Everything You Need To Know About Psychic Mediums

February 17, 2024 1:00 AM ‐ ParanormalPsychic Readings
Psychic Medium Tarot Card Reader
A psychic medium is someone believed to possess the extraordinary ability to communicate with spirits, or the souls of those who have passed away. This communication can take various forms, including hearing voices or seeing spirits. Unlike psychics, who are said to predict the future or gain information about a person's life through extrasensory perception, mediums specifically focus on connecting the living with the dead.

The concept of mediumship is not new and has roots that stretch back to ancient times, across various cultures and religions. The modern spiritualist movement, which emerged in the mid-19th century, brought psychic mediums into the public eye. Séances, where groups of people gather with a medium to communicate with spirits, became a popular pastime during this period.

In recent years, interest in psychic mediums has surged, thanks in part to their portrayal in television and movies. Shows like 'Most Haunted' and personalities such as John Edwards have brought the work of psychic mediums into mainstream entertainment.

Those who seek the help of a psychic medium are often seeking closure, comfort, or answers about their loved ones who have passed away. Whether for personal insight, spiritual guidance, or simply curiosity, the experiences shared by those who visit psychic mediums are varied.

Critics argue that mediumship can be exploitative, especially when it preys on the vulnerable emotions of people who are grieving. The main concern is that it offers false hope, presenting unverifiable messages as genuine communication from deceased loved ones. Plus, there are additional concerns about the financial cost of these services.

On the other hand, many people find genuine comfort in the experience of mediumship, which can be an integral part of their healing process. For those who believe in the possibility of communication with the afterlife, a session with a medium can offer solace, reassurance, and a sense of continued connection with their loved ones.

One of the most significant challenges facing mediumship is the lack of evidence to support its claims, despite numerous attempts to scientifically verify the abilities of mediums. James Randi, a magician and skeptic, famously offered a prize of $1 million to anyone who could demonstrate psychic abilities under scientifically controlled conditions. Despite running for over 50 years, starting in 1964, no one ever passed the preliminary tests required to move on to the formal challenge and claim the prize.

Mediumship can be broken down into four main abilities, each of which is a unique way in which psychics claim to perceive information beyond the use of their ordinary senses. These terms, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and claircognisance, take their names from the French word 'clair' meaning 'clear', and words meaning seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing, respectively.

Clairvoyance
Clairvoyance is probably the most widely known psychic ability, often depicted in popular culture as seeing events in the future or locating lost objects. However, it also encompasses seeing spirits or auras around people. Clairvoyants receive intuitive information visually, in the form of images, symbols, or scenes played out like a movie in their mind's eye.

Clairaudience
Clairaudience is the claimed ability to hear things beyond the normal scope of human hearing, such as voices, music, or sounds from the spirit world. Individuals who are clairaudient may receive messages from the deceased, spirit guides, or angels, hearing these communications internally, like a thought, or externally, as if someone is speaking to them.

Clairsentience
Clairsentience is the psychic ability to feel or sense things about people, places, or objects by being in their presence or by thinking about them. This can include sensing emotions, physical ailments, or even the presence of spirits. People with clairsentience might walk into a room and immediately feel the energy or emotions that have been left behind, whether positive or negative.

Claircognisance
Claircognisance is the psychic ability to know something without knowing how or why you know it. This sudden knowledge can come without any logical explanation or reasoning process. Individuals with claircognisance might have a flash of insight about a future event, the truth of a situation, or detailed information about a person they've just met without any previous knowledge or evidence.

Psychics use their mediumistic abilities in various way, perhaps the most prominent of these is as a form of entertainment on stage or television. These shows typically involve the psychic demonstrating their abilities by reading people or communicating with the spirit world. A key feature of these shows is direct audience participation. The psychic might connect with the spirit of a deceased relative of an audience member or reveal something seemingly impossible to know.

Many psychics use their abilities to offer one-on-one or private readings, giving a more personal and intimate experience compared to a stage or television psychic show. These sessions are typically conducted by psychic mediums, tarot readers, or clairvoyants who claim to offer insights, guidance, or messages from the spirit world directly to an individual.

Beyond the familiar pursuits of stage performances, television shows, and private readings, psychics find various other ways to use their abilities professionally. Some work as consultants in criminal investigations, using their abilities to help locate missing people or solve crimes. These "psychic detectives" offer their services to law enforcement agencies or the families of victims, attempting to provide insights that are not obtainable through traditional investigative methods.

