Spirits Speaking from the Heart at Tranquil Spirit

Channeling Spirit Communication through Trance Mediumship

Forms / Types / Methods of Spiritual Mediumship and Channeling

There are a number of different forms or types of spiritual mediumship and channeling. They may be broadly classified under either mental mediumship or physical mediumship. Mental mediumship as the term suggests relies upon the mind or mental processes for the purposes of communication with spirit beings. It may only be the individual spiritual medium of channeler who is aware of the communication, though it is possible for a number of mediums to simultaneously connect with the same spirit. Forms or types of mental mediumship include: clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience and trance mediumship. Physical mediumship involves the production of physical phenomena which can be experienced through one or more of the physical human senses by all present. Examples of physical mediumship are: transfiguration and independent or direct voice. However, there are a wide range of other physical phenomena which may be produced through physical mediumship eg: apports, materialisation, movement of objects, lights, touches.

We will look at each of the different forms or types of spiritual mediumship below

Mental Mediumship


In the case of clairvoyance the medium or channeler receives images as the means of communication. These may be images in the mind's eye of the medium or less frequently the medium may actually see a spirit person or object as if they are actually viewing them with their physical eye. In the latter case it is possible that the spirit is connecting with the visual mechanism within the medium's brain rather than the source of the image being in the actual external environment. The final images that we see of people and objects in the everyday world, after all, are a construction of the brain. But the spirit person will appear to the medium as if they are in the external environment. However, this explanation is speculative. No one is likely to be able to come to a definitive answer to this in the near future. For whatever reasons, spirit communications about the precise details of the mechanisms of mediumship can at times be vague or conflicting.

Through clairvoyance the spiritual medium or channeler may see a spirit person, object, scene or symbol. If they see a person conveying the information it is a little more straight forward though they may still experience the usual difficulties of describing a person who isn't present to someone else. The process can be complicated by the fact that the spirit seeking contact may not be that familiar to the person who they are wishing to communicate with. For instance a young person coming for a sitting may only be vaguely aware of the details of the family relative who is now trying to contact then from the Spirit World, and may not have any clear memory of how they appeared when living on the physical plane. You may wonder why the spirit bothers to try in such a situation. In my experience if an oportunity is on offer and it is important enough for the spirit person to attempt communication, they will try. It may be that it is not specifically the young person with whom they want to communicate. They hope perhaps that the person will relay their experience to other family members.

A further complication which can occur which was fequently experienced by the famous psychic artist Coral Polge is that relatives or friends in spirit may frequently present a more youthful image of themselves than they appeared during their latter years on the earth. Sometimes this may be because they wish to assure their relative or friend on the earth plane that they are well and happy. Coral Polge also wondered if at times there could be a little bit of vanity involved. Whatever the reason she found at times that this could cause some difficulty in the relative or friend recognising the person.

In the case of other images the medium will of necessity be more actively involved in their interpretation. Preferably they can relay the image to the person who they think is the recipient of the communication and the person may be able to interpret the image for themselves. However, it is likely that the medium or channeler will become more involved at some point and this interpretation of the meaning of images can give rise to many difficulties. It is particularly so in the case of symbols. Some have a fairly commonly held meaning, but many can be interpreted in different ways influenced by the experiences and memories of each individual person. Our own spirit group tell us that spirits experiment with using symbols with mediums to see how they interpret them in order that they can then refine the process of communication. However, at times they may give a symbol aimed more at the recipient's manner of interpretation than the medium's. As with all forms of mediumship it is a transaction or interaction between at least three parties. The process od communication at times may have more the feel of a game of charades rather than a clear dialogue.

Images can also be used to facilitate the process. For example some mediums or channelers may see a light or words or some other sign above or to the side of the intended recipient to facilitate identification of the peson whom the message is intended for.


With clairaudience the spiritual medium or channeler hears voices or other sounds and this is the means of communication. As with clairvoyance the medium may hear the sounds either within their mind or as if with their physical ear. When sounds such as music and other noises occur there can again be issues around interpretation in a similar way to clairvoyance.


A spiritual medium or channeler who works through clairsentience senses a spirit presence. This may occur in a variety of ways: a general sensing of a presence, sensing an emotion, changes in temperature, breezes, a feeling of cobwebs on the face, a smell, scent or fragrance. The vagueness of some of these impressions can make the process more difficult. However, sensing that a person's grandmother is present along with aa awareness of the favourite scent which she used to use can be very evidential. Our Spirit Mentor Jacob has playfully called this ability to notice smells of various kinds "olifactience".

Trance Mediumship / Communication

Trance mediumship / communication occurs where the spiritual medium is able to withdraw within and disengage to a point from conscious control of their mind thus allowing it to function under the influence of a spirit communicator. You will find that some authors try to make distinctions between, overshadowing, light trance, or deep trance, or some such similar terms in an effort to distinguish between different levels of trance control. While the level of trance control does vary such terms and distinctions are only useful up to a point and can convey a mistaken impression that we can distinguish between these levels of trance in some definitive way and that there is an inherent difference in the quality of the communication.

