Types of Mental Mediumship

The Phenomena of Mental Mediumship

Distant Learning ProgrammeThis is part of our Distance Learning Project (DLP) specially written for us by Violet Kipling DLP2 part 3. edited by Craig Hamilton-Parker. Click the logo on the left for more info about our online classes

The phenomena produced by mental mediumship can be classified under two headings: – Perception and Control.


When information is received in the Perceptive Class it is given first to the medium and is then relayed to the recipient of the message. This is an indirect method of  transferring information between the two worlds and it is possible that the medium does not always see or hear as clearly as s/he would wish and sometimes the message may be slightly different to that intended because of such misunderstanding. The recipient must always judge any message from the information it contains and knowledge of the person supplying it.

There are many phenomena in the Perceptive classification but the ones mainly known, and used, are clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience being the medium’s ability to see, hear or sense the communicating spirit. Some mediums are only clairsentient while others usually use a combination of all three phenomena


In the controlled class the communication is more direct than the Perceptive Class and often more reliable.

The phenomena classified as being in the control category are those which take place when the medium’s normal senses are suppressed and a degree of control is effected by the communicating spirit. Different parts of the medium’s body can be the subject of such control as can the whole body when a deep trance state is achieved.

Whatever degree of control is placed upon the medium the consciousness cannot be removed and it is possible, in all phenomena, for any words spoken to be coloured to some extent by the mind of the medium. The greater the development of the medium, however, the less this will happen. The information given by spirit through a medium under control should always be assessed and quite often it will be found that the medium has no knowledge whatsoever of that which had been spoken. Foreign and dead languages are often used by spirit as are scientific concepts or profound philosophic teachings.

Mental Mediumship and Psychic Art



The act of ‘clear seeing’. When a medium is using his or her clairvoyant ability the thoughts of the spirit people which have been impressed upon his/her subconscious mind, through the aura and registered by the conscious mind, appear as sight. The medium sees the spirit person, sometimes, as one would see someone living in the physical world when that person is brought to mind. This is subjective clairvoyance. It is a mental image. It is possible, however, for mediums to see objectively and when this happens the mediums see the communicating spirits as though they were still living in this physical world. There is usually, however, still an awareness that the person seen is a resident of the spirit world and not the physical.


The act of ‘clear hearing’. The thoughts, suggestions and information placed into the subconscious mind of the medium by the spirit people are now registered as sound. As with clairvoyance the medium can hear subjectively or objectively. In the subjective state the medium hears the word within his or her mind and this can be likened to re-listening, within the mind, to a radio or television programme. The voice can be heard but it is within the framework of the mind. In objective clairaudience the sound is physical, but only to the medium. It will be felt that the sound is in the room and mediums often respond by automatically speaking back but, as with clairvoyance, the realisation is nearly always there that the words are those of spirit.

W T Stead, one time editor of the Times, speaking through the aid of a medium said, “I do not transmit words. I speak to you in the language of spirits – that is to say, I think and the vibrations of my thoughts are transmitted through the intermediary of our spirit bodies. Your spirit body then gives consciousness of my thoughts to your brain”.


The act of ‘clear sensing’. Mediums use their clairsentient ability to feel the emotions, the personality, the pains etc of the communicating spirit. A medium will often think that they are aware, through the feelings received, that the communicator is a man or woman because they feel big and strong or perhaps gentle and sensitive. This can be misleading as men can be gentle and ladies can be big and strong. Sensing is purely as it says – feeling, sensing or having an awareness at an intuitive level of the spirit person.

Some mediums tend to confuse subjective clairvoyance and clairaudience with clairsentience because they are not seeing or hearing objectively. Whilst not often considered as such, clairsentience can be subjective or objective. Sometimes the medium becomes aware of a pain the communicator suffered but it is not troublesome. On other occasions there can be a very strong sensation of pain and the medium will ask that the communicator steps back a little or asks for help to remove the condition. A medium cannot speak if experiencing physical breathing difficulties as this would defeat the object of the exercise.

It should always be remembered that all these faculties can be overridden by negativity and antagonism projected by sceptics. When this happens mediums often describe it as trying to walk through sludge, every step is hard work.

