Mediumship, How it works, Portland Medium, Portland Animal communicator
Happy autumn! One of my favorite seasons is here, and as I write this, the sun is shining through red and gold leaves, but the air is still gently warming. My oldest is back in preschool while my youngest is cuddled in a blanket on the couch.
I've been doing lots more mediumship readings lately, both in Portland/Beaverton and over the phone. Some have been quite heavy, with some murders and some heart breaking accidental passings. So naturally mediumship has been more on my mind lately, as well as the whole process of it all. I have also stumbled upon some cynical skeptics lately, and so I thought I might go deeper into how a reading really works, and why spirits come through the way they do. I've written about group-readings before here, and also the other side, but today I'll focus on mediumship readings in particular.
Why it's not like talking to a living person
In mediumship, the spirits we connect to obviously don't have physical bodies anymore. Since they can't communicate like normal living humans do (by making sounds through the voice box organ), they connect with us soul-to-soul, and communicate with us through energy.
The energy of what the spirit wishes to communicate is then translated in the medium's mind, into images in the mind's eye, words in the head, and feelings in the body, and sometimes a mix of all of them at the same time. This type of communication is often called "mental mediumship", because the energy is translated and revealed through the medium's mind. The medium then must translate those internal impressions into words for the client.
We also have what is called "physical mediumship" which is when the spirit makes itself known through physical phenomena, or by showing itself to the medium as if they are a real living human being, or by the medium going into a deep trance to let the spirit talk through them. These processes are much less common, since it takes a lot more energy for the spirit to come through in these physical ways, and people are generally less enamored by that style of mediumship these days. I personally only do mental mediumship.
Why do spirits communicate "unimportant" details?
I listened to a podcast recently where two skeptics attended a mediumship audience reading with a famous medium, and they talked about their experience (they were not convinced in any way). Their first criticism was that they feel mediums just don't bring through enough evidence. Their second criticism was that the medium is just telling people what they already know. The podcasters asked why a spirit would come through with the fact that they had brown hair when they finally have a chance to come through a medium? (good question)
Identifying Information and Evidence
The spirit chooses what types of information to bring through for the medium. They tend to start off with identifying information, such as physical appearance, or relation to the client ("mom" or "friend" etc). The identifying information helps the client know who is coming through to communicate. The spirit will also usually bring through more evidential information about themselves, such as personality, or how they passed, or what they did for a living, or habits, or their relationship to the rest of the family, favorite memories, etc.
These would be things that the client would know about already and can verify that that is true about their loved one. Anybody could say they had your mom there, but the additional information helps prove that it is indeed your mom coming through.
The additional information also helps us clarify who is coming through. Sometimes a spirit comes through first feeling like a father, and the client assumes it is their dad coming through. Then upon further details and information, they realize it is actually their father-in-law coming through (naturally still feeling like a father-figure), and not who they originally thought. Details like appearance are sometimes included for a fuller picture about who is coming through. This is why spirits bring through seemingly unimportant information about themselves. They are of course not there just to say that they had brown hair, but it helps identify them.
The podcasters' third criticism was that mediums also bring up information that the client can't verify. Before I explain why mediums do this, I want to take a moment to appreciate the fact that this is the exact opposite of their second criticism. I am not sure what kind of evidence would be left to bring through, if we can't bring through things the client can verify (i.e. things they already know), nor things they can't verify.
Anywho, yes, spirits might also bring up information that the client can't verify in the moment. These are usually pieces of information that the client will have to ask around about later in their family. Once they do figure out of it, it proves that the medium is not just getting this information from the client's energy (by psychically reading them), they actually were connecting to the spirit. It also makes a connection last longer than the reading itself, in a sense, like a gift that keeps on giving.
Sometimes a client has forgotten certain things about their loved ones during a reading, and this is also categorized as information they can't verify or seems like it is just plain wrong. It can be information that you would think was quite obvious and unforgettable, but it is amazing what kinds of things we can forget about when we're put on the spot. Luckily I have become a lot more assertive with the information coming through, so it doesn't throw me off when a client can't take a piece of info anymore. It's a natural part of a reading.
Do these factors make a reading convincing to others watching? No. But then again, a reading is never really done for those watching. It's for the client and their loved ones in spirit. It can be hard to judge the accuracy or relevancy of a reading unless you are the recipient.
We, the mediums, are at the mercy of what the spirit wishes to communicate. If they judge certain pieces of information as important, then my job is to relay that (no matter how cliché or random it seems to me). If they don't want to explain something to me, then I have to abide by that as well. I recently did a reading where the spirit refused to tell me how he passed, because it was a murder. (Some spirits are really blunt about their passing, while others prefer not to be, for whatever reason). He kept avoiding the subject, even as I felt his passing was an important issue in the reading. I just had to throw my hands up and surrender to that fact so that we could move on to the more important messages.
