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What is Mediumship? A Beginner’s Complete Guide

mediumship Nov 11, 2022


Mediumship is the communication between Spirits of the deceased and those who are still living. As a Psychic Medium, I will communicate with those who have passed to the spirit world through seeing, feeling, hearing, and knowing and act as a bridge between the spirit world and this world. My goal is to deliver messages and evidence to my clients that their loved ones are very much alive and present in their lives.

Mediumship became popular in the 19th-century after the rise of the religious movement of Spiritualism in the UK. Spiritualists believe the each of us has a Spirit that lives on in the afterlife to progress and evolve and that the Spirits of the deceased wish to communicate with the living.

In the United States, Modern Spiritualism is said to have begun from practices and lectures of the Fox sisters in New York in 1851. From there, cultural popularity began to rise through seances and ouija boards, with Hollywood portraying mediumship as a source for entertainment.


Today in the U.S., mediumship is more closely linked to the wellness industry and the practice is used as a healing modality to bring peace and comfort to the grieving or those who are looking for life guidance.


Most Mediums today are not concerned with the entertainment value of what they do and are focused on the healing and well-being of their clients. The majority of those seeking a mediumship reading have some spiritual beliefs. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that overall, roughly 6 in 10 American adults accept at least one of these New Age beliefs: reincarnation, astrology, psychics and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains or trees. Specifically, 4 in 10 believe in psychics and that spiritual energy can be found in physical objects, while somewhat smaller shares express belief in reincarnation (33%) and astrology (29%).



What are the different types of Mediums?

The spiritual community is vast with practitioners from all cultures and varying beliefs systems. Some common types of Mediums that serve the public today are Evidential Mediums, Animal Communicators, and Trance Mediums, to name a few.


Evidential Mediumship

Often referred to as a Psychic Medium, Intuitive Medium or Spirit Medium, Evidential Mediums will offer evidence to clients of their passed loved ones to provide evidence that they continue to live on and be part of their lives here on the Earth plane.


Animal Communicator

Someone who specializes in animal communication will typically be able to communicate with both living animals and pets that have passed. Many Evidential Mediums will also communicate with animals, it is common for me to connect with all types of animals in my sessions with clients. If you are interested in connecting to pets you’ve lost, be sure to ask the Medium you're thinking about working with if connecting with pets is a specialty of theirs.


Trance Mediumship

A Trance Medium is less common and refers to a Medium who is so blended with a Spirit Person, typically their Spirit Guide, that their guide may provide healing or speak through them. This type of mediumship is perhaps the most misunderstood and is often portrayed in Hollywood more as possession where the person acting as a Medium has no control or recollection of their actions. This often comes across as frightening or ridiculous. Genuine trance mediumship is a beautiful blending of the Medium and their guide to share healing and wisdom with their recipients. This type of mediumship takes years of practice to achieve authenticity and many Mediums practice solely for the benefit of having a closer relationship with the Spirit World.


Mental Mediumship

Mental mediumship is communication to spirits through the mind of the medium. Much like evidential mediumship, the medium will blend their mind with that of the spirit communication to relay evidence and messages to their loved ones that are still here on the earth plane. Many people use this term to differentiate mental mediumship and emphasize it’s conversation like nature from trance mediumship or physical mediumship. I dislike the term mental mediumship and feel it’s not accurate because this type of mediumship although it may seem “mental” is an expression of the soul and mediums actually work very hard to keep their conscious mind from interfering in their mediumship. The term evidential mediumship or psychic mediumship I find much more helpful in explaining how I work.


Physical Mediumship

Physical mediumship is a rare type of mediumship and is often defined by changes that occur in our physical environment brought by communication with the spirit world. These changes may be a hot or cold feeling in the room, apparitions appearing, objects being moved, or in some cases may take the form of automatic writing in which the medium’s writing is controlled by a spirit communicator. There are also forms of automatic writing which are not physical mediumship, but more an influence of the spirit communicator or influence of the medium's soul.


Direct Voice Mediumship

Direct voice is another rare type of physical mediumship that gained popularity in the 1850’s with the rise of the spiritualists movement. Typically at a seance a highly trained trance medium would sit and at times the voices of the deceased could be heard by attendees of the seance. Oftentimes the medium would use a trumpet (a cone made of heavy paper or metal used in physical mediumship) and this was meant to amplify the sound.



