When you think of what a medium is and what they do, you might conjure up images of celebrity psychics on TV shows. I’m thinking of pop-culture legends like Sylvia Brown, John Edwards, and my personal favorite, The Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo. Mediumship, like other professions, can take you places like being on television, but TV (especially reality tv) really likes to sensationalize the aspects of our work that society considers taboo. (Colonial death culture has a weak constitution, let’s be real.) So let’s clear up some of the hullabaloo that makes what we do so, straight from an Evidential Medium’s mouth, mine.
Mediumship (general): when a medium shares their perceived communications from the dead to their living loved ones. This can be verifiable communication or not, the medium may or may not provide proof that they are speaking with who they say they are. Some (general) mediums claim to deliver messages from angels, deities, and other spiritual entities. Generalized information is often the bulk of the communication given, oftentimes with the addition of emotional and grief support for the sitter. Ex: “Great-grandma is coming through, she says she misses you and is always watching over you like a guardian angel.” The medium may require a photo, object or name of the deceased from the sitter. Basically in these readings, it is up to the sitter to trust, believe or feel that a real connection was made and the messages were real.
Evidential Mediumship: when a medium establishes that they are in fact communicating with the deceased by sharing evidence that could not have otherwise been known to the medium. Providing evidence also experientially verifies there is evidently more beyond this life, and ideally that our departed loved ones are still with us just in a different way. Evidence is specific pieces (and often lots of evidence is given) of information that are factual, that only those who knew the deceased would know and the odds that the medium is guessing are slim to none. A big difference between general mediumship and evidential mediumship is that an evidential medium will *not* ask you for anything, information, items, or otherwise, of the deceased. In fact, we don’t wanna see, hear or know anything other than what the departed are sharing with us until after we have delivered the initial evidence and messages to the sitter. That way the sitter knows there is nothing that could’ve given away the information and evidence that the medium translates.
“Is mediumship real or fake?” That’s a question only you can explore and discern for yourself, just like with “is death really the end? and where do we go when we die?” Any good medium will tell you the same, we are not here to convince skeptics (though we often do) or change anyone’s minds. Our entire mission is to provide closure, grief support, and healing to both the deceased and the living by being the link between worlds.
11 Tips to get the best mediumship reading experience
- Arrive with an open mind and open energy in general. Believer or skeptic, doesn’t matter, having an open mindset will help you, the medium and the departed communicate. Be open to the possibility of receiving from the experience, and you will. If nothing else, “wonder” what it would be like to walk away from the experience with a renewed sense of knowing. Having open energy increases your chances of Spirit coming through for you.
- Let go of your attachments to the outcome. You might find that not trying to force or micromanage who you connect with in the reading allows room for more magic and healing than you could’ve imagined. Trust Spirit to bring forward whoever needs to communicate the most, who you need to hear from or relay a message for. Mediums cannot guarantee who will step forward, I find it best to trust in the Divine’s plan.
- Know that you will get what you need, not what you want from Spirit. Life is this way, and so is Spirit. We want so much what we want, but we don’t often understand what we truly need. Whether your loved ones come through or someone else’s does, trust that you will receive the messages you need to hear, when you need to hear them, as well as receiving the love and validation of the beyond you need to experience. If you don’t hear from someone on the other side, your departed loved ones aren’t avoiding you, it could simply be that another spirit was a stronger communicator or someone else in the room needed direct contact with the departed more than you did at the time.
- Understand that some of the deceased are better communicators than others. On the other side, disembodied individuals get to relearn how to communicate now that they no longer have corporeal bodies. And just like in the physical world, some folks are stronger communicators than others. So, have patience, interact with Spirit, tell them how to help you understand better, and receive what they’re able to convey at this time with grace.
- Remember, Spirit will attempt to use things that they or you will readily understand to communicate, but not necessarily the medium. “They’re showing me a cake on the floor, how do you connect with that?” To a medium, we often have no idea what Spirit is talking about or referring to, we are simply relaying their messages and waiting to see what you understand and how you understand it. It’s up to you to scan your memories with them, your understanding of their life, and even how something could connect with life since their departure. Cake on the floor could end up being “oh yeah, we had my daughter’s 3rd birthday last week and we let her go to town on a piece of cake and it got everywhere! …including the floor!”. That would be communication that your departed loved one was there to witness that special moment, something a medium couldn’t just guess out of thin air.
- You’re allowed to help us solve the puzzle when we ask. Keep in mind, mediums are like translators, interpreters, and sleuths, with supernatural abilities, all rolled into one! And we have quite the task set out for us, considering lots of folks don’t even believe in what we do. Let us know when we are on the right track, like hound dogs following an invisible scent. You don’t have to give anything away, just respond to what the medium is saying to you, “yes, that’s my uncle.” or “I can take some or most of that, yes, that could make sense” or “I’m not sure, I wasn’t alive before he passed, but I can write that down and ask someone who was later.” Those are all perfect, I might even ask “how’s an apple orchard connect for you?” and your answer could be “there was one behind my uncle’s house”.
- Don’t withhold confirmation of evidence. Most people don’t do this on purpose, usually, it’s their insecurity getting the best of them. It looks like when the medium has given 10 different pieces of evidence but no one has claimed their loved one yet because somebody is holding out until their insecurity fades. “I didn’t say anything because 9 of 10 things sound just like my childhood best friend, but she had more of a dirty blonde hair than blonde hair.” *facepalm* Ya know, it’d save your dear medium and beloved departed ones a whole lot of energy and playing “telephone” from the other side if you could say something sooner. In fact, the less energy the medium and the departed have to expend, the stronger and longer the connection stays, which benefits everyone!
- Don’t get hung up on trivial details. Like I mentioned earlier, being a medium is like playing charades and telephone with someone on another plane of existence, who may or may not have the best communication skills…while all eyes are on you! Spirit doesn’t communicate like we do most times. Symbols, signs, colors, shapes, feelings, smells or sensations are given to the medium and it’s our job to put the pieces of the puzzle together with you. That’s why we ask “how do you understand a car crash in the month of May?” But sometimes, mediums are human and we misinterpret things! “Did your father have a blue Corvette?” and you say “no”, which could turn the medium’s attention away from you and we might move on to the next Spirit. So if the truth is “well actually, Dad’s corvette was red and he was my stepfather”, say that! You want to be the best accomplice sleuth sitter, work with the medium and Spirit.
- Leave room for something to make sense later. Time is wibbly-wobbly, man-made nonsense to the non-physical world. It is extremely common for you to get a message from Spirit that you might not understand until later. It could be days, weeks, months, or even years before you put together that “an archway covered in white and pink orchids” is talking about the archway at your wedding 2 years into the future from your reading. So, take even the stuff you can’t figure out yet, write it down, and trust you’ll make sense of it someday. I can’t tell you how often we mediums get an email the next day like “OMG, this morning 8 crows were on my patio before I left for work, that’s what the number 8 was all about!” That’s a sign that they are still with you (on your patio).
- Don’t bring a super skeptical or hypercritical date with you. “If this is real, I want this medium to prove it to me!” isn’t an energy anyone wants to connect with, in any professional setting, let alone in a space where there are lots of other people present who are grieving or are in need of closure or healing, folks that would give their left arm to hear from their child again. And, these close-minded folks tend to take a lot of energy from the medium, Spirit, and others in the room. Remember, it’s not anyone’s job to change their mind, and they simply might not be ready yet for what Spirit has to offer. Their journey is their own, it’s best if you’re going to bring a date to bring someone who won’t be a buzzkill for you or anyone else!
- Relax and enjoy the unique opportunity to experience spirit communication, and bring tissues! Mediumship is sacred work, and most medium’s calling in life, we live in service to Spirit to be the best vessel we can be for your experience. Not everyone gets a chance to participate in a mediumship reading, some only get to experience it after they’ve crossed over. To get to bear witness or receive messages at all is an immense privilege, a blessing, and a miracle offered by Spirit. Yes, death and grief can bring up intense emotions, but don’t forget to soak in the presence of Spirit, their beautiful messages, and enjoy yourself! And of course, bring a handkerchief or packet of tissues in your pocket for good measure! Ps- no need to apologize for crying (ever), us mediums are used to having that effect on people.