What Is a Kachina?

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Heard of the Kachina dolls of the Hopi/Pueblo indians? Here is a great description of what they are and how they fit in to the religious system of the indians written by Harold Colton in 1949.

Ever since J. Walter Fewkes, of the Smithsonian Institution, wrote his first illustrated report on Hopi kachinas, in 1894, a growing number of people have become interested in the Hopi Indians and their delightful carved and painted kachina dolls. For years collectors have treasured these small representations of Hopi supernatural beings without being able to learn much about them. Since many people do not know about either kachinas or kachina dolls, we will diverge a little to explain what they are. In the northern parts of the states of New Mexico and Arizona are a number of compact Indian villages with flat-roofed houses built of stone or adobe. Because these Indians lived in villages, the Spanish word for which is pueblo, they are called Pueblo Indians. They are known to be descendants of the prehistoric people who lived in northern Arizona and New Mexico fifteen hundred years ago. Since that time they have developed a rich culture which, in certain aspects, because of their innate conservatism, has withstood the white man’s efforts to supplant it with his own. Although most of the Pueblo Indians live in the Rio Grande Valley, near Albuquerque and Santa Fe, a chain of villages extends to the west-ward across the high plateaus and ends with the Hopi Indians who live on three mesas in northeastern Arizona. Many of these Pueblo Indians, particularly the Hopi and have ceremonies in which masked men, called kachinas, play an important role, and it is of these masked characters of the Hopi that we_are going to speak. And so you will say, “Ah, yes, a kachina is a masked character, but who is he, what is he, and what is his significance?” A Hopi Indian will tell you that a kachina is a supernatural being who is impersonated by a man wearing a mask, and he will add that they live on the San Francisco Peaks, near Flagstaff, Arizona, and on other high mountains. A kachina has three aspects: the supernatural being, as he exists in the minds of the Hopis; the masked impersonator of the supernatural being, who appears in the kivas and plazas; and the small dolls carved in the same likeness. The first two aspects are termed kachinas and the latter, kachina dolls. Since kachina dolls, with which we are primarily concerned, depend for their significance upon the masked impersonations, we must consider kachinas first.

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The yearly calendar of Hopi religious ceremonies is divided into two parts, from winter solstice to mid-July marking the first half, and from mid-July to winter solstice the second half. The first half, which extends perhaps a month past the summer solstice, is marked by kachina ceremonies. A group of about thirty “official” kachinas, called Mong Kachinas, takes part in five major ceremonies held during this period: Soyalang-eu (Winter Solstice Ceremony) in December, Pamuya in January, when the sun appears to move north again, Powamtiya (Bean Ceremony or Bean Dance) in February or March, and the Niman Kachina (Home Dance Ceremony) in July, when the sun appears to move south. The major ceremonies last nine days, and mostly are held in the kivas, where only the initiated may witness them. Some, like Bean Dance, Niman Kachina, etc., have parts which are witnessed by the Hopi public, either in the kivas or in the plazas. During this first half of the Hopi year, there are also held one-day ceremonies, called ordinary or regular kachina dances, in which the kachinas dance in the village plazas. In these ceremonies a group of twenty to thirty kachinas, all identically masked and dressed, may take part, or it may be “Mixed Kachina Dance,” where each costume is different. Any ceremony, whether of nine days or one day duration, is a social occasion for the village, for friends and relatives come from the neighboring towns to see the “dance” and partake of the feasts that are always prepared. During the second half of the year from July, when the Niman Kachina takes place, until the following December, no ceremonies are held in which masked impersonators take part. There are a number of ceremonies like the famous Snake Dance but the participants do not wear masks. The Niman Kachina is called the Home Dance, because it is the lilt appearance of the kachinas before they return to their homes on the San Francisco Peaks.