Channeling can have different meanings but typically refers to the blending of someone here on the earth plane with a divine being, energy, or Spirit Guide. Many creative people report feeling as though they are channeling or being influenced by a higher power when they are in the flow of creating artistically. Being open to channel means being open to the influence of a higher power and welcoming that influence into your space.


Seance Tables

Seances became popular in the 19th century in the United States and the Uk as a way to contact the deceased. Mediums would host small gatherings, usually in their homes and sometimes sit around a seance table to ask the dead questions. Seance tables often have three legs or some type or pointer to answer questions. In the case of table tipping everyone present (typically 6 or less participants) puts their hands on the table as contact is made with the spirit communicator. The spirit world is then able to use everyone's energy to move the table to spell out answers, messages, or answer yes or no questions. Because of the human factor, this type of mediumship can be less reliable in its evidence although there are some ethical practitioners of table tipping today.


Ouija Boards

Ouija boards originate from early spiritualists' use of spirit boards which were often used during home seances to contact deceased loved ones or Spirit Guides. The first ouija boards were sold in novelty shops as a harmless game or way to contact the deceased. Hollywood has propagandized ouija boards as evil or dangerous in modern times and many people fear them. While most Mediums I know do not use or fear ouija Boards many people would liken using them to using a board game or toy to facilitate spirit communication. There are spirit boards that are made with intention and used in spirit communication today in a much more intentional and loving way that Hollywood depicts. 



How do Mediums differ from Psychics?

Whereas mediumship deals with communication with the Spirit World, Psychic refers to the ability to be able to receive information from people and places here on Earth. You may have heard the saying that every Medium is Psychic, but not every Psychic is a Medium. A Medium is so sensitive to energy that they are able to communicate with those who are in the Spirit realm, so naturally, they are going to be sensitive to energy and information around them connected to the Earth plane.

Many Mediums offer Psychic or Intuitive readings to help guide their clients with all matters here on Earth: love life, career and life purpose are the most common types of questions my clients ask about. There are also many talented Psychics working who are not Mediums, or who do not offer mediumship readings.



Who uses Tarot Cards?

Many Mediums and Psychics use tarot or oracle cards in their practice. There are key differences between tarot cards and oracle cards. Tarot cards are a divination tool that can help to guide you in receiving intuitive or psychic messages for yourself! In my practice, I'll often use tarot cards with clients. My tarot deck feels like an extension of my energy, a living force that asks to communicate, and cards that make their messages known.



How do Mediums and Psychics use crystals?

All over the world, occultists, seekers, and mystics admire and collect crystals. They are one of the easiest ways to bring something beautiful and living into your space. They are alive and, like plants, have an aura—an energy that can be felt by highly sensitive and intuitive people. Crystals not only enhance the beauty of a space, but they are also healing.

We don’t need to invest money into crystals, plants, tarot cards, or expensive items. Your intuition and innate wisdom are not dependent on the presence of a crystal. They are simply a beautiful yet optional part of complementing your physical space. Let your body and intuition guide you toward what feels right for you.



How do Mediums and/or Psychics use candles?

Many people have used candles to carry their wishes and intentions since ancient times. Modern day psychics, mediums, witches, and spiritual people use candles in ritual practice to connect with their desires, practice magic, or meditate.

Suggestion to develop a spiritual practice that supports your intentions: Sit in front of your altar (or a special place in your home where you keep candles or spiritual items) for a few minutes a day and speak your intentions out loud as you light the candles.



How do Mediums connect with Spirits?

During a mediumship reading, the Medium will blend their energy with those of your passed loved ones, pets, or Spirit Guides to be a channel of communication between two worlds. Through this blending, the Medium may see, hear, feel, and know things about your loved ones and relay evidence and messages to you. 



What has Hollywood got wrong about Mediums?

Mediumship is neither scary nor dangerous, and is in fact it very natural. Our passed loved ones want to communicate with us, to guide and support us. They want us to know that we are never alone and to have trust in our journey. The Spirit World comes to us only in love and will never harm.

