choose. He then invites some of the
assistants to place their hands on the table in the following
manner The two thumbs of each person are to be touching
each other, and each little finger is to be in communication with
the little finger of the persons on either side. He himself completes
the chain with his two hands.
The concept of forming a continuous circuit for the transmission
of psychic force is also related to the procedures of
mesmerism, in which the hands of all the sitter rest together
on the edge of the table. (See also planetary chains; séance)