However, it is generally accepted that when a spiritual medium is in deep trance they will not be consciously aware of the content of the communication while they have been in trance. The level of trance can however vary even for a deep trance medium during any one trance session. While it is to be hoped that there will be less interference from the medium's mind in deep trance there is also no reason to suppose that there is any more guarantee of the accuracy of the communication in the case of a deep trance medium. Whatever the level of trance the spirit communicators have to work through the medium's mental processes, conscious and unconscious. Our own principal Spirit Guide Hai has said that the best guarantee of accuracy and a free flow of communication is for the medium to put aside their own ego and pre-conceptions and to be non-attached in relation to the content of the communications.

The process involved in trance mediumship essentially involves a blending of energies; those of the medium with those of the spirit communicator. The blending may vary in degree and intensity. The spirit communicator does not necessarilly enter the physical space of the medium's body but can work through the medium's aura. However close the spirit approaches it is misleading to use such terms as "direct control". Whatever happens is with the permission of the medium and such terms can lead to a mistaken impression of the medium being "taken over" in some way. From the point of view of the audience it is easy to see how they may feel that the medium, in a medium to deep trance, has "gone" and they are talking directly to another person with different mannerisms, gestures, gender, age, tone of voice, accent, etc and to an extent this feel of the situation is correct.

However, the actual process involved is a lot less direct than it appears. Hai, our principal Spirit Guide has given us numerous analogies over the years to try to help us describe the process. He has described it as a process of influencing the medium's physical body rather than controlling it and has made comparisons with a pupeteer pulling the strings of a puppet (the pulling of the strings may not always achieve the intended result). Other images have been two computer systems working in tandem (ie: the spirit and the medium) each having its own influence. And perhaps the most telling was the image of the spirit communicator pressing on a rubber wall from one side and the results being seen by the audience on the other side of the wall ie: in the behaviour and communication coming through the medium. Hai has basically said that spirit communicators ultimately influence the primitive nervous system of the medium's physical body in order to produce the observed results.

A small minority of witnesses of trance mediumship are sometimes a little nervous at first. This is often due to the mistaken perception of the medium being fully "taken over" by a spirit and the associated feelings of uncertainty as to what to expect, especially if the person is sitting in the near vicinity of the medium. Horror movies indulging in flights of fantasy have further fuelled superstitious beliefs and fears. The reality is that the experience soon has a very natural and normal feel and becomes a friendly conversation amongst friends. The spirit communicators are good humoured, loving, and have a sense of fun. They enjoy interacting with people. It is just like having a conversation with anyone else, though they are generally more loving, patient and tolerant than the average person.

What is important is for the participants to retain their objectivity and discernment. When listening to a spirit who is evidently an evolved being there is perhaps a potential danger of drifting into hanging on their every word or attempting to seek inappropriate guidance about personal life. Hai has always sressed the sanctity of human self-determination and neither he nor any of the other communicators has ever tried to tell people what they should do. They have helped people think about issues and to try to achieve clearer self-understanding but then stressed that they must make the decision. They say that it is this ability to make our own choices and decisions in relation to the situations we face which is one of the key benefits of our life. Furthermore, as we have said before, Hai has always told us to test everything, including his own utterances, against the "ring of truth". He says that we have been given our reason and we have the responsibility to use it.

In the early stages of spirit communicators beginning to work with a medium in trance as the energies blend it can be that the medium's body will shudder or go into contortions. Hai has sometimes compared this to the gears of a car not quite meshing. However, after a while the process of blending becomes smoother and these signs will recede. They possibly may recur occasionally, usually in milder form, if a new communicator works through the medium until such time as both become accustomed to this new blending.

For further discussion of Trance Mediumship and development please click here

Inspirational or Inspired Speaking is sometimes also included under trance mediumship but it is debatable how far the person is in a trance state. The words that they utter generally pop into their minds just before they are spoken and therefore this form of mediumship perhaps has more in common with clairaudience than with trance mediumship.

Inspirational or Inspired Writing is again also sometimes included under trance mediumship but it is again debatable how far the person is in a trance state. As in the case of Inspirational or Inspired Speaking this form of mediumship perhaps has more in common with clairaudience than with trance mediumship.

In the case of Automatic Writing the medium will sit holding a pen/pencil with paper before them will then, and the spirit communicator will influence the reflex muscles their hand sometimes at great speed to convey their communication onto the paper. Whole books have been written in this way. The medium may be oblivious of the content of the communication until she/he reads it at the end. Geraldine Cummins is one example of a famous automatic writing medium. Again it is possible that in the case of automatic writing the medium may not enter a clearly observable trance though some will enter a trance state to some degree.

For a discussion of Physical Mediumship please click here