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Séance

This nOde last updated April 8th, 2008 and is permanently morphing...
(2 Ik (Wind) / 5 Pohp (Mat) - 2/260 - 12.19.15.4.2)

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séance séance (sâ´äns´, -äNs´)

noun1.A meeting of people to receive spiritualistic messages.
2. A meeting, session, or sitting, as of a learned or legislative body.[French, a sitting, from Old French seoir, to sit, from Latin sedêre.]

Word History: A gathering in which phenomena such as internal linklevitation, telepathy, and communication with the dead take place should seemingly have little in common with a session of an administrative body of a learned society, but the word séance can refer to both. Séance does not have the mysterious and exciting background one might expect for such a word but rather comes from French séance, "seat, session," from Old French seoir, "to sit." In French as in English the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people to receive spiritualistic messages (a sense first recorded in English in 1845), but earlier in French and English the word had been used for meetings more generally. Certainly the second recorded use of the word in English in 1803 hardly seems to refer to an exciting spiritualistic meeting: "your séances . . . which I have a shrewd suspicion must be something dull."



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"The Drop of internal linkWater" - a 1900-era nurse who makes a fateful decision while preparing the corpse of one of her patients - an elderly medium who died during a seance.  - 1 of 3 short stories in the 1963 film internal link_Black Sabbath_ (vhs/ntsc)
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Echinopsis Seance - at the Huntington Library
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