In modern Western cultures mediumship is known as a special skill limited to a few naturally gifted people. The word “mediumship” is almost always used to mean speaking with the dead. But mediumship as I define it has a much broader application. We are all mediums because, like intuition (see Am I Doing This Right? Unpacking Intuitive Perception) mediumship is a natural function of consciousness. Some people are more aware of their mediumistic perception, and some use the skill professionally, but as a function of consciousness it is a skill anyone can develop.
Mediumship is differentiated from other forms of intuitive perception in that it engages elements of conscious resonance and embodiment. Resonance is a feature of mediumship because consciousness is vibratory. The resonant qualities of consciousness are translated by our human energy systems into feelings or states of consciousness such as peace, joy, compassion, anger, grief. Mediumship then is the perception of the changes in states of consciousness that happen naturally when two or more fields of consciousness overlap and share vibratory resonances. Note that by this definition mediumship does not require the direct embodiment of spirits. The form I teach is about experiencing the resonance of spirits with more or less external proximity at the discretion of each medium and does not involve spirits entering our bodies.
We experience mediumship as a part of everyday life. Empathic states are mediumistic. Put in the language of mediumship, empathy is a mediumistic state in which resonance between conscious fields happens readily. If you’re with someone who is really angry, you might start feeling angry too as your personal field of consciousness resonates with the vibratory quality of theirs. People who feel sensitive to their environments are often those whose habitual energy states are conducive to mediumistic perception. It can be difficult for people in this state to distinguish self from other, and they often have a hard time establishing and reinforcing boundaries. But it is also a state of connection and enhanced perception. This state is often unintentional as it can develop as a natural predilection and as a response to childhood environments. But the receptive aspect of consciousness can be intentionally adjusted – this is one of the skills developed in mediumship practice. For example, you can increase or decrease your sensitivity level by changing the density of your field of consciousness. People who are habitually more dense can develop more diffusion in their fields to increase receptivity and sensitivity; whereas people who are habitually more diffuse can develop more density in their fields to create stronger boundaries and decrease sensitivity. I have found that a good energy body configuration for mediumship work is a dense core with a diffuse extension; this provides a central consolidation of personal consciousness while enabling receptive connection in the rest of the field. For a good resource on relevant practices see Julie Henderson’s chapters on energy body habits in The Lover Within.
Many of us are already spending a good portion of our lives in an unintentional mediumistic state of receptivity. Intentional mediumship practice harnesses the benefits of a mediumistic state of consciousness while creating boundaries and focused intention. Mediumship skills can be useful for anyone who would like to develop more facility with their perceptual states of consciousness.
The skills of intentional mediumship include:
- Developing a strong sense of core self to balance the diffuseness of the mediumistic state.
- Strengthening of psychic boundaries and personal sovereignty.
- Engaging mediumistic states intentionally rather than habitually.
- Moderating the degree of input received.
- Tuning into an intended signal and filtering out other signals.
- Entering altered states of consciousness to a degree that matches the intention of practice.
Mediumship with Our Spirit Kin
I practice mediumship that is conscious and consensual: my personal awareness remains present and embodied at all times, and I confer and revoke permission for spirit contact. In other words I maintain personal boundaries and sovereignty. There are practices of mediumship that are unconscious – the personal awareness of the medium leaves their body – and non-consensual – the ritual spirits determine who they are in communication with or it happens unexpectedly outside of a ritual context. With either unconscious or non-consensual mediumship I recommend only working within established and supported ritual contexts with proper training; mediumship without boundaries and consent can lead to various degrees of chronic possession. This is one reason why I only work with the compassionate aspects of spirits – they respect personal sovereignty and have no ulterior motives for interaction (see Opening to the Spirit World: Safe and Sovereign).
Meeting a spirit in mediumship practice means interacting directly with their resonant field of consciousness. It can be a very rich way of interacting with our spirit kin as we get to know the quality of their consciousness as well as their personality and whatever information they share. It is a way of experiencing forms of non-human consciousness that confers a direct experience of perspective. In this way, mediumship helps us perceive outside of the box of human consciousness. With Dragonfly we perceive ancient memory. With Lapis Lazuli we experience a much slower sense of time. With the Sun we learn that they witnesses our daytime lives and recognize our souls across the ages. Mediumship practice can change how we perceive ourselves and the world.
Because mediumship engages the resonant qualities of consciousness, mediumship practice can transform personal consciousness. This is another reason why I work with “only the most compassionate aspects“ of spirits. If a spirit carries a strong resonance of a quality like compassion, that field is amplified within myself. So I only work with spirits who have qualities I want to cultivate like wisdom, love, peace, sovereignty, and compassion.
Mediumship practice can be used to develop relationships with any type of spirit: tree spirits, mountain spirits, dragons, angels, cosmic beings, divinities, mythical beings, land spirits. Many of us lived in a more mediumistic state as children. When I was in third grade one of my friends was a playground fixture made of wood. Some of my other friends were trees and stuffed animals. I felt a natural rapport and communion with the world around me. As I got older I lost this degree of connection. Mediumship practice is a way of cultivating that kind of connection and relationship with the spirit world again.
While mediumship can be used to speak with deceased people, I don’t actually use mediumship in this way; for that I use a form of psychic reading. I don’t particularly want to share my resonant field with deceased people (except the well ancestors), and prefer to speak with them more from a place of separation. Many of the well known professional psychic mediums seem to be doing much the same. There’s not a clear distinction between psychic reading and mediumship, clairsentience in particular can be a mediumistic claire-sense, but a lot of what is popularly called mediumship I would call psychic reading.
While there are professional mediums, and historically these included ancient oracular lineages and ritual specialists from many traditions throughout the world, mediumship is a part of everyday life. Whether we feel sensitive or empathic, pick up on the “vibes” somewhere or with someone, or simply have a sense of greater communion with the natural world out on a hike we are engaging the mediumistic quality of our conscious energy bodies. We are all mediums.
To learn how to engage you own mediumship skills directly, Transformational Mediumship is currently being offered on-line. Visit that page for a course description and dates.