What Is a Medium?

Add to favorites

James Van Praagh, one of the world’s most renowned and respected spiritual mediums working today, describes the difference between mental mediumship and physical mediumship.

By James Van Praagh

One of the most common questions I am asked is what is the difference between a medium and a psychic. The term “psychic” is often used as a catchall phrase for anyone who works in the paranormal. We know what our five senses are—sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. But we have another sense that is equally as real as the other five. Often referred to as our sixth sense, psychic ability, or our intuition, this is the gut feeling or hunch you have that you cannot logically explain. Everyone is psychic to some degree or another, but not everyone is a medium.

A medium is a psychic who has fine-tuned his or her extrasensory perception and can interface with the spirits in other dimensions. They are able to feel and/or hear thoughts, voices, or mental impressions from the spirit world. A medium is able to become completely receptive to the higher frequency or energies on which spirit people vibrate.

Mediumship is much more involved than psychicism because a medium is opening him/herself to a discarnate energy. Mediumship itself can be broken down into two distinct categories. The first and most common type is mental mediumship, which is how I work with my abilities. I communicate with spirits while fully conscious. As the word mental denotes, this form of mediumship utilizes the mind—the intuitive mind, not the rational or logical part. This type of mental mediumship falls into several distinct types which are described as:



Clairsentience (clear feeling): Able to perceive information by way of emphatic feelings and emotions from spirit

Clairvoyant (clear vision): Able to see with the mind’s eye objects, colors, symbols, people, spirits, or scenes (these pictures are not visible to the naked eye and usually flash into the medium’s mind)

Clairaudient (clear hearing): Able to perceive sounds or words from sources broadcasting from a spiritual realm

Clairempathy (clear emotion): Able to sense or "feel" within oneself the attitude or emotions of another person

Clairgustance (clear tasting): Able to discern the essence of a substance through taste from spirit

Clairscent (clear smelling): Able to smell a fragrance or odor coming from the spirit

Clairtangency (clear touching): Able to perceive information about an article or its owner or history by holding an object or by touching someone or something (this ability is commonly known as psychometry)

In my work, I most often utilize the abilities of clairsentience and clairvoyance. In order to attune to the thoughts and feelings of spirit, I raise my vibrations higher through meditation and, in turn, spirit has to lower its vibrations somewhat.

The second type of mediumship is physical mediumship and it differs from mental mediumship. In physical mediumship, the actual physical body is used to obtain information from spirit. In mental mediumship, only the mind of the medium is utilized. Channeling is a well-known form of physical mediumship. A trance medium (someone who goes into a trance state to relay messages from the other side) is another type of physical medium.

Certain individuals are more prone to mediumship than others. Usually they must develop natural psychic abilities and mediumship skills over a period of time. 




© James Van Praagh