People and dogs walking on the beach with people ahead of them, in the mist, representing mediumship.

Mediumship: Medium, psychic, psychic medium – what’s the difference?

What is a medium?

A medium is a person who is sensitive to the vibrations of the Spirit world in some manner. Mediums often communicate messages from people in the Spirit world to us here on the Earth plane. Although there are many forms and expressions of mediumship, mental mediumship is common. The medium is in tune with people in the Spirit world who want to communicate and they speak through the medium to the person getting the message. The medium is the message bearer.

What’s the difference between a medium and a psychic?

The primary difference is in how the information is obtained and where it is coming from. The medium’s approach is passive. The medium gets information from the spirit people and then gives it to you. The medium is not personally involved in the process. It’s like being on the telephone – when you and a friend are talking on the phone line, the actual phone wire is there to make the connection. The phone wire just passes the information through from your friend to you. In mediumship, the medium is the “phone wire” that is passing information through from the spirit people to you.

A psychic’s approach is more active than passive. The psychic plays an active part in getting the information. Psychics get information by either picking it up from your vibration or they get it from themselves personally, then give it to you. Spirit people are generally not involved.

Mediums can get information using either mediumship or psychic ability. Psychics get information using their psychic ability (only). The statement “all mediums are psychics, but not all psychics are mediums” is an accurate one. Mediums prefer to use mediumship instead of their psychic ability because mediumship can prove the continuity of life. If your aunt is in the Spirit world, and the medium tells you something only you and your aunt knew about then it proves that your aunt does indeed continue to live on in the Spirit world. Additionally, mediumship should be more accurate than psychic ability because the information is coming from the spirit people and not personally from the medium.

Psychic, medium, and psychic medium

People who give readings or messages will generally describe themselves as either a medium (giving spiritual readings) or a psychic (giving psychic readings). Sometimes, a person will describe themselves as both, hence the term “psychic medium”. Any person who is giving a reading or a message could be doing so mediumistically, psychically, or some combination of both. It is not a simple matter to tell where the reading is coming from.

What is a message and a reading?

A message is exactly that – a message. If you get a message from someone, it is a quick communication, as opposed to a lengthy conversation. In the same way, a medium will bring you a message from someone in the Spirit world, which usually lasts a few minutes. A reading is the same thing but longer, anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes. The content of a message or a reading is really between the people in the Spirit world and yourself – the medium is the message bearer and provides the avenue for the message to come through.

Mediums only tell you what you want to hear. Anyone can call themselves a medium.

Mediums only tell you what you want to hear anyway. I could open a 900 line tomorrow, call myself a medium, and just say anything to whoever calls me up and make a fortune.
First – the medium conveys the information from the Spirit people around you. The medium is not personally interested in or involved in the content of the message. If the medium IS interested, then the message can get clouded by the medium and not received correctly or the message may be coming from the medium personally which can also lead to inaccuracies. If the medium is only “telling you what you want to hear” then you are being done a disservice. How can you tell? It’s not that easy – through personal experience and the experiences of others.

Second – yes, unfortunately, you could open a 900 line and call yourself a medium. You don’t have to be certified by any particular Spiritualist organization to call yourself a medium. As a result, you have plenty of good mediums who aren’t certified, and you also have people who know absolutely nothing about mediumship but are claiming the title anyway. How do you tell the difference? It’s not that easy – through personal experience and the personal experiences of others. Incidentally, you learn about your good mechanics, doctors, and lawyers the same way, regardless of their credentials (or lack of them).

As far as the psychic 900 lines themselves go, do people actually get good information from Spirit this way? Maybe. Is it an avenue that people can spend their whole paycheck on because they have made themselves dependent on readings for their every decision? Unfortunately. Is it right to be dependent on readings for every little thing that comes up in your life? NO.

Third – yes, unfortunately, you could “just say anything” to whoever calls. Will you make a fortune? Maybe. It’s your conscience, not mine. Yes, you could set up a business with a 900 line and lie to people all day and probably make money at it. For your sake, I hope that none of them jump off a bridge because of something you told them. Sincere, genuine mediums take that kind of responsibility every time they give someone a message or a reading. And it is a BIG responsibility. Genuine mediums practice mediumship for a positive good, and part of that involves being honest and taking responsibility. If you decide that you want to lie, cheat, and make money off the suggestible, that’s up to you. Natural Law, however, has a way of handling repercussions that come from both good and not-so-good acts.

How could anyone talk to spirits?

