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Retrocognition; Retrodiction

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Retrocognition—also known as postcognition—is knowledge of an event after it happens, when the person would have no natural knowledge of that event. A better known term is precognition, which is knowledge of an event before it happens. (In the same way, retrodiction is the opposite of prediction.) J. M. Robertson, in Buckle & His Critics (1895), said, “Let us first put a little order in our conception of prediction and ‘retrodiction’ as they indisputably take place in the settled sciences.” And Frederick W. H. Myers, in his 1901 work Human Personality, said, “Our retrocognitions seem often a recovery of isolated fragments of thought and feeling.”

Most people who exhibit the ability to be retrocognitive are also precognitive. They have the ability to focus on people and events from either the past or the future. The information is frequently obtained through clairvoyance, clairaudience, or clairsentience. Psychometry is another one of the main ways of working with retrocognition. By handling an object, the medium is able to gain information about the past connections with that object, and the people and events that have come into contact with it.

One of the most famous cases of retrocognition was that of two English ladies who, on August 10, 1901, visited the Petit Trianon at Versailles, France. Annie E. Moberly and Eleanor M. Jourdain went through a side gate, just before getting to the main gate, and found themselves on a path which they followed, thinking it must lead to the main house. Instead, they found themselves back in the year 1770. In their perambulations, the ladies saw men in three-cornered hats, a woman with a large white hat, and others in the dress of the eighteenth century.


Buckland, Raymond: Buckland’s Book of Spirit Communications. St. Paul: Llewellyn, 2004
Holroyd, Stuart: The Supernatural: Minds Without Boundaries. London: Aldus, 1975 Myers, F. W. H.: Human Personality and Its Survival After Bodily Death. London: Longmans, 1903

Oxford English Dictionary, The. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989

Retrodiction see retrocognition
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References in periodicals archive ?
Subjective paranormal experience deja vu is not most parsimoniously explained by reincarnation, but with some kind of movement backwards in time, retrocognition. Reincarnation is phenomenologically more detailed (Neppe, 1983d, 2006i; Neppe & Bradu, 2006).
In deja vu, there may commonly be elements of retrocognition and precognition in the same component: One knows what will happen next behind the door and yet one is able to know what had happened at some different moment in the past.
Subjective paranormal experience, e.g., precognitive dreams, reincarnation, retrocognition, presentiment, etheric reduplication TABLE 3 DIFFERENT PARAPSYCHOLOGICALIY RELEVANT DEJA EXPERIENCES WITH YEAR OF DEVELOPMENT deja pressenti already "sensed"-as in "knew" it would happen; presentiment (Neppe, 1981c), deja retrosenti already sensed the past (Neppe, 2006e) deja preconnaitre already precognized (Neppe, 2009) deja prevu already foreseen (Leroy, 1898) --not used deja reve already dreamt (Fouillee, 1885; Funkhouser, 1981; Neppe, 1981c) deja vecu already lived through, fully experienced/recollected in its entirety (Lalande, 1893) deja revecu already lived through (Peillaube, 1910, p.
In what may be the first book devoted solely to cases of retrocognition, Andrew MacKenzie, the British psychical researcher and current vice-president of the SPR, reviews and analyzes classic cases of retrocognition such as the Versailles "adventure," and presents several new cases he has investigated himself.
With independent corroboration from one of the other two companions, MacKenzie now tracks down and analyzes details of their trip, and apparently rules out (on a logical basis) other, more rational, explanations than a retrocognition hypothesis.
In summing up the evidence for retrocognition in the final chapter, MacKenzie argues that retrocognition does not conflict with the findings of modern physics about backward causation and makes secondary reference to Helmut Schmidt's experiments.
The following chapter is entitled "Extrasensory Perception and Time," and in it Irwin discusses experiments on precognition and retrocognition. He also reviews philosophical treatments of precognition.
2 A specific nonsurvivalist counterhypothesis for this experiment that involves retrocognition was suggested to me by Dr.
The plausibility of this move would be increased if it could be shown that retrocognition among the living tends to atrophy as the time interval increases.
Millar that preregistering a study, particularly in such a controversial area as parapsychology, is a good idea and may reduce innuendoes and "analytical retrocognitions" and assist us in establishing more reliable relations.