“If I were going to a medium,” more than one friend has told me, "I would wear different clothes. I'm going to take off all my jewelry, change my hair; I'll disguise myself somehow. I don't want the medium to have any clues about me."
"You can do that," I always say. "but it doesn't work like that.
"True mediumship isn't like the Wizard of Oz where the traveling magician digs through Dorothy's basket to learn more about her.”
So how does mediumship work?
I'll share a little about how it works for me, as the workings of this gift are as unique as the individual. And of course, a lot of it comes down to training, integrity, skill, and practice. Practice helps the medium hone his/her craft, while training and ethics help provide the greatest of details and heart-touching messages. This is when healing can take place—relief can come in to replace grief. Peace can enter the heart.
For me, when a reading begins, I'll usually start by saying hello, settle a few pre-reading details, and say a silent prayer. You’ll hear a lot of mediums tell you, especially at the public readings at the stump in Lily Dale, that the sound of your voice helps us to tune into your vibration and the loved ones around you. As a general rule of thumb, you should speak enough to be of service to the reader, but not so much as to give away important details before validation of any incoming messages can occur.
Remember you have contracted the reader to hear what they have to say, so allow them that time to speak while you mostly listen.
For example, if you are hoping desperately to hear from your departed mother, and you begin the session by telling the reader something like, “My mother recently passed of pancreatic cancer. . .” you have given details which could have provided accuracy during the session. So instead, you might forego saying such things at the start. Perhaps the medium will eventually say something like, “. . . Mother comes in and tells me she passed recently. Prior to passing, she had been in the hospital and had pain in the abdomen (medium indicates the location).” To which you might then reply, “Yes, she passed away a month ago of pancreatic cancer.” (This type of confirmation helps the medium know s/he is on track.) Note that details may be more specific, I’m just stating this as a quick example.
Validation, for me, is one of the most important aspects of a reading. It takes a little extra time to bring in these details, but the results are, by far, worth it.
As the reading begins for me, I visualize a small chapel tucked in an upper room. This is a sacred place I began seeing many years ago. It serves as a calming ritual as I step into spirit. The stairway that enters at the back is gemstone encrusted in an adobe-like covering. I allow my senses to feel the stones as I climb the steps. As I enter at the back, a stained-glass window streams in light on my left. I walk to the front and turn to stand at the head of the chapel looking out on all the empty, wooden pews and invite your loved ones to come in. I ask those from your mother’s side to sit to my left and those from your father’s side to sit on my right—much like a wedding. I indicate to them that they should sit in a particular order, ranking by generations. Friends of the family sit on either side, more toward the back. This helps me to state more clearly which side of the family your dearly departed loved ones are from.
Throughout the entire session, I talk a lot to my guides and those coming in. Depending on the individual, I may do this telepathically, or sometimes I speak to them aloud. I ask a lot of questions. As I do, I listen to what I hear; try to accurately describe what I see; and pay attention to what I feel, both physically and intuitively.
Seeing is perhaps my second best skill. What I see is often like looking at a faded old movie through one of those hand crank machines from the early 1920s. Like the app Snapchat, I may only see a glimpse of the image before it disappears. I may also see images from my own past experiences—spirit uses these to help me connect with whatever a loved one may be trying to express. Because of this, part of the skill is in interpreting these connections appropriately. (I believe it is in jumping to conclusions where many mediums can get off track.) Ironically, I don’t often perceive skin color. Spirit doesn’t seem to care if a loved one is black, white, red, or brown.
I focus on what their personality is like, how they “feel” to me. Are they jovial and boisterous? Are they shy and withdrawn? Do they step in with confidence? Are they the strong and quiet type? If several are present, I may speak more directly to the one who is more verbal, while he or she passes on information from those who are more shy and quiet.
