Everyone has spirit guides, therefore everyone can be influenced by
spirits. Why would people have spirit guides if they couldn't be guided
Many people can also learn to recognize the influence of spirits
in their own lives. This chapter will explain
one possible method.*
There is a natural method for learning to communicate with spirits.
It makes use of the fact that spontaneous communications with spirits
can occur when a person is in the deeply relaxed state that occurs just
before falling asleep which psychologists call the hypnogogic state.
Not all mental activity that occurs in the hypnogogic state is spirit
communication, but by observing the activity of their mind in the
hypnogogic state, a person can also practice recognizing faint mental
impressions that are similar to those that occur during spirit
Throughout my life, I have often seen people in my mind's eye just
before falling asleep. I often wondered if they might be spirits
because the people I saw were of every race, type, and age. I am not
around many different people during the day so I didn't think I was just
remembering or dreaming about what happened during the day. After I
began to take classes in mediumship at a Spiritualist church, I tried to
communicate with these people. I found that some of the people I saw
were recognized by my classmates as deceased relatives and that the
information conveyed by these people seemed to be characteristic of
those relatives. I concluded that seeing these people is a
natural and spontaneous form of spirit communication.
Everyone goes through the hypnogogic state every time they fall asleep
and anyone can learn how to cultivate that state through relaxation
exercises. Therefore if one is interested in learning to communicate
with spirits they can make use of this natural ability to become highly
receptive to spirit communications.
* The section
Everyone is a Medium
in the chapter on
expands on the discussion of why everyone can perceive
communications from spirits.
(You can find links to more articles on communicating with spirits on my blog post
How to Communicate with Spirits.
That post discusses how to communicate with recently departed loved ones, easy techniques for communicating with your spirit
guides, and techniques, such as the one described on this page, for developing a general ability to communicate with
This chapter is primarily about learning to communicate with spirits,
however you can also use the method described here if you are interested
in developing other types of psychic perceptions. Precognition, remote
viewing, and astral projection* have all been experienced using this
method. To use this method for these or other types of psychic
perceptions, it is recommended that you still perform Exercise 3 daily
(below). In Exercise 4, once in the hypnogogic state, you can simply
observe your hypnogogic visions and other perceptions. Keep a log and
see if any are precognitive (happen in the future). You also can ask
your spirit guides to help you develop other psychic abilities that
interest you. For example, you can ask about distant locations or help
visiting the astral or spirit planes.
*The terms remote viewing, and astral projection are used in different
ways by different authors. Here, remote viewing is used to refer to
perceiving distant locations in the physical universe and astral
projection is used to mean perceiving the astral or spirit planes.
Astral projection is meant to refer having only mental perceptions. The
experience of leaving the body, traveling to another location, and
seeming to actually be there is a separate phenomena and would be
referred to using the term out-of-body-experience.
Scientists have found that theta brain waves are associated with reports
of psychic experiences and that visualization exercises induce theta
waves (See "Leaving The Body" by Scott Rogo). The types of psychic
phenomena reported from various sources include remote viewing,
out-of-body experiences, spirit communication, precognition, and
possibly others. Scientists have also found that theta waves are
produced during the hypnogogic state - the state between sleeping and
waking. This is important because the hypnogogic state is recognizable
by the person experiencing it. A person can use it to identify when a
he is generating theta waves and thus in a psychically receptive
state without the need for expensive EEG equipment.
will show you how to learn to recognize the hypnogogic state by watching
yourself as you fall asleep. You will recognize that the hypnogogic
state is occurring when you are very relaxed, your mind starts
wandering wildly, and you see
frequent images in your mind's eye.
will show you how to induce the hypnogogic state by using a combination
of relaxation exercises including visualization exercises. (These
relaxation exercises are described in the chapter
) You can learn to get into the hypnogogic state at times other than bed
time by using a combination of relaxation exercises. Each
exercise in the combination relaxes a different system in the body.
Using them in combination will relax you faster and to a deeper state
than any one relaxation exercise by itself.
A good way to combine relaxation exercises for this purpose is to
start with ten to twenty minutes of
Counting the Breath meditation
as described in the chapter on
Meditation while sitting.
Then, lying down, repeat a
visualization of colors,
and repeating a mantra or prayer in rhythm with the breathing.
will help you to learn to recognize the hypnogogic state by trying to
repeat a mantra or a prayer as you are performing a relaxing type of
healing meditation. A healing prayer is used in Exercise 3, but the
Lord's Prayer, the rosary or any mantra that is several sentences long
would work as well. (You can also learn to recognize the hypnogogic
state this way by repeating the mantra as you fall asleep at bed time
rather than during a meditation or relaxation exercise). When you find
you are so deeply relaxed that you cannot concentrate for more than a
few words at a time without becoming distracted and it feels like it
just takes too much energy to keep saying the mantra, you are in the
You can use these exercises to learn to get into the hypnogogic state in
successively less restful postures. Initially you should start lying
down with your eyes closed. Once you are able to enter the hypnogogic
state when lying down, try doing it sitting up with your eyes closed,
then lying down with your eyes open, then sitting up with your eyes
open. There are also numerous health and psychological benefits
associated with cultivating the theta state.
The hypnogogic state can be used to enhance creativity. Thomas Edison,
one of the greatest inventors of all time, used the hypnogogic state to
get ideas for his work. He would hold a fist full of ball bearings and
when he began to doze off, his hand would relax and the bearings would
fall on the floor. The noise of the falling bearings would alert him to
Charles Tart describes a method of
maintaining the hypnogogic state
on his blog. It involves lying down while holding the forearm upright
resting on the elbow. As you fall asleep, the arm will begin to tilt
and the effort to straighten it keeps you from falling completely
asleep. He discovered the method in the Journal of the American
Society for Psychical Research. Tart writes: "The author had
figured this balancing technique out and was using it because he thought
it would help ESP messages get through when they couldn’t penetrate the
everyday noise of his conscious mind." The method evidently worked for
the author. An example is given: "he got an image of someone wearing
glasses, which was the target being sent".
