Q} I’ve been experiencing some unusual phenomena - but I’m worried that other people might think its 'weird'; how do I handle that?
It’s very important for you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about what you’re actually experiencing; once you’re grounded in your own experiences, it then becomes easier to explain certain phenomena to others. And although you may have to work hard to hone your abilities, try to remember that mediumistic ability is a gift – and that most of us who do mediumistic work, do so as a way of helping others. Once we are able to bring someone a sense of peace and comfort [by providing evidence of survival of consciousness], it helps us to become more spiritually grounded as well.
Meanwhile, don’t worry about what others might think of your abilities; the people who are 'open to new concepts' will think it’s cool – and will most likely want to know more; the ones who are not open-minded probably won’t be able to relate to your experiences, even if you did explain. Again, as you become more grounded in your own abilities, you might find that people will begin to mirror your viewpoint a lot more often and therefore will respond to whatever you are experiencing in a more positive way. ^
Q} Mediums seem to have a natural ability to perceive those in the afterlife... but how does an average "untrained" person go about making that kind of connection?
There are a couple of areas that you must be willing to develop...
Meditation: Once you have developed a good meditation technique, you can begin to do some light meditation exercises while telepathically asking to connect with those in spirit. Then practice on people you know... friends and relatives are usually more than willing to help. If meditation is challenging for you, review the tips and techniques on my meditation page - to see if that helps.
Another good place to begin refining your skills is during the dream state by telepathically affirming that you are open to the experience. It’s usually helpful [just prior to falling asleep] to keep your focus on this goal, which is to become aware of a discarnate within the dream state. Perhaps you would like to 'connect' with a loved one or friend who has passed away. It’s also important to remind yourself of the following: 1) That you will wake feeling refreshed and energized... and 2) That you will remember your dreams upon awakening. [This is commonly referred to as auto-suggestion.]
Symbolism: The next area you will need to develop is to understand your own symbolism. I believe that each of us must learn to recognize our own unique symbols which serve to unite similar experiences within our psychological environment. Symbols themselves seem to represent characteristics of inner realities in the same way that physical objects represent certain aspects of our external world. I think this may be a clue as to why it’s difficult at times for us to make sense out of the symbolic data we occasionally experience while in the dream state. For one thing, it requires that our thinking minds integrate two different realities… which can be confusing.
Symbols can be used to express inner reality… you might call it the 'raw data of telepathic language'. But more than anything else, symbolism can teach us something about inner exploration. As a tool, it gives us the opportunity to look within from a different perspective; at this degree of awareness, one may be able to develop their creative abilities in ways that might otherwise not happen. The Encyclopedia of Symbolism, by Kevin Todeschi is an excellent reference book to have on hand and can be extremely helpful in your development as a medium.
Consistency: Honing your skills psychically or mediumistically is no different than anything else; 'the more you practice, the better you will get'. ^
Q} Do all mediums receive information in exactly the same way?
No, they do not – and there are several reasons why not.
First, most people [including some developing mediums] are not usually aware that there are many different types of mediums. For instance, some individuals are born with mediumistic ability and are able to see and hear spirits as very young children. They are usually referred to as natural born mediums. There are also those who can enter the trance state at will [the lowest level of brain wave activity referred to as the Delta state, or the sleep state]. And there are other types of mediums as well, which I teach about in my workshops... but there are definite distinctions in all the different types of mediums - and how they work.
There is also another reason why mediums don’t always receive information in exactly the same way... Once a link is created with someone in the afterlife, most of the information comes through to the medium 'symbolically'. And since everyone has their own unique symbolism, the interpretation of that symbolism would have to be specific to the medium experiencing it. ^
Q} How would I discern between the types of information that I might perceive, when I seem to be getting an influx of many things - all at the same time? In other words, how would I know the difference between information that is 'psychic' as opposed to 'mediumistic'... [i.e., coming from a discarnate]?
