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Mediumship, Communicating with Spirit

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About Mediumship

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Mediumship?
  3. What is Trance Mediumship?
  4. Why Communicate With Spirit?


Mediumship is described as a form of communication with spirits. It is a practice in religious beliefs such as Spiritualism, Spiritism, Espiritismo, Candomblé, Louisiana Voodoo, Shambala and Umbanda.

While the Western movements of Spiritualism and Spiritism account for most Western news-media coverage, it is likely mediumship is practiced more widely among cultures other than European-based; for instance, a majority of African and African-diasporic spiritual traditions include mediumship as a central focus of religious practice.

In Spiritualism, the psychic senses used by mediums are sometimes defined differently than in other paranormal fields. The term clairvoyance, for instance, may be used by Spiritualists to include seeing spirits and visions instilled by spirits. The Parapsychological Association defines "clairvoyance" as information derived directly from an external physical source.

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What is Mediumship?

Mediumship can be defined as follows: The process whereby a human instrument, known as a MEDIUM or a CHANNEL, is used by one or more discarnate, spirit personalities for the purpose of:

  1. Presenting information for the listener, this may be corroborated or not.
  2. Causing or otherwise creating what others may call Paranormal actions, verifiable as not physical in nature.
  3. Channeling Spiritual Energies, sometimes visible to others.
  4. Manifesting themselves for objective examination and/or identification.
From this definition, we see that Mediumship involves a cooperating effort between 2 entities...
  1. a person on the Earth plane (the medium or channel)
  2. and a person or entity in Spirit (the communicator).
  3. and also that there are several objectives behind the manifestation of mediumship.
In addition to this, we see that mediumship is used by those in Spirit for the following purposes:
  1. To present information, which may or may not be verifiable.
  2. To cause certain types of paranormal activities to occur.
  3. To channel forth certain types of energies.
  4. To manifest themselves materially.
Therefore, mediumship involves the cooperation between at least two individuals:
  1. An Earth-plane channel or medium.
  2. A spirit communicator or operator.
You will note that we distinguish between a spirit communicator and a spirit operator.

If you look at what has been said, thus far, concerning mediumship, you will see that two distinct types of phenomena can occur through mediums:
  1. Communication.
  2. Manipulation of energies and energy systems.
Thus, mediumship can be distinguished as two basic types:
  1. Mental (Communicational) Mediumship.
  2. Physical Mediumship.
Mental mediumship involves the relating of information, through communication, via the varied aspects of thought transference, or mental telepathy. Mental telepathy is the relaying of information via thought, without using any of the five physical senses. Mental mediumship takes place within the consciousness of the medium. The results are expressed verbally and must pass through the medium's mouth. Because of its telepathic nature, mental mediumship is sometimes referred to as telepathic mediumship.

In mental mediumship, a medium senses (hears, sees and/or feels) what the spirit communicating is relating. Then it is the medium's function to relate the information, with minimum personal influence or prejudice, to the recipient of the message. The medium receives this information under various states of control.

Physical mediumship involves the manipulation and transformation of physical systems and/or energies. The spirit in this case, are causing something to happen upon the Earth plane. What it is that actually happens varies with the style of mediumship involved, but the results can be seen and heard by others.

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What is a Trance-Medium?

Trance-mediumship is very much misunderstood. In recent years, a number of mediums have called themselves Trance-Mediums, when, in fact, they were not working in a genuine trance condition. Great Confusion and Misinformation has been circulated

When spirit links with a medium, the spirit communicator exerts various degrees of control, or overshadows the consciousness of the medium to a greater or lesser degree. This varies, depending upon the intent and conditions of communication, as well as the ability of the medium to lend himself or herself to be overshadowed or controlled.

Trance is considered the strongest degree of control. Yet, even here, there are various degrees of trance control: from light trance to very deep trance. Deep trance is used primarily in physical mediumship.

There are many factors which indicate genuine trance control, and parapsychologists have used various tests to determine whether, in fact, a medium is under trance control; and, if so, to what degree.

Genuine trance is a strong sharing of mental and physical energies and consciousness between the medium and the spirit communicator. There is generally -- although not always -- manifested, within the medium, the following:

  • A slowing of the heart rate.
  • A slow, deep, and steady breathing pattern.
  • No rapid eye movement, or REM.
  • A lowering of body temperature.
  • A greatly reduced reaction to touch and pain.
  • Various degrees of unconsciousness.
Furthermore, because in the trance condition the spirit communicator is speaking directly through the consciousness of the medium -- rather than the medium relating what is being mentally given to him or her -- the voice pattern, inflection, and general manner of speech differ from that normally exhibited by the medium.

Finally, much research has been conducted around the language patterns of dialogue exhibited during trance communication. There is very often a broken speech pattern, a reversal of sentence structure, and an overall change in grammar usage. This is very evident in the Cayce readings, the Seth material and in Eileen Garrett's trance communications.

