Mediumship 101 Part 3: Speaking In Tongues

It is not uncommon for those channeling the power of things from the other side to start speaking in a way that is for the most part, incomprehensible. This phenomenon of speaking in tongues is not unique to that of certain American Christian sects, but indeed dates all the way back to what many might call “Classical Antiquity” in the west in pagan circles and other similar groups. However such things are not limited to the traditions common to the peoples of Europe and can be found in different cultures all over the world. Occasionally someone may speak in a known human language they might otherwise have little knowledge of, or even be speaking in words believed to have been revealed to them by greater powers in the universe, but I must put this bluntly… Much of it is more-a-less gibberish.

Now I do not say that in order to disparage speaking in tongues or to say that it is a pointless practice or holds no deeper meaning. To the contrary I would claim that it is precisely because it is deeply meaningful that it comes out this way. This may sound contradictory, but bare with me. In my experience, much of it comes from the human mind trying to translate something and having a difficult time of it. In fact, Spirits have often spoken to me and told me that their proper names have no real translation in human languages and instead present me with the closest possible translation of or pronunciation of that name. Some times, it will sound akin to a proper name but lacks any actual translation in human languages, other times it will sound more like a title. For example a Spirit may present to you the name Sister Stone Petal (this is not the name of a Spirit which is contacted me, merely an example of what names you might receive could sound like).

Now Ancestors are more likely to give you a directly translatable proper name as they are humans baring human names. Even then, some messages may come through via tongues as they are now capable of communicating in fashions they could not in life. Many times Spirits choose to communicate in images, impressions, or other similar means. Occasionally one may receive information as if they are sentences being transmitted into the mind, but it is extremely rare for them to communicate with anything resembling an actual audible voice.

One should remember this when trying to convey or understand messages from the other side. The actual sounds coming from your mouth may not yield a discernible message, but the impressions, feelings, and visions you receive while letting them out likely do. You are not likely speaking in an ancient language or some Divine tongue, but your mind may be trying to translate something that cannot properly be put into human speech. Something that can be known, but not spoken as we commonly understand it.


Harsh Truths Part 2: The Mirror Which Flatters Not

In the song All You Need Is Me by Morrissey, the frequently enigmatic and controversial singer delivers a rather striking, if not funny bit of lyrical imagery. “There’s a naked man, standing laughing in your dreams, you know who it is, but you don’t like what it means…” Considering the nature of this sporadically published series of posts, one might already see where I’m going with this.

Many people who work with Spirits or at least think of themselves as mediums, often focus on what many people would consider “positive’, but good does not always take a form we might consider obviously so, nor are the things we need to hear always flattering or pleasant. Now I must stress, any Spiritual Being you contact is more often than not beneficent or at least relatively harmless, but that does not mean they will necessarily coddle you. Your guides want to help you, but what we need to do is not always what we want to do. They will give you advice, but you may not like what they are trying to tell you. This could take the form of trying to get you to acknowledge a truth about yourself you’d rather not acknowledge, encourage you to do something you need to do but desperately wish not to, or simply tell you outright you’ve been wrong in how you’ve been going about it.

Many religions feature Deities and Spirits who specifically preside over harsh aspects of nature and elements of reality that many modern people in the west would rather avert their eyes from. Followers of these religions however endeavor to look headlong into them and even embrace some of them. They teach one to embrace the destruction of old ways of doing things, even those you are heavily invested in, to confront and even befriend death, to see a certain beauty both in the the gazelle as it runs and in the lion as it goes to feast upon it, to understand that with growth comes pain. Growth coming on the heels of pain is not a new concept and it’s something people have known about for many centuries. It’s not a revolutionary concept, but one that many people would rather ignore. It’s the reason that one might look upon the visage of a Goddess such as Sekhmet, screaming in terror at her role as destroyer with such frenzied dread that they cannot see she carries healing with her. These two aspects are not mutually exclusive. She destroys, she mends, she gives life, she takes life. She is the arbiter not just of punishment, but of restorative justice.

Trials and ordeals are also part of many spiritual paths and these are not known to be pleasurable experiences, but they are seen as positive and necessary even if it’s difficult to see in the moment. As a good friend of mind told me, there is no religion on earth where people are guaranteed a life completely without difficulty or pain. Yet, we revel in triumphing over these very same things. That intoxicating sense of triumph would not exist without challenge. The Divine does not simply trials before us so that we might fail, but rather as a means to help push forward so that we might succeed, however, we may not appreciate it or recognize it in the moment.

