Physical mediumship is a topic that many people find uberly-fascinating (myself included!).
During the early years of my intuitive development, I heard incredible stories from my mentors of physical spirit communication. So what exactly are we talking about here?
Here’s an extreme example. Imagine you are sitting in a room with other people. A spirit communicator is standing in front of the room. Suddenly, a mist begins to flow out of her mouth and take the shape of a spirit.
If the room hasn’t been swept clean beforehand, any small debris that was in the room could “stick” to this energy (called ectoplasm) and harm the medium.
Now I don’t know how true all of these stories are, but they sure are interesting!
What is Physical Mediumship?
Today’s famous mediums, such as Theresa Caputo and James van Praagh, are what’s known as mental mediums. When they communicate with the other side, it takes place telephathically, within their minds. It’s perfectly safe, and is not taxing on the body.
Physical mediumship, on the other hand, is one of the rarest forms of psychic ability.
It is described as a manipulation of energies and energy systems by spirit. To do this, a spirit uses a medium to produce phenomena that can be seen, heard, or felt by everyone present (like in our example above).
Often the spirit communicator is used as a source of power so the spirit can manifest in various ways in order to communicate.
In most of these cases, mediums channel a spirit and allow it to take over their body in order to communicate with the living. (This is not the same as a possession because the medium voluntarily gives the spirit permission to have control.)
Like I said – fascinating!
Types of Physical Phenomena
There are many different ways that physical mediumship can occur.
- Raps (also known as percussions) are one of the first and most common types of physical phenomena. This occurs when sounds, such as tapping or knocking, can be heard from various places around the room. The raps can be used to answer “yes” or “no” questions, or to acknowledge letters of the alphabet and used to spell out messages. The Fox Sisters (some of the earliest reported spiritual mediums on record, were famous for “rapping” with spirit).
- Direct voice occurs when the sound of a spirit’s voice is used to communicate with the living. The voice can be projected through a medium or simply heard in the air. In most cases, the voice will take on the personality of the spirit that is doing the communicating.
- Automatic writing can occur when one allows spirit to communicate through their hands. To accomplish this, the medium holds a pen or pencil and, through lack of conscious control, allows the spirit to determine what is being written. Various writings that claim to be spirit written include plays, poetry, novels, and music. (Pretty powerful stuff!)
- Levitation is the movement of objects without normal means of support. Levitation can be used to tip tables or even make humans or other objects float in mid air. It is said that this is possible due to telekinesis or through use of ectoplasm.
- The materialization of objects in mid air is another physical phenomenon. These appearances can be in the form of the spirit’s hands, face, or entire body. They could also be of solid objects. Materialization was particularly popular in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
- In the most rare and extreme cases, ectoplasm is used during physical mediumship. Ectoplasm is a substance taken from the medium’s body and mixed with an etheric substance used by a spirit to affect physical matter. (Whenever I hear of ectoplasm, I think of the movie Ghost Busters!) This substance flows out of any of the medium’s orifices (usually the mouth or nose) and is often said to be used in levitations and materializations.
When Did All of This Start and Why Haven’t You Heard More About It?
It is believed that physical mediumship has existed since prehistoric times. However, because of a lack of written records, minimal evidence about its history has survived throughout the ages.
Most of what we know about the early years of this type of spirit communication was passed down orally from generation to generation. As time passed, these stories became known more as folklore than actual facts.
Eventually, they become less and less believable. People were then less likely to pass them on and much of physical mediumship’s history became lost.
However, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, physical mediumship became an important part of the spiritualist movement. As its popularity grew, so did the abundance of written records providing evidence of the various phenomena that were taking place.
Popularity of Physical Mediumship
Some say that ectoplasm, rapping, direct voice, and all that other cool stuff was fairly common up until the 1930’s but declined rapidly in the 1950’s. There are a few theories as to why this happened.
In the past, people needed concrete evidence of a spirit’s presence and this was accomplished through providing physical manifestations. (Seeing is believing, right?)
Today, many people have become more open and accepting to the idea of life after death and evidence provided by mental mediums and spirit guides.
Folks are now more interested in spiritual teachings and philosophies than a dramatic show of physical phenomena. The subtle, healing, and gentle form of today’s spirit communication has become a very popular form of psychic ability.
And honestly, can you imagine developing your gifts to the point of working with ectoplasm? It would take selfless devotion. It’s a lengthy and tedious process to become a physical medium. And even with great commitment, this type of gift cannot always be developed.
A Few Interesting Facts
- Physical mediumship can be very stressful on the medium’s body.
- The Bible is full of reports of physical mediumship.
- The Fox sisters (Catherine and Margaretta) were the first to use raps in 1848.
- The first known case in which direct spirit voices were caught on recording was in 1901.
Also Read: How to Help a Loved One Cross Over