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Regular or ordinary kachina dances take two forms. In one form, which we can call the Hopi pattern, the kachina dancers, in single file, walk rapidly into the plaza and form a line an one side. Keeping time with their feet, with tortoise shell rattles fastened to their legs, and rattles in their hands, they sing one verse of the kachina song. Then the line moves w an adjacent side of the plaza, repeating the same verse of song, and then to a third side where the verse is sung at it once more. With the completion of the song, kachinas distribute presents to the children and retire. After a rest of one-half hour, they return to the plaza and sing a new verse, repeating the performance as before. This routine they will maintain from about noon until nearly sunset, singing about six to eight verses of the song. In the second form of dances, built on a pattern borrowed from the Rio Grande Pueblos, a chorus of old men, accompanied by a drummer, supplies the music and songs for the line of dancers, who do not sing. The dancers form a line on one side of the plaza, and progress around it in the same manner as described above. In the intervals when the kachinas are resting, with their masks removed, somewhere below the mesa rim, clowns enter the plaza and afford comic relief to the spectators. They mimic certain spectators and act out little skits, sometimes, we must admit, not in the best taste, according to our way of thinking, which, after all, is quite different from the Hopi way. When a Hopi man places a mask upon his head and wears the appropriate costume and body paint, he believes that he as lost his personal identity and has received the spirit of the kachina he is supposed to represent. Men, never women, take the part of male and female kachinas. As far as we can determine, the Hopis believe that, through a priest, usually an old man not in costume the prayers of the people are given to the kachinas to carry to the gods. Therefore they play a role somewhat similar to the saints of the Christian religion, and some, like saints, are supposed to be the spirits of very good men. However, not all kachinas are good spirits; some are demons or ogres. In addition to the kachinas, the Hopis recognize about thirtytwo major supernatural beings who might be called deities. The most important of these are Sotuqnangu, the god of the sky, sometimes called “the heavenly god”; Masao, the god of the earth; Kwanitaqa, the one-horned god who guards the gate of the Underworld (he might be compared to St. Peter, for the Underworld is the Hopi Heaven); and Alosaka, the two-horned god of reproduction of man, animals, and plants, sometimes called “the germ god.” Although a few of the deities may be impersonated as kachinas or represented by figurines, the majority are never impersonated or represented by dolls. Hopi children believe in them just as our children believe in Santa Claus. In a kachina ceremony, the children are not supposed to recognize their fathers, uncles, or parents’ friends who are disguised by masks and elaborate costumes. As Santa Claus comes at a certain season, bearing gifts to the children, so certain kachinas bring to the children kachina dolls, miniature bows and arrows, sweets, fruits, and other Lood. Hopi children enjoy a whole series of Christmas delights during the period from late December to July. Kachina dolls are given to the children not as toys, but as objects to be treasured and studied so that the young Hopis may become familiar with the appearance of the kachinas as part of their religious training. Prior to a kachina ceremony, the fathers and uncles of the village children are busily occupied in making dolls in the likeness of the kachinas that will take part in the ceremony. On this great day, the kachinas give to each child, standing in solemn awe, the dolls made especially for him by his relatives. The dolls are taken home, where the parents hang them up on the walls or from the rafters of the house, so that they may be constantly seen by the children of the family and their playmates. In this way Hopi children learn to know what the different ones look like. Thus we see that Hopi kachina dolls are neither idols to be worshipped or icons to be prayed to, but only objects for use In the education of the child. The Hopi recognize over two hundred kachinas and frequently invent new characters. One Hopi we consulted believed that, except for the kachinas that officiate at the major ceremonies in the annual cycle of religious observances, large number were invented in the last half of the nineteenth century. Certain kachinas are believed to be the spirits of departed Hopis. Thus the Cross-Legged Kachina is though to be the spirit of a very kind Mishongnovi man who die about seventy years ago. The names by which the kachinas are known may be descriptive and such names can be translated into English, a Left-Handed Kachina and Long-Haired Kachina. The Hopi name for the Crow Mother, a dour creature with wings on the side of her head like a Valkyrie, is translated “Man with Crow Wing Tied To.” Many kachinas are named for bird and mammals, like the Rooster, Eagle, Bear, and Badge Kachinas, while others take their names from the peculia calls that the kachina utters such as Hu-Hu, Aholi, and Soy oko. Others have definite names which have no relation to their description or call and have no English equivalents. Some have been borrowed by the Hopis from other Pueblo Indians, and their original names have bee retained in the Zuni, Tewa, or Keresan language, as the case may be. Kachinas are difficult to classify, not only because the Hopi have rather vague ideas about their appearance and function but because these ideas differ from mesa to mesa, pueblo to pueblo, and clan to clan. However, we can recognize a number of classes of kachinas even if there is not complete agrees ment among the Hopis. The lack of a clear system of classification is not surprising, for Hopis do not feel it necessary to pigeon-hole their information as we do. They do not think of things as members of classes of objects but as individual items.