Making this distinction does require some time to learn... but here is a good general rule to follow: When you use psychic ability, you're using your higher mind to access information that is not always obvious within the normal, waking state. Even though psychic information is really available to everyone, most people haven't learned to focus in that way. If they did, they would find that information is available by something other than [or in addition to] the five senses. So... psychic ability is really nothing more than 'over-developed intuitiveness'.
Mediumship is different… In order to create a connection with a discarnate in the afterlife (or with any other stream of consciousness, as in angels, guides, etc.), you have to shift your focus and alter your state of consciousness somewhat to one of 'feeling and sensing' any information they wish to share with us. Once you are able to perceive this other dimension, the more difficult part of the process is then interpreting the information correctly... since much of it is symbolic. Nevertheless, once you create a link, what takes place next is a 'meeting of the minds' if you will, but without actually engaging in the thinking process. It is at this point, that the medium needs to feel the information coming through via the 'mind-to-mind connection'. Once this psychic and spiritual pathway is open, the spirit communicator [sometimes referred to as the main communicator] may then attempt to convey information by actually blending their energy with the medium, via the mediums’ central nervous system.
Another tricky part of this process is learning to recognize when you are switching, meaning when you begin to get information from another discarnate. However, the entire process is just like learning anything else – the more you practice, the easier it will get as you continue to develop. ^
Q} I’ve heard that certain cultures and/or religious teachings frown on dabbling in this type of activity, and that many insist that it’s somehow bad [or evil]... If I open myself to receiving information from those in the afterlife, am I putting myself in any danger?
Not at all... but it does require that 'you do a little homework' – and that you have a good understanding of how energy can be exchanged between systems.
This is a great place to share my favorite quote: “Knowledge is Power”, attributed to Sir Francis Bacon. People will always fear what they don’t know; with knowledge, fear is nearly always dispelled. Read as much as you can; this more than anything else, will help you to understand your own experiences. One of the best books to have on hand is The Encyclopedic Psychic Dictionary, by June G. Bletzer, Ph.D.; it is one of the most comprehensive books of its kind... and you will find it to be an invaluable tool in your own development.
As to the teachings of society, there is a simple reason why certain cultures and religions frown on paranormal activities: By allowing its followers the freedom to explore any other concepts, they run the risk of losing their membership – so in many cases, conformity is a must. Our natural intuitive abilities have long since been replaced with obedience training as a part of our cultural and religious traditions. By not allowing any alternative concepts to be examined, our religious institutions are able to maintain control by denying their followers the right to develop their intuitive wisdom. However, by expanding your base of knowledge [metaphysically speaking], there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to incorporate that knowledge INTO your current belief system, whatever that may be. (One set of beliefs need not replace the other.)
This is why acquiring metaphysical knowledge is so important. We are so accustomed to limiting the use of our own inner abilities that many of us have forgotten how to use them. We now need to reacquaint ourselves with those abilities and the only way to do that is to look within to our own spirituality. Further, if we truly understood the concept that we are spirits, then perhaps we could at least consider the possibility that messages come through to us from other portions of our own reality. ^
Q} How do I know if the information I seem to be getting is actually from a discarnate? Maybe it’s 'just my imagination'...
You will know for sure when you begin to share your impressions with others – and the person receiving the information 'recognizes it as coming from a discarnate'. And one of the most interesting parts of this process - and this happens more often than not - is that there are usually a few bits of information that the sitter may not recognize during the reading… Many times they will have to either research it or find other family members and/or friends to verify the things they had no prior knowledge of.
But whenever that happens and information is validated after a session, it's a very strong piece of evidence for both the medium and the sitter. This was also one of the more important aspects of the VERITAS research studies (that I was involved in) formerly conducted at the Human Energy Systems Laboratory at the University of Arizona, Tucson. The validation of information that a sitter had no prior knowledge of can be strikingly evidential.
It also puts to rest the fact that skeptics accuse mediums of 'mind reading'. The medium can't be reading your mind if the information wasn't there to begin with… Can they? So the information is coming from somewhere else. ^
Q} What is clairvoyance? Is that different from mediumistic or psychic ability?
There are many facets of psychic and mediumistic ability... and in many cases, you are accessing different abilities simultaneously.