Harsh Truths Part 1: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Many people go in looking to communicate with guardian Spirits or Guides and they often go into it with a heavy dose of wishful thinking and it gets in the way of any actual insight they might otherwise obtain. There’s a difference between what you want your closest guides to be and who they actually will be. Every person has different connections and needs and reality reflects this. You may want to go into it looking to work with or commune with, lets say for the sake of disemboweling a cliche that seems popular among American people of European descent trying to make themselves sound cooler than they really are, a medicine man of one of the numerous different Native American cultures, however if you have no ancestry, it’s not very likely. Is it possible? Yes, but it’s more likely they’d be in touch with someone for whom that connection has a greater cultural meaning to.

Now one medium who posts videos on youtube who works in the Espiritismo tradition has commented that people will ask him how to work with certain kinds of Ancestor, and he would tell them that’s a question as to whether one has one such Spirit to work with to begin with. Your guides may very well not manifest in the way you want them to. It’s more of a question of what that person needs. Bare in mind, such entities can take on numerous different forms. Some may even be relatively formless. Looking to get in touch with or reach out to a guiding Beast Spirit? Prepare for the fact that it could very well be a cockroach. Looking to commune with your Ancestors? Prepare for the fact that said ancestor was not likely royalty, a Salem witch, a mighty Shaman or anything so romanticized. Many people, regardless of culture will likely have a ton of fairly normal farmers, factory workers, crafts people, or animal herders in their background and a whole lot of them at that. Considering the path society has taken, you could very well end up communing with your deceased great uncle Dan from accounting.

It would be awesome if I had lets say, a wise ancient high priest of one of the old religions as one of the Spiritual Beings connected to me, but it certainly seems that such is not the case. Granted, some of the Spirits who guide me are more conventionally majestic, but one is also a chef wielding a rather large spoon. Some of your guides might even be outwardly terrifying to many people. There’s often a wide gap between the reality we want and the reality we have to live with. As the Rolling Stones once said “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some times, you might find you get what you need.” Such is the way of the spiritual universe. You may not get an ancient Egyptian high priestess of Bast, a shaman, or a legendary historical figure, but you’re willing to try and maintain the relationship, you’ll find it more enriching than attempting to force a connection that perhaps simply isn’t there. You just need to take the time to understand it.

Mediumship 101 Part 2: What Kinds of Entities Do Mediums Interact With?

This once again is a subject that probably deserves multiple entries and I will likely provide those some time in the near future. However I just wanted to give a brief overview of the various types of Spirit or Spiritual Entity that mediums usually work with. This is not necessarily and exhaustive list and I may expand this later, however, it should give one a general overview.

When most people say they are a medium, these are the sort of being that they likely interact with. An Ancestor is to put it simply, the soul of a departed person, usually a blood relative but not always. They may be people who were so close they were as if they were family or a soul so similar to your own or may otherwise feel some kind of intense kinship with you that they are as if they are family. Working and revering Ancestors is a major part of many traditional religions from those found in many cultures of east Asia such as the spirituality of the Han Chinese people, Shinto, Thai folk religion, and numerous others as well as many forms of European Paganism and African Traditional and Diasporic religions. Ancestors are usually beneficent or at least harmless toward the living and are perhaps some of the most keenly interested in our lives. However, not all Ancestors were virtuous in life and one should take precautions so as to keep the space where you are engaging with the souls of the departed or any Spiritual Being, purified and protected. However, this is almost never a problem for most people who understand what they’re doing.

Elementals And Other Nature Spirits
Nature Spirits are what they are. These are Spirits more directly tied to the natural forces of the world and places. Spirits of forests, trees, the wind, flowers, rivers, lakes, mountains, and other various natural phenomena. Elementals are a type of nature Spirit that deal with the primary elemental powers that suffuse the universe such as Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit as described in many western mystical traditions. These Spirits though more directly tied to nature do possess links to other aspects of existence such as emotions, thoughts, and certain arts. They may be tied more directly to the land and various occurrences found therein, but they are not utterly divorced from the sphere of human civilizations as we often think of them. They take on many forms. Some are more humanoid, some are more bestial, others may manifest as the force they are most directly linked to such as a fire Spirit manifesting as a roaring flame. There are numerous subdivisions of Nature Spirit and Elementals specifically, but I shall likely go into greater depths about these later.

