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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One of the commonest types of physical mediumship is trance. As the name suggests, this involves the medium being in a deep trance-like state; while in trance, the medium’s guides, and other spirits, will essentially take over the medium’s body, and speak to the gathered audience. One of the most well-known examples of a trance spirit communicator was Silver Birch, whose wisdom still intrigues and guides to this day.
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.