Mediumship is the practice of certain people—known as mediums—to purportedly mediate communication between spirits of the dead and other human beings.
Attempts to contact the dead date back to early human history, with mediumship gaining in popularity during the 19th century. Investigations during this period revealed widespread fraud—with some practitioners employing techniques used by stage magicians—and the practice started to lose credibility. The practice still continues to this day, and high profile fraud has been uncovered as recently as the 2000s.
In recent years, scientific research has been undertaken to ascertain the validity of claims of mediumship. In an experiment undertaken by the British Psychological Society, the conclusion was that the test subjects demonstrated no mediumistic ability. Other experiments which have seemingly found evidence of paranormal activity have been criticized for not establishing thorough test conditions.
There are several different variants of mediumship; the best known forms are where a spirit takes control of a medium's voice and uses it to relay a message, or where the medium simply 'hears' the message and passes it on. Other forms involve manifestations of the spirit, such as apparitions or the presence of a voice, and telekinetic activity.
The practice is associated with several religious belief systems such as Vodoun, Spiritualism, Spiritism, Candomblé, Voodoo, Umbanda and some New Age groups.
What Is Mediumship/Channeling?
Mediumship can be defined as follows: The process whereby a human instrument, known as a MEDIUM or CHANNEL, is used by one or more discarnate, spirit personalities for the purpose of:
- Presenting information, verifiable or otherwise.
- Causing so-called paranormal activities to occur.
- Channeling forth certain types of energies.
- Manifesting themselves for objective examination and/or identification.
From this definition, we see the following:
- Mediumship involves a cooperating effort between a person on the Earth plane (the medium or channel) and a person in Spirit (the communicator).
- 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:
- To present information, which may or may not be verifiable.
- To cause certain types of paranormal activities to occur.
- To channel forth certain types of energies.
- To manifest themselves materially.
Therefore, mediumship involves the cooperation between at least two individuals:
- An Earth-plane channel or medium
- 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:
- Manipulation of energies and energy systems.
A spirit who uses a medium for the purpose of communication, either verbally or visually, is known as a spirit communicator. A spirit who uses a medium for the intent of working with and/or manipulating energies or energy systems is called a spirit operator. This distinction is very general, and it should be noted that a spirit operator can, and often does, communicate.
Thus, mediumship can be distinguished as two basic types:
- Mental Mediumship
- 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 a demonstration of mental mediumship, it is the medium who hears, sees, and feels what the spirit communicators are relating. Furthermore, it is the medium's function to relate the information, with minimum personal influence and prejudice, to the recipient of the message, also known as the sitter. The medium receives this information under various states of control.
Physical mediumship involves the manipulation and transformation of physical systems and energies. The spirit operators, 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.