Mediumship and Psychic Mediums


Mediums, unique individuals considered to be especially open to the subtler realities of the world and therefore particularly capable of interacting with spirit beings, have historically been central to the Spiritualist movement. “A Spiritualist is one who believes, as the foundation of his or her faith, in the communication between this and the spirit world through mediumship, and who endeavors to mold his or her character and actions in conformity with the highest teachings devised by such communion,” the National Spiritualist Association of Churches declares in its Declaration of Principles.

The radio, which operates by receiving waves of energy that vibrate at different frequencies, has been used to explain mediumship. As a result, a medium was described as someone who was receptive to the spirit world's higher vibrations. As a result, mediums may function as a conduit for spirits that spoke with or through them. Any mediums relayed material they perceived from their interaction with the spirit world while in a slightly disturbed state of consciousness.

Others worked in a deep coma, allowing what they thought were spirit beings to gain hold of their bodies and communicate through their vocal cords. When trance mediums went into trance, it was normal for one or more control spirits to arise first, then serve as master of ceremonies for other spirits to appear and communicate.

AUTOMATIC WRITING is a type of mediumship in which the medium allows the spirit agent to regulate his or her motor activity to write messages with pen and paper. Spiritualism arose from the very primitive mediumship of the young Fox sisters, Kate and Margaret, who encountered rappings in their home, but the trend advanced quickly with Andrew Jackson Davis' full-trance mediumship.

He not only served as a conduit for people to collect fleeting messages from departed loved ones, but he also provided extensive treatises on divine teachings from reputedly advanced spirit beings, a phenomenon now known as channeling. Materialization was a particularly contentious concept applied to mediums.

During the last decades of the nineteenth century, scores of mediums appeared, claiming to be able to not only interact with the deceased, but also to enable them to manifest in a ghostly state for a fleeting period. Mediums mediated several tangible embodiments of ghosts, including the materialization of spirit beings at small meetings for spirit contact known as séances.

Other mediums, for example, used cameras to photograph those that visited them. Mediums can also perform a series of “impossible” physical feats, such as the levitation of items held in the séance room's core or the teleportation of tiny objects from other places to the séance room.

Overwhelmingly, the physical phenomena associated with mediumship has been shown to have been produced by fraud, a fact that has called appropriate reprobation on the movement. Today, with few exceptions, Spiritualism has been content to fall back on the basic verbal communications from the spirit world that gave the movement birth. Mediumship is a phenomenon by no means limited to the Spiritualist movement. Analogous religious functionaries, special people who have access to information and contact with different spirit entities, operate in a variety of religious traditions, and include shamans from indigenous religions and those who speak with angels in modern Christian churches.

Mediumship itself expanded in the last generation because of the New Age movement. Spiritualists did not positively relate to the New Age movement, but integral to the New Age were channelers. Through the 1980s literally thousands of channelers emerged, offering New Age believers the information they received from a variety of spiritual beings. That Spiritualism tended to distance itself from the New Age accounts in large part for its lack of growth while related movements were rapidly expanding during the 1980s and 1990s.

The majority of the physical manifestations associated with mediumship have been shown to be the product of deception and has brought appropriate condemnation upon the movement as a whole. Spiritualism has been content, with few exceptions, to rely on the simple verbal messages from the spirit world that gave rise to the movement. The phenomenon of mediumship is not confined to the Spiritualist movement. Similar ritual functionaries, such as shamans from indigenous faiths and others who communicate with angels in western churches, practice in several religious practices and have access to wisdom and communication with various spirit beings.