In a psychic context the word is used to denote the elongation of the body of the Medium in response to spiritual control.
The phenomenon of elongation is fairly common at a spiritualist Seance. It might be described as the stretching out of the medium's body; his height may increase from three inches to a foot. There are accounts of the phenomenon by creditable witnesses in the social and scientific world describing the elongations of Herne, Home, and Morse. Such manifestations usually occur when the light was low, but there are several exceptions.
When describing the elongation of the famous Scottish medium Daniel Dunglas Home, who was never exposed as a fraud, Sir Lindsay stated, "Home looked as if he was pulled up by the neck, the muscles seemed in a state of tension. He stood firmly upright in the middle of the room, and before the elongation commenced I placed my foot on his instep." The same witness described Home's increase in height on this occasion as being as much as twenty-five centimetres (ten inches).
Most accounts describe a violent swaying motion on the part of the medium as preceding the elongation, which some critics have regarded as a convenient mode of covering the use of mechanism that might be concealed in the medium's boot.
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.
Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one defintion may be universally accepted by all Pagans. Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.
Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church. Take for instance the differring practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.
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