Clairvoyance means: clear seeing. Here is the actual definition of it: “Clairvoyance is the ability to see objects or events with the minds eye that cannot be perceived by the five senses; it is also described as acute intuitive insight or perceptiveness.”
However, there are many other clear senses as well...
Clairaudience is the ability to hear things with the mind, outside the range of normal perception.
Clairgustance is the ability to taste or smell things outside of the range of normal perception. It may include tasting food without putting anything into the mouth... or experiencing the smell of the food, smoke, perfume, etc. - as well. Someone who can taste or smell a fragrance or odor of a substance [or food] which is not in one’s surroundings is called a Clairscentrist.
Clairsentience is the ability to feel or sense things outside of the range of normal perception.
Clairsention is the ability to clearly experience the sensations of another person [beyond one’s own physical feelings].
All or any of these senses may be accessed whenever you are using your abilities as a medium. In fact, during research studies the interviewer is very careful about noting in exactly what way the medium describes receiving any information from a discarnate. ^
Q} I’ve noticed that occasionally, some of my perceptions appear to be on 'fast-forward' [i,e., Moving through my minds-eye at an accelerated speed...]
What does that mean?
This is a very common occurrence, especially when you are developing as a medium. It most likely occurs due to your attempt at spirit communication while you are in a full waking state [known as the beta state, measurable at approximately 30 to 14 hertz], as opposed to the alpha state [light meditation, measurable at approximately 13 to 8 hertz].
What this means is that you have to physically slow down your brain wave activity slightly so that you’re able to perceive the information coming through without it seeming to be 'all jumbled up'. This is one of the reasons why it is much easier to connect with those in the afterlife during the dream state. During the dream state [also known as the delta state, measurable at approximately 1 to 4 hertz], brain wave activity is naturally at it’s lowest, thereby making it very conducive to a spiritual connection where an exchange of information can take place. Through practice and focus, you can learn how to 'slow down the process' and perceive the information more clearly. ^
Q} Is there a way to recognize the difference between information that comes from a discarnate and that which comes from a Spirit Guide [or spiritual guide]?
There is indeed... The information a medium receives from a discarnate provides a sense of evidence [to both the sitter as well as to the medium] that the consciousness of a previously living person has survived physical death. It is not usually life-changing information, but it is typically verifiable and can be perceived through light meditation and focus.
When information comes to us from a Spirit Guide, it is much more profound and complex. It may also require a deeper level of meditation [as in the Theta state, measurable at approximately 7 to 4 hertz] – or even during a trance state. This process is commonly referred to as channeling or trance channeling.
A Spirit Guide exists at a level of consciousness that is 'highly developed' - and is sometimes referred to as an Etheric World Intelligence. I believe that they have evolved to such a degree that they are able to take on the role of spiritual teacher in order to help guide us through our Earthly life experiences. Intuitively, I feel that they interact with a human’s thought process in such a way as to promote a higher level of consciousness within us. ^
Q} I think I might’ve seen a ghost... Is that the same thing that a medium sees?
Not necessarily, although some mediums can [visually] see both ghosts and spirits... And yes, there is a difference between the two.
In many cases, a ghost may not even know that he or she is dead. This is a spiritual energy that may not be aware that it has moved into the next dimension and instead, continues to be drawn to the physical environment it has always known, as a part of its prior earthly existence. Ghosts seem to be in a state of confusion, which could be why they exhibit a tendency to repeat the same patterns, in the same place and at the same time of day; they are sometimes referred to as 'earth-bound spirits'. There is some speculation that they could be disoriented because they may have died in a traumatic way and are unable to deal with the impact of that event. Or perhaps they were traumatized by not having completed something in their earthly lives that was extremely important to them before their passing and therefore, they refuse to move away from it.
No one is completely sure why they remain earth-bound. But in most cases, ghosts are harmless and are mainly considered 'lost souls', who just haven’t found their way home yet. Unfortunately, there is no way to know how many are stuck in this kind of limbo... One thing we can do from the physical realm is attempt to make them realize that they have made their transition and ask them to move on; we can do this through prayer and intent. At the same time, I believe there are guides in the afterlife who help those who have not fully made their transition. In some instances, ghosts are seen in areas that they familiarized in life; it’s as if they create an earth-bound attachment to that specific place.