Arthur Edward Stilwell, the railroad tycoon, communicated with spirits
who guided him to build a business empire. Stilwell's method of
communicating with spirits is similar to the method described
here. It is described by Brad Steiger in "He Built a
Railroad Empire by Listening to Spirits":
He would lie down in bed alone in a dark room.
He would next focus his mind on his immediate problem and allow himself to drift off into a sort of half sleep.
Some readers may think that hypnogogic visions are merely dreams
or that they are simply a window into the unconscious mind. These views
are entirely consistent with the contention that many hypnogogic visions
are psychic perceptions. Many psychic perceptions are too faint to
reach consciousness and remain subliminal. Any activity that accesses
the unconscious mind will help to make psychic perceptions conscious.
When a person is dreaming, theta brain waves are predominant. In the
book "An Experiment With Time" by J. W. Dunne, the author shows that
many dreams are precognitive. He gives an explanation of how anyone can
learn to remember their own dreams and prove this for themselves.
Another book, "The G.O.D. Experiment" by Gary Schwartz explores this
phenomenon too. Lastly, there are a great number of anecdotal reports
of spirit communication during dreams. Many such reports can be easily
found found by searching on the internet.
Doing the exercises explained below should allow most people to learn to
communicate with spirits very easily. It will still take time (years)
and consistent practice to develop this ability, this is not an instant
short cut. It is a way for people to use a natural capability of the
mind (the hypnogogic state) as a stepping stone to develop the ability
to communicate with spirits. It takes the mystery out of mediumship.
One should be very careful before undertaking these exercises. You
should read the chapter
Further Adventures of a Student Medium,
and my blog posts How to Get Rid of Spirits
What to do if You Start Developing Psychic Abilities
and the books "Confessions of a Psychic" by Susy Smith and
"Thirty Years Among the Dead"
Wickland first to learn about some of the risks involved. These books
should scare you. After a while the fear will subside and rational
caution will remain.
You should not undertake the study of mediumship if you abuse addictive
drugs or alcohol, or if you are involved in activities that are harmful
to other people, or if you are suffering from emotional or mental
illnesses. You should only undertake the study of mediumship if your
intention is to act in the service of God and humankind. You
should understand that the
purpose of psychic development
advance the spiritual development of yourself and others.
like, and any type of selfish behavior or selfish motivation for gain or
renown you have in learning to communicate with spirits will attract
spirits that are also selfish. You can never gain any benefit to
yourself by interacting with selfish spirits. Such spirits may promise
you some benefit, but being selfish, they will not deliver on their
promise though they will use you for their own purposes which may leave
you permanently under their influence doing things that are harmful to
yourself and other people.
If you are certain that your motivation is pure, you may begin these
Exercise 1 What is it like to receive communications from spirits?
Exercise 1A Observe the Hypnogogic State.
As you fall asleep at night, notice your mental state. When you find
your mind wandering wildly and you see dream like images in your minds
eye, you are in the hypnogogic state. Watch yourself whenever you go to
sleep and learn to recognize this state.
These hypnogogic experiences are very similar to what many mediums
experiences when communicating with spirits. If you have done this
exercise you now know what it is like to communicate with spirits. It
is not mysterious, it is not extraordinary, and it does not require any
special ability at all. This exercise gives you practice recognizing
the faint mental impressions that occur during spirit communication. it
will help you learn to do mediumship even though there may be no spirits
communicating while you practice it.
The point of exercise 1 is to give you an idea of what you will
experience when you are communicating with spirits so that you will be
able to recognize spirit communications. Exercise 1A is more realistic
because you are passive, the experiences seem to happen spontaneously
and you just observe them. However if you have trouble observing the
hypnogogic state there is another way to have these same experiences.
Visions and words are most often (but not always) communicated by
spirits subjectively, that is, you experience them in your mind. To get
an idea of what this is like:
Visualize something in your minds eye. It could be a person or an
object. Concentrate for a few seconds on this image. This is often the
way a spirit shows you something - it appears in your minds eye.
Say a word or two to yourself. This is very similar to what you will
experience when a spirit gives you a word or two during a communication.
Smells and physical sensations are often communicated objectively. When
a spirit communicates a smell or physical sensation it is often
experienced exactly the same as when it is really happening.
Smell a flower. This is what it is like when a spirit communicates an odor to you.
The next time you feel a sensation in your body, notice that. This is
often what it is like when a spirit wants to identify a part of the
body. Frequently a spirit will do this to indicate what part of their
body was diseased and caused their death.
In order to communicate with spirits when you want to, it helps to be
able to enter the hypnogogic state at will. These relaxations
techniques will help you learn to do so.
Try a variety of relaxation techniques and see which ones can help you
get into the hypnogogic state at will. Often a combination of
techniques will work best. The details of the various relaxation
techniques are explained in the chapter on relaxation.
: relax the respiratory system. Breathe gently, focus your attention on your breathing, possibly synchronize your breathing with some number of heart beats.
meditation. Focus your attention on each chakra, notice any sensation in that area, visualize the corresponding color of each chakra.
Visualizing colors, or some pleasant imaginary location,
deeply relaxes the mind, puts you into a dreamy mental state, and
cultivates a type of brain wave that has been associated with psychic
experiences (See "Leaving The Body" by D. Scott Rogo)
A good way to combine relaxation exercises for this purpose is to
start with ten to twenty minutes of
Counting the Breath
as described in the chapter on
Meditation while sitting,
then, lying down,
visualization of colors,
and repeating a mantra or prayer in rhythm with the breathing. For the mantra or prayer you can use the Lord's Prayer or the verses in the
Develop the Habit of Being Relaxed
After doing relaxation exercises for ten or so minutes, stop but
continue to lie still and let your mind wander freely, notice if it goes
into the hypnogogic state.
