The Estes Method of spirit communication was invented in 2016 by Karl Pfeiffer and Connor Randall. As seen in Hellier, it is done by having a person who is blindfolded and wearing isolation headphones listen to a sweeping radio and repeat any words they hear, while other people in the room ask questions. The person listening to the device is completely cut off from the outside world, having no idea what is being said around them. In this way, answers to questions can be obtained, conversations can be had with disembodied entities, and mysteries can be explored.
But how, and why, does it work?
The first thing to ask is: “Who is doing the Estes Method during a session?” It might seem like the obvious answer would be “Well, it’s the person who is wearing the blindfold and headphones and repeating the words!” But is that correct? Is there a ghost out there manipulating the radio waves to change them across every station such that a meaningful phrase comes out? That seems unlikely. Lets consider that it might be the person asking questions who is the one actually doing the magick here. Because it is indeed magick.
In fact, everything is magick. The entire world around you which you interact with every single day is magick. Every little happening is its own synchronicity. Some are bigger than others, and those are the ones we usually think of as magick or paranormal, but its all part of the same mystical action. When we, as occultists, magicians, and witches, do practical magick what we are really doing is rearranging the constant synchronicities to change the appearance of the world to fit our intentions.
But the Estes Method is a specific type of magick: Divination. Make space for your radio on the same shelf as your tarot cards, rune tiles, ogham staves, diving rods, and pendulums. Is there something special about any of these items which lets them be tools for our magickal use? When you spread out the cards is it you or the cards who are in control of the magick?
Draw tarot spreads long enough and you’ll learn that different decks have different attitudes. They can seem to be in good moods, bad moods, sarcastic moods, or even angry. But you are the one that sets the questions. You are the one with an intention to get an answer to those questions. You are the one that shuffles the deck and sets the cards on the table. You are the one rearranging the world to create the synchronicity you desire: a meaningful coincidence of randomly drawn cards relating to the query.
We can use any of the mentioned methods to communicate with spirits. Some paranormal investigators, wishing to keep things strictly in the realm of science (or what they claim is science), shy away from using any occult means, instead relying only on devices that have electricity running through them. Never mind the leap they have to make that any ghost must be electromagnetically charged to interact with the devices. Even if ghosts are electrically conductive, it would be no different than the rest of the synchronicities we constantly experience.
But drawing tarot cards to speak to discarnate entities works and can be done by anyone who knows how to read them. It can easily provide symbolic answers to your questions. Pendulums can say less, answering yes, no, or maybe, and more if you have a mat with other symbols. Ouija boards can spell out words when a few people work together, but they’re slower than other methods. If the sprit doesn’t want to communicate you generally get gibberish results from these, however it’s still the incarnate human who is manipulating things to try to get an answer. The spirit is just choosing to cooperate or not, and sometimes they just send us to voicemail.
The Estes Method is no different than the rest of these. In it, one person is filling in the role of the tarot cards, pendulum, or other. They’re saying, to their experience, random words. However, to the person asking the questions the words synchronistically have meaning. So, just like in any of the other types of divination, the person asking is the one doing the magick. They can certainly be helped along by the intentions of the one in headphones, or by others asking questions too, but for any individual question only one person is responsible for the synchronicity. The one who asked.
Now, being the one in the headphones does take effort and skill. It’s their interpretation of what they hear that makes the session possible. Some people are naturally better at it than others, but practice makes perfect here. As the person focuses intently on hearing every little word that comes up, and the radio loop goes “wub wub wub” in their ears, they can get into a trance state and may start hearing words not even directly said through the headphones. Occasionally they can even get visions or be physically manipulated, and can describe these experiences to add further details. Even the equipment used can change the quality of the session. Good isolation headphones and a blindfold that blocks everything are necessary for the concentration, and a radio created with specific intentions of talking to spirits can add a great deal.
The massively increased potential vocabulary in an Estes Method session, compared to other forms of divination, makes it an excellent tool to use for spirit conversation, and one I recommend everyone try out. There is a further possibility that doesn’t rely on a radio, but allows for greater communication: letting yourself be possessed by a spirit. In this, you give your body over to whatever entity you’re contacting and let it speak directly through you. However, unless you know exactly what you’re speaking with, you might want to be cautious with letting someone inside. The Estes Method is simple to do, safe, and most importantly: FUN!
So grab a radio and go talk to a ghost! There’s a few, known as “The Seven”, that I’ve spoken with lately that will be the subject of upcoming posts!