Psychic Art     

Psychic Artists are mediums who can sketch the faces of the communicating spirits. It is usual for these mediums to be already competent artists in their own right. The spirit people take advantage of any gifts mediums possess and utilise them to get across their message.

Some Psychic Artists like to work with another medium who will tune into the spirit communicator and relay the information which accompanies the portrait. This allows the Psychic Artist freedom to concentrate on the person he is aware of and consequently make a better drawing than might have been possible if drawing, receiving information and speaking all at the same time.

The spirit people do not always show themselves as they were at their passing. They have the ability to choose any time within their earthly existences to present to the Psychic Artist. Quite often they will replicate a photograph that the recipient has at home which was taken many years previously.

While most Psychic Artists come within the Perception Class there are some artists who enter a state of trance or have just an arm controlled while drawings are being produced. These last two phenomena would come under the category of control.

Inspirational Writing  

In the early development of mediumship, one of the first phenomenon to be manifested is inspirational writing.

Thoughts appear to be pour into the medium’s mind and these must be recorded as soon as s/he recognises what is happening. Scientific or historical information can be given as can Philosophy of such indescribable beauty and with a profundity which makes the medium wonder to which level of spirit s/he is attuned. This is often the reason people believe they are linking with angels when this is not the case. Giving inspirational writings is not an angelic task; spirit guides and teachers give the world these teachings and it is important such teachings are not lost. Any scientific or historical information can, of course, be checked which helps mediums who need to be analytical in the approach to their mediumship


Healing is the ‘laying on of hands and prayer’. The development of healing mediumship should be undertaken with the same rigor as is that of ‘clairvoyant’ or ‘trance’ mediumship. Student healers need to be able to attune themselves not only to the patient, but also to higher levels of spirit from whence come the healing energies.

There are five main methods of carrying out healing:

Magnetic Healing

Near to the Body Healing

Contact Healing

Distant Healing

Absent Healing

1.       Magnetic Healing

Magnet healing takes place by the healer using his or her own energies to effect a beneficial effect upon the patient. Unfortunately this effect will only be temporary and the healer will feel drained. There is a passing of magnetic energies when the healer tunes into a patient but when the link with the healing energies take place this ceases. This is one of the reasons sitting in a healing circle is necessary.

2.         Near to the Body Healing

When this kind of healing takes place, the healer does not touch the patient. The healing energies are directed through the aura to the patient. Some patients are reluctant to receive this form of healing, as they prefer to feel the ‘healing touch.’ This, however, is a personal preference and, touching or not, the healing will still work.

3.         Contact Healing

This the usual form of healing. The healer places his or hands upon the patient and allows the healing energies to flow through from spirit sources, through the spirit of the healer to the spiritual part of the patient. Hence the expression: ‘From spirit, through spirit, to spirit.’

4.         Distant Healing

Distant Healing is given when close contact is not desired, either on the patient’s part or that of the healer. The healer sits, or stands, approximately one to two metres from the patient and directs healing to the patient from that point. The time spent on this is usually the same as that given in contact or near to the body healing, 5-7 minutes.

5.         Absent Healing

Thoughts are energy and in the case of Absent Healing the Healer is using his/her thoughts to link with the healing energies to bring about a beneficial effect upon the patient. Absent healing negates the suggestion that spirit healing is faith healing as quite often the recipients of the healing energies are not aware that healing is being directed to them. Absent Healing is a prayer for healing.

It is not possible for a healer to effect a cure or promise to be able to guarantee such. The healing is carried out through the auspices of spirit intervention and if a cure does take place, then it is the healing energies which are responsible for such. The healer, however, must be recognised for the very important part s/he plays in the process.

It is important that trainee healers undertake a course of study in order to ascertain the rules and regulations which are in force with regard to healing. There are many Statutes, the provisions of which can be infringed if the trainee is not aware of them.



Trance is possibly one of the most misunderstood of the phenomena demonstrated by mediums. Trance is control by the medium’s spirit guides and helpers and this control can be from a very light overshadowing, or influence, of the medium to a very deep level of control where the medium often thinks s/he is asleep

It is not necessary for mediums to be put to sleep. The medium enters a state where s/he loses awareness of surroundings and people. The consciousness has been suspended to such a degree that mediums can be forgiven for thinking they have been asleep.

