252 THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
on the market, which consists of a similar piece of thin board, approximately triangular in shape, with a plain wooden leg at each apex. Its feet, like the feet of the gods, are " shod with wool." Accompanying it is a board, say two feet square, on which the letters of the alphabet and the arabic numerals are painted. Its mode of operation is similar to that of the planchette, except that, instead of a pencil being used, one of the legs serves as a pointer, and the words are spelled out, letter by letter, as indicated by the pointer, which moves over the board in the same mysterious way as the planchette. Its advantage over the planchette consists in the fact that a greater number of persons can operate it satisfactorily. Otherwise, the planchette is preferable, inasmuch as it writes continuously, instead of spelling the words letter by letter. In almost every family some one will be found who can, with a little practice, obtain communications by this means from his own subjective mind. This is the simplest way by which so-called spirit communications can be obtained.
Automatic writing is a cognate method, and consists in holding a pencil in the hand and letting it write. The subjective mind assumes control of the muscles and nerves of the arm and hand, and propels the pencil, the objective mind meantime being perfectly quiescent, and often totally oblivious of what is being written. A smaller number of persons can acquire this faculty than either of the others.
We assume, of course, that it is the subjective mind of the medium that directs the pencil. The same laws govern the manifestations, and the intelligence is hedged about by the same limitations. Suggestion plays the same subtle rdle, and the knowledge of the subjects of the communications are limited by that of the medium and those with whom he is in telepathic rapport. The entity that guides the pencil almost invariably assumes to be a spirit, and its communications necessarily conform to the character assumed. The reason of this is obvious when we consider the fact that automatic writing has always been associated with the idea of spirit communion. The uni-