Trance Devices were popular in Victorian times for their ability to unlock the imagination. Poets, artists, and thinkers of all fields dabbled in the varieties of trance. Trances were commonly induced by hypnotism, among other methods. One of the more inventive trance-inducing devices was called the “witch’s cradle”. It was a swing-like device in which a person hung from a series of ropes balanced in such a way that it was impossible for the person to reach equilibrium. The individual was put in the harness in a darkened room and left to sway, turn and spin about in complete darkness, never coming to rest. Soon the person was “freed of various psychological ailments. What is less known is that they orientation” and started to hallucinate like in a dream. Link (Thanks, Jake!)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.
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