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The following classes of kachinas may be recognized: (1) About thirty official or Mong (Chief) Kachinas take the principal parts in the major ceremonies, which last nine days, like the Soyalangeu (Winter Solstice Ceremony) in December, Pamuya in January, when the sun appears to move north again, Powamuya (Bean Ceremony) in February, Palolokonti (Water Serpent Ceremony) in February or March, and the Niman Kachina (Home Dance Ceremony) in July when the sun appears to move south. The Mong Kachinas are probably quite ancient and have their roots deep in the traditions of the people. Although most of the Mong Kachinas are beneficent beings, there are also among them demons and ogres who threaten the children, and so force them to conform to the Hopi culture pattern. (2) Clowns of several types afford comic relief in the intervals of serious ceremonies. (3) About seventeen different kinds of Wawarus, Runner kachinas, run races with Hopi men in the early spring. These masked figures challenge a man to a race. If the man wins, the kachinas give him a present, but if he loses, the kachinas, depending upon the kind of Wawarus, may strip off his clothes, plaster him with mud, cut off his hair with a pair of scissors, or whip him with a yucca leaf whip. The Wawarus make it worth while for Hopi boys to train to be good runners. (4) There are a large number of kachinas that appear in pairs in the kachina parade at the Bean Ceremony, and in the so-called mixed kachina dances of the spring nd early summer. (5) By far the greater number of kachinas appear in corn ceremonies of fifteen to thirty, with six or eight female kachinas (kachin-manas), in one day ceremonies. At these ceremonies, ordinary or regular, kachina dances as they are called, have no fixed dates and are put on by some fraternity or kiva group when the spirit moves them. Among the kachinas that appear in the one day ceremonies are some ill-defined sub-classes. Hopi informants often refer to Kwivi Kachinas. Kwivi is translated as proud or sporty and means that the kachinas wear a lot of ornaments. Another group is referred to as Kuwan Kachinas. This word means “elaborated with more color” or beautiful. It appears that any kachina can be known as Kuwan if the costume is very elaborately made. Another group is known as Rugan Kachinas. This means that the female kachinas that accompany the kachinas perform on a musical instrument consisting of a wooden rasp rubbed with a sheep scapula, with a dried pumpkin shell for a sounding board. (6) Besides the male kachinas are many female kachinas called kachin-manas, which are always impersonated by men. Although a few have distinctive characteristics, the majority look much alike, wear the same kind of costumes, and can only be distinguished by the things they do and the kachinas they accompany.