This exercise is loosely derived from information given by two different
groups of advanced spirit guides working through different
mediums giving instructions on how to meditate to
cultivate spiritual development. This meditation involves moving
healing energy from a higher source through you and into the world with
the intention that it be used for the highest good. When you do this
type of meditation you identify yourself as a spiritual worker and you
attract spirit guides who desire to work with you and who will help you
develop into a better spiritual worker. This includes the development
of spirit communication. These two groups of spirits guides are those
who communicated through Grace Cooke (See "Meditation" by Grace Cooke)
and those who communicated through Betty White (See "Anchors to
Windward" by Stewart Edward White)
When you practice this meditation every day, after a period of time you
may find yourself spontaneously entering the hypnogogic state at the end
of the meditation. If you do not spontaneously enter the hypnogogic state
at the end of the meditation,
use the sequence of
relaxations exercises you used while lying down in exercise 2 to enter
the hypnogogic state.
Try to maintain the hypnogogic state for five or ten minutes.
Pay close attention to your
experiences. At first, most of your impressions may just be random
activity of the mind.
However, try to notice if you sense the presence of anyone.
Are they male or female? Do you have any sense of what they look like?
If you see a face or a whole person flash in your
mind's eye, mentally ask them, "tell me about yourself" and then observe
your mental impressions.
If you see images in your mind's eye, try to describe them to yourself
in as much detail as possible. If there are words that seem to be on
the tip of your tongue notice that. Finally, ask the spirits, "do you
have any message for me?"
Try to notice how your mental perceptions arise and try to notice the
different qualities of mental activity you perceive. Are you just
thinking about daily life, the past or the future like you do in
ordinary wakeful consciousness? Are mental images visualizations of
what you are thinking about or do they seem to come spontaneously? Are
your thoughts a series of associations, one thought leading to another
and another and another or do some arise completely unrelated to
anything in your life and unrelated to previous thoughts?
Spirits are attracted to us when we think of them. Therefore, if you
believe you are communicating with a spirit during the meditation, you
can try to strengthen the mental connection by thinking of them. For example, if you
see a spirit in your mind's eye, try to hold that vision while you
are communicating. This should help you maintain a stronger mental
connection with them.
Feelings of love by the incarnated person for the spirit make it easier
for the spirit to communicate with them. Love and Joy are said to
"raise the vibrations" of the incarnated person and make it easier for
spirits communicate to someone who has such positive feelings. The
Tapping into Universal Love in the chapter on Meditation
describes how to attune yourself to the Joy and Love that permeate the
atmosphere of the spirit realm. Practicing this meditation will make it
easier for spirits to communicate with you. Try this meditation and if
you find you are able to do it, then entering that state when you are
communicating with spirits should make it easier for spirits to
communicate with you.
Choose a time and do the meditation at the same time every day. This is
a courtesy to your guides who have to come to you to help you and
provide protection. This can involve more than one spirit and if you
want them to work with you, you should make it easier for them by being
consistent and predictable.
Lie down comfortably.
Begin with this opening prayer for protection: "Oh God, please watch
over me and protect me so that only the highest and best forces can
influence me." Repeat this once or twice if necessary to ensure it is
clearly impressed in your mind.
Visualize a beam of white healing light shining down from heaven
onto the top of your head. While you do this try to notice the feeling
in your crown chakra. Imagining a point a couple of inches above your
crown or lightly touching yourself on the top of your head may help you
to feel the crown chakra.
At the same time, calmly repeat one of the following prayers inwardly
for five or ten minutes:
- "Oh God, please may I have healing energy to give me
healing for my highest good. Please may any surplus be guided to where
it's needed for the highest good ."
- "Oh God, please move healing energy through me to where it's needed
for the highest good.
- "Oh God, please move healing energy through me to where it's needed
for the highest good, and to [name one or more people you would like to send healing to] to give them
healing for their highest good.
Generally spirits in the spirit
world do not have any physical disabilities that they may have had on
earth. If you see a spirit that is deformed
or you perceive an angry, malevolent, confused, or unhappy spirit,
you may be encountering an earth bound spirit. In the
beginning it is wise to avoid contact with such spirits. If you
encounter such spirits you should repeat the prayer for protection until
you feel comfortable again, and imagine a barrier of white light
surrounding you that only the highest and best forces can penetrate.
When you become more experienced communicating with spirits, you may
want to try to help earth bound spirits by encouraging them to complete
their transition into the spirit world and to look for loved ones who
may be trying to help them. Details on how to do this are
explained on the Spirit Rescue page.
The book "Thirty Years Among the Dead" by Carl
Wickland is also a good reference on how to do this.
If you find that your experiences during the communication sessions are
not very meaningful, asking questions of your spirit guides is a good
way to make the sessions more relevant. One way to do this when you are
in the hypnogogic state is to repeat a question over and over in your
mind as if you were meditating and the question was a mantra. Then,
just like in meditation, after a short time, you may find that you have
become distracted by stray thoughts, a mental image, a few words
appearing in your mind, or other types of mental impression. When this
happens, examine that mental activity see if it could be an answer to
your question. Sometimes the answers will be given symbolically and you
will have to interpret them.
It is a good practice to write down your experiences afterwards. Often
you may find a message becomes clearer or elaborated when you write it.
Never do anything because you think a spirit told you to that you would
not otherwise do without spirit influence. In the beginning you may
have difficulty distinguishing spirit communications from your own
wishful thinking or your own fears. In any case, a spirit guide's role
is to help you consider all options before you make a decision and not
to make a decision for you.
