List of Ways to Talk To The Dead

Types of Mediumship and their related phenomena

Distant Learning ProgrammeThis is part of our Distance Learning Project (DLP) specially written for us by Violet Kipling DLP1 part 4. Edited by Craig Hamilton-Parker. Click the logo on the left for more info about our online classes

There are only TWO types of mediumship – Mental and Physical. Some people think Healing is another type of mediumship but Healing comes under the umbrella of Mental Mediumship even though, quite often, physical effects are achieved when healing is given.

The difference between mental and physical mediumship is very easy to determine. In mental mediumship all the information comes through the mind of the medium and is relayed to those present. In physical mediumship everybody present sees, hears, feels etc. If one person is not aware of any particular phenomenon taking place in a physical seance then that particular phenomenon is not being produced by physical mediumship.

The word phenomenon when used in mediumship is exactly as defined in any dictionary, ie anything that can be perceived as an occurrence or fact by the senses and any remarkable occurrence or person


Mental Mediumship is classified under two headings:  Perception and Control

In perception the medium enters an altered state of consciousness, links to the spirit communicator, and relays the information given.

In control, a spirit guide will be allowed by the medium, to draw close and influence him/her, sometimes to such an extent that the medium has no memory of any proceedings. Control is often called Trance and trance, in mediumship varies in degree from the slight overshadowing of the medium’s mind to the degree of seeming unconsciousness. In the stronger stages of trance the spirit operator will use the medium’s body, and especially the vocal organs, to address those present. This does not mean that the spirit person enters the body of the medium.

Control can actually take place from a great distance. The spirit people know which buttons to push; they cannot enter a person’s body; that person is attached to their body by what is known as the silver cord and this cord can only be severed at death, thus releasing the spirit and enabling it to return to its rightful home.

Some of the phenomena used in mental mediumship are:


Clairvoyance – clear seeing and this can be either subjective or objective;

Clairaudience – clear hearing and again can be subjective or objective;

Clairsentience – clear sensing; being aware of feelings, emotions etc.

Most mediums use a combination of the above phenomena when working.

Other phenomena produced by the use of the above three methods, or a combination of them are:

Odour Awareness – this is part of Clairsentience; being aware of a perfume, home made bread etc.

Psychic Art – drawings of loved ones done by the medium under the inspiration of spirit.

Inspirational Writing – the majority of mediums receive inspirational writings and these should always be kept for future reference.

Healing – the laying on of hands and prayer. That is all that it takes plus a sincere and open channel for the spirit operators to use.


Spirit writing – the medium is entranced, often falls asleep, and upon returning to consciousness finds voluminous writing has taken place.

Automatic writing – the medium gently holds a pencil or pen, then distracts his mind, perhaps by reading and allows the pen to move of its own volition.

Trance from overshadowing to full control

Trance healing – here the healer goes into a state of trance and allows him/herself to be controlled by a Healing Helper and healing is then given to the patient. Healing of any kind done in a private home should have adequate supervision, for the protection of both the healer and the patient.

Types of Mediumship


A physical medium is a reservoir for the production of ectoplasm. To produce physical phenomena a special seance must be held with much restriction placed upon it to ensure the safety of the medium. When all criteria are met the medium enters a state of deep trance and ectoplasm is taken by the spirit operators from the medium’s body and used to form many manifestations such as full sized people, to move objects such as trumpets and form voice boxes for spirit to speak through and to levitate objects.

Again, it must be stressed, that everybody present witnesses physical phenomena.

Some of the phenomena of Physical mediumship are:

Materialisation            – spirit people use ectoplasm to clothe themselves so their physical appearance is apparent to all present;

Transfiguration – a mask of ectoplasm is made and placed in front of the medium’s face. A  spirit person’s face will appear upon this mask and will speak directly to his/her loved one.

Direct and Independent Voice – In direct voice trumpets are usually used to act as condensers for the spirit voices. A voice box is attached to the trumpet and the spirit people speak through it. Independent voice is a spirit person’s voice speaking anywhere in the room without the aid of a trumpet.

Levitation – objects and/or people lifted, usually by use of ectoplasmic rods.

Percussion – sound. Spirit will rattle tambourines, ring bells, knock on walls as in the Hydesville Rappings.

Telekinesis – movement of objects. This can be done by mind power and does not always need the intervention of spirit. In a physical circle, however, ectoplasmic rods will be used to move the objects.

Apports – an object is de-materialised and transported to the seance room where it is re-materialised. The objects are usually taken from the physical world and do not come from spirit.

Asports – the opposite of Apports. An object disappears from the seance room and is found elsewhere at a later date.

Psychic Art – the Bangs sisters were famous for the production of precipitation paintings. They both went to sleep on a platform in front of a large audience. Paint was seen to be thrown at the canvas and a picture eventually emerged. Whilst such an event is a physical phenomenon, it is doubtful whether the spirit people would be using ectoplasm as ectoplasm disintegrates in white light.

Slate Writing – two slates were bound together and at the end of the seance a message to the sitters was found to be written upon them.

Spirit Lights – coloured lights would be seen dancing round the room by all present.

These are only a few of the many phenomena of physical mediumship and the spirit world are always working towards producing more to help mediums overcome the prejudices of a materialistic outlook so prevalent in the world today.

Glossary of misunderstood psychic phenomena

Ghostsimpressions of events or people retained on the atmosphere of a place.