Beast Spirits
When people use (or misuse) terms such as “Spirit Animal” or “Totem” these are likely what they are referring to. These can be tutelary Spirits that guide individuals which are linked to certain animals, certain Spirits similar to elemental in that they are tied to certain animal groups, or possibly the souls of deceased animals. Some may act more “feral” where others may act in a fashion similar to a human trapped in a beast’s body.

Despite their reputation, the Fae folk/the Sidhe in many of the older legends are actually fair folk. In my research into how these particular Spirits have been portrayed in traditional lore, it would seem the term Sidhe could be more accurately described as a term meaning a Spirit of any sort ranging from Nature Spirits to Ancestors, but many people who deal with them would say that they constitute a special class of Spirit all their own. These Spirits while generally benign do have a penchant for mischief and are quite chaotic compared to certain others. They are wild, but they can demonstrate great subtlety and restraint when they so wish. While generally goodnatured, it should be noted that one should not trespass against them, for when roused to anger, their wrath is legendary.

Angels are the Spirit Host seemingly tied to the Abrahamic religions and their Deity, Yahweh/Allah/God among other names. They are benevolent and in themselves are comprised of many classes, very few of which actually resemble the human with wings often shown in art and pop culture. In fact, if one looks into traditional lore, they take on forms which include such seemingly alien visages as that of wheels covered with eyes. If the Sidhe/Fae are among the more wild Spirit hosts, then Angels are among the most stoic and orderly.

Domestic Spirits
Hearth and home Spirits are known in the folklore, traditional spirituality, and popular imaginations of many cultures the world over. A prime example of these would be the Domovoi of Russian/Slavic lore. These are the Spirits who guard and preside over ones dwelling and in themselves comprise many different forms.

The Loa are the myriad Divinities of Voodoo/Vodun in it’s many forms. Many westerners may find them outwardly scary, but they are not evil. They are however, based on my correspondences with people who have studied or practice one such spiritual path, very demanding. Usually they favor people aligned with ATDRs, but will reach out to others. If one is going to attempt to work with them in any capacity, one would do well to research how they are traditionally honored or better yet, enlist a practitioner of Voodoo/Vodun to help if one believes one of these Spirits is reaching out to them so as to help avoid cultural appropriation and show proper respect to the Loa. The term Loa is some times translated as Deity, but to many practitioners of Vodun they are more like powerful, if not Godlike Divinities, but not Gods themselves who happen to serve the actual distant, but beneficent Deity of these spiritual paths. I’ve seen some debate around this, but this description seems to be the most common, so I thought it should go with that just to play it safe.

Much of what was said about the Loa can be applied to Orishas. However, where as the Loa are tied to traditions derived heavily from Fon religion, the Orisha’s are most directly tied to paths derived from traditional Yoruba religion and it’s descendants such as Candomble, Santeria, and Lukumi. I must stress that these are also very demanding Divinities, but they are not evil even people find aspects of how they are worshiped or how they manifest disquieting to people who are not quite familiar with them or those things related to them. I must also stress that one would do best to consult a Babalawo, Santero/Santera, or one other such religious specialist who follows the paths most directly tied to them if one feels an Orisha is specifically reaching out to them.

The Odd Ones
The odd ones are not really a single class of Spirit themselves, but instead comprise those Spirits who do not necessarily seem to specifically fit into any of these other groups. Many of them are outwardly off putting, but are still benign.

Now normally, one does not directly channel the power of something this powerful. Instead one feels and channels something of their power when so ever they are particularly close to them or they are reaching out to the medium. They seldom communicate with people in a very overt or direct manner, but that does not mean they are uncaring or cruel. They are not a class of Spirit but something greater. Because of their nature they are perhaps truly the most difficult to describe in their rawest essence. The closest a human can come to putting it to words may not do them justice.

Mediumship 101 Part 1: WTF is Mediumship Anyway?

So what is Spirit mediumship? To make a long story short, Spirit mediumship is the ability/process of communicating/communing with Spirits by channeling messages, a form of astral projection where one seeks to send their psyche into the Spirit world, or Spirit possession. It’s as simple as that. Mediumship is something that can either be performed actively or passively. You might commune with Spirits and gain their advice by actively performing exercises or ceremonies to further engage with them or you might occasionally just suddenly receive messages from Spirits. It’s also likely that you’ll suddenly just sense their presence now and then.

So who can be a medium? To put it simply, anyone. This is an ability that all people possess on some level. Some people may simply have a knack for it, a talent if you will, but even ordinary people have the capacity for it. No one is “born” a medium in so far as some people have the gift while others have no such ability at all. Some people may have more obstacles to awakening this ability than others, but that does not mean it’s not there.

