Many people ask me, were you born psychic or did you have to learn? I think the answer is a mixture of the two.
Having seen the ghost of my granddad very early on in life (see blog post) I feel I was born with some kind of – I hesitate to say gift – natural ability. But just like any other skill, you have to learn your trade.
If you wanted to become a professional tennis player you would find yourself a tennis coach and practice as much as possible, and it’s the same if you want to become a medium, you will need to attend workshops and put in lots of practice. For most of us mediumship is a test of discipline and determination, you must stay committed to your goal no matter how many times you fail. And you will fail!
It can take years to finally call yourself a medium, once you’ve learnt to trust in the spirit world and have confidence in the information you’re given. The difficulty is receiving the information in the first place, whether you see, hear or sense, knowing what you are picking up is half of the battle.
I explain to new clients that doing a reading can be like speaking on the telephone with a very poor signal, with sections of the conversation dropping in and out it can require a lot of patience to make out what the other person is saying. Unfortunately we do not have a direct dial to the spirit world, as much as we would like one! Instead we learn to communicate with symbols through a connection in our mind. You may have heard people talking about opening up the third eye, something we learn to perfect through meditation.
The journey begins by joining a psychic development group, often at your local spiritualist church. Here we learn things like opening and closing down our chakras, the difference between psychic readings and mediumship. We learn to do readings in many different ways such as using guidance cards, pictures, even crystals as a tool, working in pairs or small groups for all sorts of creative activities.
Initially you probably won’t pick up anything, many of us spend weeks, months or even years feeling frustrated with our lack of progress, but in the end it comes. Sometimes you have a massive break-through; sometimes it’s a gradual build-up. Fragmented pieces of information become structured descriptions of friends and relatives, starting with a sense of a male or female then moving on to how this person looks or feels to you. What kind of personality they had, how old they were when they passed. Of course we can’t always provide exact names and ages, but we do our best to pass on what we are shown.
And that is part of the problem, we aren’t always given specific information that the recipient wishes to receive. Our spirit relatives have no concept of time, and often they just don’t want to focus on how they passed; it’s more important for them to portray happiness not sadness. They usually come through with what we call a memory link: something that no one else would know, a memory that confirms it’s really them. The information never makes sense to me, but when I say it out loud it could be the one thing the person in front of me needed to hear.
I’ve had some amazing memory links during my time as a medium, both in training, during a reading with a client and at demonstrations of mediumship. One thing that really sticks out in my mind was when an old school friend contacted me after the loss of her father, seeking advice on whether to attend an evening of clairvoyance. As we were chatting online I started to get a sense of her father being around, I had met him a few times many years ago but didn’t know anything about him. I’m not usually tuned in until I sit down to do a reading, but intense emotional loss can often trigger a connection.
I remember leaving the computer briefly and as I left the room I had the image of a garden rake in my head – very random as you can imagine. At first this didn’t make any sense to me, like most symbols don’t, but then I understood the image represented someone attempting to clear up leaves, as if they were trying but not having much luck. There was humour attached to this picture, but I didn’t understand what it meant. I realised that I needed to relay it to my friend in case she could make sense of it, though it always makes me a little nervous to come out with something so unexpected. Thankfully when I explained what I had received it made perfect sense to her and it was definitely intended to uplift the family with laughter.
I truly believe that mediumship is a gift, one that we all have but choose to develop. I have shared some beautiful moments and received some fantastic evidence from spirit, on both sides of the table. It can bring huge comfort to those suffering loss, making the process of grief that little bit easier. As a medium we never stop growing, we learn from each other and we learn from spirit and if we ever get over confident they are sure to put us back in our place! It all starts with a sixth sense, a curiosity for the unknown and a strong desire to help others.