Here I introduce you to the different forms of mediumship: message mediumship; inspirational mediumship; healing mediumship; and physical mediumship.

  • Mental (Telepathic)
  • Physical (Telekinetic)
  • Clairvoyance
  • Clairaudience
  • Clairsentience
  • Inspiration
  • Trance
  • Inspired Writing
  • Table Phenomena
  • Direct Voice
  • Materialization
  • Apportation
  • Automatic Writing

In your study of mediumship, it will become just as important for you to understand what mediumship is not as it will be to understand what mediumship is. Therefore, mediumship is not:

  • An unnatural phenomenon.
  • A special gift bestowed upon the spiritually elite.
  • An indication of spiritual achievement.
  • Magic.
  • Something which can be turned on and off like a machine.
  • Contrary to God’s laws.
  • Miraculous. Mediumship follows the precepts of known spiritual laws.
  • To be used to read minds or to control others.
  • A parlor game or a source of entertainment. Mediumship is a serious endeavour and should be approached with dignity and respect.
  • Dangerous. Practiced with responsibility and respect, mediumship cannot harm anyone! It is the irresponsible practice of mediumship which can bring about difficulty.

Mental Mediumship


When we meet someone, for the first time or otherwise, we generally give him or her a look over, a visual analysis, so to speak. From this visual image, we either know who it is or we create a visual memory image for future meetings. When a medium links with a spirit communicator, the communicator generally prefers to be seen, thus giving the medium some visual image which can be related to the sitter. This ability to perceive visually those in Spirit, as well as images which they may project, is known as clairvoyance. From a more general perspective, clairvoyance is defined as the ability to see, with the inner vision, that which is not perceived by the physical eyes. This can include perception of spirits, auras, energy fields, visions, etc. Since we are dealing specifically with mediumship, we shall limit our discussion of clairvoyance to seeing the spirits.

A question which naturally arises is: how does the medium actually see what he or she sees? To understand this, it is important to accept that, when a medium attunes with spirit, his or her state of consciousness alters. The mind of the medium, thus the focus of consciousness, shifts away from the three dimensional Earth plane to the realms of the spirit world. Once this shift of consciousness takes place, it is no longer the physical eyes which see, even though, from the perspective of the medium, it looks as if he or she is observing with these eyes (especially if the medium’s eyes are open). Clairvoyance involves stimulation of the inner vision.

Mental Mediumship

The impression that the medium exerts no influence upon a communication is a fallacy based upon the need for many mediums to prove that they are, in fact, channels. This fallacy must be put to rest. Mediumship, when used to relay information, is a form of mental communication. Regardless of the degree of control, the consciousness of the medium is involved, to some degree, in the communicative process, even if on a subconscious level.

“Mediums are not like gramophone records; they are living beings with brain and mind governed by life-long habits. Every person’s mind is full of tendencies, capacities, desires, ideas and habits. These are so vital that, in the main, they govern the way in which the individual thinks and behaves.

“All controlling entities desirous of transmitting philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas through a medium find themselves as much under the control of the medium as the medium is under theirs. The consequence is, if the medium is ignorant and his mind untrained to serious thinking, the less successful will the speech be. The reverse is also true. An educated medium with a well-trained mind will, with few exceptions, produce better results.”

Some will argue with the last portion of this statement. Many mediums feel that the less they know about mediumship, the less influence they will exert upon the communication. Perhaps there is some justification to this belief, but it is our feeling that, in the long run, a medium who is well versed in the various aspects of mediumship and channelling is by far more helpful to those in Spirit than an uninformed one.

Physical Mediumship

What exactly is a physical medium? A physical medium is a person, on the Earth plane, who can be used by a spirit operator for the purpose of manipulating physical systems. This manipulation of physical systems is done either to demonstrate the reality of physical mediumship or to identify the spirit. The reason a person is able to become a physical medium is that he or she offers the spirit operators a certain vital, magnetic energy which is necessary for those operators to make a direct impact upon the Earth plane. Regardless of how, where, or under what circumstances any physical phenomenon occurs, there must be a physical instrument, or medium, somewhere in the area to offer the necessary vital energy and to act as a vehicle, or transformer, through which the spirit can operate upon the Earth plane.

Apart from offering vital energy to the spirit operators, some physical mediums are very fluid in their etheric bodily make-up; consequently, they can offer a materializing substance which can be used by the operators to manifest.

Very often, the signs of physical mediumship appear quite early in life; in particular during the period of puberty. The signs range from unusual happenings and sounds, to movements taking place in the vicinity of the child. Sometimes the occurrence of such happenings intensifies as the child matures; sometimes, they subside until a decision is made to sit regularly for the proper development of mediumship.

During the turn of the century, when physical mediumship was quite common, there were many young people giving public demonstrations of physical mediumship. The pressures placed upon these young vessels for spirit was intense, and many simply could not handle it. Physical mediumship requires a tremendous expenditure of vital energy. Many such mediums “burn out” fairly early in life, because they simply do not control, within proper limits, the use of their mediumship. Physical mediumship is relatively rare in occurrence, and people are anxious to witness it. The physical medium must learn to say “no” when the pressure to produce phenomena becomes too great. If he or she does not, the temptation to cheat– and, over the years, it has, to a great degree — may present itself.

Spirit Guides and Controls

Most of what has been discussed, thus far, revolves around the cooperation between a medium and those in other realms of spirit. I shall state that an evidential medium works with a variety of spirit personalities, while an inspirational medium works primarily with one or a small group of spirits. Here I shall introduce spirit guides, spirit controls, and spirit controllers.

