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Getting Connected on Mediumship

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 2 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Mediumship Psychic Clairvoyance Psi Esp

Life after death; the very idea of humans continuing to live on after the body has expired is a major theme throughout much of historical – and contemporary- thought. For those with faith in life after death it may cause no more than a passing worry but for those who require some sort of proof the question is a haunting one, for none who have crossed over have returned to provide the evidence- or have they?

What is Mediumship?
Mediumship is the term in the culture of the psychic that refers to the ability to produce paranormal effects through connection to or interaction with spirits, the animate incarnations of the dead. Be it other forms of psi- such as telekinesis or clairvoyance- by being “powered” by a spirit or communication with the dead, Mediumship requires two things- a spirit, and the Medium, or the person in contact with the spirit.

Thus Mediumship differs from ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) and Clairvoyance and the host of other psychic abilities not necessarily in effect, but at the source. A clairvoyant may be able to sense that the new guy on the job is stealing from the company, but a medium must be told by a spirit.

While some evidence of Mediumship apes the mental powers associated with Clairvoyance, there are other, more physical, phenomena that experts say are the evidence of a medium communing with the spirits of the dead. Levitating, automatic writing and the production of ectoplasm are all examples of this. Automatic writing is when the medium enters a trance like state and is either blindfolded or otherwise kept from comfortably writing on a tablet, yet their hands move, words appear on the tablet that are messages from the spirits. Ectoplasm is considered the substance that comes from the “other side” and may take the form of a viscous goo, hot or cold spots, or even visible light.

Mediumship is a fairly technical term for what was once broadly known as spiritualism, which is effectively the same thing, where a practitioner channels or connects with a spirit and either uses its power to produce a paranormal effect, controls the spirit to produce the effect, or communicates with the spirit. Around the turn of the century spiritualism was a hugely popular concept, with many people visiting mediums to take part in séances, where the medium would contact the spirits of departed loved ones and convey messages from beyond the grave.

Mediumship and Popular Culture
A popular American TV show is called Medium, and that is precisely what the show is about, loosely based on the true story of Allison DuBois, who worked with local law agencies to solve murder cases by communing with the spirits of the slain. Magicians who perform “mentalism” produce many similar effects that mediums claim are generated via their special connection with spirits, and one very famous magician, Harry Houdini, was obsessed with finding out if it were possible to communicate with the dead. It was said he desperately missed his mother, and was incised when none could provide proof that it was she they connected with- thus he began his campaign to defraud every medium he could find.

Final Thoughts
Belief that the spirit or soul continues on after death is a common one, but the belief that one could then commune with said spirit or soul, less so. The spiritualism surge of the early 20th century, followed by many such mini-surges in the years following, show that the idea- if not the belief- is still a very appealing one.

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