Even if Spirit people do exist, you can’t talk to them anyway. How could you do that?
People seem to have no problem at all believing that God talks to them, or that priests and similar spiritually learned people can talk to God. If you called it mediumship instead, these very same people would condemn it, even though it is mediumship. Communicating with others in the Spirit world is mediumship. GOD is the most important “other” in the Spirit world there is! Since you can communicate WITH GOD through mediumship, why not with anyone else living in the Spirit world?

Spirits can appear as anyone they want – they can deceive you.
How do you know that the spirit you’re communicating with is who they say they are? Couldn’t an evil spirit pretend to be a good one and trick you?

I call this the deception argument. I hate to sound like I’m picking on Christianity, but the deception argument is a common one amongst Christians, and generally speaking, the more dyed-in-the-wool Christian a person is, the more tightly they stick to that argument. The problem is that there some delicate points to make regarding this issue, and when discussing it with someone with an axe to grind, they usually miss those delicate points.

Let me start with some blunt points and then refine them:

  1. Spirit people do good and bad things, just like people do on the Earth plane.
  2. You could call spirit people who do enough bad things “evil” just like you would if they were on the Earth plane.
  3. Excessive fear of spirits deceiving you is paranoia.
  4. Not enough fear of spirits deceiving you is naivety.
  5. Spirits can present themselves to you as someone else (which is called impersonation).
  6. Impersonation is frequently used for positive benefits, although it is true that it can be used for negative ones.
  7. When you get a message from a medium whose content only you and the deceased could have known, you have proof that you are talking to the deceased person (actually, you’re as close to having absolute proof as you’re ever going to get).
  8. & 2. Spirit people do good and bad things, just like people do on the Earth plane. You could call spirit people who do enough bad things “evil” just like you would if they were on the Earth plane.
    Spirit people are people, just like us here on the Earth plane. Some of us are “very good”, others are “not so good”, and there are all shades of gray in between. When you first get over there, you are the same person as when you left. Over time, you might change, but some things like your basic personality will pretty much stay the same indefinitely. You have to deal with spirit people just like you do with people on the Earth plane – some you like, others you don’t.
  9. & 4. Excessive fear of spirits deceiving you is paranoia. Not enough fear of spirits deceiving you is naivety.
    This is the delicate part. 3 & 4 are the two extremes of the same issue – trust. The place to be is somewhere in the middle – not paranoid, not naive, but eyes open and critically thinking for yourself. Real objectivity requires that you are willing to listen to what you hear and willing to make your own judgements about it. Actually, the best way is to not judge at all initially, but to keep your eyes open and draw conclusions from what you see happen over time. Dyed-in-the-wool Christians have a very hard time with this because they want to jump up and down and say “you could be deceived!”. In an absolute sense, they are right, but realistically, I don’t think of it as a quite that big of a deal. For example, if some “evil” spirit appeared to me as someone of notoriety such as God or Jesus and told me to jump off a bridge, I’m not about to do it – I decide things for myself, it’s against my moral code, and it doesn’t matter who’s telling me to do such a foolish thing. The bottom line is that I’m not going to let somebody lead me somewhere that I don’t want to go.
  10. & 6. Spirits can present themselves to you as someone else (which is called impersonation). Impersonation is frequently used for positive benefits, although it is true that it can be used for negative ones.
    People get very upset at the idea of impersonation because they immediately think of the negative aspects of it. There’s so much of it out there that there’s no need to explain it – the movies and TV shows will do it for you.

Let’s put that aside for a minute and focus on a positive example. Let’s say that we have a woman who is very dyed-in-the-wool Christian, and there is a spirit person who wants to work her for healing purposes. The spirit person is truly on the up-and-up. The woman isn’t going to accept anyone who isn’t Christian, and the spirit person really wants to work with her because of the positive benefits that their teamwork can bring. The spirit what amounts to three choices – appear as Jesus, God, or the Holy Ghost. Jesus is the best choice because the woman expects Jesus to look like a man, which is easy for her to accept. The spirit person chooses Jesus, the woman finds this acceptable, and the two of them get right to the real work, which is healing.

Why is Jesus the best choice? If the choice was God or the Holy Ghost, the spirit person would have to appear as something that meant God or the Holy Ghost to the woman. A king on a throne is a common Christian image of God, and a flame is a common Christian image for the Holy Ghost. The spirit person could appear as either one of these to her. But Jesus is the best choice because he looks like a common man, which is easy for her to relate to. Also, the Christian Bible is full of accounts of Jesus healing the sick.