In most cases, ghosts are attracted to the locations that they were familiar with in life. But in RARE cases where a ghost is connected to a person or group of people, it is also possible that they stick around as a result of misguided energies on the part of the living. For instance, they might be drawn to us by either subconscious thought or by conscious thought, as in the case of using the Ouija board. Mediums can sometimes detect certain distinctions among discarnate energies just by the nature of the information coming through; the characteristics of discarnates are just as diverse as those of living people.
In a way, mediums do discriminate when we link with spiritual energies because we feel that it’s in the best interest of those who are requesting a session. It’s very important to us that the information we bring through is only for the highest good. This is the point of making a connection in the first place and so we make every attempt to bring messages through as a way of providing peace of mind and closure to help those in the physical realm. However, if we should perceive earth-bound spirits that remain in the lower vibrational levels during the course of our work, we would simply ask through prayer that they seek assistance from their spiritual guides, as we send them Light and Love. ^
Q} Other people in my family have exhibited some psychic abilities...
Is there a genetic factor to this?
There are many reports of psychic ability passed down through the generations within family groups, although it can [and does] occasionally skip a generation. It is an area that definitely needs to be studied further, but it seems to be a reasonably common occurrence [which I can attest to first-hand, having had a psychic grandmother – and both my son and my brother exhibit psychic and mediumistic abilities].
If there are others in your family that exhibit these type of abilities, try to have a conversation with them about what they have experienced (providing they are open to discussing it). It might be interesting to note whether or not your abilities and theirs are the same – or if there are some differences...
Another factor that may very well contribute to inheriting psychic abilities is simply by 'being exposed to them'. There is a quote (actually it’s a wonderful poem) by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D. called “Children Learn What They Live”. Those of you who have been exposed to abilities that would be considered paranormal have most likely learned to be more open about these topics just by default. And in the same way that we learn other traditions from our elders, we can also learn more about our metaphysical side as well. ^
Q} Why do the fees for readings vary so widely - and why do some mediums and psychics charge so much?
There are so many variables when it comes to fees; in fact, you will most likely find that fees will often vary widely - no matter what profession you are inquiring about.
Most of us realize that if we go to the doctor and the doctor sends us to a specialist, the specialist will charge a higher fee than the doctor. The same is true for mediums and psychics; there can be a big difference in the quality and accuracy of a reading from a reader on the boardwalk - and one who is a highly skilled psychic or medium that is trained, has been tested and is certified. There are also a few other things to consider...
As a general rule of thumb (and this is the way that I work), most fees are based on the amount of time a professional reader spends with a client, rather than for the content of the consultation. Consequently, this would make it easier to understand why a famous psychic might charge three times as much for a session – because that’s what their time is worth. At the same time, there are many highly skilled readers that charge a moderate fee and do just as good a job. Every psychic or mediumistic reader must decide what fee they will charge based on their own experience, skill level and credentials.
Additionally, most of us are self-employed, yet we still have lots of overhead... as well as extremely high advertising costs. There are no medical benefits, paid holidays or sick days... Many of us are unable to do more than a few readings in a day since it requires a great deal of energy to do this kind of work and - just like everyone else, we have bills to pay and families to take care of - in between scheduled sessions. Ultimately, you are the only one that can decide what a reading is worth. ^
Q} Are there ways to protect oneself from negative energy, negative people and negative spirits?
Absolutely... but first, it’s important to understand how and where you might encounter negative energy. There are many sources of where it can come from; some of which are very common... others perhaps not so common. The most important thing to remember is that just because negative energy is out there [and may even be directed toward you] – this does NOT mean that you have to accept it.
Without getting into the scientific aspect of physics (and how energy can be exchanged between systems), to make it a little easier - I’ll simply provide you with a --bulletpoint list of things that you CAN DO and some things you SHOULD NOT DO: