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What is Channeling?

Updated on December 30, 2013

by Christine B.

People who have the gift of channeling are called mediums. They have the ability to communicate with spirits who have passed over to the “over side” and then they pass on the information they get from the departed to their friends and family who are still alive.

Some mediums talk directly to the departed, and others have a spirit guide who helps them with the communication. A spirit guide is a spirit who resides on the “other side” (in the next dimension) and who works with people (mediums) who are still alive (in this dimension). Some people might consider spirit guides guardian angels. We all have them, but not all of us can detect them or connect with them in a way that benefits others.

In some instances of medium ship the spirit who is attempting to channel through the medium actually manifests either in a full or partial apparition that can be seen by all present. This type of channeling is considered “physical medium ship.” At other times the medium can actually take on the departed’s voice while communicating via the medium.

A medium that speaks, hears and communicates with the departed, but cannot produce a spirit manifestation is considered a “mental medium.”

A “trance medium” is one who goes into a trance-like state in order to communicate with the departed. They rarely remember anything they communicate from the other side.

During the 19th Century the world was enthralled with the idea of mediums and the opportunity to connect with lost loved ones. This led to many unscrupulous frauds who preyed on grieving relatives. These fraudulent mediums gave the true psychic mediums a bad name and damaged their credibility.

Some famous contemporary mediums are John Edward, Sylvia Browne (now deceased), Edgar Cayce (he was a trance medium), Rosemary Altea, Nancy Bradley and James Van Praagh. These mediums use group “cold” channeling techniques and are considered mental mediums. Instead of being in a closed group (seance) when they channel messages from the departed (“hot channeling”) they work with large groups in a public venue or individually on the phone.

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