Mediumship is almost nothing like how Hollywood portrays it. In fact, many people have mediumship abilities that they aren't aware of because they're waiting for them to manifest like they have seen in popular culture and movies. Mediumship is very subtle and in the development of mediumship we learn to live in that subtlety.



How can you tell a fraudster apart from a genuine Medium?

My genuine feeling is that the majority of people working today, especially when they are publicly working, teaching, or demonstrating their work are genuine and sincere. This doesn’t mean that every Medium will be accurate or a good fit for every client. In order to have the best experience possible, I would recommend researching which type of Medium is right for you. Read the information they have on their website, attend an event if they host them regularly, and read their testimonials. If you can, talk to friends and family and ask for referrals.


Red flags when visiting a Medium or Psychic:

  • They ask more questions than provide information. You don't need to provide information during a mediumship reading. Sometimes coaches, tarot readers, or healers will ask questions in a collaborative style reading to help you grow and this is a different type of reading. A genuine Psychic or Medium will be honest and tell you if they are not feeling a strong connection and make a referral to someone who may be a better fit. It’s rare but it does happen and not every Medium can read every single person!
  • They use fear as a motivator, or tell you they need more money or more sessions to help you remove a curse, bad energy or anything similar. They try to sell you crystals or other items outside of your budget to help “heal you".
  • They make a lot of miracle cure promises for a price. A psychic or mediumship session should be a healing experience and help you to feel more free and move forward on your spiritual journey, but sessions are never a fix-all or cure-all.
  • They make you doubt yourself or your intuition. A good reading will help you to connect with your intuition and trust yourself.
  • They encourage you to feel dependent on them. An authentic reader will have a set period of time that you should wait between readings. I don’t typically see clients for mediumship reading more than every six months. A tarot reading or psychic reading can happen sooner (possibly three months) if things have changed for my client.
  • They make you feel uncomfortable or uneasy. A psychic or mediumship reading should be a comforting and healing experience that helps you connect to your soul and feel empowered. If you get a bad vibe, you might not have found the right reader for you.



Does everyone have Mediumistic abilities?

I truly believe that everyone does have varying degrees of Mediumistic abilities and that they can be developed over time. We all have an ability to connect with our own spirit and so it seems natural that we would be able to connect with and feel the spirit of someone else. We are all capable of receiving signs from our passed loved ones. Many of my clients have had profound experiences involving the Spirit World and often those experiences will come through as evidence in a reading which can be validating to the recipient.


Clairsentience means “clear feeling” refers to the ability of a person to receive information by feeling and sensing energy. All humans have this sense and may develop it.

Clairvoyant or “clear seeing,” in mediumship or intuitive work, refers to seeing or perceiving information through images or visions. Clairvoyant images may appear in the same space as your imagination but will be clearer and easily recalled. There is also a rarer type of clairvoyance called objective clairvoyance where mediums may see objectively—outside their mind—with their physical eyes.”

Clairaudient means “clear hearing” and refers to the ability to perceive energy through hearing sounds, voices, or music. Clairaudience may be subtle—sometimes it feels like you are hearing your own thoughts, or maybe your own voice. Objective clairaudience hearing voices, music, thoughts outside of the mind is also possible.

Claircognizance means “clear knowing” and refers to the ability to receive information by knowing. This is the only sense that does not give us the chance to interpret or question, we “just know.”

Clairgustance means “clear tasting.” A Spirit person may communicate to you through Clairgustance to convey evidence of their likes or dislikes in food or other things that may be tasted, for example a cigar, special drink, or spices that link to their unique culture.

Clairalience means "clear smelling". This is a lovely way for our own loved ones to let us know they are around us as the sense of smell is so strongly linked to our memory. Pay attention to how you feel when this happens to you.

Clairtangency (also known as psychometry): The act of or ability to perceive information from a place or object. I often use photographs when teaching psychometry.



Is it possible to become a Medium? How do you know if you’re a Medium?

I believe we all have some mediumship abilities and the ability to connect to our own loved ones that have passed to the spirit world. We all have Spirit Guides and can communicate with them to receive help and healing.