Evidence VS Messages
The importance of bringing through all those details and evidence about a spirit, is so that the real reason they are there can be much more impactful. They might have messages of love for the client. Or they might wish to say that they are sorry about things they did when they were alive. They might want the client to know that they are more than OK on the other side. They might want to say they forgive the client for whatever guilt they are holding onto.
They might bring up things going on the client's life to prove that they are still around them, just in a different form. That they hear the client when they talk to them. They might want to confirm that the signs the client has received are indeed from them. They might want the client to know about certain changes coming up in their life, and that they'll be there with them to support them through that. They might want to encourage reaching out to certain family members that are struggling. They might want them to know that they're incredibly proud of who they've become.
If I did a reading for you, saying I have your mother here and that she loves you, without any other evidence that I actually do have your mother there, you're not very likely to take that message of love to heart. However, if I say that I have a mother-figure here, and she's showing me this or that about herself, and she's showing me this or that about your life currently, and she's saying that she loves you, you are much more likely to take that message of love to heart, because you truly feel she is there. That's why mediums and spirits bring through those pieces of evidence first.
I do have to clarify that not every medium does this style of mediumship (called evidential mediumship). This is my preferred style, for sure, because I find the messages are much more impactful if the evidence also comes through. But some mediums prefer to focus on just the messages.
How the Information is Translated (or mis-translated)
Remember that the energy of what the spirit wishes to communicate is translated in the medium's mind, into images in the mind's eye, words in the head, and feelings in the body, and sometimes a mix of all of them at the same time. Because the information is coming through in that way, there is interpretation involved, on the part of the medium.
If a spirit comes through wanting to tell me that they're the client's dad, it might come through as the sound of the word "dad" in my head, or a father-like feeling in my body, or an image of someone who looks like a generation older than my client. It can also come through as several of these at once, for example a father-feeling in my body as well as the image of someone older than my client. We then have to interpret that. I would naturally interpret any of these impressions as a father, but it could be he was just like a father to the client, rather than a biological father. That might include a grandfather who took an active part of in raising the client, or a step-dad, or a father-in-law.
The information from spirit is being translated through the medium's mind. I like to think of the medium's mind as a box. That box is filled with the things the medium has experienced in life, the people they know, the knowledge they've learned well, their interests, and also the things they've experienced recently. When spirits send us the energy of what they wish to communicate, that energy begins to describe itself through the medium's own personal references. For example, if a spirit wants to communicate that they're a father-figure to the client, and that their name is Tom, that will come through to me in an image of my own dad whose name is Tom.
It's easier for information to come through accurately if the medium knows a lot about that kind of information, or if it's similar to something that the medium has experienced recently. Anything that is already at the forefront of the mind, so to speak. The medium's mind will also begin to collect certain images as its go-to way of describing energy coming through. We often call this our "symbol-dictionary" or "spirit-dictionary". For example, any time I see an image of a saint in a reading, I know that the spirit is trying to communicate to me that they were catholic or deeply religious. Anytime they show me two birthday cakes, I know that they want to bring up the two birthdays that are close together. It's easier for information to come through in that short-hand way.
I like to describe readings as very similar to playing cherades, and also the telephone game at the same time, because of the way the information comes through a medium.
I always try to make very clear to my clients that because a reading involves interpretation, it does mean that misinterpretation can happen. This is also why you should never go to a psychic or medium instead of a doctor, or an animal communicator instead of a vet. We are not trained medical professionals or other kinds of professionals, and we could misinterpret what is coming through. I believe it is ethically wrong to give the impression that we're always right and know everything (especially since that is often how mediums or psychics are usually portrayed in films or shows, and so many people believe that's how it works).
Because the deceased don't have their own bodies to communicate through anymore, they have other ways to get their messages across, such as the soul-to-soul and heart-to-heart connection in mediumship. Unfortunately, some people come to it with the expectation that it should be just like talking to another living human being. But once we understand how the process works, see it for what it is, and approach it with an open mind, we can gain the healing benefits from it.
Have you ever experienced a reading making much more sense in hindsight? Or experienced forgetting a piece of information during a reading that you remembered only afterwards? I would love to hear about it in the comments!
Have a wonderful week everyone
If you are in the Portland Oregon area, our next Mediums with a Message event (audience reading) is October 28th, and tickets can be found here.
Welcome! I am a 30 year old Medium and Animal Communicator. I am originally from Norway, but am currently living in Oregon, USA. This blog is to give you some insight into my life and work, as well as share some of my photography. Enjoy!