Mediumship is a form of cooperative communication where an individual known as a channel or medium is used by one or more personalities of the spirit world to transmit unknowable information, to cause paranormal activities, to channel energies, and to manifest themselves for objective identification and/or examination. As such, mediumship will always involve an operator or spirit communicator and a medium also called the channel. The most common types of phenomena associated with mediums are manipulation of energy systems and energies and communication. Spirits that use a medium to communicate or transmit information either visually or verbally is known as a communicator. Spirits that use a medium for the manipulation of energy systems or energies are known as spirit operators.

Nonetheless, it is critical to note that spirit communicators can also and often dabble in communication. In general, mediumship can be classified into two broad categories: mental and physical mediumship. Trance mediumship is typically classified under mental mediumship.

Mental mediumship

Mental mediumship can be defined as the communication that happens in a medium’s consciousness without the medium needing to use any of the five senses. Since most mental mediums experience their gift through telepathy, this type of mediumship is often referred to as telepathic mediumship. Once the medium receives the communication through feeling, hearing or seeing, they can then transmit it to the sitter or recipient. A range of trance states may be used to get the information that the medium transmits. Mental Mediumship may be classified into three: clairsentience, clairaudience, and clairvoyance.


Clairvoyance sometimes referred to colloquially as “clear seeing” is the ability of a medium to see objects, persons or animals that are not physically present. The medium will typically see the persons or objects from their mind’s eye rather than their physical vision. However, many mediums have to meditate and train their minds before they can acquire clairvoyant ability. Some often need the help of spiritual helpers to open their mind’s eyes. Nonetheless, the experience tends to be different among the different mediums with some reporting the spirit they are talking to appearing as photographs, others as a television program, others like a movie, while others see the spirit as a being physically present with a corporeal body.

In modern society, the term clairvoyance has evolved to mean the ability to see spirits and visions from the spirit world and for those not so learned, it can refer to fortune telling. Parapsychologist generally do not use the contemporary definition as they have their own official definition. According to parapsychologists clairvoyance is the “paranormal acquisition of information about a contemporary physical event or object from an external physical source rather than from the mind of another person”.


Clairaudience otherwise referred to as clear hearing is the medium’s ability to hear voices from spirits that are not audible to anyone else. Just like with clairvoyance the experience is different for each medium. Some report hearing voices as if the spirit was sitting next to them, some hear the spirit as more of a thought or verbalization in their mind/head, while some mediums may report hearing singing or music in addition to the speech. In both instances, only the medium is able to listen to the spirit voices that are not audible to others even if they were right beside them.


Most mediums experience clairsentience otherwise known as clear feeling as it is the most common mental mediumship experience. Mediums with clairsentience are able to sense when a spirit is in the room by sensing its physical attributes. Some of the physical attributes that have been reported include a slight breeze, a change in temperature, a smell, or a touch from the spirit.

Physical Mediumship

Mental mediumship, in general, is about communication that only the medium experiences while the other people in the room do not participate or notice anything. On the contrary physical mediumship involves one or more people around the medium who can also hear or see the communication. Physical mediumship often involves the manipulation of physical energies and systems. Physical mediumship reached its peak during the Spiritualist Movement of the early nineteenth and late eighteenth centuries when object manipulation, materializations, and table rapping were all the rage, especially during the séances. A medium will typically channel a spirit and then let it take control of their body and use it to transmit messages to the living. However, this is not possession as it is a voluntary and pleasant process as opposed to the unwelcome and involuntary taking over of the body in spirit possession.

The following are the most common physical phenomena associated with Physical Mediumship:

Knocks or Raps

Knocks or table raps are a common phenomenon in physical mediumship. These knocks could be as forceful as loud knocks of knuckles on a table or as soft as a tapping motion. Mediums often report the sound of wood cracking or splintering. In some instances, raps may be as a result of ectoplasmic rods. With several variations to the knocks and raps, it becomes easy to establish a system for yes and no answers to questions. For instance, a medium could use two knocks as code for yes and one rap for no. It can be quite an effective means of communication particularly if the medium has a knack for asking the right questions.

