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Types of Mediumship

Trying to define different types of mediumship really is a futile division. In reality there are no divisions, separations or barriers because basically we all are psychic and have the ability to be mediums, and so to try and create artificial categories or labels, and put people into such pigeon holes, is limiting and artificial.

However, in our world today, such categories exist, mainly as a result of one specific ability being stronger than another, and this article is an attempt to explain them, and what spiritualists understand by such labels.

In the Beginning ...

In the beginning of our existence we were all 'spirit' - a non-physical entity that operated through thought. Everything comes from Thought, us included, and all that we observe through our five senses has been manufactured (or manifested) from Thought. We, as groups of unmanifested souls, created many aspects of existence. One of those aspects was physicality - the material, solid world on which we now live. There are many more.

In our beginnings we had no physical form and could not communicate by word of mouth but just by thought, and we still have that ability, although we have forgotten long, long ago. We are still that original thought form which we call 'a spirit', and ALL have what is commonly known as 'psychic ability'.


You can be a spiritual person, understanding your own spirituality, and have psychic ability and not necessarily contribute to the Spiritualist's faith. To be a Spiritualist it is normally required to accept certain principles - the Seven Principles of Spiritualism - and not everyone agrees with such principles, or may find that the principles do not accurately reflect their own personal understandings. In the grouping of people contributing through membership of an organisation, in that broad definition known as Spiritualism (now classed as a religion), false or debatable divisions are created between what they call psychic and what they call spiritual connections. They feel that psychic is just when we use our senses to 'read' someone else's energy field, which they call an aura. The spiritual connection is reserved for that experience when they feel they are in the communication state with another spirit. However, in truth, there is no division, because when we are 'psychic' we are simply 'reading' another spirit that has adventured into physicality, but is still, nevertheless a spirit in bodily (material) form.

What Does 'Medium' really mean ?

A spiritual medium is a stepping stone, a go-between, or a half-way-house between the non-physical state we call spirit and the earthly, material, physical existence. Non-physical Spirit can not come directly down to our level again, without assistance, and the medium acts as an intermediate stage between the physical and the non-physical states of Being, usually by the communication of mental images or words, but it can happen by the use of energies.

In the case of most mediums the information is handed to them in their mind, and they then convey the information to the observer, sitter, or audience. Actually there are many forms of mediumship other than the selected categories, and healing is one of them.

Also the process we call 'soul rescue' is another form, frequently performed by energy, and often the soul that has not yet got to the light (because they haven't started the journey by their own intention) is only required to sit or stand close to a person who has the ability to communicate with 'spirit', and they can then move into the light by the use of the energies (aura, energy field) that resonate with other higher dimensions of Being.

More Groupings or Labelling

Naturally there are many aspects of psychic ability and the following is just scratching the surface. Many would disagree or extend the categories further. It is all a matter of personal experience and ability.

These further divisions are created by labelling aspects of psychic ability into several groupings. Such main groupings are called by names such as:


This person has developed the ability to receive impressions brought to them by 'spirit souls'. These impressions may be in the form of images in the mind's eye, such as a flower or a letter of the alphabet, a vignette of a happening, or a thought impressed in their mind.

From this they then attempt to convey that information to a 'sitter' (one who wants to accept the information, either involved as a group of people, or sitting privately with the medium). The problem arises when the medium tries to translate the information into a meaningful message, and many fall down with the interpretation. It is wiser for the medium to simply give out the information as it comes rather than try and translate it into a meaningful message.


There are people who may 'hear' information in their mind or ears. Some have the ability to actually hear words spoken to them through the auditory nerve and brain, whilst others simply have to sort out the difference between their own day-to-day thoughts (such as 'what time is it?' and 'I need to go to the supermarket and buy butter and bread') from the thoughts that are placed there by another spirit entity. In my case I feel that the different thoughts come from a different place in time and space, and can identify an area above my head and to the front where the 'placed' thought comes from, but it is not always easy!

Once, when I was telling a group about this aspect of clairaudience, I pointed to an area slightly above my head and to the side. Quite clearly a voice in my head said "No, you've got it wrong, it is nearer the front", and I had to reposition my pointing finger !


