My dear father died suddenly in 1980 – three months after assuring me that we would live forever. The shock catapulted me into a state of impossible grief and an unwitting spiritual odyssey in search of answers. Tough gig for a seventeen-year-old. Having grown up in a family where love was our religion, I had minuscule knowledge of death and flatly refused to accept the searing finality of it all.
Back in the day, I lived in Adelaide, South Australia, where talk of death and mediumship was taboo and soothsayers were written off as crackpots. So was I, for a while.
My first beacon of light arrived in the form of a book called ‘Many Mansions’ – an introduction to the fascinating world of eminent ‘sleeping prophet’ Edgar Cayce. Several enlightening books followed, including Dr. Raymond Moody’s groundbreaking ‘Life after Life.’ Spiritual books became my elixir.
The profound healing experience that accompanies authentic, evidential mediumship, arrived some twenty years later complete with a sketched portrait of my father. It completely floored me. The grievous years in between were akin to a train wreck. The profound healing experience that accompanies authentic, evidential mediumship, arrived some twenty years later,
Fast forward to present day cyberspace and the burgeoning ‘psychic medium industry.’ These Google results paint quite a picture:
- ‘Psychic medium’ = 3.9 million results
- ‘Psychic medium google listings’ =6.5 million results
- ‘Authentic psychic mediums’ = 1.2 million results
- ‘Fake psychic mediums’ = 286,000 results.
- ‘Spiritual healing’ = 63.8 million results.
Who would have guessed that mediumship would morph from taboo to trendy? An emerging breed of ‘psychic glitterati’ starring in stage and TV shows, hawking weekend workshops and online certificate courses that have us believe anyone can be a psychic medium. Death has never been so glamorous.
Perhaps I shouldn’t write about such things. Perhaps I shouldn’t have spent time at the Arthur Findlay College (UK) where I witnessed highly-attuned mediums provide detailed, evidential information to perfect strangers, right down to the full name, address, and red-checked tablecloth in the deceased person’s kitchen. Where ego-driven students strutted their stuff on stage before being swiftly cut down to size and counseled about the art of true mediumship. Where an entertaining yet overtly cynical workshop tutor said: ‘Only 1% of students have the gift of mediumship – everyone else is wasting their money.’
In my experience, authentic, highly-attuned mediums have been few and far between. I’ve learned that psychic and medium are two separate things, and psychics are not necessarily spiritual. We are all born with psychic abilities that can be developed over time, while mediumship is a different ball game. A ‘wannabe’ can spend thirty years developing mediumship skills and still be ‘mediocre’. There’s no harm in trying.
I learned that an attuned, gifted medium provides detailed, evidential information from loved ones in spirit, while a ‘gift of the gab’ psychic medium generally snatches ‘snippets’ of information from spirit fleshes out the message with psychic and psychology skills. Predictive psychic skills can be impressive – but it’s not mediumship. How often have I heard: ‘Spirit is telling me…’ when in fact it’s often psychic impressions being ‘read’ from a person’s energy field.
Common personality traits also include humility, compassion, preference for private sittings and a respectful perception of their mediumship gift as essentially an instrument of healing; a personal act of service; a lifelong, evolving apprenticeship.
As I meandered through various spiritual circles and schools of thought, my unexpected foray into the local spiritualist church scene proved to be a captivating experience that provided deeply invaluable insights into mediumship and psychic phenomena.
Church services commonly included psychic flower readings and other demonstrations of clairvoyance and mediumship. Most of the demonstrators I saw, were predominantly psychic and used basic psychology to flesh out messages. Some were so underdeveloped that they shouldn’t have been on public platforms. Especially the ones whose blunt, insensitive delivery of messages did more harm than good to the bereaved who frequented these churches.
But then there were two ‘old school’ English mediums whose honed gifts left the rest for dead. I was continually amazed to see grief dissolve when detailed, evidential, deeply healing messages were conveyed from deceased loved ones.
In one memorable case, a long-time spiritualist said he had waited for 30 years to hear convincing, evidential information about his brother who was killed during WW2. And the most common message conveyed from the other side? ‘I’m sorry.’
Over time, captivation gradually turned to disillusionment when well-meaning yet under-developed ego-driven ‘pop up’ psychic mediums began to appear. Everybody wanted to be a medium, it seemed. Some frequented church platforms, while others began charging money for public shows – with family or friends the common targets of messages. It became clear that the majority of ‘pop-ups’ spent more time on self-promotion and harvesting Facebook likes, than mediumship development and self-awareness.
I parted company with the local spiritual scene several years ago, choosing to relocate to the east coast of Australia and focus on my shamanic healing path instead. My faith in mediumship was also restored thanks to connections with international groups and organisations dedicated to protecting authentic mediumship from drowning in the commercial quagmire. They also provide vital education resources about this fascinating, yet increasingly exploited healing realm that vulnerable, grieving souls often turn to when seeking solace.
As fate would have it, a recent newspaper ad headlined ‘Psychic Reality Show’ captured my attention. The psychic medium promoted herself as being on par with US celebrity medium John Edward. This I had to see. Turns out the bubbly, ‘gift of the gab’ style psychic was a former corporate high-flyer whose dreams about her colleagues led to a demand for readings.
Her psychic ‘fishing expedition-guessing game’ delivered predominantly predictive psychic information, a few names of deceased loved ones and fewer accurate evidential ‘hits.’ She also confessed that she didn’t know much about the ‘other side’ but was looking into it.
As the psychic bade us farewell with a special gift of thirty-minute readings for just $100, the fluoro light directly above my head began to flicker loudly. People glanced at me with strange looks, including the psychic.
I laughed. That was just my dad…again…a wildly humorous, electrical engineer in his earthly life.
Inspired to seek out higher standards of mediumship, I ventured out to several ‘alternative’ style expos promoting ‘amazingly gifted mediums’ – as they do. Six psychic medium demonstrations later, only two fit the ‘attuned, evidential’ bill but I was pleasantly reminded of the joy that a ‘seasoned’ medium can bring. I laughed out loud when a gorgeously gifted medium brought through a woman’s father who ‘wouldn’t be seen dead at a mediumship show during his earthly life.’
These days, I don’t believe in death. My mother died a decade ago and I handled the grief with strength, grace and understanding. A gifted medium also helped me and my mother resolve seemingly irreparable differences. Sweet relief! And I love her more than ever. Powerful stuff.
An attuned, evidential medium can certainly be a conduit to help us heal our grief, access hidden reserves of strength and inspiration, motivate us to embrace the gift of life. I also believe that our loved ones have a ‘life’ to live on the ‘other side’ until it’s time for us to reunite once again – and am happy to leave them to it.
Scribe @ Lost For Words
© 19 April 2017