Sometimes when you are doing the above meditation, you may feel
sensations around your head or in other parts of your body. This can be
an indication of spirit guides working with the healing energy to give
you healing or working on you to help you become more sensitive to
communications. (See "How To Develop Your ESP" by Susy Smith who calls
this "changing your chemicals" in her chapter on "The Development
In addition to the healing meditation in exercise 3 you can also
have a dedicated practice session for communicating with your
spirit guides. If you do this
you should still continue doing exercise 3 every day too.
Choose a time to do this exercise and practice it at that time every
day. Practicing at a the same time every day allows your guides to know
in advance when you will need them to assist and protect you.
- Start with a period of Counting the Breath meditation as described in the chapter on
When using meditation as a preparation for communicating with spirits,
try to put more emphasis on keeping your mind focused than otherwise
indicated in that chapter. Do the meditation sitting comfortably. The
amount of time you meditate during this step should be between ten and
twenty minutes. The purpose is to calm the mind and body as a
preparation for the relaxation exercises in the following steps. You
can try different lengths of time and see which is most helpful in
entering into the hypnogogic state in the relaxation exercises that
follow. As you become experienced you will notice how you feel when you
are ready to start the relaxation exercises and then you can gauge how
long to meditate by your mental state. When you are ready to go on to the relaxation exercises, you will be in a deeply
relaxed state where you begin to have trouble concentrating
because you are so
relaxed (not because your mind is hyper-active and busy.
The distinction between these two states is discussed in more detail in the section on
Distracted States of Mind
in the chapter on
Develop the Habit of Being Relaxed
Do this step and the following steps lying down. Say a prayer for protection, guidance and assistance in the following manner:
Oh God, please watch over me and protect me so that only the highest and
best forces can influence me. Please send good and wise spirit guides
to help me learn to perceive accurate, precise, and detailed
communications from spirits and show me how to distinguish those
communications from my own thoughts. Please guide me to use the ability
to communicate with spirits for the highest good.
Tell your guides your intentions for the practice session. Use the following as an example:
Hello spirit guides. I'm going to do the relaxation exercises now and
try to get into the hypnogogic state. Then I'll ask for sign from you
that you are present and then I'll ask some questions.
Use the relaxation exercises you learned in exercise 2 to get into the
Ask for a sign from your guides and then ask them questions or simply
ask them to help a spirit to come through as a way to practice mediumship.
When you ask a question or request a sign from your guides always start
by addressing your guides and then ask the question. For example you
might ask, "Oh spirit guides, please give me a sign that you are here".
Repeat your request over and over in your mind as if you were meditating
and the question was a mantra. Then, just like in meditation, after a
short time, you may find that you have become distracted by stray
thoughts, a mental image, a few words appearing in your mind, or other
types of mental impression. When this happens, examine that mental
activity see if it could be an answer to your question. Sometimes the
answers will be given symbolically and you will have to interpret them.
It is very important to address your guides and repeat the request until
you get an answer. This is because doing so will use the law of
attraction to create a stronger link with your spirit guides. The law
of attraction says that you attract what you think about. When people
are going for a reading with a medium, it is often suggested that if
there is a certain spirit they want to come through during the reading,
they should think about that spirit during the day they have the
reading. This is the same principle. If you concentrate on your guides
when you are asking the question it will help create a stronger link.
Sometimes it may seem like your guides are not available to work with
you. One reason for this may be that your guides want you to learn to
recognize when there are no spirits communicating with you. This is
an important part of learning to communicate - knowing when spirits
are present and when they are not.
The following set of questions is an example of how you might
structure a communication session:
- Spirit guides, please give me a sign that you are here.
- Spirit guides, do you have any messages for me?
You can then ask any personal or spiritual questions you might have.
However, don't become dependent on spirits for every little
triviality in your life. It is not the responsibility of spirit guides
to run your life for you. You are incarnated to learn from your
own experiences and decisions.
If you would like to hear from any friends or relatives in the spirit world you can try these questions:
- Spirit guides, are there any friends or relatives of mine in the spirit world who would like to communicate?
- Spirit guides, do they have any messages for me?
It is not a good idea to strongly insist on hearing from a particular
person in the spirit world. If you want to hear from them they will
know about it. If they are unable to come to you, you can be sure there
is a good reason for it. It may be better for them to avoid the earth
plane for a period of time after their passing, or they may be involved
in important work that keeps them from visiting you.
If you want to give readings to other people, it is probably a good idea
for you to take classes from an experienced medium. However if you are
in a class and want to practice giving readings you can add
these questions to your communication sessions:
- Spirit guides, is there a spirit here who can help us practice mediumship now?
- Spirit guides, what were some of the things they did in their earth life?
Spirit guides, is there any other evidence they can give to identify
- Spirit guides, do they have any messages they want to give?
An important point about the way this exercise is designed is that you
are controlling the process. Spirits are allowed to help us in
proportion to the effort we make. By taking the initiative
instead of just lying around waiting for the spirits to do something,
you earn a much higher level of assistance.
When you find you are able to enter the hypnogogic state easily when
lying down, you may want to try this exercise sitting in a chair. In
that case the following points may be helpful:
- Let the head tilt forward slightly as if you were going to try to sleep.
- Be sure to do the relaxation exercises in a relaxed way. Don't rush through them or that will keep you from becoming deeply relaxed.
- Try to notice a sensation of floating for a few seconds between each relaxation exercise.
- Try adding a brief period of
to the end of the sequence of relaxation exercises you are using.
Rhythmic breathing is described in the chapter on
If you find you have trouble entering the hypnogogic state sitting up,
don't worry about it, just go back to doing the practice lying down.
You can always try again in the future.
