Butterfly Stage

The goal of this stage is to learn an instant induction, and do some free-form play using waking trance and the reinduction trigger introduced earlier. You should complete the fractionation stage before moving to this.

A stage or street hypnotist often starts with instant induction with the reinduction trigger, followed by deepening using hypnotic patter. Then, you have a cycle that is a combination of suggestions, waking trance, and drops. This is closer to the stage or street hypnotist version of hypnosis you may have seen. This stage also adds more complex suggestions with pyramiding.

By the time you get to this stage, you should also be familiar with hypnosis to the point that you don’t need written materials or cards, and feel comfortable ad-libbing. Likewise, your partner should feel comfortable with fractionation and following suggestions.


Same as PMR checklist. You’ll want to be upright for this.


Same as PMR pretalk.

Pick out some suggestions and discuss them with your partner.

You may want to use suggestions which are not on this list, or may want to experiment with different suggestions that you may have seen in a stage hypnosis show. Discuss limits and get informed consent with your partner, even if it’s only in a general sense.


This stage uses the Butterfly Induction. The butterfly induction is an instant induction that uses confusion and overload to give a suggestion using transderivational search.

Hold the subject’s arm out straight by the wrist/forearm, and shake the arm around in some weird pattern. Up and down, left and right. Whilst doing this, then have them focus on your other hand, which you will move around in their field of vision in various directions, whilst wiggling your fingers. Whilst still shaking their hand, bring your "butterfly-hand" above their head then down in front of their face. As you do this (and they look down) give their arm a gentle tug and command "sleep."

— Rory Z. Fulcher
The Instant Hypnosis and Rapid Inductions Guidebook

Instant inductions are good for experienced subjects and will work on their own, but in this case we’ll stack the deck by using the reinduction trigger with the instant induction. This means that when you pull down with one arm, you also say "sleep" and snap your fingers with the butterfly hand.

I like this induction because it can be very gentle.


We can leverage the deepener from the PMR, but there is no hard line between patter and deepener here. Reality is Plastic has the best good breakdown of hypnotic patter, breaking it down into links, loops and chains.

A link connects one thing to another. You provide an activity for them, and tie that to some behavior you want. Fractionation is itself a link, as it connects going back into hypnosis with going deeper. You can associate going down a staircase with going deeper. The point is that it’s something the subject does.


These statements create a feedback loop that will intensify hypnosis. They create associations that feed off of each other. Some are short-lived loops and some are continuous.

Go deeper as you notice your eyes flickering, as you drift deeper and deeper they will flicker even more. The deeper you go the better you feel and the better you feel the deeper you go. Even as you wonder how deeply you have drifted, you can continue to drift down deeper relaxed.


Chains are like links, but associate something in ongoing experience that is not going to stop.

Every breath you take will send you deeper and deeper. Every word I say will send you deeper and deeper. Every beat of your heart will take you deeper and deeper to sleep. Every number I go past, every breath you take and every beat of your heart is doubling the relaxation.


Drops are mentioned by Jonathan Chase in Don’t Look in His Eyes. They are an explicit "pulling the rug out" command that focuses attention and breaks up the experience.

Deeper and deeper, more and more relaxed. And… drop! [finger snap] Drifting, dreaming, melting.


For the first cycle after you just deepened them, you should also tell them how awesome they are and what a great job they did going into trance. You can give them good feelings at this point if you like.

You should reinforce the reinduction trigger, and establish that they can go into deep trance now without any preamble. Again, get confirmation and agreement in the form of a nod or smile. This will get easier and more natural the more you do it.

Tell them in a moment, you’ll count up to three and say "wide awake!" When you say "wide awake", their eyes will open and they’ll feel completely awake, but will still follow all your suggestions and will drop back into trance when you use the trigger. Ask them to nod their head if they understand and accept this suggestion.

Waking Trance

Bring your partner into waking trance. This is really a misnomer — waking trance is just being awake with an active response set — but the term is stuck at this point. As a reminder, hypnosis does not require relaxation or even an induction to be effective, only a commitment to respond to suggestions.

Here’s Rory Z and his fiancee doing some impromptu suggestions.

Here’s David Lion introducing hypnosis to a friend.

And here’s Zemmy.

You don’t need to bring them up and then immediately use the trigger. As long as your partner understands that the session is still ongoing i.e. you didn’t wander off or answer a phone call, then you can use the reinduction trigger whenever you like.

There is a natural fractionation process that comes from using the trigger repeatedly, and so the more often you do this, the more fractionated your partner will become. This is how stage hypnotists structure their act, because by the end of the stage show, the subjects are well and truly fractionated from coming in and out of trance but it doesn’t look like the hypnotist was walking them through anything.


You can use pyramiding to help with responsiveness. Subjects may balk at following complex suggestions cold, and need to be "warmed up" by starting with smaller suggestions, following those, and working up to larger ones. The suggestions don’t have to be related for pyramiding to work. You can start off with an arm raise, and then work up to positive hallucinations for example.

Pyramiding works especially well when taking basic suggestions and combining them into more complex ones. You can start off with a "blank" suggestion, then go to a "freeze" suggestion, and then have a "pause" (blank+freeze) suggestion. Marnathas has some good tips.

You can also take concepts from one suggestion and link them to another. For example, you can take the eye closure from the Elman induction, bring out the idea of "trying and failing", and tie that to a larger suggestion to play with the idea of resistance (assuming that you’ve had the pretalk above).

We’re going to do something new. You know what it’s like to try and open your eyes and find them so relaxed that you just can’t open them. I’d like you to imagine wanting to do something, feeling an urge so strong that you just couldn’t stop yourself. Do you remember that feeling? And do you remember how good it felt, that release, when you finally followed that urge? Okay, good.

In a moment, I’m going to count up from three to one, and say wide awake. When I do, you’ll feel wide awake and alert, but when I snap my fingers, you’ll feel that feelin g, a strong urge to touch your nose with your finger, knowing it will feel so good when you finally touch it. You’ll fight the suggestion, but every time I snap my fingers, the urge to touch your nose will grow stronger and stronger, and the more you try not to touch your nose the stronger the urge gets, until it’s so close, your finger’s just RIGHT THERE, you can’t resist it any longer, and when your finger finally touches your nose it will feel so good and you’ll just want to keep touching it.

Nod your head if you understand.


Wake up

Same as PMR wakeup.


Same as PMR aftercare.


Same as PMR debrief, but go over the induction and the suggestions.

  • Do you prefer it to be more casual, or enjoy the ritual of more formal inductions?

  • Did you like the suggestions?

  • How did waking trance feel?