Spirit Guide: This is a spirit teacher and guardian who works with the medium throughout his or her life; whose primary role is to help teach and inspire the medium and to assist him or her in the process of mediumistic development.

Spirit Controller: This is a spirit friend and teacher whose primary role is to take care of and protect the medium, while working as a channel for spirit. He or she does this by helping control the energy field of the medium, the sitter(s), and any communicating spirit. The spirit controller may or may not be the same individual as the spirit guide.

Spirit Control: A term used primarily in trance mediumship. This refers to the specific spirit communicator or operator who controls the consciousness of the medium during the condition of trance.

The Development Circle

As stated it is best for you to develop mediumship with a group of people, under the guidance of a qualified teacher. A group of people who meet regularly for the purpose of developing mediumship is known as a spirit circle or development circle. I shall refer to such a group simply as a circle. It is called a circle because people sit in a circular fashion.

There are several reasons why sitting with a group is helpful in developing your mediumship:

  • It creates a common ground with others, from which you can find nurturing and stability.
  • It offers you the opportunity to share your experiences with others.
  • It helps create discipline in your work.
  • It offers you the opportunity to assist in the development of others’ mediumship, while working with your own.
  • It offers a good support group.
  • It offers the assistance of a teacher who can guide you in your development.

Working With Spirit

Of primary importance in working effectively as a channel for those in Spirit is a clear understanding that a cooperative effort is involved. As a channel for a spirit communicator, you are expanding and/or extending your consciousness to the mental impressions and influences of another. Your mind becomes involved in the process of mediumship, to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon circumstances and conditions. You are working with the spirit friends. You, as well as they, have a role; both have to consider and respect each other in these respective roles.

There is a guide involved in your work. He or she, too, has hopes and aspirations. In considering the pathway of your development, you must, therefore, consider the wishes of your guide. The guide will attempt to work with you in any way he or she can; but, if the relationship is to be one of genuine cooperation, then each must consider the aspirations of the other.

Another point to remember is this: your guide is intimately interested in your mediumistic unfoldment. Although circle meetings offer the opportunity to practice your inner sensitivity, the period between meetings is just as important. If you know or are aware of your guide, do not hesitate to consult with him or her during these periods. If you have a problem with your mediumship, seek the guidance of the circle leader and, by all means, take a few moments each day to sit in quiet meditation and ask for spirit’s assistance. During circle meetings, you will receive comments, suggestions, and criticisms from the leader; between these meetings, you should consult your guide for his or her comments.

Let your guides assist you in the development of your mediumship. Engage in open conversations with them. Be free and natural. Many developing mediums fall into the habit of feeling that their guides know everything that is going on with them. Our guides have other things to do besides guide us. Therefore, we must, from time to time, verbalize in our minds what is happening with us and share these thoughts and feelings with them. We must never assume that the guides automatically know everything about us and about what we are going through.

Mediumistic Development

Many of the difficulties encountered by the student of evidential mediumship arise from a lack of understanding concerning the three phases of a typical message. This very often causes the developing medium to feel that he or she must have a complete message formulated within the mind before standing to give it to the sitter. Let us look at the three phases involved:

Phase One: This first phase occurs when you begin the message. The spirit communicator has made the initial link with you, through your energy field, and begins to draw closer to you. The information which the communicator imparts to your consciousness may not be very clear, because the link is not yet very strong. As you pass on each little bit of information to the sitter, the communicator feels more comfortable with you and is, consequently, able to draw even closer. This, in turn, allows additional information to come more clearly.

Phase Two: This middle phase occurs while the communicator maintains as strong and complete a link with you as possible. This is the period in which the real substance of the message is given, because you and the spirit friend are as close as you will become during this particular communication. The information comes through quickly and clearly here. When the essence of the message is given and the communicator feels satisfied, he or she will then begin the withdrawal process.

Phase Three: This final phase occurs while the communicator is stepping away from you. The information begins to become a little less clear, because the control gradually weakens and the energy fields begin to become separated. The message should come to a close during this phase of the communication.

The problem arises when, during the first phase of the message, the student does not work hard enough to establish a stronger link with the communicator and, thus, get into phase two. It is at this point that many developing mediums encounter difficulty and either stand in complete silence or give up and conclude the message, without offering any tangible evidence or information. This can be very frustrating, because the worker did not give the spirit communicator ample opportunity to get close enough to relate the substance of the message.

As a developing medium, you must understand that the initial stage of a message may not be very clear. The spirit communicator is still feeling his or her way around and trying to blend with your energy field. At this stage, you must work hard, maintain some form of verbal interaction, and attempt to strengthen the link, so that you and the spirit friend can pass onto the next stage of the communication. Be brave and give whatever bit you get, so that the communicator will be given the opportunity to draw closer and work with you even more strongly. This requires that you work hard and not give up! Unfortunately, today, students are simply not trained to work hard at their developing mediumship. Everyone expects instant results. Make me a medium this weekend is the plague of this New Age of frivolous channeling.

This is why I insist that you work at giving the three elements of a message: a communicator; a description; and the message.

Evidential message work is spontaneous. The bottom line is this: you never know how the message will come about, until you open your mouth and begin speaking. This is where you must exhibit trust and faith and understand that the harder you work at giving a message, the better and more clear it will be.

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