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Soothing Torcs: Placebo?


Now, I suppose to get my own sense of reluctance and cynicism out in the open, I should say that until two years ago I was a very vocal disbeliever in anything out of the realm of touch, sight and sound, any form of religion, any form of energy that had no conventional source. You get the idea, I was very taken with science and decided to pursue a career in conservation and land management. If anything I am more passionate about this choice today, but I have different motivations.

I currently live in Western Australia, and I am 23 years old. I was 21 at the time I had this experience.

My brother and I had just moved from our rental house back into our grandparents home'. Granddad's strength and tireless energy (which to us kids was fabled) was simply evaporating and he was confined to his bed. The whole house seemed to ebb with him. I don't mean the lights, I mean the people in the home. Obviously Gran took events hard and it's to be expected, but my brother and I even began to experience regular headaches.

I began to have a recurring dream where my Granddad was standing across the road from our old home in Scotland, waving towards me. He was wearing a white pinstripe suit and was easily 20 years younger than I could ever remember him (I'd never seen him so fat!), but I somehow knew it was him.

I'd get an almost hypoglycemic response while awake, sometimes moving through the house I would become light headed. The only thing I could do to stop from passing out was to sit down and rest. At first I tried to shuffle into another room when I felt it coming on but eventually, finding me slumped at a table, my brother informed me that my eyes had been open, I had turned to acknowledge his presence, but wouldn't speak. I just stared at him for minutes apparently before I lowered my head and woke up. He asked me if I was on drugs, I was not. Even our Labrador Tubs seemed to age overnight, his hind legs no longer allowing him to climb the stairs of our garden that until recently he simply bounded up.

At this point I should say: I had no previous health issues, a fit, active 21 year old, I went to the doctors, had blood tests and my blood pressure tested. I checked the house thoroughly for gas leaks, anything to explain what was happening. Things continued like this for another week, then... And this really stands out to me, Granddad passed away with us around him, at 1am, the 1st day of Spring. I have since come to know that this coincides loosely with the first day of Imbolc.

I started to experience these episodes of mine more frequently, almost once a night at least and it became worse when his body was removed for his funeral. I kept trying to rationalize things, this was just my grief stricken mind...failing, I supposed. I couldn't fathom why the entire family would experience physical symptoms of the same kind at the same time, or why mine were worse.

At any rate, the day before the funeral I was morosely pawing through a few of his boxes looking for an item Gran wanted, and came across two ram headed copper twisted torcs. I had seen one worn on my Granddad's wrist before he had gone into hospital previous to us moving in, and there was a matching torc for the neck. I took these and immediately put one on my wrist and neck and the feeling was indescribable. I mean I just smiled, and smiled... I wasn't recollecting on fond times, or anything like this. I was just immediately and genuinely happy. I slept in the torcs and didn't dream.

The next day at his funeral service, as everybody had taken a seat on the benches set up, a large picture of his face was brought in and set on an easel. Now I had not seen this particular photograph before, it was taken of him serving in china in the British forces. And he was the spitting image of how I had seen him in my dream (replace the suit with army fatigues of course). During the rest of the service I can only describe my reaction as fervor, I began to see the features of his face distort slightly, and looked around but this wasn't registering with anybody else. Whether it was my eyes seeing what I would prefer or like to see, I can't say but I don't know what else to think but that the inanimate picture with his solemn face on it, actually changed its expression and began to smile at me. Hesitantly, the corners of the mouth twitching at first as if he were amused before arching up into a genuine, human smile.

There was a video taken of the service, I haven't brought myself to track down the footage yet. I hope this is true for other people, as I'm positive I would have looked like a fanatic sitting there with my eyes glued to the back of the room.

None of this is by any means close to the direct first hand experiences most of you have had, but I simply can't make heads nor tails of it. Should I even be posting this here? Is this just grief spawned delusion? It has been some time, and I still won't keep the torcs off for more than an hour.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, CelticHeathen, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

ms_st0308 (6 stories) (66 posts)
8 years ago (2016-01-21)
This story reminds me so much of my grandparents. My grandfather is a little different from yours in that his mood was normally the "short-fuse" type. Even though he was like this, he was very knowledgeable about so many different areas of science, history, religion...Sadly, a lot of his memory has been affected due to radiation treatments several years ago, but he still carries that same attitude of wanting to learn and teach. I think that he provides a lot of positive energy for my grandmother who, as ladydarke described, very closely resembles a psychic vampire.

Don't get me wrong, I love my grandmother very much, but she has one of those personalities in which she needs to be the center of attention and almost seems to thrive off of others' attention to her. But, she also tends to be very negative about everything as well; almost like she can't form her own positive energy or can't draw positive energy from other places, just as described.

I think the advice and discussion given here was awesome! This is by far one of my favorite reads/discussion on this site!
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1091 posts)
8 years ago (2016-01-03)
Greetings, CelticHeathen, and welcome to YGS.

