Most readers will be aware of psychic skills and of mediumship, as demonstrated by mediums in spiritualist churches and in private mediumship readings. However, there is another type of mediumship which is very rarely seen in public these days, and that is physical mediumship.
Whereas mental mediumship involves the medium receiving images, words or messages from spirit into their mind, to pass on to you, physical mediumship involves spirit using the energies of a psychic medium to produce physical effects – things which can be witnessed and seen or heard by everyone in the room at the time.
At its height during the séances of the late 18th and early 19th century, physical mediumship largely disappeared from view in the latter half of the century, following allegations of fraud and deception. It has never gone away entirely however, and around the world, there are numerous dedicated mediums who sit for years to develop these gifts. Public mediumship demonstrations are rarely open to the general public and are usually by invitation only, but if you join an established spiritualist group you may eventually be invited to witness something truly amazing.
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Some consider trance mediumship to be a form of mental mediumship, but many think of it as a separate category in its own right. Generally, a spirit uses the medium’s mind temporarily to convey a message to their loved ones who are still alive. The medium’s mind metaphorically steps aside for a moment to let the spirit communicate.
Often the trance is not completely overpowering. Many trance mediums say that they still know what is going on where they are. They are just also very aware of another time and place that the spirit is transmitting to them.
This is considered a more direct form of communication with spirits than generic mental mediumship. This is because instead of vague images and sounds being presented to the medium, it is often much more complete and coherent information that is passed directly from the spirit world. Sometimes spirits allow the trance mediums to speak for them, even in a different language that the medium may not even know.
After many years, a skilled physical medium may be able to facilitate direct voice phenomena. When this happens, spirit voices will speak from mid-air, to be clearly heard by the audience – not the same as trance, where it is the medium’s own voicebox which is used to speak. Often in direct voice, sitters report that the voices of their spirit loved ones are entirely recognizable as they were on earth.
Transfiguration is usually carried out in dim red light. As you watch the medium’s face, you will see his or her features change, sometimes dramatically, until the face is recognizable as a spirit loved one for someone present. Sometimes the medium’s face will change to reflect the face of their guide too.
Apports and Asports
Under well-controlled séance conditions, an apport or asport is a truly exciting thing to see. An apport is an item which appears, as if from nowhere, in the room. Usually something small and meaningful for those present, apports can be letters, coins, items of jewelry, crystals, flowers, or just about anything else.
Asports are the opposite. When something present in the room disappears, either for good or to re-appear somewhere else entirely. During the famous Scole experiments in England, a 60-year-old newspaper was apported, in pristine condition, which was later tested and found to be a genuine paper from that date.
Levitation is another unforgettable physical mediumship phenomena. During a séance, the medium’s spirit team may be able to move trumpets, small balls, or even tables and chairs around the room, to be seen moving by all.
Actual physical materialization of a spirit person remains extremely rare, even in private séances, and is said to take many years of work to produce. More common, however, is for sitters to feel hands on them, or handshakes, or hugs, without necessarily being able to see the physical form of the spirit providing the touch.