With the advent of paranormal TV shows such as Medium and Ghost Hunters, talking with the dead has become a more sought-after and acceptable pursuit. The internet highway offers unlimited accessibility to anyone wishing guidance on the subject, although as with all things, discretion is warranted.
Developing one’s mediumship ability is a long and sometimes tedious process. In today’s society of instant gratification, there are too many four-week classes with the promise of making one an instant medium. What is not discussed are the pitfalls that one can encounter in the landscape of psychism. As with any ventures into uncharted territory, a roadmap is helpful in making it easier for one to navigate their way through the psychic domain, and offered here are some practical suggestions to assist on this road of communicating with spirits. These tips are to be considered only a starting point and not a substitute for proper extended training.
Not everything we read on the internet or in books on the subject should be taken as gospel. I find that the most reliable source of information comes from the Spiritualist Churches, as they have tried and true methods for conducting a séance. Some of my favorite works of knowledge have come from places like The Morris Pratt Institute in Wisconsin, Lily Dale Spiritualist Camp in New York, the book "So You Want to Be a Medium" by Rose Vanden Eynden, and the works by Echo Bodine. Any of these can safely guide you in the right direction, and all of the above references can be found on the internet.
There are various methods of spirit communication, but the séance, having been practiced for centuries, has remained the most popular form of speaking with the dead. Séance is a French word meaning "seat", "session", and "to sit".
The ideal situation for a séance is to have a group of people that one can work with on a regular basis. As with all paranormal investigations, when we work with the same people over a period of time our energies start to mesh, and that makes it easier for us as a group to make contact with the deceased.
There are many reasons one may want to contact the spirit world. For some it is just to establish proof there is life after death while for others no proof is needed and their only wish is to find solace, comfort and closure. The important thing is that we go into the communication with purpose and respect - respect for the spirit and ourselves and with the understanding that just because someone is dead, that doesn’t mean they are smart.
How a person lived their life during their earthly incarnation may carry over into the spirit realm as well, so it stands to reason that a kind, thoughtful person will remain so, and a mean and spiteful human being will probably be an unpleasant spirit. We must be in control of the communication at all times. There is no reason for violent, nasty spirits to visit us during a séance. We wouldn’t let some stranger into our homes that might harm us. We take precautions by locking our doors, and we use discretion in picking our friends. The same principles apply when working in the spirit world. We do not leave it up to a spirit to tell us our future or what to do. We must interact with a spirit the same way we do with people on this physical realm. We welcome those who want to befriend us and stay away from those who want to harm us. To keep negative spirits away, call upon the Guardians of the Gate and ask them to only allow those spirits that you are wishing to make contact with come through. This prevents unwanted guests and is extremely important. These Guardians, also known as "watchers" and "doorkeepers", are evolved spiritual beings who will then act in the capacity of protectors.
So how do those on the other side know when we are open to communication? As we gather together to prepare for the séance, a beacon of light goes off into the unknown letting those on the other side know that a conversation with the living is now possible, and just as we have our own particular reasons for wanting to contact spirit, they also have their own desires in wanting to communicate with us, be it a loved one who would like us to know they are okay, a murder victim who insists their body and or killer be found, or simply an unknown ghost residing at a haunted location that just wishes to be recognized and heard.
Doing a séance or using an Ouija board can be a challenge for the most learned let alone the novice. Problems are compounded when someone attempts to achieve something they have little or no knowledge of. The results are minimal if any and can sometimes be frightening.
Recently I took part in a séance that consisted of both seasoned mediums and novices. As the minutes ticked on, the whole atmosphere became more and more chaotic due to lack of focus by some of the participants. All of a sudden I felt a pressure around my torso. It was as though someone was holding my arms. When I looked down, I saw that my arms were tightly wrapped around my chest in a binding position. I then stopped the séance and asked for help. My friend Deann, who was sitting next to me and is a very skilled medium, got up and started brushing the energy off of me. She was standing right behind while she was doing this and suddenly felt something go right through her and then out the glass door which was positioned just slightly to her left.
The presence we felt was that of a male energy, and he was obviously very controlling. Even though we did a prayer of protection and called in the Gatekeepers to keep watch, the truth of the matter is we negated that request by having so much scattered energy among the participants and allowing people to walk in to the séance once it started.
I look at every séance I participate in as a learning session and draw wisdom from the mistakes that are made.
There is quite a big difference between the old-fashion séance of the nineteenth century and what is today called a Communication Circle. First and foremost is the change in the name. Today very few people use the word séance. It has a stigma attached to it, and many people still associate séances with fraudulent psychics which were prevalent at the turn of the twentieth century. Another change we find is that, in the past, mediums would go into a deep trance and allow the spirit to enter their body in order for communication to take place. Today mediums go into a light mental trance, while all the time being in charge of their faculties and maintaining awareness of their connection with spirit.
Before I go into how to conduct a séance, there are a few things that are important to consider. The first point is an obvious one. When facing a problem in life, you must first search for answers in the living realm. After lots of soul-searching and finding no apparent solution, then visit the psychic realm. There has to be a specific purpose for making contact, but remember: Ghosts are not playthings or little puppies that we command at a whim.
Another important thing that cannot be stressed enough is that we must be in control of the situation, not the ghost. Validation is also an important process of séances. It is critical that we receive verifiable information from spirit, because it is not unusual for a spirit to come through trying to pretend to be someone they are not.
Also please keep in mind the fact that sometimes spirits cannot always make contact with us. If a person was non-communicative when they were alive, what makes you think they can communicate with us once they are in the spirit realm? Going into a séance with no expectations, an open mind and the ability to expect the unexpected is helpful since no two séances reap the same results, and there are no guarantees that there will be spirit communication.
If one was to do research into séances they would come upon a myriad of ways to go about it. What is important is that people in the group are all comfortable with the procedure that is chosen, and those who are chosen to participate go into it with the right attitude. Inviting those with negative attitudes, disbelievers or those not willing to take this type of communication seriously will very likely result in no communication.