206. One method, which often succeeds, consists in employing as temporary auxiliary a good, flexible writ- ing medium already formed. If he rests his hand or his fingers on the hand that is wanted to write, it is seldom that it does not succeed immediately: this is easily comprehended: the hand that holds the pencil becomes, in a manner, an appendage to the hand of the medium, like a basket or a planchette; but that does not prevent this exercise from being very useful when it can be done, inasmuch as if, often and regu- larly repeated, it helps to overcome the material ob- stacle, and develop the faculty. Magnetizing strongly the arm and hand will sometimes suffice; often even the magnetizer may simply rest his hand on the shoulder, and we have seen persons write at once under this influence. The same effect may be produced without contact, by the sole effort of will. It may easily be seen that the confidence of the mag- netizer to produce this result will make a great differ ence, and that a skeptical one would have little or no action.
The concurrence of an experienced guide is, besides, sometimes useful to make the beginner observe a num- ber of little precautions, which he often neglects, to the detriment of the rapidity of his progress ; and especially to enlighten him on the nature of the first questions, and the manner of proposing them. His part is that of a professor, to be dispensed with when the person is sufficiently skillful.