First, a necessary tip of my hat to ladydarke; the magnetic properties of copper -sometimes used to relieve joint pain/arthritis- is precisely where my mind went, also. (I've seen several people in the Northern New England states with copper pennies scotch-taped to their wrists, knees, or elbows. I haven't the heart to tell them that the U.S. Pennies are copper-plated nickel.) Additionally, migraines run in my family; I take two Ibuprofen and a 3-4 hour nap to clear my mind. My grandfather's worst migraine lasted a little over two weeks, during which he still had to go to work as a corporate chauffeur. On the recommendation of a plumber who was fixing the sink on a Saturday (grandpa being understandably incapacitated), he tried placing a magnet on each of his temples: 30 minutes and he was up and about. Now, in the privacy of his home, when he gets a migraine he wears a Rambo-style headband which contains the magnets in order to get relief.

I suspect that the explanation ladydarke provided accounts for all of the symptoms felt by everyone in the house. If the torcs had been a placebo, you would begin to undermine their efficacy by questioning your wearing them. Your symptoms cannot have been psychosomatic, as they were serious enough for you to visit a doctor for a checkup; given that the only two environmental factors which changed in your narrative were your grandfather's death (whereupon the symptoms worsened, instead of being *replaced* by the natural grieving process) and your placing the torc around your wrist: certainly this action would make you feel naturally connected to your grandfather, but that wouldn't explain the instantaneous relief of the psychological symptoms. A placebo requires that you believe that the effect will take place *before* you engage in the activity (taking a sugar pill, holding Dumbo's magic feather, holding your lucky coin), then following through of the activity will give a sense of restoring the normal world.

Torcs have a long Celtic history as symbols of lineage, friendship, and status. Wear your grandfather's torcs with pride, even if -as ladydarke suggests- you do learn to raise your awareness/frequency/shield without them.

As for the picture's changing expression: that may have been your mind finding peace after a prolonged draining experience; it may have been your grandfather's farewell; it may have been a combination of the two. Cherish it as a mystery, but don't worry about whence it came or where it went; "that way madness lies" (King Lear, Act IV).

Best of luck with your newfound wonderment at the spiritual aspects of the human condition; be open to new ideas, but stay skeptical to avoid being mislead.

A skeptical Stateside Sassenach,
Tweed (35 stories) (2494 posts)
8 years ago (2015-12-30)
Goodness me, CelticHeathen and Ladydarke; bravo to you both!

This has been the most intelligent, rational and deep exchange between author and commenter I've ever read on YGS or anywhere else for that matter.

Much love to you both.

I don't have much else to offer except some memories of one of my music teachers who wore copper bracelets. She swore by them and was the kind of person whose energy tended to leak, was often taken advantage of by those pesky unintentional psivamps.
My Gran also wore them and come to think of it she seemed to perk up when she did.
So you're clearly not alone in the glorious fields of copper!

Thanks for sharing. 😊
ladydarke (113 posts)
8 years ago (2015-12-30)
Hey CelticHeathen,

I know exactly the drained feeling you're talking about - headache, zoned-out, feeling almost hypoglycemic. When this happens to me, it's because I've been around what is known as a "psychic vampire." When everybody shows the same symptoms, that's a really good indicator.

In the event this term is new to you, here is a link:

I read that link over first to make sure it's not some of the weirdness you can come across when googling psi-vamp. Basically, if I may summarize - and please accept my apologies if you already know this - someone who is behaving as a psychic vampire has blurry energy boundaries. Everyone does it at one point or another. An example might be someone who is suffering from depression, and constantly leans on friends for support and encouragement, which then leaves the friend feeling drained and emotionally exhausted.

There are also chronic energy vampires who draw from others as a matter of course - and the important takeaway is that most of them have no idea they're doing this. They're not bad people, though you may recognize them as the sort of person that goes into a crowded place, is the center of attention, and comes away feeling jazzed, literally energized from the attention/energy of others. The other side of the coin is that there are people who have weaker shields or barriers around their own energy, such that they leak or give it away, and it's easier to draw from them. Such people will often attract psychic vampire associates - unwittingly on both ends.

Just as the person with lower shields is not a bad person, but has an energy condition that they could rectify, so it is true of the energy vampire. In my own personal opinion, I think that energy vampires have unbalanced energy fields such that they can't drawn on their own energy reservoirs, or draw the abundant energy from elsewhere in the world/universe. Again in my opinion, I think they need sort of an energy chiropractor to realign their fields - like a Reiki practitioner or other energy healer or worker.

A certain scenario came to my mind as I read your story, and as I share this I'd like to state that a) maybe I'm wrong and b) I'm not accusing anyone of being a bad person.

The person drawing energy in this situation feels to me like your grandmother. You describe your grandfather as being basically a living sun, outputting tremendous amounts of energy. Like a sunflower, your grandmother turned her face to him, drawing up this excess energy that she needed to bloom, and which he never missed since he was throwing off far more than he could use himself.