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Making a Kachina Doll

When a Hopi man plans to make a kachina doll, he searches along one of the numerous washes near the Hopi mesas or the banks of the Little Colorado River for the dried roots of dead cottonwood trees. Sawing off roots with a diameter of three to four inches, he carries them home. For tools he procures penknife, chisel, wood rasp, and a piece of sandstone. With the saw and chisel he roughs out, from a length of the cottonwood root, the doll that he has in mind, whittles it into shape with the penknife, smooths it with the wood rasp, and sands it carefully all over with the sandstone. The doll is then ready to receive the additions of snout, nose, horns, and tableta or ears, which are also whittled out of wood and fastened to the doll with tiny dowel pins, little larger than toothpicks. Glue is sometimes used now. When the carving is completed and the accessories added, the doll is ready to be painted, but before the color is laid on, the craftsman covers the figure with a layer of kaolin as an undercoat. As this undercoat is not bound to the wood, it may peel off, which makes old kachina dolls have a shabby appearance. On the white kaolin surface the artist places his colors; for green or blue he uses copper carbonate, malachite; for black he procures soot or corn smut, a fungus that grows on corn plants and which has a religious significance; for red, ground hematite (iron sesquioxide); for yellow, limonite (iron hydroxide); for white, kaolin. These are the same substances that the Hopi use as body paints. Today many men prefer to use poster paints, which are often available, which adhere better, and are much brighter, but fade more quickly, than the old native paints which lack a satisfactory binder. The doll, when painted, is further adorned with the bright feathers of small birds, which represent the feathers of the eagle, parrot, turkey, or other large bird feathers found on a full-sized kachina mask. We have described the manufacture of a kachina doll from a rounded piece of wood, but Hopis make another kind of a doll for infants. These dolls are crudely shaped out of a piece of flat board about three and one-half inches wide and eight inches long. In these dolls little attempt is made at realism; they are not well finished, the painting is crude, and few feathers are used, yet enough is given so there is never a doubt as to the particular kachina represented. These dolls are particularly valuable because they show only the essential characters. When a Hopi is carving a doll, like any other sculptor, he simplifies. He leaves out unessential details and stresses those characteristics that he deems important. For example, he may not make a clear distinction between a case or a sack mask, nor does he always indicate the kind of a ruff or even show a ruff at all. Therefore, when we compare a doll with a kachina in a dance, we must look for many differences, but the essential features by which the kachina is identified are never omitted. No one knows how many kachina dolls the Hopi make as gifts each year, but it is probably not less than five hundred nor much more than one thousand. The youthful recipients of the kachina dolls often take them to the trading stores where they procure sweets, pop, gum, etc., in exchange, and the dolls end up in curio stores in towns and cities of the Southwest. A few Hopis manufacture dolls for the trade, but many of these do not represent authentic kachinas. In addition, some curio shops sell spurious kachina dolls that Hopis say are made by white men. During the past few years a new class of kachina dolls has been produced. These differ from the traditional dolls by portraying the kachina in action, as if in a dance. Some are very well carved and finished. All are produced for the tourist trade.

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Ancient Aliens Debunked, Then Unbunked and Rebunked

Whatever you think about the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens series we can all be happy that some hardcore theorizing will be hard-fought far into the future about all the strange artifacts early history has left us. At the end of September a Youtube film was released called Ancient Aliens Debunked by Chris White. The film attacks the points made by Ancient Aliens experts and claims the whole shebang is deceptive. Here is the film:

Then one of the experts from the show, Phillip Coppens, decided to unbunk the debunking in an article entitled – Debunking Ancient Aliens Debunked

Then the producer of the film decided to rebunk the debunking of Coppens

This is great! We may not be too concerned too much whether there were/are aliens here or not but we love to see the researchers and experts get emotional and snarky because it causes them to dig into the details of strange history. And it is true that standard interpretation of academics is sorely lacking on many of these topics, that is what has made the alternative researcher niche and the series so popular.

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The incredible story of The Dropa Stones.

In 1938, an archaeological expedition led by Dr. Chi Pu Tei into the Baian-Kara-Ula mountains of China made an astonishing discovery in some caves that had apparently been occupied by some ancient culture.

Buried in the dust on the cave floor were hundreds of stone disks. Measuring about nine inches in diameter, each had a circle cut into the center and was etched with a spiral groove, making it look for all the world like some ancient phonograph record some 10,000 to 12,000 years old.  Definitely something that could not be made by cavemen.

The spiral grooves actually turned out to be composed of tiny hieroglyphics that tell the incredible story of spaceships from some distant planet that crash-landed in the mountains. The ships were piloted by people who called themselves the Dropa, and the remains of whose descendants, possibly, were found in the cave.  According to one account, the caves may have been artificially carved, and were more like a complex system of tunnels and underground storerooms. The walls were squared and glazed, as if cut into the mountain with a source of extreme heat!

So there you have it people, Further (possible) evidence that Aliens are a huge part of our history.  Can’t the government please just show us some proof already and stop driving us crazy?

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The Grooved Spheres…

Are they random space junk that fell from the sky?  Could they be spare parts of an alien ship?  Or maybe they are a form of ancient currency?  Nobody knows for sure but for the past few decades miners in South Africa have been digging up mysterious metal spheres that measure about an inch or so in diameter and some are etched with three parallel grooves around the equator.

So far, only two types of spheres have been found: one is composed of a solid bluish metal with flecks of white and the other is hollowed out and filled with a spongy white substance that disintegrates into dust upon contact with air. What’s even more amazing is that is that the rock in which they were found is Precambrian (the earliest of the geologic ages) – and dated to 2.8 billion years old!

