Sunday, August 14, 2016


Faith or magnetic healing?

“An ounce of practice is worth a pound of theory” was a favourite saying of Dion Fortune’s and bearing in mind Monsieur Philippe’s views on the subject, and he was a practitioner par excellence with no high views of animal magnetism as a universal medicine, I had a vivid and somewhat painful demonstration of what seemed to be animal magnetism being passed off as something higher in my youth. It came about by getting rather too close to a popular healer who, to judge from his literature, felt pretty sure that it was courtesy of the Holy Spirit that he operated. I am not too sure about that. But his movement carries successfully on, so I suppose cannot be all bad! {What follows  comes from ‘The Circuit of Force’ by Dion Fortune and myself (Thoth Publications 1998) – p.138}

Invited to a meeting of his, which took place in a packed church, I happened to be introduced to him just before the event. In what may well have been his usual practice, he grasped my hand strongly, and fixed me in the eye with a powerful gaze with the verbal affirmation “God bless you” or words to that effect. Such was the intensity of his gaze that I felt an instant tingling in my brow at the point that is usually regarded as the ajna psychic centre. This passed away however and I took my seat at the back of the church.

Before the healer began the laying on of hands to the sick he began to walk up and down the aisles of the church making sweeping movements of his arms and hands as if drawing in some form of power from the congregation; then he proceeded with his healing of individuals before the altar. As he did so, I began to feel myself getting weaker and feeling increasingly unwell, as well as intensely emotionally irritated, particularly at the repetition and tone of his repeated “Thank you, Father” which he got all the patients to say after he had laid hands on them. Eventually I was sufficiently distressed to leave early and having fortified myself with a hot drink at a nearby café, went on home.

The next morning however I woke to find I had a most uncomfortable point of irritation right between the eyebrows. What is more, the discomfort increased as the day wore on until it was very painful indeed at about midday, after which it decreased in intensity until the sun went down. The next day the same thing happened, the pain coming and going with the light. On the third day I sought medical advice and the doctor diagnosed it as sinusitis, dispensed an inhalant but implied that the only thing to do, short of an operation, was to grin and bear it. However, the problem wore off over a matter of days and I have fortunately never been bothered with it since.

It was a salutary demonstration to me, however, of the reality of some forms of the unseen and also a warning that some alternative healers may have little idea of how and what they may be doing in the course of their empirical healing practice. I imagine no harm came to most people to whom this particular healer projected his magnetic handshake but to a young initiate sensitised by meditation and magical ritual methods it plainly broke a temporary hole in the etheric vehicle, so that I was being literally vampirised in the church, with physiological repercussions following on.

Anecdotal evidence may not cut much ice in scientific circles but is none the less convincing to those who bear the brunt of the actual experience. It certainly convinced me that although doctors may write off much alternative healing as an application of the placebo effect, it was more than a placebo that hit me between the eyes on that particular night.

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