If you are able to notice your mental impressions in the hypnogogic
state then you have a pretty good idea of what it is like to communicate
with spirits even if you are not yet doing so. Spirits influence the
mind by using its natural capabilities, and communicating with spirits
seems very natural and very similar to what one experiences in the
hypnogogic state. (In fact many of the thoughts that come to us are
inspired by spirit guides but we don't recognize it.) This is the cause
of one of the biggest difficulties in learning mediumship: that people
don't recognize they are being influenced by spirits because it seems
like the normal activity of their mind.
A "reading" is the term used to described a session in which a medium
helps spirits to communicate with a living person. Learning to give
readings is a serious endeavor and the many details and complexities of
giving readings to other people are more than can be covered in this
short chapter. When giving a reading you may be dealing with people who
are suffering from intense grief or you may have to communicate
sensitive personal information. Proper training is needed learn to
handle these situations correctly. If you would like to learn to give
readings to other people you should study with a authentic and
experienced medium. Spiritualist churches often have inexpensive
How to Find a Good Medium
The best way to determine if a medium is good is to watch them give
readings to others first and then try a reading from them yourself.
This is possible at Spiritualist churches where messages from spirits are
given during the weekly service. You can attend church services for a
few weeks and watch the mediums that work at the church. If you do
not get a reading during the services, you may be able to schedule a
private reading with the medium. Spiritualist churches often have fairs or "mediums day" events where you can schedule a reading with the medium of your choice.
During a reading, if all the medium tells you is that the spirit "is an
old lady with gray hair", or "was a father figure" that is usually not
enough to tell you who the spirit is. A medium should be able to
provide information about a spirit which would normally be unknown to
the medium, and which uniquely identifies who the spirit was when they
were living on earth. This information may be a description of the
appearance of the spirit while they were alive, things the spirit liked
to do, things they did with the person getting the reading, the cause of
their death, their personality, their relationship to the person, etc.
All mediums work differently so the types of information may vary from
medium to medium.
When giving the reading, the only questions the medium should ask are if
the person getting the reading recognizes the spirit and if the
information about the spirit is correct. The person getting the reading
should only answer yes or no. The purpose of a public demonstration of
mediumship is to show the continuation of the personality after the
death of the physical body. In order for everyone present at the
demonstration to see that a spirit is communicating with the medium, the
medium must ask the recipient of the reading to say whether or not they
recognize the spirit and if the information coming through is correct.
It is also necessary for the medium to receive this type of feedback in
order to maintain their skills (This is explained in more detail in the
subsection "Feedback" of the section
"The Traditional Method of Learning
Some mediums may allow the person to ask other types of questions at the
end of the reading. However you should be very suspicious if the medium
asks you any questions about yourself or the spirit. This could provide
the medium with information that they could use to make educated guesses
about the spirit. Questioning by the medium occurs sometimes and is not
necessarily an indication of deliberate fraud, it may simply be due to
inadequate training. However the medium's job is to tell you what the
spirit wants to say. The telephone doesn't need to know anything about
you or the person you are speaking to, and a medium shouldn't either.
You should also be aware of a technique that stage mentalists use called
cold reading. Someone using these techniques can create the impression
that they are psychic when they are not. Before you go to a medium,
you should understand how this works. If you intend to learn to give
readings to other people you also need to understand how this works
so that you can avoid using these techniques inadvertently.
An overview of cold reading can
be found on the internet at:
An example of a cold reading is explained at:
Before going to a medium, or a spiritualist church, you should also read
this book review that discusses
Be very careful in selecting a teacher. Being a good medium is not
the only characteristic you should look for in a teacher.
The most advanced teachers are the most humble, and will
be uninterested in titles, hierarchy, or financial gain.
Observe their actions not just their words.
Avoid anyone who believes they are infallible, or who justifies their
actions by saying they are guided by spirits.
The ability to do mediumship is not an indication that a person is a
highly evolved soul, nor is it an indication that they will be a good
- A medium is not a priest that intervenes between you and God, nor a
guru, nor an avatar, nor some type of enlightened being. A teacher of
mediumship is an ordinary person of average spirituality, who is trained
to teach you a skill that is inherent in most people.
You should not entrust your spiritual development to someone who cannot
manage their own personal affairs.
Watch out for mediums who use a charismatic personality to misdirect
attention away from their mediocre talent.
- Avoid anyone who tells people they have some type of spiritual
problem (a curse, a black aura, evil spirits around them etc.) and then
charges fees to fix the problem. Do not believe them, study with
them, or associate with them in any way.
- Some churches and organizations offer certification to mediums who
take a series of classes and pass a certification test. Certification
is not a guarantee of excellence nor is lack of certification a problem.
Many excellent mediums are not certified.
Learning to communicate with spirits requires an environment where you
feel comfortable describing the faint mental impressions in your mind.
This requires the teacher be gentle and encouraging and non-judgmental.
Avoid anyone who is critical or negative or creates unnecessarily
stressful situations in their efforts to teach you.
Everyone is different, every mind is different, everyone communicates
with spirits in a slightly different way. Your development is something
that is determined by your spirit guides. For this reason you should
avoid teachers who insist that "their way is the right way", or insist
that you try to bring through certain types of information.
Be on your guard for any group where one or more persons exercise
inordinate influence on others. Often cult leaders seem beneficent at
first and it is not until they have abused their status, often in subtle
ways, that one realizes their selfish, egotistical nature.
On the other hand, when you see
a teacher in front of a class, their public persona may give you the
impression that they are extraordinary. Then when you find that, behind
the scenes, they have the same combination of strengths and weaknesses
that all people have, you can become disappointed - which is a bit
unfair to them.
If you are unable to find a teacher or are not interested in becoming a
medium, there are still many benefits to continuing the healing
meditation daily. It will give healing to yourself and others, it will
bring the highest and best spiritual influences into your life and it
will help you to grow spiritually.
