Mediumship involves a cooperating effort between a person on the Earth plane (the medium or channel) and a person in Spirit (the communicator).

~ First Spiritual Temple: Mediumship

We can all be mediums, recipients of messages from those on the Other Side, though, like so many skills, we need (1) confidence and (2) practice. When I was much younger, I began having visits, dreams and experiences with loved ones who had died. When my dad died 12 years ago today (April 3), I noticed an increase with experiences with him and other spirits “showing up” in the forms of signs and messages. And I am grateful and humbled by these proofs of their presence and am more so learning how to receive information for my clients, my family and friends, and me. I am a believer in our ability to continue relationships with our deceased loved ones, so long as we desire to do so and indeed believe.

About a month ago, I participated in an insightful, helpful “Confidence in Mediumship” workshop with British psychic mediums Deborah and Paul Rees, founders of Accolade Academy of Psychic and Mediumistic Studies. We participated in several wonderful psychic exercises and practiced our mediumship in one-on-one, small-group and large-group formats, and we learned several aspects of mediumship, as well as our teachers’ perspectives and approaches. One huge point that was declared early in our day-long intensive is that, contrary to assumed beliefs about mediumship as portrayed in TV shows like the recent Ghost Whisperer and Medium (I wish to note that I was a fan of both shows when they aired), few of us can actually see the dead with our own eyes, as the main characters of these shows could. Instead, we often sense what the deceased were like in terms of personality and what they might want to convey. The closest I’ve seen with my eyes is something resembling a shadowy figure; I “see” more about the deceased through images, sounds, “just knowing” and words or messages I hear. Often it’s difficult to explain concisely, as I receive so much information in different ways that I just trust what I’m getting and don’t focus as much on the how.

Clinicians have come to recognize the value of a continuing connection with the deceased. Drawing from their clinical experience, Klass et al. (1996) argued that most people experience such a connection, and that these connections provide solace, comfort and support. Today, most experts believe that moving forward with one’s life does not necessarily require letting go of one’s relationship with the deceased.

~Camille Wortman, PhD, “Communicating with the Deceased”

How does it work? There are so many ways, and each of us can receive information from our dearly departed through mediumship in our own ways, especially because our psychic gifts, which we all have, vary in strength, style and details. Some of us see images, symbols and pictures (clairvoyance);  some of us hear a voice, sound, song or words (clairaudience); some of us just know and “feel it in our gut” or take on the feelings of others or have physical sensations like tingling or heat (clairsentience); some of us “just know” (claircognizance). Our psychic abilities and mediumship are so similar in their approach; with practice, we learn to differentiate between messages from deceased loved ones vs. other sources (ex. angels, elementals), and in many cases, I find I don’t need to know the source(s) when information is streaming in. For me, I’ve often accessed mediumship during my reiki sessions or psychic phone line calls.

In a recent reiki session, while my eyes were closed, I suddenly “saw” an older woman off to my client’s left; this woman had grandmother energy and was rocking in a chair, which I saw in my mind’s eye, and I just knew, saw and heard the details. I couldn’t really see her face but felt anxiety in her; she showed me she was knitting or crocheting (my client confirmed that this grandmother crocheted), and I also got the sense that she had to stay busy with her hands. I then just “knew” that she represented a life of her anxiety and fears getting the better of her; I sensed some mental illness and instability, in addition to other qualities, also confirmed by my client. I heard her share the words, intended for my client, “My life is not your life,” and my client confirmed that she was afraid she was going down a family path of mental illness due to high stress and family history. Information continued coming in, but a very sweet closing was when I was strongly guided to suddenly kiss the insides of my fingers and place this kiss on my client’s forehead and heart; when I shared this led action with said client, she confirmed that’s how this grandmother always kissed her and her siblings. These kinds of experiences are such gifts, and given there is no way I could have known any of these things and even more that came through in that session, it is difficult to deny that mediumship is possible. This example is one of many varied ways I’ve experienced deceased loved ones showing up, and I know the details I’ve given are there to help the client know I’ve truly tuned into someone he/she knows.

As with meditation, intuition, spiritual experiences, psychic abilities, and, yes, mediumship, we need to “get out of the way.” When we stop second-guessing, quiet the monkey mind, and disallow our logic to interfere, beautiful things can happen, and our spiritual, intuitive selves, along with guides and deceased loved ones, can enter our thoughts and hearts. For many, it’s so easy to doubt that we or others can receive such information and that we’re just making it up. I smile when a client requests, after I’ve shared information from a deceased loved one, “Can you tell <deceased loved one> _____?” because I remind my clients that they can say anything they want to a deceased loved one and really don’t need me. We are all such lovely pipes for guidance, and we can choose to ask for clarity from sources we prefer and acknowledge, including God, the Universe, a deceased loved one, or another spiritual guide. I suggest we ask for “loud and clear messages,” so we know what to do and receive what we need, and, in the case of mediumship, know it’s our dearly departed and what his/her message(s) may be. And I also recommend that we keep a pure heart and keep ourselves protected with simply asking our spiritual guides, God, Archangel Michael—whoever works for you—to maintain a clear, light-energies-only pathway.

On the morning that I needed to choose clothes in which my father would be buried and then deliver these clothes to the funeral home, a friend who had also lost her father wrote me a kind e-mail and said she was thinking of me and that she had put out the intention that my dad would also let me know he was thinking of me on this tough day. Note: This friend had also told me many stories of her own deceased father saying hello and showing some love through the appearance of one ladybug or several of them. I had also noticed ladybugs appearing a lot more frequently and in unexpected places since my father’s death. As I drove from the funeral home and headed to the flower shop to place those difficult orders, I glanced over at a sign on a local custard shop advertising its daily flavor: ladybug. No, I’d never heard of or seen this flavor before and instantly had tears because I knew Dad was indeed showing a “sign.”  I have so many stories and examples of these types of occurrences. We just need to ask and then remain open and know we may receive information in ways we may not have anticipated, perhaps even through dreams, music, other people.  I often receive symbols from the deceased, which need interpretation.

Mediumship and spirit connections and experiences can conjure fear in many. Friends and family members often inquire whether my mediumship exposures have been frightening, and I assure you that, more than anything, I am appreciative and intrigued and just motivated by helping someone for whom the appearance and potential message is intended. I believe the spiritual realm is to be deeply respected, and I do not ever use a ouija board or the like.

With an increasing public interest in the existence of life after death and communication with people on the Other Side, we see more TV shows, more acceptance, more movies and many more discussions and venues for mediumship. While I’m still learning and growing in the lovely tool of mediumship and felt awkward when introduced by a few friends with “This is Erika; she talks to dead people,” I’m trusting, and I’m open to see where this path leads.

© 2012 Erika M. Schreck. All rights reserved.