Someone who is clairsentient has the ability to operate through what is called psychometry. The usual understanding of psychometry is that a person has the ability to pick up, from the energy field surrounding things, information about an object in a sealed envelope. However, this ability can be extended to the energy field surrounding any person, and as such can be called (by spiritualists), psychic information. The information is sorted by the feelings experienced by the clairsentient into certain emotions, feelings and impressions that will reveal such things as negative or positive energies. For example sensing of energies surrounding a sitter will result in such feelings as heavy, smooth, prickly, abrasive, gentle, peaceful, airy or simply good or bad. Impressions of colour and lightness and darkness can also be used to interpret information, and the clairsentient has developed this to a fine art.

In my own experiments into clairsentience I have experienced sounds that have been meanigful. The sound(s) may or may not have any accompanying imagery, but they may include emotional content. Other aspects have included an entire scene enacted before my 'inner' eye, that was completely meanigless to me, but accurately described the information needed by the person who supplied the item.

We must also remember that the energies of an object or place may remain for a long time, even when things have changed over time. Such energies may sometimes give the impression that we are wrong, but seeking past information may then correct this.

As you probably realise many aspects overlap, and so the creation of labelling into one group or another can be considered to be artificial.


Another form of communication is called trance, and there are many, many forms of trance.

It takes its name from the fact that the person in trance is in a trance-like state, and again there are many different trance-like states.


A very simple example of this is when a person goes to a hypnotherapist. The person may seem to be wide awake but the hypnotherapist manages to extract spoken information from them, that they may find interesting and revealing later, often having little or no recollection of having said it. In some forms of hypnotherapy the person may go into a trance-like state, and communicate information that may not refer to themselves at all. This may happen with the process called past-life regression, and thus there is always the doubt that what is conveyed during the session may not be the person's past life at all.


Again there are divisions of description that suggest a degree of trance, such as overshadowment, light trance, deep trance, etc. Overshadowment is where someone feels that they are being directed by another soul, and responds by communication what they feel they are receiving. Most of this is quite genuine, but sometimes some self-delusion occurs in people who wish to appear cleverer than others, which is a danger in all forms of mediumship.

For some people the idea of going into a trance state is an ideal, and many try and do this, even though it is not actually a natural ability that they have been born with.

Many, many Forms of Trance

Some people are receiving information by thought, hearing in the ears or head, and cannot bring themselves to disseminate this information, 'as a normal person', and so indulge in some form of role play, acting out a trance state. This could be called 'light trance'.

In this state the medium may use speech indecision such as ..'err..', or seem to stumble over which word to use, and may actually be calling on information held deep in the subconscious, rather than an actual communication from a non-physical entity.

Other people may actually be removed from normal sensibility as another spirit uses the body and body functions such as speech to communicate. It is quite possible that someone who has started out to receive hypnotherapy communicating their own information, actually alters, as other non-physical souls use the situation to communicate, as is mentioned above. The information may be that of a parallel lifetime, or a portion of a soul. In our existence here on Earth we are only a portion of our soul. Other portions of our soul continue another existence (which may not actually be here on Earth), which collectively adds to the wisdom of the soul. Usually we are not aware of the other portions of ourselves in this lifetime, unless it is time that we need to know.

Really deep trance occurs when the medium loses all aspects of their conscious awareness and agreeably donates the body to another non-physical entity to use for communication. The Non - Physical soul that now uses the body, may use the hands, head movements, and feet as well as the voice. The deep trance medium may or may not be aware of the communication. If they can actually hear what is being said it may seem to be like a voice heard faintly, as if down a long passage.

Depending upon the state of trance such things as energy transference can occur as well as speech communication, where energy is transmitted to a sitter, or light (and colour) communication occurs. Sometimes the communication of sound frequencies may include some that we may not hear, but perhaps feel or suspect that they are there - our ears cannot respond to the frequency or wavelength of the sound transmitted - a very odd experience to observe indeed!

The 'essence' of the deep trance medium may actually be removed from the physical body and stand at the side, or be transported to a high mountain or similar place of peace. As the visiting soul leaves, the essence of the medium gradually returns to the physical body, and they regain consciousness.

Trance mediums are born, not made. Each trance medium has a nonphysical guardian, otherwise known as a doorkeeper, gatekeeper or similar.

The guardian has to give permission for a nonphysical soul to use the body of the medium to communicate. The level of guardian the medium has is allotted, not ordered, and will be of the level of evolution necessary for that stage of progress the medium has achieved, and thus will therefore change as time goes on, and the medium becomes more experienced and evolved.

If the medium is required to channel higher souls of consciousness, then a higher guardian in the hierarchy is given. The medium does not usually channel 'messages' in the normal sense of the word, but information of a higher form, such as the teachings of one of the Great Teachers, commensurate with the level of understanding of the medium, as a soul can only use the brain patterns that already exist in the medium.

