So you’ve decided you want to communicate with spirits. We’ve all seen enough horror movies to know that this is a bold decision, but you’ve done some research and decided you’re ready! We’re here to outline all the guidelines you should follow to communicate responsibly with the other side. Here are eight steps to holding a responsible séance.

1. Attend a séance first

We know you’re excited, but talking with someone who holds séances regularly may be a great way to get ready for yours. Ask them if you can join them for one of their next. Attending a preparatory séance will help guide your approach, show you what you might expect, and improve the experience for everyone who joins you when you’re ready to hold your own. Communicating with spirits is a big deal, so it’s a good idea to do it respectfully.

2. Don’t start without knowing the rules

Cultures all over the world view spirit communication in unique and different ways, so approach your séance in a way that makes sense to you. Jason Leahy’s article for The Baltimore Sun analyzes how some of the older notions of séances (Victorians sitting in a circle in a fancy home) have slowly been replaced by more modern notions of these ceremonies. Finding a medium that adheres to a practice that resonates with you will lead to the most successful séance.

Within each approach, there are rules about the location of the séance, how to cleanse the space, what tools to use, how to focus the spiritual energy of the group, how to engage with spirits, how to end the séance, and how to cleanse the space afterward. Ignoring any part of this process can complicate the success of your séance.

3. Choose the location

Many first-timers are tempted to grab an Ouija board and run off to a cemetery or a haunted house, and though we’ve all seen enough horror movies to know better, we understand the temptation. If you’ve already talked to some people, possibly experienced a séance or two, and are ready to get together with some friends, read on!

Many experienced mediums will tell you that a comfortable place near the communal area in your home is the best location for a séance. There, you are most in control, and the energy of the space is governed by the time you’ve spent there with your friends and family. If you decide to sit around a table holding hands, choose the right table, chairs, and even food and drinks if you want to be hospitable. Lastly, make sure you lower the lighting and find a time when you won’t be interrupted.

4. Cleanse the space

This also means setting good intentions. Self-proclaimed Witch, Dakota Bracciale, told W Magazine that you should be in the right “headspace.” They went on to emphasize the belief that spirits are dynamic entities and you need to approach them on “solid ground.” Some might even choose to light candles or burn incense at this point.

5. Have all of the right tools

You will need a few things on-hand to ensure that all attention can be focused on the spiritual interaction. First of all, you will need something to use for communication, like an Ouija board. Though these are mostly familiar from horror movies, there is a way to respectfully open the lines of conversation between the living and the dead.

6. Create a shared energy

Some people choose to hold hands around a table, while others may choose to meditate or chant in unison. There are many ways to create an open connection between you and the spirits, but take your time. These things shouldn’t be rushed.

Also, mediums have experience letting their bodies be the vessel for spirit communication, channeling their words either through their own voice or writing. This isn’t something you should open yourself up to during your first séance. Instead, have a séance that a medium leads or choose a tool like an Ouija Board to communicate.

7. Ask the right questions

Even if spirits are there with you, you must still find a way to communicate effectively across the boundary between your worlds. Keep your questions direct and respectful, and don’t ask unnecessary or humorous questions. Having a miscommunication with a living person is frustrating enough, don’t mishandle a short window of time by not preparing or asking unclear questions. You certainly don’t want to upset anyone.

8. Ending the séance

After you end your questions and gently return everyone’s attention to the room itself, it’s time to end the séance and cleanse the space. Whether you perform cleansing rituals, pray, do energetic work, or take some time to breathe deeply afterward, you’ll want to cleanse both the space and yourself from the experience. Remember, you will have just had an encounter with the spirit world; think about how you want to transition fully back into yours.

Séance gear

If you’re into the idea of séances, we’ve got some things you might like, from fleece blankets and hand towels to a soft planchette pillow you can lay your head on after a long night of communing with the other side. Check out some more:

Want to try a different way to interact with spirits? Check out our blog about ghost hunting! Or, you could plan your next full moon party. Make sure to keep up with our blog for all your spooky and spiritual interests.