Lexicon-Method Ideograms and Drills (Example)

Several of the remote viewing approaches that have diverged from Ingo Swann’s original CRV method use a lexicon-based theory of ideograms.  One of the requirements for learning the lexicon method is that student remote viewers do many long, repetitive series of ideogram drills.  Drills consist of an instructor repeating each of seven ideogram categories over and over in random order up to hundreds of times while the students make each of “their” ideogram shapes in response.

Some instructors have computerized these drills by recording someone or generating an electronic voice randomly repeating the various category names over and over again, then streaming it on a computer. Here is an example from one such instructor’s website. These drills produce many sheets of paper containing many repetitive shapes for each ideogram category. The idea (as is described in the main article on ideograms)  is to impose a habitual vocabulary of ideograms in the students’ subconscious.  Those doing these drills often complain that the they are overly tedious and time-consuming, which often discourages them from engaging in remote viewing practice.

The list of seven basic ideogram categories was originated by RV instructor Lyn Buchanan, and consists of:

  1. biological
  2. land
  3. manmade
  4. motion/energy
  5. natural
  6. space/air
  7. water

These categories are often referred to by those practicing this method as “gestalts.”1 But this label is not strictly correct. Gestalts are always identified by nouns that refer to certain concrete entities. For example, land, water, or structure (as in a human-constructed object) are very basic, general gestalts. But gestalts can be more specific—such as “castle,” “skyscraper,” “river,” “ocean,” “mountain,” “canyon,” and so on. Notice that of the categories listed among the seven, “biological,” “manmade,” and “natural” are not nouns that pick out a category of related objects, but instead are abstract descriptors—in other words, adjectives that describe an abstract quality rather than nouns that name a tangible thing. And “motion/energy,” and “space,” though they are nouns, don’t pick out anything concrete. Now, I realize this objection seems overly technical. But I think it’s an important point that is rarely considered in the debate over ideograms and the gestalts that generate them. Much of this list of categories doesn’t comprise actual gestalts.2

Below is an illustration of an ideogram drill performed by a student of the ideogram lexicon method. Note that the first sheet gives the seven categories, and then the student repetitively generates the ideogram shape that he (this particular student is male) has chosen to represent that particular ideogram category.

Ideogram drills example 1Ideogram drills example 2

As you can see,  each “ideogram” in its respective category varies only slightly from its fellows, varying only due to the necessity of free-handing each iteration. Otherwise, the student tries to make them identical to other ideograms belonging to those in the same category (in other words, in other words, the viewer would produce the same, identical ideogram mark whether the target was a stadium,  skyscraper, castle or bowling alley). Since viewers using the lexicon approach are expected to regularly refresh their ideogram technique, they are likely to generate scores or even hundreds of pages like this over their careers.


  1. See the note on gestalts in the main Ideogram article.
  2. As students show proficiency with the seven categories, they are encouraged to create still more of these stylized ideograms. These will supposedly occur spontaneously and are only deciphered after the session has concluded and the original ideogram is examined further. The new “squiggle” is assigned a category after it has shown up numerous times. Examples are male, female, animal, person, fish, electrical, radioactive, etc. [My thanks for this additional insight to a student of mine who has studied both the original Swann method and the lexicon method.]