Psychometry (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, "spirit, soul"; + μέτρον, metron, "measure"), is a siddhi through which the psychometrist can find out the history of an object simply by making physical contact with that object.
This ability is possible due to the constant interchange of "atoms" (not only the ones known by science but also the occult "life-atoms") between beings and objects:
[T]he magnetic fluid projected by a living human body is life itself. “Indeed it is life atoms” that a man in a blind passion throws off, unconsciously, and though he does it quite as effectively as a mesmeriser who transfers them from himself to any object consciously and under the guidance of his will. Let any man give way to any intense feeling, such as anger, grief, etc., under or near a tree, or in direct contact with a stone; and many thousands of years after that any tolerable Psychometer will see the man and sense his feelings from one single fragment of that tree or stone that he had touched. Hold any object in your hand, and it will become impregnated with your life atoms, indrawn and outdrawn, changed and transferred in us at every instant of our lives. Animal heat is but so many life atoms in molecular motion. It requires no adept knowledge, but simply the natural gift of a good clairvoyant subject to see them passing to and fro, from man to objects and vice versa like a bluish lambent flame.
See also Reading the Akashic Records.
According to C. W. Leadbeater
But, it may be asked, how is it possible, amid the bewildering confusion of these records of the past, to find any particular picture when it is wanted? As a matter of fact, the untrained clairvoyant usually cannot do so without some special link to put him en rapport with the subject required. Psychometry is an instance in point, and it is quite probable that our ordinary memory is really only another presentment of the same idea. It seems as though there were a sort of magnetic attachment or affinity between any particle of matter and the record which contains its history - an affinity which enables it to act as a kind of conductor between that record and the faculties of anyone who can read it.
For example, I once brought from Stonehenge a tiny fragment of stone, not larger than a pin's head, and on putting this into an envelope and handing it to a psychometer who had no idea what it was, she at once began to describe that wonderful ruin and the desolate country surrounding it, and then went on to picture vividly what were evidently scenes from its early history, showing that that infinitesimal fragment had been sufficient to put her into communication with the records connected with the spot from which it came. The scenes through which we pass in the course of our life seem to act in the same manner upon the cells of our brain as did the history of Stonehenge upon that particle of stone; they establish a connection with those cells by means of which our mind is put en rapport with that particular portion of the records, and so we "remember" what we have seen.
- Psychometry by William Q. Judge
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 6.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. VI (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1989), 182.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. V (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1997), 115-116.
- Charles Webster Leadbeater, Clairvoyance, (Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1986), 139.