Remember that the spirit person is NOT God or the Holy Ghost themselves, but has to appear as if they are because that’s what the woman is predisposed to seeing. Due to limitations at the woman’s end, impersonation is required if any healing is to be done.

Impersonation of this kind is very common because the spirits want to accomplish good things and they don’t want their identity to get in the way of the good work. In the example, if the spirit person was actually a Hindu or a Wiccan, and appeared as themselves to the woman, she’d probably never accept it, no matter how capable or well intended the spirit person was. The spirit person’s identity just became a roadblock in the path of the healing, and it will be a never-ending battle trying to gain credibility with her. It is more efficient to take the woman’s limitations into account and appear as someone she will accept so that the healing can take place.

Healing is beautiful, and that’s the positive benefit. The impersonation is a side step on the way to the positive benefit. How do you know that the person is on the up-and-up? Well, in an absolute sense, you don’t, but, a spirit who wants to do healing through you is probably a better person than one who wants you to jump off a bridge. It’s a matter of trust. Not blind trust, but trust with open eyes and ears. If you’re looking for absolutes, you’re going to have a hard time dealing with this, because they aren’t any. We are talking about relationships – in this case between you and your spirit people, and there are few absolutes in relationships.

When you get a message from a medium whose content only you and the deceased could have known, you have proof that you are talking to the deceased person (actually, you’re as close to having absolute proof as you’re ever going to get).
The proof is in the pudding. It’s not going to be absolute proof because you just can’t get that – it’s a one way trip from here to there, so you don’t get to come back with the answers. The question becomes one of reasonableness and trust.

Realistically, there’s no way for anyone to tell you with absolute certainty that the spirit people are who they say they are, and that they aren’t deceiving you. The sad part is that some people drop the whole thing right then and there and call it worthless. Often they use less kind terms.

Honestly, I can’t convince people that the spirits are who they say they are, nor do I want to. Besides, why should you take my word for it? For that matter, why should you take anyone’s word for it? Experience things for yourself and make up your own mind – it is the best way. What you learn will be truly yours, and it will be worth much more to you than the words of others or attempts by others to prove it to you. Far too many people are willing to be led by what others tell them, instead of thinking for themselves. Thinking for yourself is more work, but it is infinitely worth it. Be sure to keep an open mind.

Mediumship is just fortune-telling.

If mediumship was only fortune telling, then everyone would be rich beyond their wildest dreams, because all they would have to do is ask the medium for the winning numbers to the Lottery. Actually, you would have a hard time finding a medium, because they would be rich beyond their wildest dreams. They would be vacationing in the sunshine and being served umbrella drinks. And they wouldn’t have the time or desire to talk to you.

Obviously, it doesn’t work like that.

So how does it work? Spirits have a different view of time than we do. Part of that view is the ability to see things that may happen in the future. As much as some people will brag about how everything the spirits say comes true, they can and will be wrong from time to time. Why? If not for any other reason, because free will exists. The spirit’s “forecast” can be clouded by unforeseen changes caused by an act of free will on your part.

Mediumship shouldn’t be purely about the predictions for your next car or house or whatever else you want in your future. The spirits can also provide that little bit of guidance you need in your life, exactly when it’s needed. I have been the grateful recipient of such guidance on multiple occasions, and that is worth far more than all the material things the Earth plane can offer.

Spirit people don’t exist and mediumship is a bunch of superstition. Spirit people don’t exist, mediumship is a bunch of superstition, and when you die you die and that’s it. Besides, you don’t have any proof.

Come on now, we’re talking about things along the lines of religion, not Geometry. Save your proofs for math class. Religions don’t have to prove themselves, and most people believe in their religion without any proof at all. Christians believe in Jesus, but there is not much proof, if any, of his actual existence. A book saying that Jesus existed isn’t proof, and a shroud isn’t much more. This is not just picking on Christianity, it illustrates a point.
Some people are the first to demand proof from Spiritualism but never point the finger back at themselves and ask for proof of their own religion. To make matters worse, you can argue endlessly about what constitutes valid proof. Even so, Spiritualism provides proof. Is that proof going to be laboratory-grade, constantly reproducible the-same-way-every-time proof? No. Does it have to be? No. Spiritualism proves that people do continue living in the Spirit world – particularly when a medium gives you information about a “dead” person, something that only you would have known about that person. It’s your choice to believe it, or not.