Center for Tactical Magic


Seed packs for Vital Psigns audience members to recreate project at home copyright: Center for Tactical Magic

Vital Psigns is a psychobotany experiment that seeks to address individual mind power and the potential for human/plant communication. In recent years, there has been great public interest in ESP in general, and the behavior and psychic aspects of plant life in particular. Although people have been communicating with plants at least as far back as Moses, the scientific study of psi (the neutral term used by researchers to cover all manner of parapsychology topics) took root in the 1960’s. In 1966, Cleve Backster, a former interrogator for the CIA and a leading authority on lie detection, conducted experiments in plant ESP, using polygraph techniques. His experiments supported the idea that plants are sensitive to human thought. These conclusions, linked with growing interest in cybernetics, and well-established evidence regarding plant sensitivity to environmental changes, spurred additional research interests. Today, most plant research focuses on genetic modification, pharmaceuticals, and industrial or military applications. However, the Center for Tactical Magic’s Vital Psigns project continues to examine the nature of consciousness and the consciousness of nature.


To begin your own homegrown psychobotany experiment, just follow these simple steps:

 1)        Get three small planters, or poke a few small holes in the bottom of three drinking cups to use instead. 

 2)        Label the planters “positive” (+), “negative” (-) and “control” (0) respectively.

 3)        Fill each planter with equal amounts of clean soil (~ ¾ full)

 4)        Take 3-4 seeds from this packet and plant them half-way down in each planter, then cover with soil.

 5)        Set the planters where they can equally receive a good amount of sunlight.

 6)        Provide each plant with an equal amount of clean, fresh water daily.

 7)        Now that you have set up the experiment, this is where the fun really begins!  You will attempt to influence plant growth by projecting your thoughts at them.  For at least 3 minutes per day per plant, relax in their presence and focus your attention on the plants.  Plants in the “positive” container will receive encouraging thoughts, while plants in the negative containers will receive disparaging thoughts.  Plants in the “control” containers will receive only light, soil, and water.  Try to empathize with the plants by focusing on factors which a plant might regard as either positive or negative.  For example, you might consider toxic chemicals, clean air, rampant development, healthy soil, war, a spring rain, etc.   

 8)        As the plants grow, pay attention to any changes including overall height, bushiness, fruit, size of leaves, wilting, etc.  If you wish to be more exacting in your experiment, keep a journal and insert a small stick, dowel, or ruler in each planter to record growth rates.  You can also record your results by taking a daily photo.

 9)        Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see immediate results.  Successful fruition comes from patient cultivation and perseverance. 

10)       This experiment is, of course, only a shadow of rigorous science; however, if you treat the endeavor with sincerity and conviction, the results may be more convincing personally than any “hard” science demonstrated in a classroom ever was for you.  As with any good experiment, you should approach it with a sense of open-mindedness and without expectation of desired results.  As with any good magic, do it and see what happens.  Good luck!