Within this page there are a number of common questions that have been put to me during my 50 years of development as a Trance and Physical Medium. Here I have attempted to answer them as honestly and constructively as possible.
Additionally, I have made available an article that I wrote some years ago for the Psychic World Newspaper in which I expressed my views and honest thoughts concerning the state of Spiritualism – The Past, The Present & The Future.
Question: Are you a Spiritualist?
My answer would be Yes and No.
Yes because: I fervently believe – based upon my own mediumistic experience and my half century of study – that life upon this earth is a mere forerunner to a glorious world that awaits us all beyond deaths door the nature of which we cannot, at this stage of our existence, hope to conceive.
And Yes because I have witnessed on many occasions the so-called dead evidentially communicating with our World through Spiritualist Mediums and by other means.
In addition I have, from time to time, been privileged for many years to experience for myself the interaction of the two worlds within my own séance room.
No because: Over the past half century the Movement of Spiritualism has, for various reasons, morphed into a kind of religion. Today it has ordained ministers and a multitude of Churches which, in certain respects, conduct semi-religious services. No doubt this has helped to create a degree of religious freedom here in the UK and probably in several other countries.
However, in presenting itself as a Religion in order to gain a level of respectability, it has sacrificed its very soul and is the poorer for it. Survival beyond death and communication between the two worlds is a reality which owes absolutely nothing whatsoever to a religious belief system.
For over 100 years Spiritualism thrived and won over legions of people globally. Royalty, Nobility, Statesmen, men and woman of learning and of letters, Scientists, and, in fact, people from all walks of life succumbed to its astounding message that it could demonstrate, under suitable conditions, communication between the two worlds and therefore prove that death was merely the start of a wondrous journey. Beyond question back then the Movements epidemic growth was phenomenal and yet having made such wonderful progress, for so many years, it then slowly began to ‘turn in upon itself’ and today, in my view, it is beyond question the poorer. What began life with such dynamic promise during the mid-19th century has sacrificed its very soul and perhaps innocently and unintentionally betrayed its brave pioneers.
It brings me no joy to state this but that is the absolute truth as I believe it to be.
For all those reasons, upon reflection, I would prefer to call myself a survivalist.
Question: I would like to sit for trance – what, in your experience, is the best way to go about this?
I apologise if this should disappoint you but I have to be honest. Contrary to popular belief it is not for us to decide what kind of mediumship we wish to develop. It is quite simply not our choice to make. If trance mediumship or any other form does not exist in an embryo state within a person then one could sit for ever and develop nothing. We should always remember that the séance room is in effect the laboratory of the Spirit Workers and it is they alone who experiment to ascertain if potential exists within the individual and if it does then they, with their greater knowledge, will ascertain its potential nature and work towards its unfoldment. All we can do is to patiently sit in our Circles with no expectations and no preference to develop trance, physical or any other form of mediumship and be prepared to leave everything in the hands of the Spirit Workers.
Question: I am beginning to develop trance in my Home Circle but I have constant doubts that it is genuine because I am aware of what is coming from my lips but I cannot stop it. I only seem to be in a light trance as against a deep unconscious state of trance which I would much prefer. How can I be certain that I am not personally responsible for the alleged communications? I cannot help but wonder if I am producing them myself in order to meet the expectation of the other sitters?
Your last question I am unable to answer with absolute confidence but I can tell you that this is by no means an unusual situation amongst developing trance mediums. No one wants to deceive themselves and even worse, other people. But I can tell you that deep trance is by no means common and most trance mediums (developing or otherwise) are aware of what is being transmitted through them. My advice to you would be to try and rid yourself of doubt. With trance mediumship the acid test must always be in respect of what is being transmitted. Should that be outside of a mediums own knowledge then that should eliminate doubt and uncertainty. Whilst such concerns are perfectly understandable in the early stages of development, progress, because of them, can be stilted and held back. I say that as one who has been where you are now and therefore I write from a position of intimate knowledge. From now on go forward and leave all in the hands of the Spirit People.
Question: People talk about sitting in the dark, sitting in the power, sitting for spirit, sitting in circle, to blend with the spirit world. But no one ever explains what one should be doing whilst sitting. What should a developing/hopeful medium do in this time period and what did you do?
An interesting question. Of course I can only answer in accordance with my personal knowledge and experience. When sitting in a Home Circle the developing medium should endeavour to clear the mind which admittedly is far from easy to do. However with practice it can be achieved – I shall explain. When one enters the room used for the séances one must endeavour to leave outside everyday worries and concerns etc. Walking into that séance room should be akin to walking into a different world. Outside of it you are a different person than you are within it. Although this – in the early stages – may appear to be beyond comprehension, it can be realised with practice. Of course most of us have so called ‘monkey minds’ and so to enter into that state admittedly may initially seem impossible to achieve and I have no doubt that for many people it would never happen. Yet if you have within you that ability then time and patience may eventually pay dividends.
Personally I have no idea what ‘sitting in the power’ (which I suspect is a modern phrase) actually means but I can certainly offer help regarding your questions: But no one ever explains what one should be doing whilst sitting. What should a developing/hopeful medium do in this time period and what did you do?
I believe that a Circle should try to avoid long periods of silence. From what we have learnt direct from the Sprit Workers ‘sound’ is of vital importance to them in their efforts to develop a potential medium and communicate. So to meet that request we have ‘always’ played (and continue to play) soft music – orchestral music – nothing with lyrics.
And with that playing in the background the developing medium should attempt to go within it – try to become as one with it. This in effect concentrates the mind and with practice eradicates any external thoughts. For me, it has always been important that the same pieces of music are played at every séance and in exactly the same order. Yes great patience is required to accomplish such a union but it can be done – hopefully it can be done. This will then allow the Spirit Workers to draw close and gradually achieve a level of control upon the medium which in time may facilitate further developments. Yes, to repeat, considerable patience is required and a Circle must be prepared to ‘wait upon spirit’ but eventually should the development prove successful then it will have been well worth the wait.
Question: I am sitting in a home-circle and have been doing so for sometime. From your own experiences and that of the other mediums that you have known personally or even learnt about – what common signs, indications, feelings or sensations “might” be experienced that may suggest that the spirit people are present and working upon a medium?
Whilst I fully understand and appreciate your question I have to say that in my opinion mediumship is unique to the individual. What applies to one may not necessarily apply to all.
I can clearly recall that when, all those many years ago, I began sitting in my Home Circle, I often thought about what I had read in an autobiography written by Mrs. Gladys Osborne Leonard who, was beyond question one of the most outstanding trance mediums in Spiritualist history. Her spiritual guide was a little girl known as Feda. Mrs Leonard, in her book, described the sensations she felt prior to entering the trance state.
After reading this, I occasionally found myself wondering, whilst sitting in my Home Circle, if I would ever (should I ever become entranced) experience the sensations she had described. However, the fact is that I never did and I never have and all these years later I honestly think that the developing mediums progress can be held back should they allow themselves to expect the same sensations as experienced by others. My reply to your question and my advice would be that you should sit with no expectations and simply ‘wait upon Spirit’. Seriously you can do no more than that.