Physical mediumship was fairly common in the early half of the 20th century, but waned over the last 80 years. Recently, it appears to be making a comeback. Mediums are advertising their abilities to communicate with the spirit world and produce physical manifestations during demonstrations.
Physical Mediums provide an interface of communication between our world and the spirit world. They can manifest energies and energy systems created by spirits. The processes results in physical displays, such as loud raps and noises, materialized objects or apports, materialized spirit bodies, or body parts such as hands, legs and feet. Other physical phenomena that can be produced are physical smells, hot or cold drafts, levitation, transfiguration, spirit lights, and direct voice communication.
True physical mediumship is believed to be very rare because of the bodily toll it takes while allowing spirits to materialize. Substances are taken from the medium’s body to form what is called ectoplasm and photoplasm. Because the process can be draining or even physically painful, physical manifestations were historically created under the direction of groups or circles of people, rather than a single medium.
Another reason for the rarity of physical mediumship is the fact that the development of the process can be a lengthy and tedious, with no materializations happening in a circle for months or years. It requires an extended commitment on everyone’s part and may focus around one or two people providing the necessary energies or vibrations, while others contribute to those energies.
Because physical mediumship is rare and the potential for fraud is high, Arthur Findlay College has high standards and recommends eight points for evaluating mediums and conducting sessions where physical manifestations are expected. They are summarized here:
- No seances or circles should be held in total darkness. Subdued colored lights or natural lighting is preferred. The use of infra-red cameras is suggested.
- Mediums are required to be tested by the college before claiming to be a physical medium
- Rooms used should be prepared and cleaned to remove ectoplasm, clutter and metal.
- It is important for sitters to vocally respond to the medium.
- No sitters should be allowed to bring electronic devises into the room.
- Entrances to the room should be monitored at all times.
- Physical mediumship is not entertainment and should be respected as a means of connecting with the spirit world.
- The medium should inform the sitters what to expect before the session.
Physical Mediumship can be an important tool to demonstrating the existence of the spirit world, but can be misused as a means of entertainment and financial gain. Silver Birch, spirit guide to Maurice Barbanell, explained it this way:
“Whether manifestation of the spirit is seen or heard does not matter very much. What is more important is the unfolding of your souls’ power, for, as you sit here week after week, so you are attuning yourselves to higher vibrations and becoming more accessible to the wisdom of your ages, which is always waiting to pour itself down into your world of matter, to obey the law of service. But it must find instruments attuned to its vibrations.
“And, as your souls unfold and you rise higher and higher in the scale of vibrations, so you come into closer touch with higher and greater spiritual forces, that are not seen or heard but which belong to the eternal realities of the spirit. That is the reality of your lives. So much of your time is spent in chasing the shadows, in trying to capture the illusion, in trying to secure the ephemeral. In silence, in harmony and in love, your souls unfold all the time. Though it may be slow, it is sure and certain.”