The headline is a line from one of my all-time favorite shows, I Love Lucy. In an old bit from their vaudeville days, Fred introduces Ethel, who’s posing as a medium in order to lead a seance which will hopefully impress Ricky’s spirit-obsessed new boss. Here’s a little taste…
Having done my share of working with spirit, I can pretty much attest to the fact that it does NOT go down the way it does in Lucy. For one thing, I don’t wear a turban — way too Norma Desmond/”Sunset Boulevard” for my taste. And unless the lights go out in the bathroom while I’m putting on my makeup, my eyeliner is on straight. There are a few other aspects of connecting with the spirit world that my clients tend to ask me about, so off we go.
First off, a medium and a psychic are not the same . A medium specifically works to communicate with the spirits of those who’ve passed on. A psychic tunes into the energies of people [living, generally], places and things, to provide an insight. The process of mediumship and psychic reading is similar, in that you’re “turning off” your own brain and allowing your Higher Self to take over and receive information from a source beyond the everyday – but the goals are different. They’re essentially two different channels on the same radio. Simply put, all mediums tend to be psychic — but not all psychics are necessarily mediums. [For those of you reading this with experience as a medium or psychic, I know, I know: this is a waaaaaay simplified description. Let me know what you think in the “Comments” section below. Now back to our regularly scheduled blog….]
As in baseball, ballet or pro-wrestling, some people are born with a gift and it takes hardly anything to bring that gift to the forefront [we hate those people]. The rest of us can learn their particular skill, but it takes some doing, and some will be better at it than others. I believe that’s the case with psychic ability — and to some extent, mediumship. It’s a natural function, but some have the volume on their particular radio turned way up loud, and tuned in perfectly right from the git-go; the rest of us need to fiddle with the dials.
I began working only psychically, but after some profound experiences with the spirit world, I made a conscious decision to develop my own mediumship abilities. Unlike many mediums, I wasn’t talking to my dead granny as a child; I pursued this as a discipline, because it intrigued me and because it was a way to deepen my service. To that end, I spent some time at the Arthur Findlay College outside of London, considered the “Harvard” of spiritual studies. I joined students from all over the world — and at all levels of expertise — who were there to sharpen their ability to recognize the presence of spirit, connect with it and convey messages.
It kicked my ass.
The coursework involved getting highly specific details about spirits, then trying to connect them with someone in the group. The focus on “specifics” is two-fold: 1) to confirm that there is indeed life after death and 2) to combat the perception of mediumship as a bunch of hooey (keep reading for more on this).
As if this wasn’t challenging enough, add in language and cultural differences, jet lag, and heavy English cuisine, and its no surprise that I was completely, utterly knackered at the end of each day.
One of the things that made the experience — and mediumship, in general — so tricky, is that the information passes through a very human filter. Speaking only for myself, I don’t get the message verbatim: I pick up images, words, feelings from the deceased and try to interpret it. So it’s hard not to try and figure out what things mean, rather than just giving it, “as is.” The logical part of your brain wants it to make sense. Your ego doesn’t want to be wrong. Yes, there are super-gifted mediums out there with very high rates of accuracy — good for them. But no one is 100 percent right all the time. Not even John Edwards, Sylvia Browne or Alison DuBois [BTW, my fellow reality TV fans, did you SEE her on that infamous episode of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”? Holeeee crap!]
You should also know that you may not always hear from the person you hope to hear from. Being a medium is like having the only working wi-fi in a crowded airport: a lot of folks are gonna try and jump on it.
Just like when they had a pulse, some spirits are still bossy. Others have a very important message they want you to hear, which will take precedence over just hearing “hi” from your dead mother. You can certainly ask that special person to come through during your session — and personally, I do my best to link in to that spirit. But know that you hear from who you’re supposed to hear from and get the message you’re supposed to get.
At this point, I have to mention the unfortunate reality of phony mediums. These are the people who cynically target those in grief or in need, bilking them out of peace of mind, not to mention, cash. I think there’s a special place waiting in Hell for them. You don’t mess with someone’s grief. You don’t take advantage of their pain. If you do, well, let’s just say, “Karma is a big, sparkly bitch.” And not in a good way.
My own experience with the spirit world has shown me that those who’ve crossed over are generally pretty positive. They’ve been released from physical pain, they’re with people they haven’t seen in years, they don’t have to deal with stupid bosses, mortgages or traffic, and that whole “death” thing turns out to be pretty cool. They care about those left behind and want them to know that the problems of this world are, in the end, just not such a big production. So for a faker to tell a vulnerable client that they’re “cursed”, or that the spirits are angry, or some such baloney (and oh, by the way, you can appease them by letting him/her do a ritual at the low, low price of $2500) makes me want to deliver a serious beat-down.
A session with a medium is a very personal, intimate thing. You may find yourself sharing details of a difficult relationship or a tough situation, so its best to find someone who comes highly recommended and is above all, a professional. You should leave feeling empowered, positive and uplifted. You should have a sense of peace or closure. You should NOT be scared, worried or in a hurry to empty your wallet in order to rid yourself of some bad mojo. Yes, a reading from a qualified medium does cost money — and there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, it IS a skill that takes time, training and a lot of physical energy. But there’s a huge difference between paying a one-time fee for a one-time service — and feeling pressured to hit the ATM repeatedly as the price for fighting off bad spirits, curses and random hoodoo. Trust me, your loved ones on the other side could care less about your money because (psst!): they don’t have checking accounts in Heaven.