There are many forms of trance, as is stated above going from simple 'overshadowment' through light trance, medium trance, to deep trance in which the 'essence' of the medium stands at one side to allow the soul to use the body to communicate. It is not just 'spirit' that can effect this communication, but advanced souls from other worlds and other dimensions. Some mediums can transfer energies to a sitter(s), which will manifest as changes in their lives or the realisation of information they didn't know they possessed - opening a channel between them and the nonphysical world of energy beings. Once such a channel is opened it remains open for all time.

Every trance medium MUST have a competent and knowledgeable companion at their side, who can take control if necessary. This is necessary for the well-being of the deep trance medium. A competent companion will be able to take control if some maverick energy being decides to intervene, overriding the permission of the guardian. In the more developed stages of deep trance this is unlikely, but may be a problem for the beginner.

Do not touch a trance medium during trance sessions - the body is being used by someone else and can cause dangerous biological shock if touched incorrectly. The same thing applies to any sudden loud noises, abrupt movements, or other interruptions. The actual physical body of a deep trance medium undergoes changes to suit the visiting soul and their particular form of energy, such as changes in heart rate, breathing, etc., and if sudden interruption occurs, the trance medium may physically suffer unless allowed to return to normal awakened state slowly and without stress.

Physical Mediumship

This category is reserved for the type of mediumship that encourages actual physical phenomena to occur. In the past there were many mediums that had this ability and many of the well-known names in mediumship were physical mediums. Today it is very rare indeed.

The kind of thing we are talking about here are phenomena like the appearance of ectoplasm, a kind of gossamer substance that emanated from the medium's mouth, stomach, etc. The ectoplasm would then form itself into a physical object such as the image of a complete deceased person, a hand , a head, or similar.

Another phenomena that may have occurred was that of speaking through a trumpet. The trumpet was a long, straight trumpet-shaped instrument, which may have floated through the air towards a sitter, who then could hear the voice of a departed loved one. Shaking of tambourines may have been another phenomena.

Most of this kind of thing was practised in the complete darkness, and so raised doubts in the minds of those that sat in such circumstances, as to whether there were some kind of stage tricks were going on here. It is true that some exploiting mediums actually stage-managed these performances, thus giving a very poor name to this kind of mediumship today.

Such groups that are formed at this time to explore the aspects of physical mediumship seem to be largely disappointed. This may be that spirit no longer wish to use this kind of 'evidence', due to its vulnerability to fraud. I must admit that any attempt to replicate this with Sara and myself have been unsuccessful.

There are other forms of this kind of physical mediumship today that use electronic equipment to 'sense' the presence of spirit, or cameras, still or video, that record images - a medium may not even be present at the investigation - but again, the use of physical devices leaves the matter so open to fraud or misinformation.

It is worthy of note here that spirit can and do use electrical and electronic devices to communicate. Most people may see this as a flickering or momentary dimming of house lights, a single ring on a telephone, a single ring on a door bell, a TV that changes channels on its own, or is switched on or off without any person doing so, or other phenomena. This kind of communication is usually to let you know that you are not alone. It often occurs when a near friend or relative has passed; they are simple telling you that they are near, and haven't really 'gone' anywhere at all, and are there but unseen.  There is no need to be afraid, just answer out loud telling them that you have recieved the communication, and thanking them for letting you know they are around.

Another form of this kind of physical mediumship is known as transfiguration. A subject sits usually in a specially prepared compartment or 'tent' of fabric illuminated by a coloured light. Some demonstrators use a red light and others use a blue one; otherwise the room is in total darkness. The observers of the phenomenon may see that the face of the sitting medium alters and seems to be that of another, and maybe one that they have known in life, now departed.

Again, I must admit that I have never seen any changes myself in a prepared situation of public demonstration.

Having said that, several people have told me that they have observed many changing faces on me, in normal lighting, when I have been healing or lecturing on spirituality, and can describe the faces in detail.

One other form of physical mediumship that is mentioned in spiritual circles is that of 'Direct Voice'. In this form of mediumship, usually practised in a darkened room, the medium allows a spirit to use their voice box, but in this case the voice box is a template from which non-physical souls can create a subtle (or unseen) voice box elsewhere in the room. Reportedly the voice then can seem to come from anywhere in the room, or even everywhere, rather than from the medium.

Again, I have been unsuccessful in observing this form, even though I have attended so-called direct voice demonstrations.

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