A Brief History Of Automatic Writing: From Spiritualism To Psychology



Automatic writing has been around for centuries, but its purpose and uses have shifted dramatically over time. From the days of spiritualism, when it was believed to be a means of contacting spirits from beyond, to modern psychology where it is used as an aid in achieving clarity and self-understanding, automatic writing has always been something mysterious and intriguing.

From Spiritualism To Psychology

In this article we will take a brief look at how this practice evolved throughout history and what significance it holds today. The roots of automatic writing can be traced back to ancient cultures who thought that certain messages could only be received through supernatural forces.

However, during the 19th century things changed drastically with the rise of spiritualism – a belief system centered on talking to spirits via mediums or other methods such as automatic writing. This newfound popularity led many people to attempt their own experiments with the craft; some even claiming success in communication with souls from another world!

Ancient Beliefs And Practices

Throughout history, many cultures have believed in the power of mysticism and divination to access supernatural forces.

Ancient Egyptians used oracles to divine the will of their gods while the Chinese relied on astrology and the I Ching for guidance and insight.

The Druids were famous across Europe for their use of divination rituals such as scrying with mirrors and casting runes.

These practices gave people a sense of understanding beyond their own limited experience, often providing comfort or direction when none seemed available from other sources.

Thus, these ancient beliefs laid an important foundation for what would become known as spiritualism.

The Rise Of Spiritualism

Spiritualism has been around for centuries, and it’s based on the belief that spirits can communicate with the living.

It gained popularity in the 19th century, with séances becoming a popular pastime.

Automatic writing, which is a form of spirit communication, also emerged during this time and has since been studied by psychologists.

Beliefs Of Spiritualism

In the late 19th century, altered states and trance states were believed to be a conduit for spiritualism. People around the world began exploring these mysterious realms in order to communicate with the dead.

This resulted in a surge of mediums claiming they could speak with spirits, as well as an increase of activities like séances that were aimed at seeking out answers from beyond this world. Despite being met with some skepticism, many embraced spiritualism’s promise of connecting with loved ones who had passed away and its popularity grew rapidly over time.

As such, automatic writing became one way people sought to actively engage in communication while in an altered state or trance.

Spiritualism’S Popularity

Spiritualism’s popularity surged as people sought to connect with the dead.

Clairvoyance and energy healing were methods used to try and contact spirits, while séances and automatic writing provided an active way of engaging in communication with those beyond this world.

People from all walks of life began exploring these altered states, drawn by its promise of connecting them with their lost loved ones.

Despite some skepticism, many embraced spiritualism for its potential to bridge the gap between life and death.

With a growing interest in these supernatural activities, spiritualism had firmly established itself into mainstream society.

Emergence Of Automatic Writing

As spiritualism began to gain social acceptance, a new practice emerged: automatic writing.

This method of communication involved transcribing messages from the spirit world through writing. It was believed that this form of channeling could provide therapeutic impact for those seeking guidance or answers about life and death.

People from all walks of life experienced these altered states in an effort to make contact with those beyond this world. The emergence of automatic writing further cemented spiritualism’s place in mainstream society.

Modern Uses In Psychology

Modern Uses In Psychology

Modern uses of automatic writing in psychology have been explored since the late 19th century.

While spiritualism was initially seen as a way to contact supernatural forces, modern scholars use it instead for self-discovery and spiritual healing.

They believe that by expressing thoughts without premeditation or censorship, individuals can access deeper emotions, memories, and ideas than they could otherwise reach through conscious thought processes.

Automatic writing is used to explore these depths of consciousness with techniques such as free writing, stream of consciousness exercises, journaling, dream exploration activities, and more.

These methods allow practitioners to unlock insight into themselves and gain greater understanding from within.

By engaging in this practice regularly one can find further meaning in life experiences and ultimately make decisions based on those revelations.

Techniques And Considerations

According to a recent survey, over 32% of adults and adolescents have used techniques such as automatic writing in an effort to gain insight into their personal lives. This statistic serves to demonstrate the widespread significance of this practice throughout history and today.

Automatic writing has been employed across many cultures for various purposes. In spiritualism, automatic writing is used as a means of communication with the divine or other supernatural entities.

In psychology, self-reflection through dream analysis can be facilitated by engaging in automatic writing; it is believed that when we write our thoughts down without editing them first, they offer unique insights about our subconscious minds. By tapping into one’s latent creativity and allowing oneself to explore beyond conscious thought processes, meaningful connections may be made between seemingly disparate ideas.

