The term “mediumship” denotes the ability of a person (the medium) to experience what they or others believe is contact with spirits of the dead, angels, or other immaterial entities. The role of the medium is to attempt to facilitate communication with spirits who have messages to share with non-mediums. Mediums claim the abilities to listen to and relate conversations with spirit voices; go into a trance and speak without knowledge of what is being said; allow a spirit to control their body and speak through it; relay messages from the spirits to those who wish to contact them with the help of a physical tool, such as a writing instrument. Mediumship is also part of the belief system of some New Age groups. In this context, and under the name channelling, it refers to a medium who claims to receive messages from a “teaching-spirit”.
And the History:
Psychic predictions and phenomena can be traced back throughout history. People were tortured and burned at the stake for being ‘Witches or Warlocks’ when in fact all they were, were mediums, healers or psychics.
The first professional mediums date back to 1848. This was of course the Fox family from Hydesville, New York State, USA. This family was visited by the spirit of a peddler who had been robbed and murdered by the previous occupant of their house and claimed that his body was still buried in the cellar. It was proved some time later, when they dug the cellar floor up and found his remains as their spirit visitor had stated in his communications. This was the first proof, beyond doubt, that life did continue beyond that veil that we call death.
The two daughters, Margaret and Kate, realising their talent for this type of communication, hired a hall to demonstrate their abilities. They also travelled around further to demonstrate what was then a unique talent. But it wasn’t long before other groups sprang up across the country. This single event is what Spiritualists consider to be the start of the Spiritualist Movement.
There were in fact, long before the Fox sisters, others who had taken up the gauntlet of studying psychic phenomena. Emmanuel Swedenborg, holds claim to being the Father of the discovery of supernatural powers. Others before the Fox sisters were Edward Irvine a Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Andrew Jackson Davis.
During the 1850′s a new ambassador emerged in the form of Emma Hardinge Britton. Born in England but moved to America to work. Emma became famous as a trance medium and philosophical lecturer. She toured America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand spreading the message of Spiritualism. It was through her Mediumship that spirit dictated the Seven Principles of Mediumship, believed to have come from the deceased Robert Owen, but new evidence is putting this theory into doubt. The Spiritualist National Union are still, however, using these principles today.
The first medium to operate in Britain was Mrs Haydon, who took up residence in England and held séances. But it was a group of Cambridge scholars who, in 1882 founded the Society of Physical Research and pushed the subject further into recognition. The aim was to investigate debatable phenomena without prejudice, even though that claim in itself was debatable. The first President of the SPR was Henry Sidgwick, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge University, who had enormous standing and moral authority in the intellectual circles of the day. Apart from a prodigious amount of work, he contributed “the weight which his known intelligence and integrity gave to the serious study of the subject” (quoted from Broad’s obituary after Haynes, p. 176). His chief associates in the early stages were Frederic Myers, a classical scholar but also a man of lively and wide-ranging interests, and the brilliant Edmund Gurney, the main author of what is now the classic of psychical research, Phantasms of the Living.
Among the early members were also such prominent figures as the physicist William Barrett; the experimental physicist Lord Rayleigh; Arthur Balfour, philosopher and Prime Minister in the years 1902-1905; Gerald Balfour, classical scholar and philosopher; and Eleanor Sidgwick, wife of Henry Sidgwick, herself a mathematician and later Principal of Newnham College at Cambridge. These people, and their associates, were often connected through family ties, education, friendship and interests Many were wealthy, which gave them the time to pursue their studies, but with these advantages also came a sense of obligation to put them to good use for the benefit of mankind. Like many other great Victorians who applied themselves so patiently for little reward, they sifted and corroborated reports of spontaneous cases, and learnt to spot fake mediums by sitting through many boring séances, in the pursuit of scientific explanations. With their scientific ideals and experience in investigating paranormal claims, they were fully aware of the tricks, the illusions, and the dangers of wishful thinking.
Early demonstrations of mediumship were all very physical, rapping’s, table tilting, materialisations etc. Over the years these have declined in popularity to be replaced by the type of mediumship that we see today. Nowadays modern mediums work by using the mind as a receiver and relaying information to those who need it.
Mediums of the 1800s and early 1900s, especially those producing physical manifestations, were subjected to ridicule not only from the church but also the scientific community as well as other sceptics.
How do Mediums Work?
First, if we can accept that dying is not the end of our existence, and it might be the end of the physical body which, was just a vessel that carried our consciousness, our Soul/Astral or Spiritual Body, and that this is the part of us that survives death and exists somewhere else, then it might be possible to make contact with that consciousness and all the memories and emotions that made that person what they were during their life on this Earth Plain.
So where are they? Not so far away as one might think! The world of spirit exists all around us but just out of reach of our physical eye and vibration. It might be better to think of it as a Dimension, rather than a place. Most understand and believe that this spirit world exists on a different vibrational level than that of our own. From this point of view it might be easier to think of it as a frequency, much the same as that of your radio which has different frequencies. The medium learns how to adjust and tune themselves into these frequencies and raise their vibrations to meet those in the spirit world who in turn lower their vibrations to tune into our frequencies. It is always a two way agreement between the medium and the communicator.
When a medium sits with a client, or stands for a services be it church or otherwise, they have to put themselves into a receptive state by raising their vibrational level to meet that of spirit who are in turn lowering theirs to make the link or contact possible.