So basically these apparently man-made objects date back to a period in earth’s history before the existence of intelligent life and are baffling scientists around the world due to their complexity and the fact they are made out of an extremely hard nickel-steel alloy that cannot be scratched and does not occur naturally and is of such a composition that excludes any meteoric origin. They simply DO NOT fit into any conventional prehistoric time-scale.  So what are they exactly?  Who knows but it would be very surprising if some sort of extra-terrestrial species was not their original owners…

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Is There Such A Thing As Luck?

How is you luck treating you lately? Do you think about yourself as a lucky person or as a person challenged at every turn by fate? Is there any special thing you do to increase your odds on a particular day or in a particular situation? Do you think your good luck or bad luck comes from some source or from karma in this life or a previous one? Do we have free will with any possible future or is our destiny already written?

Perhaps luck is a bit of a mask that covers the truth of our successful or unsuccessful activities. If someone is in a negative mode of activity, it may attract bad things and the negative emotions may carry on in a downward spiral of unwanted events. Likewise, someone on a roll, seeing only positive and feeling great has a good chance of continuing with their success and “good luck”. Ascribing failures to bad luck allows us to get off the hook for them. And modesty may make us say that good luck helped us in our successes.

A lucky person would be emotionally balanced and functioning well in all capacities while the unluckiest people may be emotionally unstable and dysfunctional. But often we consider luck to be what happens to us that is out of our control. Or can we control it? Many religions of yore contained rituals to influence the future. Prayer, shamans and witches all do what they can to connect with the divine in order to shape events in our favor. Even atheists may believe in the power of positive thinking and envisioning success.

Many religions and schools of thought think that your luck can be influenced, and scientists may even agree (for sure some won’t agree, saying that events are purely random). There are plenty of techniques to choose from if we want to try and influence our luck or our future. It is left to us then to choose a tradition, try a New Age method or work on a new method. Of course, to start we have to achieve mental and physical balance in our lives and move forward from there. Try it. Change your luck, write your future.

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Joseph P Farrell – Nazis, Giants and Cosmic Elites

Here is an excellent video from Project Camelot, a good resource for all of your alternative perspective ideas about the world now, in the past and into the future. Project Camelot is interviewing Joseph P Farrell, who has produced a very impressive body of work that would be labeled “alternative history” in the bookstore.

I recently read one of Joseph Farrell’s more recent books – Genes, Giants, Monsters, and Men: The Surviving Elites of the Cosmic War and Their Hidden Agenda, and I enjoyed it and wanted to find out more about his research so I decided to look for a video interview. The video is not all that new and when I heard what the topic of the video was, the Nazi Bell, I was not all that excited (I’ve seen too many boring History programs about Nazi military escapades) but decided to give it a try because I wanted to see more from Farrell. We’ve covered a bit of Nazi occult information, with the Nazi UFOs, but I knew nothing of the depths of the Nazi secret research programs and I found the interview to be extremely interesting.

Here’s another interview from George Noory’s Coast to Coast program. In this one, Farrell talks about one of his more recent book from last year – Genes, Giants, Monsters and Men (he has published 2 or 3 more since then, I don’t know if we can keep up with him) and some of his other books putting together the theory of an ancient cosmic war long before the history we know of on Earth. But if you want to sleep at night maybe you should avoid all this stuff because otherwise thoughts of all these otherworldly overlords controlling our humble human lives may keep you awake.

Still need more? Here is an enormous archive of radio show recordings covering all of Farrell’s books and much more at The Byte Show

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Remote Viewing: Is Peering into the Matrix Possible?

Remote viewing is the ability to use extrasensory perception to access information from sources remote in space and time. Simply put, it is using psychic ability to fish information out of the matrix (akashic field, univeral source field, or ether). There are many techniques, different structures and protocols to follow and there are definite skills and rules to be learned in order to practice remote viewing effectively. Anyone interested in life beyond the material world should have a look at remote viewing.

Here’s a video where remote viewing is briefly explained and put on trial:

Remote viewers admit that as little as 20% of the information gathered may be correct and that the psychic information needs to be combined with other sources of information. Working with groups of remote viewers will increase the chance that the results will be accurate.