Psychic healing is another area where individuals claim to use their psychic abilities to help others. Practitioners may use methods like reiki, therapeutic touch, or distance healing in the hopes of providing healing to their clients.

Technology has created new ways for psychics to offer their services through online platforms. Online psychic readings, whether via video call, email, or chat, allow clients to seek psychic guidance from the comfort of their homes. Many websites and apps now cater to this market, providing a platform for psychics to connect with clients worldwide, offering tarot readings, astrological forecasts, and more.

Psychics often conduct workshops, seminars, and courses aimed at teaching others how to develop their own psychic abilities. Various courses, workshops, and books are available that purport to teach individuals how to tap into their psychic potential, enhance their intuition, and even communicate with spirits. However, these courses are often seen as controversial, as many believe that psychic abilities are a gift that you are born with that cannot be learned. The fact that very young children, seemingly without any formal training, display mediumistic abilities is often cited as evidence for this belief. There is also another group of people who claim to have discovered their abilities suddenly, often following a traumatic event or a significant life change, suggesting that these abilities can be unlocked under certain circumstances.

Then there are people who aren't psychic at all, but they truly believe they are. These are what are known as "shut-eye psychics," a term used extensively by LaMar Keene in his book 'The Psychic Mafia', referring to "psychics" with no actual abilities who convince themselves they have power by subconsciously and unintentionally faking psychic abilities through other means.

Shut-eyes might begin with a genuine belief in their intuitive abilities or a desire to help others, using what they perceive as a natural sensitivity. This initial reliance on intuition and guesswork can create a positive feedback loop. When a psychic's intuitive guesses are met with confirmation or gratitude from clients, this feedback can reinforce their belief in their own psychic abilities. Over time, as they seek to improve the accuracy of their readings and meet the expectations of their clients, they may begin, albeit unconsciously, to employ techniques that are commonly associated with fraudulent mediums. The transition to using these techniques may not be a conscious decision to deceive, it could emerge naturally as part of the psychic's evolving practice.

The history of mediumship includes many instances of frauds and charlatans, which have cast a shadow over the practice, leading many to question the legitimacy of all mediumship claims. Over the years, many mediums have been caught using tricks and deception to simulate communication with the spirit world. One of the most common methods of deception used is called "cold reading," a technique that allows psychics to give the impression they know much more about a person than they actually do, without having previously met or obtained information about them.

Cold reading involves making general, broad statements that could apply to many people, then refining those statements based on the person's reactions. A skilled cold reader can pick up on verbal cues, body language, and even the person's appearance to make educated guesses about them. For example, mentioning a common name or event and watching for any recognition in the audience, then building upon that with more details when someone responds.

Hot reading is another technique often used that involves obtaining specific information about an audience member or participants before the show. This could involve overhearing conversations, researching individuals who have booked in advance, or even having assistants gather information from attendees before the performance starts.

There's also the method of warm reading, which involves using information that the psychic has obtained or inferred about a person or group ahead of time but is not as specific or direct as hot reading. It might involve making educated guesses based on the appearance, age, or social status of the audience members.

These methods rely on "Barnum statements," named after American showman P.T. Barnum. These are extremely general-sounding statements that could apply to almost anyone but feel personal. They exploit the tendency of people to accept vague, general personality descriptions as highly accurate for themselves. They often touch upon common fears, relationships, career aspirations, self-perception, and the need for personal growth.

Stage and television psychics are often charismatic performers who know how to hold an audience's attention. They use a combination of the above techniques, along with a good understanding of human psychology, to create convincing performances. The effectiveness of their act depends on their ability to read people, make high-probability guesses, and then adjust their statements based on the audience's reactions.

Barnum Statements

Below are three example statements designed to resonate with a wide range of people by tapping into common human experiences and emotions. The key to their effectiveness lies in their vagueness and the universal nature of the themes.

"You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. While you have a lot of strengths, you often focus on your weaknesses or mistakes."

"You find that sometimes you're very sociable and outgoing, while at other times, you prefer your own company and need solitude to recharge."

"You have unfulfilled ambitions, and there's a part of you that feels you haven't quite found your true calling yet. You're still searching for a way to align your career with your passions."

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