Another important thing to understand about readings is that often the medium’s communication is affected by the loved one’s ability to communicate. A person who in life was often shy, quiet, and withdrawn, will likely be so during the reading as well. Keep in mind too that a medium's ability to explain or describe is often based on his/her personal understandings and experiences. S/he may not be able to understand the workings of the brain as described by your grandfather the surgeon. S/he may respond with something like, “He’s showing me the inside of my head.” To which you could reply, “My granddad was a brain surgeon.”
As an aside, I find telepathic communication is incredibly miraculous. In nano seconds a spirit conveys a message, the medium’s brain seeks out a connection from his/her memory, and then the reader speaks out to the client what has been perceived, while at the same time s/he is asking the next question and connecting with spiritual guidance to know “what else should I be asking/saying/explaining? For those who do on-air readings, add to the mix that they are teaching/talking about what they do, conversing with the host, conversing with the on-air client, all the while this other process is going on. (And you wonder why they missed some small detail?)
Hearing is my best skill. Bill Coller, who is perhaps one of the best mediums in the world, explained that “hearing” (clairaudience) for a medium is far superior to “seeing” (clairvoyance). Why? Because a medium who merely sees can only say what a loved one looks like or shows them, whereas a medium who hears can carry on a conversation. However, it is important to understand that these conversations are based on the questions the medium asks. If details you feel are key are missed, it may not be due to a poor reading as much as the questioning that occurred. Nevertheless, I do not recommend that you then pepper the reader with questions you want to ask. This can pull the reader out of spirit and break the connection. Usually at the end of the reading, a medium will ask, “Was there a last question you wanted me to ask?”
I find I am easily distracted by outside noises and movement. For this reason, I prefer to sit in a quite place. I often shut my eyes. Things like a barking dog, a poor phone line connection, conversations in the background, are all encompassed within the heightened audial sensory I experience when in session. For this reason, I recommend that call-in clients do so from a hardline whenever possible and during a time when there are few distractions on their end, as well as mine.
During the session, I not only hear spirit, I receive explanations and understandings. These come from claircognizance or “clear knowing.” Or as my father-in-law used to say, “I know that I know that I know,” from a knowledge that comes not from the head—but from spirit. From these “knowings,” I am able to offer deeper insights.
Perhaps more than anything else, I will often say, “I feel…” or “I sense that…” and this “feeling” stems from both physical sensations, as well as perceived information. I often feel love, pain, sadness, and all the other emotions and senses available to man. I might be moved to tears—or laughter during a session. Love, I find, is the hardest of these to convey. When I find myself enveloped within a tremendous love that is obviously the length and breadth that a loved one has for my client, I so dearly wish there were a way to lift that from me and drop it onto them so they could feel it too. But in most cases, I only have words to convey the immensity of that love. All I can do is hope the client can comprehend and sense that love too (and I believe, from their reactions, many do).
Within my own family, there are those who doubt the validity of mediumship, and I cannot blame them. There are a lot of ways to pick at a reading, find fault with it, tear it—and the reader—down. But what I tell those doubters—the ones who sincerely want to know the truth—is that until you have received a reading that touches your heart and shows you in ways that no one can explain, or gifted you with information that no one else could have known, you will not believe. But more importantly, once you have been touched by this, you will not be able to not believe. You will know you have been visited by your loved ones.
If you’re considering visiting with a medium, choose wisely. Ask friends for recommendations, or choose someone who you’ve seen demonstrate their work. What credentials do they offer? Have they received training? Do their values, based on what you may see on their website or flyers align with yours? Do they represent themselves as professionals, or is it a $5-per-reading hobby? These and other signals can help you to choose well and lend to the best possible experience. A well-trained medium will typically leave you with a feeling of peace and assurance, not fear.
Remember too that you were born with the capacity to receive messages and awareness of your passed loved ones and they will connect with you in whatever means you are most open to receiving those messages be it through dreams, signs and wonders, or odd coincidences. You don’t have to visit a medium to have this connection. You can have it simply be allowing it, being open to it, and appreciating it.
I leave you with that and hope to connect with you and your loved ones sometime soon.