Spirit Lights

Harmonious groups tend to produce excellent conditions for some really great physical phenomena. One of the best phenomena is spirit lights that may appear in all manner of colors and intensities. Some of the most common colors are red, white and blue that may appear as intermittent twinkling lights that can on rare occasions have intense brightness. In most medium circles, these lights are deemed a representation of the presence of spirits and their vibrations. Spirits with higher levels of development generally have brighter spirit lights.


Ectoplasm typically refers to the process in which the medium allows the spirit operator to draw energy matter for their bodies. Physical phenomena are then made possible by using and manipulating the energy of the ectoplasm. Ectoplasm can take many forms from coloured to white, from the invisible to the visible. Once it has been created, it will exit the medium’s body through either a bodily orifice such as a mouth or nose or a psychic center such as the solar plexus. It is up to the spirit guide to use it to enact physical phenomena such as table raps, movements, materializations, and levitation.

Trance Mediumship/Trance

Trance mediumship refers to the ability of a medium to leave their body and come back into it or let other beings into their body.

A trance is generally deemed to be part of mental mediumship rather than a physical one. This is because it is a process that connects the mind of the spirit with that of the medium while locking out physical consciousness. The more control the spirit has over the medium’s mind, the greater the cooperation. The trance occurs when the medium enters into an altered state of consciousness where they allow the spirit world to capture their attention and hold their minds. This creates a closer connection and unification with the spirit world. The depth of the trance is typically dependent on the degree of connection the spirit has on the medium’s mind.

A trance is one of the higher aspects of mediumship that has also been shown to be very influential on spirituality. The connection and transfer of energy between the medium and the spirit control will in some instances be so strong that the medium could very well lose consciousness though not in the sense of falling asleep. The trance happens when the medium subdues the conscious mind slows down their thinking, which makes it possible for the spirit world to take control, embedding their minds on the medium’s, and establishing their presence. In the unconscious state the medium can be one with the spirit and will inspire, uplift, educate and influence others.

To get one into a trance, it is critical to disengage from the present and move their minds into stillness. By losing awareness of the present, the medium becomes passive and subdued. This takes them ever closer to the spirit world until they lose all consciousness when the spirit world comes to the forefront in their minds. The medium then becomes detached thought they still have an inner knowing that their audience is watching them, even as they try to push the mind out of the way of the connection.

With many years of blending between the medium and the spirit, the two become so close that the spirit can almost take over the mediums motor control and their mind in a relationship of cooperation and trust. The practice of trance mediumship is a special relationship with the spirit world that helps build rapport, and overall enhance the flow of information that will be useful in teaching, philosophy, healing, and mediumship.

Levels of Trance Mediumship


The beginner stage is when the medium has managed to achieve blending/attunement with the spirit and have been able to get inspiration from their own spirit and/or their spirit. During this stage, the medium can achieve an altered state of consciousness though it may just be subdued consciousness given that the voice of the spirit is kept to a minimum. The spirit has light control and influence though there is not much evidence of deeper connection and blending.


The medium in the intermediate stage typically has evidence of strong influence from the spirit. The medium achieves an altered state of mind during which there is strong evidence of mind blending with the discarnate spirit. The spirit would thus be able to communicate through the medium’s body and may be witnessed by onlookers either subjectively or objectively through sensing a change in clairsentience and clairvoyant vision.


In the advanced state of trance mediumship, the spirit has full control of the medium’s mind. The medium will be in an altered state of consciousness where they are unable to remember anything that happens during a session. The medium will voice rational, logical, intelligent fluent, enlightening and uplifting messages. Much of the information given by the medium in this state usually shows evidence of s living intelligence that surpasses that surpasses that of the medium.