Trance Mediumship - Channelling And Physical Mediumship
What is it?
Making contact with those in the spirit world can be achieved by many methods but none are so intense, so utterly absorbing and emotionally fulfilling as trance, channelling, overshadowing or inspired talking. It is perhaps the closest form of communication between spirit guides and the medium and is usually confined to working circles. A circle by the way is the modern day word for sťance, and I am sure you will agree sounds more acceptable. When mediums train they will often sit in a development circle, here they learn to make contact with the spirit world and may find they have the capacity for trance work. They may also be able to listen to the wise and informative words of a spirit guide spoken through a trance medium.
Spirit people, when communicating can be of varying distances from the medium, indeed most mediums can usually describe whether a communicator is to the left, right or behind them. But spirit guides who have a strong connection with their medium are able to come closer, some describe this as walking into our aura. If we remember the human aura extends some 4 feet around us, then when a guide enters this area there is a bonding and deepening of contact.
But there are also different levels of this type of communication, in one state the medium remains fully conscious and is aware of all that takes place, in the other the medium is apparently asleep and has little or no recollection of the events taking place.
So let's explore the first of these, overshadowing. In this particular form of communication the spirit guide or communicator has become very close to the medium. It should be noted all this happens with the complete agreement of the medium, in fact it would be impossible otherwise. It is this closeness that allows the spirit guide to influence the medium, he or she will then be able to speak for the communicating guide. The voice will be hers but the words will be of the guide, and the medium will be able to let the guide address those in the circle. Usually this will be an informative talk on spiritual matters, and on some occasions those in the circle will be able to ask questions of the guide.
Full Trance / Channelling
This is perhaps the more well known form of spirit trance communication and is when the full co-operation of the medium is utilised. In this form the medium will spend a few moments attuning to their guide, before seemingly falling off to sleep. After a brief period the medium will have become an instrument for the guide, the guide being able to use his/ her voice directly. In explanation our medium has simply withdrawn to allow the spirit communicator through and will be unaware of the words actually spoken by him. Often tape recordings of these meetings are made to enable the medium to benefit from what was said.
On these occasions the guide will impart great knowledge and teachings, for he is in direct contact with those about him. Questions are often asked and indeed the communicating guide will often invite them. There is some confusion on whether any voice accent should be apparent, to this I would say yes, it adds authenticity if the details of the guide were previously known, then it might be logical for them to represent themselves accent, mannerisms and all.
Public demonstrations of trance mediumship have been given, to mixed reactions. To hear an individual suddenly start talking in a foreign accent and speaking of things we can often not confirm, can to some people be a little hard to swallow. But if we listen, just for a moment and dispense with our logic, so that we can hear the words, we may find great enlightenment. For the words spoken by a guide are eloquent, knowledgeable and reasonable to our intelligence. A truly tranced medium will not be stuck for answers to questions, though we may not always hear what we expect.
Similar to overshadowing, the guide is directing the medium in what to say. Mediums who give clairvoyant readings in spiritualist churches may precede with a talk, this could be of their own construction or be inspired by their guide. The guide promoting or giving information and insight into what to speak of.
One of the most well known accounts of trance mediumship is that of the spirit guide Silver Birch and his medium
Mediumship- an overview of how mediums contact the spirit world
Find out how mediums contact the spirit world and communicate with our loved ones.
How did mediumship start?
Psychic predictions and phenomena can be traced back throughout history, but the first professional mediums date back to 1848. The Fox family of Hydesville, New York, were visited by friendly spirits eager to prove life continued even after death.
The two daughters realising a talent for this communication, hired a hall to demonstrate their abilities. The sisters also travelled to further demonstrate their unique talents and before long similar groups sprang up across the country. This was probably the beginning of the Spiritualist movement which has become so popular today.
During the 1850`s a new ambassador arose in the form of Emma Hardinge Britten. Born in England, but moved to America to work. Emma became famous as a trance medium, (see medium skills). She toured America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand spreading the word. But mediums of this era were subjected to ridicule and persecution from both the Church and other sceptics.
The first medium to operate in Britain was a Mrs. Hayden, who took residence in London and held sťances. But it was a group of Cambridge scholars who, in 1882 founded the Society for Psychical Research, pushed the subject further into recognition. Their aim was to `investigate debatable phenomena without prejudice`, even if that claim itself was debatable.
The early demonstrations of mediumship were all very physical, rapping's, table-tilting, materialisation's etc. but over the years these declined in popularity to be replaced by the type of mediumship we witness today. Nowadays modern mediums work by using the mind as receiver and relaying information to those who need it. The evidence given of the after-life can be even more convincing in this manner.
How do modern mediums work?
How does a medium work? If we accept that dying is not the end of our existence, just the end of the body that carried our consciousness and that our soul survives and exists somewhere else, then it might be possible to make contact with that consciousness and all the emotions and memories that made that person what they were.
But where are they? Not as far away as some would think! The world of spirit exists all around us, but just out of reach. It might be better to think of it as a dimension rather than a place. Most believe that this world exists on a different vibration to our own. It might also help to think of it as different frequency, much like a radio has different frequencies. The medium has learned to attune to this different and higher frequency or vibration. Likewise, those in the spirit world can tune into us, it is this joint effort that enables communication.
When a medium sits with a client, the medium is in a highly receptive state. Our spirit family and friends can see and hear us, they may even have accompanied you to the meeting! But it is the mediums ability to slow down and alter their perception, raising their awareness to a subtle energy that allows them to perceive the messages from spirit.
This contact is conducted through thought, these thoughts are then transmitted by the communicating spirit person to the medium. Although mediums mainly give the messages they are given, it is possible for the medium to ask questions and receive an answer. After all this is a live communication! It is also important to realise spirit people have a choice of communicating with us, a medium cannot in any way force the spirit person to make themselves known.