If you feel that you have been having spiritual experiences or experiencing synchronicities that may be your soul’s way of urging you to develop your own mediumship abilities. I recommend learning to meditate or sit in stillness with the spirit world each day, practicing self development and self awareness, and connecting to a community to get support as you develop. If you’re not sure if you are a medium try joining a practice group or practicing with a trusted friend. A mediumship reading can also help to provide clarity around some of your experiences.



What is a Mediumship Development Circle?

A Mediumship Development Circle is a dedicated practice space for the development of mediumship. The circle leader or teacher is responsible for guiding participants and ensuring that everyone participates in a kind and authentic manner. Typically, a portion of the time is dedicated to sitting in the power. Sitting in the power in mediumship looks like meditating, however it feels very different. In mediumship, sitting in the power means connecting to your own Spirit, your own love, and being in the presence of the Spirit World without any agenda other than attunement. Practice circles may meet weekly online or in person. I teach an online Mediumship Development Circle that meets biweekly and a development circle that meets every week in person. The Sprit World is not limited by time and space and online circles are a great option if there isn’t a development circle in your local area.



What tools do Mediums use?

New Age practices have popularized crystals, tarot cards, flowers essences and other “tools of the trade” however the only thing needed to practice mediumship is you. Your Spirit, the eternal part of you that is all loving and connected with all life, is all you need to connect. The source of the power that it takes to practice mediumship is the love each of us have within us. I am a huge advocate of connecting with like-minded people and finding a safe space to practice and develop, however I believe that all that is truly needed is you and your Spirit Guides to learn mediumship.



What is a mediumship reading?

A mediumship reading may take place in a group or private setting. In a group setting you will hear others receive messages from their loved ones and possibly receive a message yourself. The information revealed by the Medium will never be too private or personal. This is also a chance to see how a Medium works before investing in your own private session.

In a private mediumship reading, the Medium will usually begin by explaining to you how they work and letting you know what you may expect to happen during your session. An evidential Medium will then begin communicating with your loved ones who are in spirit and presenting you evidence of their personalities and lives here on Earth. Be sure to ask your Medium questions that'll dig deep and really uncover the answers you're looking for.

In a private session, personal and sensitive information may be discussed if it is a benefit to your healing. You should understand most of the evidence that is being presented to you, however there are sometimes things that do not make sense until after a reading. I love getting messages from clients letting me know that they’ve uncovered an item that we discussed that was in their loved one’s possessions or spoke to other family members and learned that they did in fact have an aunt named Gwendolyn. The spirit world knows exactly which type of evidence to present to the medium to identify themselves, although it may not always be exactly what you are expecting. It helps to keep an open mind. Experiencing a mediumship reading is often a profound and healing experience, and you will want to give yourself time to process your session if possible. Taking an afternoon off from work afterwards or setting some time aside to reflect can be beneficial to the healing process.



How can you begin to develop Mediumship for yourself?

One of the benefits of experiencing a mediumship reading is that you may feel drawn to develop mediumship for yourself. Sometimes this means working to develop a new relationship with your loved ones who are in spirit or exploring the desire to practice mediumship with other like-minded people.


I recommend starting here when beginning mediumship:


Learn how to sit in the power

Do this each day for at least ten minutes. This daily practice will help the Spirit World attune to you, as well as help you to develop the discipline of mind needed to practice mediumship. Bookmark this guided meditation on YouTube to complete the practice on your own: meditation to connect to your spirit.


Develop the self

Self-development is a key component of your spiritual journey. Your perceptions are shaped by your lived experience and biases. Representing the spirit world accurately means working to be the clearest channel possible. This could mean learning and reading, finding a therapist to work with or healing from trauma that you’ve experienced.


Connect to a community

Find a community or Mediumship Development Circle where you feel safe and comfortable to share your experiences and ask questions. Let your intuition guide you in finding the right space for you. From there, the best way to learn mediumship is to practice! Allow your journey to unfold authentically and trust that you will be guided to learn and develop in the perfect timing for you.



Next Steps

Learn more about coaching and mentorship to advance your mediumship practice.

Check out this online Mediumship Development Circle and consider joining a supportive community.

Or see if a private reading is what you're looking for.


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