Karina Collins Angel Psychic

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Karina Collins

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What Is Mediumship?

Mediumship is the receipt of information that is not available through the normal senses, typically from spirits of the dead. Mediums serve as a channel for communication between the living and the dead (this is known as channelling). They may also heal and produce physical phenomena, such as the movement of objects.

Mediumship is categorised generally as either physical or mental. Physical mediumship was popular at the height of spiritualism towards the end of the 19th century. It involves calling on spirits to interact with the living in a physical way, such as rappings (knocking), table-tilting, levitation, materialization, apports and spirit lights and sounds. Mental mediumship involves the communication of messages from the other side through clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience and through automatic writing/speech and offers one of the strongest lines of evidence for life after death. Mediums may use tools such as crystal balls or Tarot cards to help focus their energy and open the lines of communications. Other prefer to simply sit and meditate. Two of the most famous historical mental mediums were Leonora Piper and Eileen Garrett.

Related Article: Mediumship and tarot

What's In A Name?

A number of other terms have been used in the past to describe mediums, such as channeller, fortune-teller, witch, medicine man, shaman, mystic, priest, prophet and wise woman. According to experts the role of the medium may have developed historically out of the role of the shaman who communicated with the spirit world by becoming possessed by spirit deities and animal spirits. Mediums serve as a conduit between the physical world and the spiritual realm. During a self-induced trance-like state they allow spirit entities to take possession of them and this can manifest itself in physical ways, like a change of voice, or using gestures and mannerisms unique to the dead person (this is known as trans mediumship).

Some mediums practice what they call 'soul rescue': they contact a spirit or ghost to persuade them to move on to the afterlife (popularised by the American series The Ghost Whisperer with Jennifer Love Hewitt). These spirits are thought to be trapped souls, who do not know they have died, or who cannot bear to leave the physical world behind.

Typically mediumship manifests in adulthood, but early in life there may have been indications — a child hearing or seeing Spirits for example. Often a medium will resist the gift but gradually begin to accept it as unavoidable. If the mediumship is to develop into a real skill it often requires training. There are some who believe mediumship is an inherited ability but this is not generally the case. Many mediums have no family history of mediumship.

picture of ghosts

Research And Study

The study of mediumship falls within the parameters of psychical research. Early investigators found much evidence of fraud in physical mediumship and began to investigate telepathy and apparitions. In 1882 the Society for Psychical Research was founded in London, soon followed in 1885 by the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) in Boston. There psychical researcher William James came into contact with trance medium Leonora Piper and attention was directed to mental mediumship. Piper was approached with a skeptical mind set and investigated thoroughly and when it became obvious that her performances were genuine, other explanations of spirit communication, such as ESP and super ESP became focal points for investigation. To remove the possibility that Piper was reading people's minds, precautionary measures such as absent sittings and proxy sitters attending in place of persons for whom the sitting was intended were taken. Later research focused on drop in communicators, those unknown to the medium, and cross correspondences in communications through several mediums in different parts of the world.

The first scientific assessment of seance communications began in earnest in 1930 when psychical researchers Henry Salt-Marsh and S G Soal devised a statistical procedure for estimating the paranormal. Their method involved weighing statements as to the likelihood they could have been correct simply by chance. In 1933 John F Thomas took this one step further in a doctrinal dissertation, in which he had a number of people judge records as right or wrong for themselves. J G Pratt later introduced more statistical procedures.

Physical mediumship, now generally classed as macro PK (a general term that refers to psychokinetic effects that can be directly observed such as telekinesis and metal bending), was investigated less than mental mediumship in the 20th century but prominent physical mediums were still subjected to stringent controls and test procedures. From the mid-20th century onwards the psychical research establishment has had little interest in either physical or mental mediumship, preferring instead to focus on Paranormal Study and Investigation (PSI). The Psychical Research Foundation and Survival Research Foundation, however, continues to investigate and research all forms of mediumship.

Mediumship Schools

If you are interested in studying mediumship there are several colleges in the UK where you can train and nurture your skills. While not in Ireland, they are only a short plane trip away.

Arthur Findlay College
Just outside Stanstead airport, UK
Courses on: Trans mediumship, stage mediumship, physical mediumship, developing psychic abilities, how to channel Spirits and more.

College Of Psychic Studies
Courses on: Art and divination, psychic development, trance, energy healing and meditation; as well as channeling angels, spirit guides and other celestial beings.

Institute Of Spiritualist Mediums
Offers courses, seminars and workshops on mental, physical and trance mediumship.

Alternatively, you can choose to study with a practicing medium - many of whom run their own workshop and training events (usually over a weekend). I can personally recommend:

Tony Stockwell

Courses: Offers workshops, readings and demonstrations at his school in Wickford, Essex.

James Van Praagh

If you are fan of the American TV medium James Van Praagh, keep an eye out on his website for details of courses. He usually comes to Ireland (Dublin and Cork) once a year and holds a training weekend.

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Meditation For Mediumship
Why it is important to meditate to learn mediumship.
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Discover the past through reading auras of objects.
Mediumship And Children
How mediumship may manifest in younger people.
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Mediumship Readings

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