This initial contact is often referred to as `making a link`. The medium has made a request, by thought, for a communicator to come forward. Just how successful the communication is depends on the experience of the medium, although other factors come into the picture. Once a link is established, the spirit person will often want to prove their identity. The spirit communicator will transmit thoughts about themselves to the medium, the medium will be able to interpret these thoughts and describe the person back to the client.
To be able to interpret any information a medium has to learn how to attune to the spirit world. While some mediums have grown up with the ability others have 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 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 spirit friends, the data has simply arrived in an alternative way, the brain
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; to prove the existence of life after death, to console and advise others and to further develop their own spirituality. How a medium comes to be is based on many factors. Some are born to it, having been able to see spirit people when they were children, and simply developing those abilities in adulthood. Others come to it later because of a bereavement, when they seek the services of medium, and then go on to learn the skills themselves. Even curiosity can lead to the development of psychic abilities.
A medium may have any number of skills, though it is more usual for them to excel in just one or two. If we take the late famous medium Doris Stokes for example, she specialised in clairaudience, hearing spirit voices. Generally most mediums work by seeing pictures in their mind, it is this initial image that allows the medium to describe a person in spirit. But often it the combination of senses that make up the whole picture. Spirit communicators are able to send feelings, known as clairsentience, to the medium. This is particularly useful if they are trying to indicate what ailment caused them to pass over. They may for example send a mild pain to the heart of the medium, the medium would then be able to tell the client how their loved one died. This is used as excellent evidence. These thoughts, feelings, voices and pictures can be all be used together, but also range in intensity. Sometimes the information flows so easily that the medium has no doubts about the information being given, but on other occasions the information can seem a little patchy, and the medium needs to work harder to resolve what comes through. One explanation for this variation in intensity or quality could be to do with how well the the spirit communicator has learned to communicate. But could also be due the mediums ability to tune-in and the rapport with their spirit guides, who play an important role in the proceedings.
It is commonly believed that mental pictures are the easiest format to recognise, after all we are used to seeing images in our every-day lives. But many mediums work with symbolic images, these images represent what the spirit person is trying to communicate, but often not directly. You could think of it as a cryptic visual puzzle. For example if the medium is shown water, it could be that the spirit person had connections with water in his or her life, such as being in the navy or coastguard. The medium requires some interpretation skills when passing on messages of this kind.
It is common to find crystals, Tarot Cards, candles, Native American symbols and other such objects on the table of a working medium. These articles may represent something that interests that medium, such as Native American artefacts'. The Native Americans have long been associated with with mediums, as their culture, or certainly their beliefs, are similar to those of spiritualists. Many Natives choose to work as spirit guides, helping the medium to develop and use their skills. Crystals and Tarot cards also aid the medium to tune-in, and therefore give a better reading.
How can a medium do a reading over the phone, by letter or email?
Mediums work with their spirit guide (see page on spirit guides) who play an important role in the communication process. But each and every one of us has our own spirit guide, they protect and help us. Part of this protection is to ensure that the information given to a medium is something you yourself would be willing to divulge. It may be a deep problem, that you might not normally share with a stranger, but ultimately would like to discuss and solve. But I have never received information that I was not supposed to know, so they must be doing their job!
For a reading to take place over what we consider a great distance, say someone in America writing to someone in England, there must be a link in spirit. When I receive a letter my spirit guide is as aware of it's contents as I am. My guide then makes contact with your guide and the two converse. This begins a series of thoughts that stretch out into spirit, these thoughts are recognised by those we know and hopefully they can make contact with my guide who will help them to communicate with me or any other medium. So when we say the power of thought is powerful, it really is!
In the spirit world, all spirit people are connected, telepathically for want of a better word or description. It is a wonderful way of communicating and helps to explain how we are able to make the links we do. Individual personalities still exist in spirit, but it is this deep understanding and linking that bonds them together.
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Most mediums today work by using their own mind as a receiver and then passing on messages verbally. Indeed some very convincing evidence has been given in this way. Although sceptics have often asked why these messages rarely contain details of life on the 'other side'. There is a simple answer to this, messages which contain personal details can be verified and proven. But messages about the world of spirit cannot, even if they were to spend time explaining their world, do we yet have the capacity to comprehend it? Probably not. But the need for proof goes on. Of course there have been descriptions of the spirit world by spirit communicators, such as those by Silver Birch, but to the average person seeking evidence, the personal and trivial details about those we knew are more convincing.
But mediumship in the first half of the 20th century and prior concentrated on producing physical results. Early demonstrations by the Fox sisters
consisted of sounds coming from the walls and floor. Investigators were unable to find a logical explanation for these noises. The sisters were further investigated and tested, on one occasion they were made to stand on tables covered with feather pillows with their skirts tied above their ankles. Still the rapping noises were heard and once again no logical explanation could be found. As their mediumship continued other unexplained events were noticed including objects moving, heavy tables levitating and hands and faces appearing.
In these early days, such events as table-tilting became quite popular. This often involved a group of people sitting around a table calling out letters of the alphabet waiting for the table to tilt when a correct letter was reached. It was a slow and cumbersome method and easily faked by fraudulent mediums. But even so, some excellent evidence was still achieved.
But perhaps it was the extraordinary talents of Daniel Dunglas Home who was to bring spiritualism to the recognition of the general public. Materialised forms were often seen around him, hands appeared and then melted away, musical interments would start playing. But Home was also well known for his feats of levitation, during his sťances it was reported his chair would rise from the floor with him still in it. Home was never found guilty of fraud.
Trance Mediumship - Channelling And Physical Mediumship