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What is a Spirit Medium?

When I was learning spirit mediumship, my teachers loved to remind me.  "All mediums are psychics, but not all psychics are mediums."  Their words have been reverberating in my mind the past few weeks as I am experiencing what it is like, first hand, to watch people react to my rather large business sign in front of the house:  STARSHINE:  Spirit Medium Elizabeth Anglin.   Starshine is an art gallery that also offers intuitive healings and readings, and yes, spirit mediumship. 

The reactions of passersby were at first heartening to me. "Oh, good... the sign is calling attention to the shop.  People are noticing!"  But soon, I realized that not all of the attention was positive.  People had opinions about what "Spirit Medium" meant.  "Oh, she just wants to take your money."  or "Oh, I don't want to go in there, it's going to be just FULL of CRYSTALS."  It isn't, I have an agreement with the original crystal seller in town to go easy on the crystal selling.  Or worse "Let me go inside and give the devil possessed woman (the spirit medium) inside the stink eye while I ask her questions about her business."  or my favorite reaction from this weekend. "Oh, it's art, Oh, and pretty jewelry, and there's a dog, and a friendly kitty, and a friendly person... this is not a bad place. Wait, what's that?  A Tarot Deck?  Ahhhhhh!  Run away! Run away!"

I'm not sure why, but intuition is a hot hot button for many people.  You might assume the Spanish Inquisition was still taking place (perhaps it is?) and that the agents of one religious organization or another are mobilizing their troups to "seek and destroy" anything that might be construed to be witchcraft or "of the devil."  The negative ethic seems so ingrained that some people cannot even consider simply walking into the shop, enjoying the paintings, the beautiful photography, the upcycled clothing, the artisan created jewelry, the dog, or the cat, or a simple conversation with me because they think  "Something bad might happen if I venture in there, that place is scary."

So, lets break it down for the people who have more superstition about mediumship than understanding.

What is a spirit medium?   A spirit medium is a person who has highly developed skills of clairvoyance (clear seeing), clairaudience (clear hearing), clairsentience (clear feeling) and claircognizance (clear knowing) (as well as other clairs) that they employ to aid in delivering messages from the (spiritual) astral and mental realms of life, to the physical realm of life. 

Spirit mediums do this work to help people alive in spirit give evidence of their spiritual survival beyond their physical death and help people alive in the physical move into healing of the grief and trauma that so often accompany the loss of a loved one.  Spirit mediums give evidence of spirit.

At it's core, spirit mediuimship is a spiritual healing art.    It is not meant to be used for entertainment purposes, it certainly isn't meant to be received as a "curious parlor trick" and spirit mediums do not (in general) want to be treated as "circus acts" or "freaks" because there is nothing remotely resembling a circus involved in the practice of traditional spirit mediumship.

Spirit mediums, are not spell-casters, witches or warlocks (though they can be if that is their personal preference.)  Most traditional Spiritualists in North America are members of a Christian bible-based religious movement that came about in the mid-1800's - at the time of Emerson, Thoreau, Swedenborg, and other transcendalist philosophers.  Spiritualists were known for being highly independent thinkers, abolitionists, civil rights activists, social justice advocates, and humanists.

From the mid-1800's through the early 1900's, spirit mediums were often involved in speaking out against slavery, speaking for voting rights for women, campaigning for safe food, safe drugs, and safe working conditions, and creating the political networks and speaking tours that increased community understanding of the need for these positive changes in our human experience of life on earth.

Pulitzer prizewinner Upton Sinclair wrote the book "Mental Radio" detailing his wife's clairvoyant and telepathic abilities, which resembled the modern day practice of remote viewing.  Included in this book was a very positive forward written by Albert Einstein.  Sinclair was active in defining and promoting many of the ethical corporate and governmental systems we enjoy today.  Some credit him with the creation of the public education system in the United States.  As a parapsychologist, he may also be considered a spiritualist.

So, to the people who find themselves frightened, or offended, by a sign in front of an art gallery in an art colony that says "Spirit Medium" on it, let me express mainly this.  Spirit mediums heal.  They not only help individual people heal - they help entire families, animals, environments, social structures, political systems, governments, and corporations, heal. 

Yes, they may offer you their ability to connect with your loved ones in spirit, but they don't do that to personally "wow" you into thinking they are special.  They do it because the trauma of believing or feeling that physical death is the absolute end of life is so great, so hopeless, and so untrue, it's an injustice.

Spirit Mediums do not like injustice.

So, while you are freaking out over the sign, worrying that you might be ten feet away from a demon-possessed, curse-throwing, spell-casting, spirit medium, consider that this spirit medium was trained in a bible-based religious tradition that values life, liberty, equality, health, safety and education.  A tradition that believes that the positive human experience of life on earth is something incredibly sacred and valuable, and that a positive life experience is important for all people to have, and that promoting healing, wholeness, and true aliveness is worth doing on a daily basis.

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