Evil Spiritsnot as many as people are led to believe. The majority of people, even the misguided and mischievous ones, are basically good. If it were possible for mediums to be attacked by such beings, then there would be no mediums working. The fact is, mediums develop their awareness to such a degree that they are aware of negative energies surrounding people and places. Quite often negative energies are ascribed to evil spirits which is a nonsense.

Lost Soulsanother problem area. How can anyone be lost? A spirit person may choose to remain close to earth but that does not mean he or she is lost. Spirit people, when told, may not believe that they are dead and living in spirit but the fact that their friends on earth are ignoring them and there are people who they know to be dead are talking to them, has got to make them sit down and wonder. They may feel they are dreaming and refuse any offers of help made to them. Eventually, however, they will become aware of the reality of their surroundings and perhaps find that the ‘dream’ is far more pleasant than was their life on earth.

It is known when every person is to return to spirit, even when the death is accidental or appears to be sudden, and there is always someone waiting to greet everyone. If some people choose not to take up residence in spirit then that is their choice but it is hard to conceive that they can be lost when there are so many great minds in spirit overseeing and caring for every person on earth.

HauntingsIt is said that sometimes someone is thrust into spirit, without going through the normal dying process, and then refuses to leave the house in which s/he lived. This is a little strange as people who have left their physical bodies are in another dimension and the solid objects in the physical world, such as houses, trees etc., are no longer visible. It is hard to understand why a spirit would continue to remain in a place that, as far as s/he is concerned no longer exists.

Quite often it is a ghostly impression left in a house caused by the thoughts of the deceased which remain on the atmosphere and people living there become aware of the form these thoughts are taking, usually that of the deceased.  Sometimes the haunting is a build-up of negative energy and can be very oppressive and depressing. Also a haunting can often be traced to poltergeist activity, which usually surrounds a frustrated child entering puberty, and will cease as the child matures. In the meantime, however, the energies can be pretty violent. In such cases Psychical Researchers can be called in to give assistance and to monitor the activity.

Possessionthis is not possible but obsession is. The mind is a powerful tool and wrongly used can play tricks. If people have been told, or are themselves convinced, that they are possessed then the mind will oblige. The possession can be (a) imagination; (b) negative energies; (c) a mental imbalance; or (d) the influence of a mischievous spirit who may take advantage of any mental imbalance to draw close. Such a spirit could not, however, physically possess a person’s body and why would anyone want to take on the pains of the flesh again when once freed therefrom?

Astral Travel when the body sleeps, the spirit will ease out of the body in order to attune to spiritual influences which will revitalise the physical body. With some psychic or mediumistic people, the spirit will actually leave the body and go travelling. At all times the spirit is attached to the body by the silver cord which is like a light-ray. Whilst this cord is endless if the body is disturbed the cord will spring back, like elastic, returning the spirit to the body, often with a jerk. While out of the body the spirit can travel through the physical world or move to a level where both incarnate and discarnate spirit can meet. If a person becomes conscious just before, or during astral projection, it is important to remain in a state of total passivity as any reactive emotions such as fear, excitement etc will bring the spirit back to its body. The body needs sleep, the spirit is eternally awake.

Calling up the Deadanother impossibility. Free will becomes a nonsense if it is possible for a spirit person to be dragged from whatever s/he is doing by a medium and made to ‘perform’. The whole idea is laughable. The dead may also try to summon a medium but a medium who is in control of his of her mediumship will only respond if that is what is wished. There is free will on both sides of life.

Reincarnation – Some people are of the opinion that reincarnation is theoretical, there not being sufficient evidence for it to be accepted as factual. Conversely others feel very strongly that the evidence recorded is substantial. This does not mean that it is not a fact and, conversely, it also does not mean that it is a fact.

Strangely enough spirit guides differ when questioned upon the subject. Some say yes; some say no; some say yes in certain cases. People must, therefore, decide for themselves whether or not returning to earth to have more experiences makes sense.

Suicides – there is no hard and fast rule for the treatment of suicides even though there are many books telling of darkened states and people wandering in grey mists in limbo. As with every deed performed by each individual, the motive behind the deed is the deciding factor as to the treatment which will be given. While living on Earth some people experience mental blackouts; some people are in excruciating pain; some people have a mental illness, some people are being kept alive by machinery and some people are running away from life to escape the consequences of deeds perpetuated by them. It can be seen, therefore, how each person must make reparation according to his/her motives.

Suicide is not an answer to the problems of life and to leave this life to escape them will only result in the individual having to face even greater problems in the next life and the wanderings in limbo could be the wanderings of a soul torturing himself for returning home before the allotted time. Life isn’t always easy but it is to be lived.

Orbs  –  With the advent of the digital camera in the public market-place, the phenomenon of Orbs has become widespread. There is a lot of hysteria attached to orbs showing up on prints and wild claims of them being spirit, ufos and even faeries or other folk from the elemental dimension.

Orbs are caused by dust or moisture on the lens of the camera and photographers have been aware of them for many years. It is moisture that is either on the lens at the time of the snap taken in minute form (it catches the light) or moisture in the air (humidity), snow, fine rain, and mists. Other phenomena appearing on digitally produced prints can be insects captured in flight.

The speed of the camera is so great it can literally snap a dragonfly in flight which ends up looking like a tiny flying saucer on the developed print.

Orbs must never be confused with spirit lights which is an entirely different phenomenon and normally happens within a séance room although they have been known to appear on photographs taken by mediums who have the ability to provide the energy for such.

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” (

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