One might guess that if they met/married young, they spent their lives in this happy symbiosis such that your grandmother never needed another source of energy, and as such neither she nor anyone else noticed that she drew it externally.

When your grandfather fell ill, the sun went dark. Yet the sunflower still needed energy, and so began to instinctively, unknowingly, draw it in from other surrounding sources - in this case, the relations that came into the house. She would show symptoms because she was herself suffering from an energy shortage. Your brother showed symptoms because he was being drawn from. You were most likely affected the most because you are the most open or sensitive of your family, possibly empathic - and I will mention that empathic (I mean this in the energetic sense rather than the dictionary definition) individuals often have problems erecting shields and tend by their nature to want to be available to others. Just as it's often hard for an empath to say, "No," to physical requests for their time and energy, so it is difficult on a spiritual/energetic level. (Yeah, I'm going to say it: as above, so below.)

When your grandfather passed, the drain became probably became worse because, even sick, he was giving off some light. When he was gone, so faded the last of his light.

The copper torcs of your grandfather's are interesting because they are *copper*. Copper is a conductive metal. Not only is it used to make wires, but it's known as a "healing metal" for its effect on energy flow. Link: That's why copper bracelets (as well as magnetic bracelets) are often sold on metaphysical sites.

I might posit that what the copper jewelry did for you was close an energy circuit that your grandmother was plugged into, thus stopping the draw. I might also guess that it helped to raise your frequency, thus resulting in your feelings of happiness. And you know what, maybe your grandfather became such a shining sun by wearing copper and somehow he just recognized the frequency, liked it, and adjusted himself so that he operated on that channel all on his own, no placebo needed.

No reason you couldn't do that too, I'd think.

If, as your name suggests, you've begun studying pagan magic or wicca of one sort or another, you're probably learning tools to develop yourself energetically. This incident suggests attention to shielding might be beneficial although, if you raise your frequency instead and become like your grandfather, you may not need shields much. (I myself am empathic and do not shield.)

Certainly, I'd say you should be fine removing the torcs at will and donning them only in situations where you feel you might be exposed to drainage, though constant wear isn't bad either. You in fact could try testing my theory by removing the torcs, hanging out with your grandmother, and seeing if the symptoms come back. If they do, put on the torcs and see if they cease. Try that a few times to test repeatability, and you'll have your answer.

I also might suggest that your grandmother could benefit most of all from wearing the copper jewelry. If you're attached to your grandfather's torcs for sentimental reasons, you could try giving your grandma some copper jewelry that suits her own tastes. I'd also suggest getting her that energy chiropractic session in order to correct her condition such that she can access her own energy. If there's an energy healer operating in your area, you might consider seeing if you can convince your grandmother to go. It often doesn't do much good to run up to someone and say, "You're an energy vampire!" I wouldn't tell her, just offer to take her to a Reiki practitioner or energy worker, perhaps to help heal from her grief, and whisper in that practitioner's ear that you think she might be a psivamp. Get their opinion: if they think yes, they can discuss it with her. Note that, as with other medical or holistic intervention, no energy work should be done on anyone without their knowledge and consent.

So that's what I see in your story, which if I may say was extremely well-written and a good read. You did an excellent job presenting all the factors. As I said, I could be wrong. Take what you will from my ramblings, along with my condolences on your loss. Your grandfather sounds awesome. Best wishes for your whole family.
Antu (1 stories) (27 posts)
8 years ago (2015-12-30)
Heya CH, thanks for sharing your story! It is always so hard to say goodbye to loved ones, and for so many of us our grand parents are the first we must say goodbye to.

If I may be so presumptuous to assume, by the name of your story, you are questioning the properties of the torcs and how they may have influenced your own feelings? Assuming this to be the case, I will get straight to my point before the thought escapes me--the torcs were likely reservoirs of your Gran Dad's energy and emotions. So if he was the happy sort, well they should be filled with happy energy and so on.

As for seeing him in a younger state, I had a very similar experience with my Gran Dad when he passed, almost 16 years ago now. I was actually holding his hand when he took his last breath and mine own eyes were shut and it was as if we were communicating to each other without speaking, then I had a vision of him as a 20 something year old man, but he had all of his black lab dogs with him, I mean all of the ones he'd ever owned, which were several and all were named Jack, anyway, he shot me a smile and said 'I'm on me way now' and he turned and was walking off with all his dogs trailing. It was a beautiful moment which I can still see as clear as day in my mind. Anyway, didn't mean to hijack your post, but my point is, I believe they want us to see them at their level best, probably to give us comfort about our own mortality as well as their own level of fitness after passing. Cherish these memories, and if you are now the proud owner of your Gran Dad's torcs, wear them in his honour and relish in the comfort of his happiness as it envelopes you and take that time to ponder an extra memory of him!

Again, thanks for sharing your story, I really enjoyed it!


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