A mystical sympathetic or antipathetic connection between
two persons. It was formerly believed that for a witch to harm
her victims, the latter must first have become in rapport with
her, either by contact with her person or by contact with some
garment she has worn. A certain Irish witch, Florence Newton
(tried in 1661), was accused of establishing rapport between herself
and those she sought to bewitch by kissing them, whereby
she was able to compass their destruction.
In the practice of animal magnetism, it was considered that
the only invariable and characteristic symptom of the genuine
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Rapport
trance was the rapport between patient and operator. It consisted
of a community of sensations—the subject perceiving the
sensations of the magnetizer and also divining his thought. In
modern hypnotism, rapport denotes the community of sensation
between the hypnotizer and his subject.
According to the psychical researcher Julien Ochorowicz,
rapport was solely a ‘‘magnetic’’ condition. He observed that
under hypnosis his subject was indifferent to anybody with
whom he came in contact but in animal magnetism he had an
incontestable preference for the magnetizer. In general, the
touch of the magnetizer was agreeable while that of others was
painful. This condition is not found in hypnosis.
The term rapport is also used in Spiritualism, signifying
sympathy between the spirit control and the medium or any of
the sitters. The control (through the medium) may be placed
in rapport with anyone who is absent or dead, merely by handling
something which has belonged to him or her. It is for a
similar reason that in crystal gazing the crystal is sometimes
held for a few moments prior to the inspection by the person
on whose behalf the crystal-gazer is about to examine it.
The term rapport has also been employed by spiritual healers
to describe the necessary relationship between the healer
and the patient as a prerequisite for the successful flow of the
healing power. Rapport is thus seen as an alternative to the patient’s
faith, sometimes suggested in religious healing circles as
the necessary precondition for healing. (See also psychometry)