Outline of a Reading
Every medium is different and a style that works for one medium might
not be appropriate for another. The method of organizing a reading
described here is only a suggestion. If it does not seem appropriate
for you, you do not have to use it.
The example below involves only one spirit.
During a real reading, several spirits may come through, either one
after another or at the same time.
A reading starts with the medium giving evidence of the spirit.
Evidence is any information that will help the person recognize the
spirit. This can be information about the appearance of the spirit
while they were alive, things the spirit liked to do, things they did
with the person getting the reading, the cause of their death, their
personality, their relationship to the person, etc. Sometimes
additional evidence is provided if needed to distinguish between more
than one spirit who fit the initial description.
If the person recognizes the spirit from the evidence, then the
medium can move on to the message. The message is whatever the spirit
may want to say to the person. It may be something as simple as an
expression of love for the person or that the spirit is truly alive and
well in the spirit world. The message may also be something more
complicated such as advice about a personal problem the person is
facing. In this case, the message will often be some type of
encouragement rather than a specific solution to a problem. We are
incarnated to learn from our experiences and decisions and spirits will
not lightly take away that learning experience by giving away the
answers to life's problems.
If the evidence is not recognized, the spirit may be a guide. The
person getting the reading may have never known the guide while the
guide was on earth, so the person will not recognize the description of
the spirit. In this case, the spirit can identify themself as a guide
by showing that they are around the person. This is done by giving
information about the activities the person has been involved in. For
example, if the spirit is a guide that is helping them in their career
the spirit may give information about what the person does on their job.
If the spirit is determined to be a guide, the medium may then move on
to give the message.
If the spirit does not give evidence that they are around the person
then the spirit may have a message for another person present.
Sometimes a medium will not be able to correctly ascertain who the
reading is for. In this case, the medium may try an indirect reading.
In an indirect reading, the medium describes the spirit and then asks if
anyone present recognizes the spirit. If another person present
recognizes the spirit, the medium may provide more evidence to confirm
the identification before moving on to give the message.
If no one in the group recognizes the spirit then a message may be given for the group or an anonymous person.
The traditional method of learning mediumship usually consists of going
to a class that meets once a week. In class, students either
communicate with spirits during a meditation session and discuss their
impressions afterwards, or they meditate as a preparatory exercise and
then give each other readings afterwards. There is no reason
why someone who is practicing the method of communicating with spirits
described in this chapter cannot also take such classes. If
students desire to give readings to other people, it is recommended that
they take classes with an experienced medium. Anyone considering
taking classes will find it helpful to understand the differences
between the traditional way of teaching mediumship and the method
The State of Wakefulness
Most mediumship classes teach students to communicate with spirits in a
more wakeful state than the theta/hypnogogic state used here.
When giving readings to other people it is preferable to do it
in either normal waking consciousness or the slightly relaxed state of
mind associated with alpha brain waves. The alpha state is usually
achieved through meditation done immediately before communicating with
A High Dropout Rate with the Traditional Method
As a practical matter, the traditional method of teaching mediumship
doesn't work for many people. Students who are already somewhat psychic
may find the classes a good way to develop and hone their skills.
However, if someone is not aware of their psychic abilities at all, that
type of class may not be much help. The dropout rate for mediumship
classes is very high, and this is because many people do not get any
positive results in the beginning which leads to discouragement.
This is especially pronounced in classes where beginning students
are mixed in with more advanced
students. People who are already somewhat psychic
are often drawn to
classes, so even a "beginners" class may have students with a wide
range of abilities. It can be extremely discouraging for a true
beginner in these classes and that is one of the reasons the method
described here is so important. Anyone can get started in the privacy
of their own home without worrying about how they compare to other
Working Alone when Necessary
The method of communication described here can be used by anyone working
alone. This is an advantage because taking classes in the traditional
method may be impractical for a number of reasons:
- In some locations, classes are not available.
Some teachers charge an unreasonable fee.
The typical cost of a mediumship class at a Spiritualist church at the
time this is being written is around $10 per session. In some locations
it is less, in other locations it is more. This is a nominal amount
required to prevent people who are not serious from crowding out
students who are. In some cases the fee may be greater out of
necessity, for example, the rent for the classroom may require a higher
fee. The teachers of classes offered at Spiritualist churches usually
do not receive any monetary compensation - the fees collected go to the
In our society, people must have money to survive so there is nothing
morally wrong with spiritual workers (teachers, mediums, and healers)
who are devoted full time to their work charging a fee for their
services. However, they must guard themselves against the incentive to
contrive their teachings to maximize financial gain.
- Some people may not be able to afford classes even if they are reasonably priced.
- Sometimes a student and teacher may not have compatible personalities.
Often a person who is very psychic is not the best person to teach those
who are of average psychic ability. This is because a strongly psychic
person who has been communicating with guides or spirits since childhood
will probably not understand what a non-psychic experiences when
beginning to learn to communicate with spirits. While most classes are
taught by people who are strongly psychic, the method described here is
designed for any person but especially those who do not yet realize they
Learning mediumship is in some ways similar to learning to play a
musical instrument. It would be absurd to think that anyone could
become proficient at a musical instrument if the only time they could
get their hands on the instrument was during a weekly lesson.
While the traditional method of learning communication with spirits
involves classes that meet once a week,
the method described here permits practicing everyday.
Giving a reading to another person involves a large amount of
uncertainty. The medium does not know if a spirit will be available,
if the spirit will be good at communicating, or if the spirit will
be recognized by the person receiving the reading. Reducing this
uncertainty can help the medium to work with the assurance needed to act
with complete integrity. It can also help the medium to be more relaxed
during a communication session which leads to more accurate, precise and
detailed communication. The method discussed here helps to reduce
uncertainty by providing the student with a large body of experiences
from daily practice and by teaching the student to perceive the presence
of spirit guides before commencing a communication session.