Transitioning now to the significance of automatic writing today, it is clear that its use continues to inform both spiritual practices and psychological therapy alike.

The Significance Of Automatic Writing Today

The Significance Of Automatic Writing Today

Moving on from the techniques and considerations of automatic writing, it is important to explore the significance of this practice today.

It has been used in various ways over time, including as part of shamanic rituals for centuries and more recently in art therapy.

The continued appeal of automatic writing lies in its potential to aid self-exploration and discovery through a non-judgmental form of expression.

This can be particularly helpful when exploring difficult or traumatic experiences that may not have words associated with them.

Moreover, many people still find comfort in spiritual connections and believe that messages received during an automatic writing session come from a higher source or even those who have passed away.

Even without believing these claims, there are other benefits such as clarity around troubling thoughts or emotions, greater insight into oneself, and improved creative flow.

Gathering all these aspects together reveals why automated writing continues to fascinate us today; it’s ability to bridge physical and mental boundaries while providing catharsis make it both unique and powerful.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can Automatic Writing Be Used To Improve Creativity?

Automatic writing is the practice of allowing the unconscious mind to take control and write without conscious thought. It has been used for centuries by spiritualists, as well as more recently in psychology to explore altered states of consciousness and help unlock creativity.

Automatic writing can be a powerful tool when it comes to improving creative output, as it allows us to access ideas that may have been blocked or influenced by our own biases. By allowing ourselves to tap into an altered state of consciousness we can bypass our conscious bias and create new possibilities that might otherwise not occur.

Additionally, automatic writing can also provide insight into different aspects of ourselves, including beliefs that may be limiting our potential for growth.

Is There A Way To Distinguish Between Genuine Automatic Writing And Conscious Writing?

Automatic writing has been around for many years, and is often used to increase creativity. However, it can be difficult to distinguish between genuine automatic writing and conscious writing; this raises the question of whether unconscious symbolism or psychosomatic effects are at play when producing automatic text.

It’s possible that a combination of both factors contributes to one’s ability to access deeper levels of consciousness while engaging in automatic writing.

Is Automatic Writing Still Used For Divination Or Spiritual Communication?

Automatic writing is a mysterious and complex art that has captivated people for centuries. It remains an intriguing form of telepathy exploration, as many still use it to seek shamanic guidance or spiritual communication.

The questions remains: Is automatic writing still used today in such ways? Despite the advancement of technology, it appears that this ancient practice continues to be utilized by those seeking insight into the unknown realms beyond our physical world.

With its power to connect us with divine sources, automatic writing offers individuals a unique opportunity to explore their innermost thoughts and gain knowledge from the collective unconscious.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Automatic Writing?

Automatic writing is a technique used by some to supposedly communicate with spiritual entities or the subconscious. As it has grown in popularity, many have begun to question whether there are any potential risks associated with this practice.

While evidence suggests that automatic writing can be beneficial for self-reflection and personal growth, some worry about psychological effects caused by misuse of the technique. Potential misuse could include using it as a form of divination, which may lead to false presumptions and ungrounded beliefs.

Additionally, those who use such methods without proper guidance from an experienced practitioner may put themselves at risk for mental health issues due to interpreting their results incorrectly or too literally. It’s important to consider all these factors before engaging in automatic writing so that you can ensure your safety and benefit from its intended purpose.

How Can I Begin My Own Practice Of Automatic Writing?

Automatic writing can be a great tool to release stress and tap into your subconscious. It is an exercise that requires mindful writing, where you allow yourself to write freely without worrying about grammar or structure.

To begin your own practice of automatic writing, start by finding a quiet place and taking some deep breaths while engaging in guided meditation. This will help clear your mind and make room for ideas to flow through the pen onto the paper.

As you move forward with this practice, remember to keep an open mind and enjoy the journey!


The power of automatic writing is undeniable. It has been used for centuries to bring about spiritual and psychological insight, creativity, and growth.

For those looking to explore this practice further, it’s important to remember that with great power comes great responsibility – just like any other form of divination or communication.

To illustrate the importance of being mindful when engaging in such a powerful activity, consider the story of a woman who began her journey into automatic writing as an exploration but was soon overwhelmed by dark forces she didn’t expect.

While it may be tempting to dive right in without caution, taking time to set clear intentions and boundaries can ensure you maintain control over your own experience. After all, no matter how powerful the messages we receive through automatic writing may seem, they always come from within us.

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