03 December 2007

The Retro Psychic


Everything old is new again.

In the past few years we've seen Detroit bring back the muscle car: Chargers, Mustangs and Camaros. VH-1 Classics brought back popular bands from the '80's with their Bands Reunited who have subsequently began to tour together. Auntie Lou keeps slipping back to the 1700s.

Say what?!

Retrocognition (or postcognition) is one of the coolest of psychic experiences in my book. I use the term psychic loosely here, since I've talked to some people who've had retrocognitive experiences, but vow to no known abilities in any psychic direction or channel.

Retrocognition can best be described as an replay of events that superimpose themselves on current ones - or better yet, as a sudden displacement in time where the experiencer stands in a 3-D past. The person has no known connection to these experiences (i.e. deja vue, remembered past). It can include sights, sounds and smells.

For example:

I have a friend whose grandmother lives out on Long Island in a neighborhood once occupied by the British Army during the Revolutionary War. Now, my friend's grandmother is a prudent sort, not given to believing in ghosts, ghoulies and phantoms. However, that didn't stop an entire troop of British soldiers from marching through her house on their way to meet the Continental Army on the field of battle. Of course when they arrived at the end of the driveway they kindly faded away. But according to my friend, these same soldiers have been spotted over the years by most of the neighbors. And before you dismiss the idea entirely - no they aren't Revolutionary War Reenactors as some skeptics have suggested. This isn't to suggest all hauntings are engery impressions left by emotional or stressful events, but a good many of them could very well be.

This isn't the only route to retrocognition. It also takes on the form of total submersion into a different time. When I was a little girl (elementary school) my mother worked odd jobs for the school so she could be home with us in the afternoon and holidays. During school hours she'd clean house, do laundry or begin preparations for the evening meal. My mother is very hard to scare. As a matter of fact I think the only times I've ever seen her scared was in the car driving with my father. Psychic phenomena doesn't make the woman bat an eyelash. One day, I came home from school and mom had an odd tale to tell. She had rounded the corner from the family room to living room with a basket of clothes she brought up from the laundry room in the basement. She stopped in her tracks because the living room she walked into wasn't ours. The light blue walls were brown, the white brick fireplace was now stone, and a fire burned brightly inside though it was early May. She stood there and blinked a few times until the scene eventually faded away. So how did this colonialesque scene superimpose over a 1970's suburban home? There was never any explanation for the occurance, which is fine with me. I think knowing more about it would ruin the mystique for me.

There have also been reported cases of audio retrocognition. One famous case involved two British sisters who took a vacation in Dieppe, France in 1951. They were woken one morning at 4am by the sounds of warfare. Bombs, machine guns, rifles, screams surrounded them. Imagine the panic they felt upon waking to hear such terrifying sounds? However, they were the only two in the hotel to hear the paranormal soundtrack. Nine years eariler, on August 14, 1942, Dieppe as the scene of a brutal air raid. The sounds heard by the sisters are consistant with the sounds of the battle that waged nearly a decade before. The audio battle lasted until 7am.

Retrocognition has also been used to solve crimes and in archeology. I remember a book some years ago by, I think, Virginia Henley where a woman found a gold Roman coin and was suddenly thrust back into ancient Rome. It was a good book, but the retrocognition in it opened the door for the heroine to experience a past life, so it's a little different than the examples I've provided here. Anyhoo, the concept of using retrocognition in ways other than for foreshadowing a trip into a past incarnation is very intriguing. Hmmm...I'll have to pull out some of my old story ideas and see if I've used it somewhere without realizing it.

-Kat
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