Many teachers include other types of psychic skills in their classes.
This may be attractive to some students. Other students, however, may
want to avoid developing the psychic skill called psychometry. In
psychometry, a person obtains information about an object and the person
who owns it simply by touching the object. When developed, this skill
can be used by a psychic to obtain information about a spirit other than
through true mind to mind communication. Some people feel that a
medium's job is solely to help the spirit to communicate with the person
receiving the reading. According to this view, information obtained by
psychometry is misleading and out of place since it is not communicated
intentionally by the spirit. This can be complicated by the fact that
some students may not know whether the information they are receiving is
coming from the spirit or through psychometry.
For this reason some mediums prefer not to develop psychometry.
In the traditional method,
mediums are taught not to ask questions that are too specific because of
the danger of filling in the answer with whatever might come from the
activity of their own mind rather than what comes from the spirit.
Passive vs. Active Mediumship
Many teachers of the traditional method of learning mediumship tell
students that in order to get started, the should "just start talking"
whether or not they realize they have any information about a spirit.
This is intended to retrieve subliminal information that the spirits may
have communicated but which has not reached the conscious mind of the
medium. However this type of "active mediumship" may lead to
"creative readings" that come from the mind of the medium.
This reduces the accuracy of a
reading. The method described here is entirely passive. The medium
asks questions of his spirit guides and then observes the mental
activity arising in his mind. This method is not completely accurate
either, however it avoids this source of invalid
A similar problem with the traditional classes is that students are
often taught to say everything that comes into their mind without
thinking about it in order to prevent the analytical part of their mind
from keeping back something the spirit may be trying to communicate.
This can be helpful for beginners who may have trouble recognizing
that they are receiving communications from spirits and who need to
learn which types of mental activity are caused by spirit influence and
which are not. Unfortunately, in an experienced medium it can also
result in various associations, memories, and inferences that are come
from the mind of the medium being incorrectly attributed to the spirit.
Prejudice Against Education
It is unfortunate that among devotees of spirituality, including
teachers of mediumship, a few individuals have a prejudice against
education. They suffer from the mistaken belief that education,
especially education in engineering and science, prevents a person from
being spiritual and interferes with their ability to develop mediumship.
This belief is false. Anyone interested in taking classes in mediumship
should be aware of this phenomena so they can avoid making the mistake
themselves and steel themselves to it's effects if it is applied to
In his book "After Life : Answers From The Other Side" the medium John
Edward has written about a mediumship demonstration he gave with another
medium that proves that education does not interfere with spirituality
or mediumship. John Edward had worked in the medical field as a
phlebotomist. His partner in the demonstration had studied geography
extensively. During the demonstration, John amazed his partner with his
knowledge of cardiac and blood disease. Likewise, his partner gave a reading
where her detailed knowledge of geography allowed her to discuss a small
town in Prussia, a country that no longer existed, that was relevant to
the deceased relative of a member of the audience. This shows that
education does not interfere with spirituality or mediumship
but that the opposite is true. Education makes
possible feats of mediumship that would be impossible without it.
Spiritualists formed churches so that their beliefs and practices would
be considered as valid as any other religion in the eyes of society.
This was needed to protect them from persecution. It is profoundly
ignorant and hypocritical for a spiritualist to publicly make any group
of people the butt of jokes and snide comments about perceived
handicaps. Anyone claiming to be a spiritual teacher would be
embarrassed to be found out making jokes about ethnic or religious
groups or about people with handicaps. Yet slurs against educated
individuals continue at Spiritualist churches.
Spiritualism claims to be compatible with other religions and welcomes
everyone to its services. It is extremely hurtful to single out certain
individuals as second class citizens because they are well educated.
This is nowhere more true, and nowhere more hypocritical, than in a
church which claims to provide a haven where people can express their
interests in spirituality without fear of persecution.
This prejudice is not just hurtful. The prejudice itself can interfere
with a person's ability to learn mediumship. In a mediumship class, the
teacher will most likely be an experienced medium who is seen to have
access to information that most people do not have. If the teacher
seems to believe a student will not be able to learn mediumship because
of their education, it can be very damaging to the student's belief in
their potential. Belief in one's own potential is crucial to success in
most endeavors but none more so than in mediumship.
Psychologists who study how people learn have found that feedback is
essential to learning. If feedback is eliminated then a learned skill
cannot be maintained. This has also been shown to apply to learning
psychic abilities (See "Learning to Use ESP" by Charles T. Tart Ph.D.)
In traditional mediumship classes, feedback is provided to a student by
the other students in the class. When a student perceives a spirit,
they describe the spirit and the information they obtain from the
spirit. When another student in the class recognizes the spirit they
say so and that provides the feedback. In the case of spirit guides or
distant relatives, a person may not recognize the spirit because they
never met them in life. This can cause a problem for the student
because the lack of feedback will be ambiguous. The student will not be
able to tell if the information in the reading came from a spirit or
from his own imagination.
When working with the method described here, you use a different type of
feedback. You use the feedback of your own senses. A child learning to
walk does not need a critical review of their gait. They learn from the
feedback of their own senses. They know if they fall to the floor.
They know if they are remaining upright. When you use the method
described here, you observe the mental impressions in your mind and
that provides the feedback.
This is somewhat like learning to ski without poles. Using ski poles
when learning to turn can cause the student skiers' attention to become
focused on their hands instead of on their balance and their feet. By
taking away their ski poles, a distraction is removed and they naturally
focus their attention where it should be - on their sense of balance and
the position of their feet. When learning mediumship with the method
described here, by working alone, the student is able to focus on the
activity of the mind and over time learn to recognize different types of
mental impressions. In the traditional method there are many
distractions which make it difficult for the student to pay attention to
their internal experience. Worrying about whether or not someone in
class recognizes the spirit is one distraction, the next section
describes other types of distractions that are problematical with the traditional method.