In the state of overshadowing the spirit control draws very close and influences the medium’s thoughts to such an extent that inspirational speaking takes place. This often happens when a medium is addressing  an audience or congregation.

As trance develops there is a stage when, upon opening awareness, the subconscious mind of the medium takes control and thoughts expressed can sometimes be from this source. This is one of the reasons why it is important that trance mediums do not  ‘go public’ until their development is stronger and spirit are the directing control.

It must be stressed at this point that the spirit control does not need to enter the body and the medium is never in any danger of being ‘possessed’. The medium is allowing the guide to control his or her body temporarily and this can take place near to the body or from a great distance.

In the deeper stages of trance the spirit will exert a stronger control which will enable the guide to speak directly to those present. Many of the teachings given, and questions answered, in this fashion have been put into books; one of the more well known of these guides being Silver Birch, the guide of the medium Maurice Barbanell. There are many others, however, and students should have no difficulty in finding them; a search of the Internet should provide results, especially the Spiritualist and spiritual web sites.

Any person desirous of unfolding his or her mediumship should listen to a deeply entranced medium if an opportunity arises. Not only are words spoken but there is an atmosphere which pervades the room wherein this experience takes place and people are very conscious that they have been privileged to listen to the voice of spirit. Every person wishing to dedicate their lives to spirit deserves this experience.

It must also be said that all mediums should welcome trance mediumship. When mediums have been controlled by compassionate, loving souls, this reflects upon their very lives. People reflect the influences of their friends and this applies to those friends in the world of spirit.

Trance Healing

Some trance mediums prefer to allow their healing guides to control them and administer the healing energies. When this take place, of course, there will be no magnetic healing given, just spirit healing, from spirit, through spirit, to spirit.

The state of trance is not recognised in law and therefore many organisations do not allow trance healing to take place in public. Usually an appointment is made and there should also be another person in attendance as witness to everything that takes place. This is protection for both patient and healer.

Trance Art

After collecting paints, paintbrushes, pencils, paper and canvas and having them close to hand, the medium enters a state of deep trance.

Upon the return of normal consciousness the medium will find that he or she, under the control of spirit, has painted a watercolour, an oil painting or done one in pastels. Sometimes simple pencil sketches are all that are produced but when it is considered that these works of art are produced while the medium is semi-consciousness, anything at all that is produced is always very welcome. Daniel Duguid was a medium famous for his spirit paintings created in this manner.

Spirit Writing

In the control class there are two ways in which spirit writings can be produced. These are:

Trance writing

Automatic writing

(a)     Trance writing

A pen and paper are laid conveniently on a table for the spirit people to use. The medium then enters a state of deep trance and when s/he returns to full consciousness, it is found that voluminous writing has taken place. Many of the classic Spiritualist books were received in this manner.

(b)     Automatic writing

The control in the case of automatic writing is usually only of the medium’s hand. A pen is held lightly over a sheet of paper and the medium distracts his/her mind perhaps by reading, or watching television. The medium’s hand will move over the paper giving information or details of the spirit writer. Often many sittings, which only produce scribbles, have to take place before the spirit operators are proficient enough to use the pen and quite often the writing has no spaces. Once this skill has been achieved the writing can be very rapid and many well-executed scripts are received.

With any kind of spirit writing it is imperative that the contents of the scripts are examined carefully. Most spirit writers will give sufficient information regarding themselves to establish an identity that will be regularly recognised each time they use the medium. The handwriting will be different when carried out by different authors and when family members draw close they can reproduce their own handwriting which can be most evidential.

Questions should always be asked to ascertain whether the information could have come from the medium’s mind or whether there is a blending of two minds, one from each dimension. The spirit people will prove themselves, given the opportunity.

COPYRIGHT This article is part of our Distance Learning Project DLP – a course specially written for us by the great Spiritualist Violet Kipling and long time worker on this website and the charitable organisation  Rainbows End. No part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. This material may not be published as web pages or in email correspondence courses without the permission of the copyright owner. World serial rights are owned by the “Psychics and Mediums Network” (www.psychics.co.uk)

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