This may sound very unreal and/or unlikely, so what about the skeptics? Psychologist Ray Hyman is the analyst that was hired by the Defense Intelligence Agency to evaluate the Government’s program that reproduced a report recommending canceling any such research. Michael Shermer, founder of The Skeptics Society, has participated in remote viewing sessions and done television programs analyzing its viability. He remains skeptical of course and but his report was rather inconsequential and even had me more leaning toward the possibility of its effectiveness than against. Also, the fact that the military took its disciplined approach to developing psychic spies for so long seems to suggest that there might be something to it.

Here is part 1 of Shermer’s program (there is a little more about Hyman and the government program):


I think this is an excellent phenomena that everyone can try to seek their own answers for themselves and possibly enrich their lives. If, in practicing remote viewing, we find evidence that their is a matrix of consciousness beyond our physical bodies, then those of us who are atheist or agnostics would probably want to look for explanations about how this could be.

There are many workshops (which tend to be a little expensive) but also online video programs and books to help people learn the methods. While the protocols for remote viewing are not easy to learn this may be the best way for any of us to investigate the paranormal or the otherworld.

Here is a short video about Ed Dames’ prediction of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan:

And another one about testing Joseph McMoneagle’s remote viewing:

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Stargate and the Military’s Psychic Spies

You may have heard of or seen the George Clooney and Ewan McGregor film The Men Who Stare at Goats. Despite whatever you may think about that film the general idea behind the movie is true, that the military tried to develop a range of psychic skills for spying.

For at least 20 years, the US military funded psychic investigation of this type and others, and teams of psychics were apparently used for example to find information about the Pam Am flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland and to find details about the Iraqi military’s activities before and during the first Gulf War among many many other things. The most well-known program was called Stargate (or STAR GATE) which was ended in 1995. At that time, there were at least three psychics working to gather information with a half million dollar budget, with an office in Fort Meade, Maryland (I’m not sure why 3 psychics in a room would cost so much). The military investigated psychic techniques such as remote viewing, channeling, tarot cards, remote influencing but none of the techniques seemed to spark the fire that remote viewing did. Many other world governments have invested money in psychic investigations as well. Did they uncover anything useful after all that research? We don’t really know how many such programs still exist because they would be secret and their techniques classified of course because otherwise they would loose the advantage that their advances may afford them as psychic spies.

A short explanation of the history from Lyn Buchanan:

There are a large number of former trained military psychics that have come forward with their story about the capabilities of the techniques that were developed. For example, you can find information about the following people related to the psychic ability programs: Leonard (Lyn) Buchanan, Mel Riley, Ed Dames, Joseph McMoneagle, Paul H. Smith, Russell Targ, Ingo Swann, Dr. Edwin May, Pat Price, F. Holmes “Skip” Atwater and David Morehouse. All of these people are former trained military psychics or else people involved in developing or administrating the military’s remote viewing/psychic programs. Even more interesting than the history of the original programs is that nowdays many of these people are involved with private workshops teaching others various techniques across the country and the world. They all seemed to have been dramatically effected by the experience and many of them have written books about their experiences:

Psychic Warrior : Inside the CIA’s Stargate Program: The True Story of a Soldier’s Espionage and Awakening – David Morehouse
The Seventh Sense: The Secrets of Remote Viewing as Told by a “Psychic Spy” for the U.S. Military – Lyn Buchanan
Mind Trek: Exploring Consciousness, Time, and Space Through Remote Viewing – Joseph McMoneagle
Limitless Mind: A Guide to Remote Viewing and Transformation of Consciousness – Russell Targ
Tell Me What You See: Remote Viewing Cases from the World’s Premier Psychic Spy – Ed Dames
Reading the Enemy’s Mind: Inside Star Gate: America’s Psychic Espionage Program – Paul H. Smith

This to me suggests the authenticity of the methods: a large group of people formerly working with the techniques in a professional environment truly appear to believe in their effectiveness. Often in interviews, many of them argue convincingly about their experiences and also about the significance of this supernatural information source that they tap into. In turn, this has led many people who are fascinated by the ideas and the possibilities and want to use the techniques in practical ways, to take a shot at learning psychic abilities for themselves. Don’t you want to try it too? See more about remote viewing.

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