Our spirit family and friends can see and hear us at any time they feel a need to watch and listen to us. They may follow or accompany you to your meeting. But it is the mediums ability to slow down and alter their perception, and raising their awareness to a subtle energy level that allows them to perceive the message from spirit.
The contact is conducted through thought; these thoughts are then transmitted by the communicating spirit person to the medium. Although mediums in the main, give the messages that they are given, it is possible for the medium to ask the spirit questions and receive an answer. After all it is a live communication. It is also important to realise that spirit people have a choice as to whether they communicate with us or not. A medium can in no way force a communication with a spirit person to make them known.
The initial contact is referred to as “Making the Link”. The medium has made a request, by thought, to his/her spirit guide or helper for a communicator to come forward. Just how successful the communication is depends on the experience of the medium, although other factors can come into play. Once a link is established, the spirit person will want to prove their identity. The spirit communicator will transmit thoughts about themselves to the medium. The medium should be able to interpret these thoughts and describe the person back to the client.
As previously stated, to interpret any information a medium must learn how to attune and link to the spirit world. While some mediums have grown up with this ability, others have to learn to train their minds to accept information in this way. This is often done by means of meditation, a process of calming the body and allowing the mind to become receptive. This can to some extent be taught to anybody, but not all who try will become mediums.
Our scientists, who have studied the human brain, insist that we see more with our brain than we do with our eyes, the eyes being just a window. This might help explain how mediums can ‘see’ our friends, the data has simply arrived in an alternative way, the brain processes the data and ‘sees’ the information.
What are the Different Skills of a Medium?
A medium usually has a variety of psychic skills, but the underlying purpose behind them is threefold; (1); to prove the existence of life after what we term death. (2); to advise and console others. (3); to further develop their own spirituality. (Personally, I believe that there is a fourth and that is to help develop these skills by teaching methods to those who are interested in learning.) How a medium comes to be is, governed by a number of factors. Some are born to it, having been able to see and converse with spirit since early childhood and simply developing those abilities in adulthood. Others come to it later because of a number of reasons. It may have just been curiosity, to find out what goes on. Others may have suffered bereavement and felt the need to speak to a medium which has then stirred the interest within them. Then they could just simply have this urgent desire to learn the abilities for them selves feeling that they could help others.
So we need to start by breaking ‘mediumship’ into a couple of categories.
Firstly, let’s look at Physical Mediumship. Really it speaks for its self. The production of phenomena that is physical, it can be seen, heard, touched and is able to communicate on a physical level.
A physical medium in most cases, not all, needs to be in a state of trance, his development is usually over a number of years of dedicated sittings with a regular group of people. There is no clairvoyance or anything like that, with sitters sitting for one purpose only, that of the of the development of the physical medium. This group dedicate their time and efforts for that sole purpose.
The rewards when development comes, can be fantastic, with communication from wise and wonderful spirit guides, voice contact from loved ones, gifts from the spirit world (apports), and hopefully, full materialisation in the light.
Secondly, let’s take a look at mental mediumship and all the fields that it operates in. For instance most mental mediums do one of three things, or a mixture of, and in some cases all three. They either see spirit within their minds eye, (Clairvoyance), they hear spirit speaking to them (Clairaudience) or they sense spirit around them, (Clairsentience). A possible forth, which could fall into the category of clairsentience is clairoma, smelling things.
most mediums working mentally, work by seeing pictures in their mind, it is this initial image that allows the medium to describe a person in spirit. Often it is a combination of senses that makes up the whole picture. Spirit communicators are also able to send feeling, (clairsentience) to the medium; this is particularly useful if they are trying to indicate what ailment caused them to pass over. These thoughts, feelings, voices and pictures can all be used together and can be used in varying intensity. Sometimes the information flows so easily that the medium has no doubts about the information being given. On other occasions the information might seem a little sketchy and the medium will have to work harder to resolve what comes through. This can be caused by a number of reasons; such as, how well the spirit communicator has learned to communicate, or it could be down to the mediums inability to “tune in” or lack of experience. Or the rapport with their spirit guides who play a very active role in all communication at this level. Even the health of the medium at the time has to be a consideration.
It is commonly believed that pictures are the best form of mental communication and the easiest to recognise, after all, we are all used to seeing images everyday of our lives. But many mediums work with symbolic images, and these images represent what the spirit communicator is trying to say, but often not directly. You could think of it as a cryptic visual puzzle. The medium needs some interpretation skills when passing on messages of this kind.
It is common to find Tarot Cards, Crystals, Candles, Native American Symbols, Coloured Ribbons even Runes on the table of a working medium. These are what could be described as aids. (Some are just props for show.) Although mediums work on a spiritual or psychic level, these aids are also used for readings, and can help the medium to tune in and therefore give a better reading.
The Role of the Medium:
Their main roll is to prove the continuation of life beyond the veil we call death of the physical body. Even though mediums and psychics are believed to have an eye that can look into your soul, and are “sometimes” able to see some future events and advise you in a general manner, they are not there to tell you what to do. The task of mediums and psychics is to help you take direction and control of your situation, and sometimes the advice may seem a little vague, but they may simply be suggesting a new set of experiences that will be of benefit to you.
Referenced from the Mediumship Wiki – reference from ‘The-VoiceBox’