There is also another type of feedback that can occur with the method
described here. Sometimes the mental impressions that occur during
practice will be precognitive. For example you may be reading a book
and realize that you saw the scene from the book you are reading that
morning during a practice session. Or, an acquaintance may be showing
you some photographs when you see something in a picture that you saw in
your last practice session.
There are other distractions that are avoided by working alone. These
include repetitious or irrelevant advice from the teacher which can
distract the student from observing the activity in their mind and can
result is losing the connection with the spirit. It is hard to describe
how frustrating and discouraging it can be for a student who only has a
few minutes a week to practice,
to have the teacher continually
interrupting, harassing, nagging and otherwise distracting them from
trying to observe what is going on in
their mind during spirit communication.
Some teachers overestimate their psychic ability and claim to know what
the student is experiencing internally and then give irrelevant advice
based on their own fantasies. Other times a teacher may have a strong
opinion about how students should communicate with spirits and will keep
interrupting a student to remind them of what to do while all along the
student is trying to do what the teacher is suggesting. Other teachers
like to show off their abilities by interrupting the student with
information the teacher is obtaining from the spirit. Sometimes a
teacher will ask the student to obtain specific information from a
spirit which distracts the student from bringing through what the spirit
is trying to communicate.
Putting on a Good Show
Another source of distraction occurs when teachers (often those
associated with Spiritualist churches) put a great emphasis on teaching
their students to make a good impression while giving a reading. The
focus is on presenting a confident image to the people present at the
demonstration. These teachers are training their students to give
readings during the church services where a confident medium helps to
give the members congregation confidence in the truth of survival after
death. Sometimes this emphasis is made too early in the training and
it can distract students from focusing their attention on the main
objective of the class which is learning to communicate with spirits.
It can significantly retard their development which is especially
serious when the students' only practice time is their weekly class.
Some teachers will tell their students to end a session if they do not
have a good connection with a spirit. This is often the correct thing
to do for an experienced medium who is giving a public demonstration.
However it is completely wrong advice for a beginner. If a beginner is
having difficulty connecting with a spirit the most likely explanation is
that the student needs to improve their skills. Instead of being told
to give up, the student needs to be encouraged to keep trying in order
to learn to connect with spirits. If beginning students are told to give
up when they encounter difficulty, they will wonder whether the teacher
believes that they can ever learn. The teacher will most likely be an
experienced medium who is seen to have access to information that most
people do not have. If the teacher seems to lack confidence in the
student's ability, it can be very damaging to the student's belief in
their potential. This can be disastrous for a student by destroying
the confidence they have so slowly attained by patient and diligent
attendance at weekly classes. Belief in one's own potential is crucial
to success in most endeavors but none more so than in mediumship.
The method of communicating with spirits described in this chapter has a
firm basis in natural law.
Everyone Can Be Influenced By Spirits
Everyone has spirit guides and therefore
everyone can be influenced by spirits.
Everyone Has The Ability To Perceive Psychic Impressions
Everyone goes through the hypnogogic state when they fall asleep and
generates theta brain waves which are associated with psychic
experiences. By learning to induce the hypnogogic state when you want
to (exercise 2), you are able to become psychically receptive at a time
of your own choosing.
In exercise 4, you learn how to correctly pray for assistance in
learning to communicate with spirits. When you pray for
spiritual assistance, assistance is given in proportion to the
effort you make. Through daily practice and asking questions your
effort will be substantial and will allow your guides to give you
Everyone has free will. This means that anyone who has a sincere desire
to learn to communicate with spirits has the right to pursue it. The
method described in this chapter is open to anyone who has the sincere
desire to learn. You do not need the approval of a teacher.
The method will work for anyone whether or not they are already in
touch with their psychic abilities.
Law of Attraction
The law of attraction states that like attracts like and that you
attract what you think about.
- By working as a
healer (exercise 3) you attract the right types of spirit guides.
Thinking of a spirit will draw them to you.
Thinking of your guides when asking questions and concentrating on what
you learn about a spirit as you communicate with them helps to bring
them close and strengthen the connection.
This principle is also used in the methods of communication described by
Dr. Raymond Moody in his book "Reunions" and by Veterans Administration
psychologist Bodkin in his book "Induced After Death Communications".
"The most recent study that examines the possibility ... of enhancing ESP performance through an altered state of consciousness, specifically the hypnagogic state (the state between wakefulness and sleep)."
"An Experiment With Time" by J. W. Dunne. This book describes the author's experiments with precognitive dreaming.
He kept a log
of his dreams and found that many of them were precognitive. Other people have
done this and found that they also have many precognitive dreams.
Dunne has a simple
technique to help remember dreams: when you wake up in the morning, the
first thing you should do before anything else is ask yourself, "What
was I thinking about and why?".
Remote Viewing - There are many similarities between remote
viewing and mediumship and it would benefit any student of one technique
to to learn the other. The methods of remote viewing have been studied
scientifically and it was discovered that anyone can do remote viewing
if they use the right method. Those studies also revealed several
principles of psychic perception that can be applied to improve the
accuracy of any psychic reading.
- "Mind Reach" by Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff chapter 4 section "Remote Viewing: A Recipe"
- "The Mind Race" by Russell Targ and Keith Harary chapter 10 "How To Be Psychic"
- "The Controlled Remote Viewing Manual" by Major Paul Smith
(Ret.) and Ingo Swann. This is the remote viewing manual written for
the U.S. Army intelligence unit that used remote viewing.
- "Remote Viewing - The Real Story" by Ingo Swann