What Psychic Mediumship Is Really Like

What Psychic Mediumship Is Really Like September 2, 2021

I’ve been inclined for much of my life to think of mediumship in a dramatic Hollywood fashion, as people who see and talk to the dead at will. It’s been hard for me to break from that imagery because it’s so captivating, even though it’s unrealistic and untrue and even though many portrayals (especially in horror films) are undergirded with misogyny. When I look at my own experiences with mediumship it’s a lot different than what I’ve seen in the media.

Anytime you make yourself a channel, you are literally a medium through which spirit communication occurs. This can look and feel somewhat ordinary, depending on your own psychic proclivities. Poltergeist activity, disembodied voices, seances, harassment from those who have been murdered is all very dramatic and interesting in storytelling, but in reality many mediumship experiences are quite subdued. I’ve found that mediumship is an extension of my psychic abilities, and if this is true for everyone then your strongest abilities are likely the way in which mediumship will manifest for you.

So if you are strongly clairvoyant, you will likely see dead people. If you are strongly clairaudient, you will likely hear them, and so on and so forth. You can be strong with any of these psychic senses and not be a medium. You can also become a medium if this is what you desire. If you aren’t sure what your proclivities are, chances are you do have them and are just so used to living with them that they don’t feel extraordinary. Maybe you have strong, accurate, gut feelings. Maybe you just know things. Maybe you see things in your mind’s eye. Maybe it’s always been small things that you’ve overlooked. Start by paying attention.

How Mediumship Manifests for Me

When I was working full time as a tarot reader, people would sometimes want me to see if I could connect with their loved ones. This was not a service that I advertised for a few reasons. One, there’s no guarantee the dead will show up or have anything to say, and conjuring anyone to bind them and force them to speak is not my cup of tea. Two, I preferred to focus on the practical and tangible aspects of life when working with clients, with results that can be measured. And three, the way my psychic abilities work, it’s difficult to tell the difference between what’s me and what’s not me because the messages arrive as nagging thoughts and phrases in my own head. Suddenly I just know things or I can’t get rid of a thought and the only discernible difference from my regular thoughts is that it feels more urgent and repetitive than usual. I’ve never been comfortable hanging my hat on that.

There were certainly times where I’d get a random message for a client from a dead relative. This usually happened before the client even showed up and often while I was doing some menial task. Once, when I was cleaning and thinking about a client her grandmother gave me a message for her. This client, who was also all about the practical, asked about her grandmother when I saw her later that day and I gave her the message I received. In my own life my ancestral spirits communicate with presence, scents, with certain animals I associate with them, through dreams, or through media like books and television. I am admittedly not very good with meditation, but I’ve found that that has not been an obstacle for me as far as mediumship is concerned.

I don’t see the dead except in my dreams or in the liminal space between waking and sleeping. In that liminal space I just see them, but I don’t communicate with them. Every once in a while I will hear something audible outside of myself, but this is rare and usually leaves me wondering what it was all about anyway. I feel the presence of spirits strongly, and regularly. This is usually the first indication that anyone is there, but I don’t often acknowledge them. I’ve never been too keen on communicating with dead folks that I don’t know. It’s not necessarily safe.

How to Get Started with Mediumship

The idea that dead folks are just waiting around until we decide we want to talk to them has always been peculiar to me, as well. They’ve got their own things to do in the otherworld. But if mediumship is a skill you’re looking to develop, start with your own psychic abilities. Try to extend your psychic senses to the otherworld. Pick an ancestor you trust to practice with. You can use divination tools if you find them helpful. Don’t be afraid to test the spirits and ask for signs (be specific when you do). It’s not that much different than chatting with someone over the internet as far as whether or not they are who they say they are. Don’t be discouraged if your experience with mediumship doesn’t feel particularly extraordinary, or if it takes a long time to develop. Don’t expect their messages to always be super clear and obvious. Clarity in communication isn’t necessarily a priority of the dead, and there are so many ways to communicate. Learn to pay attention and you’ll catch on soon enough.


Jessica Ripley is a Hekatean witch and writer. She also writes for Witch Way Magazine. 

featured image by Enrique Meseguer via Pixabay

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