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 essentially our religion, I had no beliefs around death and flatly refused to accept the searing finality of it all. I must have believed in some kind of God because I wrote a poem for dad that asked why God had ‘taken him away.’
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.
Fast forward to present day cyberspace and the burgeoning ‘psychic medium industry.’ These Google search 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 result.
- ‘Spiritual healing’ = 63.8 million results
Taboo To Trendy
Who would have guessed that mediumship would morph from taboo to trendy? That an emerging breed of ‘psychic glitterati’ would 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 a week 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 on the deceased person’s kitchen table. Where ego-driven students strutted their stuff on stage before being swiftly cut down to size and educated 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. It took me twenty years to find an authentic, evidential medium whose gift not only proved the existence of the afterlife, but also dissolved my impossible grief.
Over the years I have I 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’ medium generally receives ‘snippets’ of information from spirit and fleshes out the message using 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.
Spiritual Circles & Schools of Thought
As I meandered through various spiritual circles and schools of thought, my unexpected foray into the local spiritualist church scene 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 while others were so underdeveloped that they shouldn’t have been permitted on public platforms. Some demonstrators delivered blunt, insensitive messages that did more harm than good to the bereaved who frequented these churches.
Thankfully, I was blessed to experience the gifts of two ‘old school’ English mediums whose honed abilities left the rest for dead. I never tired of seeing grief dissolve when evidential, deeply healing messages were conveyed from deceased loved ones.
I will always remember the long-time spiritualist who received evidential information about his brother who was killed during WW2. After the reading, he told the medium he had waited for 30 years for that magical moment.
And the most common message conveyed from the other side? ‘I’m sorry.’
Pop-Up Psychic Mediums
Over time, captivation gradually turned to disillusionment when well-meaning yet under-developed a new breed of 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 message targets. The majority of ‘pop-ups’ seemed to spend more time on self-promotion and harvesting Facebook likes, than mediumship development and self-awareness.
I eventually parted company with the local spiritual scene and relocated to the east coast of Australia to focus on my healing studies. My faith in mediumship was restored about a year later thanks to online connections with international groups and organisations dedicated to protecting authentic mediumship from dying in the commercial quagmire. They also provided vital educational resources about this fascinating, yet increasingly exploited realm that vulnerable souls often turn to in the midst of their grief.
My Father’s Last Hurrah
As fate would have it, a newspaper ad headlined ‘Psychic Reality Show’ crossed my path. 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’ show 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 bid 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 just laughed. That was my dad again – a loving, humorous, electrical engineer in his earthly life.
This experience inspired me to seek out higher standards of mediumship and led me to several ‘alternative’ style expos promoting ‘amazingly gifted mediums’ – as they do.
Six 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 talented medium brought through a woman’s father who ‘wouldn’t be seen dead at a mediumship show during his earthly life.’ The evidence that followed was awe-inspiring to witness.
These days, I don’t believe in death. My mother died over a decade ago and I handled the grief with strength, grace and understanding. A gifted medium also helped me and my mother resolve our fractured relationship that sadly felt irreparable during her earthly life. I love her more than ever now. 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 join them – and until that time comes, I am happy to leave them to it.
Scribe @ Lost For Words
© 19 April 2017