One final point needs to be mentioned: that of control. What does it mean to be controlled by spirit? First of all, it does NOT mean that the medium is, in any way, possessed by a spirit personality. Possession -- or attachment (apparently a new and, in my opinion, disturbing buzz word) -- is extremely rare. Nor does it mean that the medium leaves his or her body and the spirit enters therein.

Mediumistic control means a sharing of mental and physical energies between the medium and spirit communicator or operator. Control signifies a telepathic rapport between the two. How strongly en rapport they are determines the degree of control. Control can range from inspired thought, to conscious control, to light trance, to deep trance, to very deep trance. It all depends upon the work at hand and the mental and physical energies available to the spirit communicator or operator.

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Why Communicate with Spirit?

Why would someone wish to communicate with their loved ones that have Crossed Over?

  • What does this communication accomplish, for the living person AND for their loved ones in Spirit?
  • Why would spirit wish to "come back" and communicate to their earthly loved ones?
  • What type of information does spirit seek to impart to those of us still on this Earthly journey?
These are just a few of the questions which people ask when they consider mediumship and spirit communication. It all boils down to one basic question: Why? Why should spirit in the body seek to establish communication with spirit out of the body, and vice versa?

Let's examine some of these questions.

First: Why seek spirit communication through a medium?
Spirit communication helps bring together that which seems to have become separated and lost, through death: love and interaction with our loved ones. We seek spirit communication because we want to know: do our loved ones survive death; if so, where are they, and are they the same people that we knew and loved while together on earth?

Mediumship answers both of these concerns with a resounding YES. YES, our loved ones survive death. They go to a place not separated by distance, but by dimension. And YES, they survive, as we knew them on earth. The only thing they leave behind, through death, is the physical body and earthly treasures; everything else goes with them.

This, alone, gives tremendous comfort to the grieving. And as wonderful as this revelation is, there is one even more wonderful: we, too, shall survive this elusive experience which we call death.

Secondly: What does this communication accomplish?
Our work with mediumship has shown us, clearly, that communicating with spirit loved ones can be a tremendous source of resolve, closure, and, especially, healing. How often have we seen loved ones, reaching across the doorway of life, in order to express how sorry they are for the errors of the past. This applies not only to those in the body, but in Spirit as well. The opportunity to say "I'm sorry" can bring with it an amazing healing for all concerned. Although death does not suddenly give us insight into all of life's wonders and mysteries, it does change things.

Next: Why would spirit wish to "come back"?
Spirit perceives things from a different perspective. The very fact that an individual awakens in Spirit, alive and well, can be a most amazing revelation in itself. Thus, spirit is anxious to relate to their earthly loved ones what they have come to see and how they have changed since their passing.

In many ways, death can be likened to a journey. If you take a trip to a foreign land, or move away from those whom you love, what would be your first order of business, when arriving at your destination? Most of us would want to call home and let our loved ones know that we arrived safely. Thus it is with death. The Loved one that has crossed over Spirit wishes to convey to us that they have made the journey and are OK. Mediumship can be the telephone line through which this communication takes place.

Finally: What would spirit wish to communicate to us?
Obviously, no one can make categorical statements, here, but just think about it for a while. Some mediums pride themselves at being able to give names, addresses, telephone numbers, license plate numbers, and other such trivial information. As interesting as all this may be to the observer, what does it actually prove or demonstrate? Certainly, it is impressive. Certainly, it proves that some type of psychic link has been established between the medium and the sitter. But, does it really prove survival? Does it really prove that the medium is in contact with your spirit loved one? Not necessarily.

In order to explain our reasons here, let me ask you a question. If you were to die and were suddenly given an opportunity -- perhaps the only one -- to communicate to your earthly loved ones, what do you think you would wantto say to them? Would you really want to given them your old address or telephone number? Would you really want to talk about money and romance? Would you not rather wish to convey who you REALLY are: the nature of your personality; your likes and dislikes; what motivated you in life; memories of things you did with your loved ones while on earth? In other words, would you not prefer to convey: "It's really me; I am here with you; I am OK"?

This is precisely the difference between a medium and a psychic. A psychic can give names and addresses. But, only a medium -- one who has touched and linked with the spirit of your loved one -- can convey the true essence, love, and spirit of that person. And that bears with it the greatest of evidence and comfort to one who is grieving.

Thus, we have one of the most profound reasons why people seek genuine spirit communication. Ironically we also have one of the greatest sources of disappointment for people who visit mediums.

It's the difference between looking at a picture of your loved one and actually having your loved one there, sharing the experience of that picture with you. Mediums must come to understand this. They must nurture sensitivity: not only to the vibrations of those in Spirit, but to the reasons why spirit seeks to communicate with spirit.

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