So what are the Spirits that Spirit mediums communicate with? They can be a host of different beings. Ancestor Spirits, Angels, Elementals, Genius Loci, Beast Guides, and countless others. They come in many different forms and some may not fit any widely recognized category. It all depends and what Spirits you find yourself most commonly in contact with will likely depend on who you are as a person. Some types of Spirits are more drawn to certain types of people. It’s something one does not control. Now, that is not to say you have absolutely no control over what Spirits you deal with, but you cannot control which ones are particularly drawn to you.

So how do you know if you have said “talent” for Spirit mediumship? Well you’ll know when you know. There’s really no set point in a persons life or consistent event where everyone with it realizes that they’re a bit more naturally inclined to this than others. It really depends on the individual. It may be disappointing or frustrating as an answer, but you’ll know when you’ll know. I didn’t fully realize it until I was well into my 20s, but that’s a story for another day.

You may also be wondering if you have to be part of a specific religion or do certain practices that other mediums may insist on to be one. The answer to that is no. Mediums can be of any religion, it’s just a matter of being open to it. Also, while there are some commonalities and some practices that many people find useful, you do not have to follow absolutely every aspect of another persons practice in order for it all to work.

Questions You Might Wish to be Answered?

So this is basically an faq about me as a person, my beliefs, and so forth. There are questions you probably want the answers to and here are some that will likely be asked by those who happen upon this.

So do you believe in God?
If you’re asking if I’m an atheist, well frankly I would not have made this blog if I was. If you’re asking whether I believe in the Abrahamic God, then the answer is yes. If you’re asking if I’m Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Bahai, or one such sort of monotheist, then the answer is no. My theological outlook is rather complicated. On that note….

What religion are you?
I consider myself a devout Pagan. I worship the old Deities of many different cultures (partly because my heritage is a massive mixture of various groups), revere the Spirits, and engage in magic mostly derived from western traditions among other things.

Do you worship the devil?
No. Honestly countless Pagans including myself are sick of being asked this. I do not worship the devil and I don’t know if I believe in one as most people would understand it. I will say there are malefic things out there that are best avoided and they are things I shun and would seek to drive away if ever they should approach me.

Do you believe in reincarnation?
No. I simply don’t see enough evidence for it. I believe the concept has philosophical value in so far as it reveals certain truths about the cyclical aspects of existence and how we learn from or overcome our personal failings, but I do not believe in reincarnation in any literal sense.

What do you believe happens after we die?
This is a complicated one. I’ll probably expand on this in a future post, but to vastly oversimplify, I believe we become Ancestor Spirits who, depending on how we conducted ourselves in life enter into various states of being in the hereafter and go through phases of existence beyond what we know and may not presently be aware of. I don’t think anyone who has not already passed on can know the whole truth. Once again, this is a very brief summary and I’ll expand on this later.

So where do you stand politically?
I don’t want to go into a lengthy rant here, so I’ll be brief. I am a hardcore lefty. Don’t like it? Well tough luck. I figure it’s better to be honest about this now so I don’t get flooded with angry comments by people who had been following this for a while only to feel disappointed that I don’t share their viewpoints later. It will probably still happen, but I just wanted to be honest about this. On that note…

Are you an anti-vaxxer?
Hell no. Some people may despise me for this, but I fully believe in vaccination. Inoculation is a very old practice that predates modern medicine as it is now. People have been doing so and/or engaged in related practices for centuries to help combat diseases and so I see no reason to be opposed, especially when the results speak for themselves. I may believe the healing powers of meditation, herbal remedies when implemented properly, and stuff of that nature, but I tend to treat these things as supplements rather than cures in and of themselves. Even modern medicine grew out of the human desire to know and the pursuit of enlightenment. Does it have it’s issues? Yes, but being imperfect is not a reason in and of itself to disregard something that saves and improves countless lives every year.

So why do you always capitalize Spirit/Spirits, Ancestors, Deity etc. when referring to such entities?
Mostly the same reason that some Christians always capitalize God. It’s a minor act of reverence. It’s not something I’m going to raise hell over other people not doing, but it’s something I do. Not really much to say here.

Can I contact you or leave a message?
Sure. I’m not certain when I’ll be able to respond I do reserve the right to not respond if I so desire, but I’ll certainly try.

I may come back and edit this, adding more when I think of something or people start asking.

So what is this about?

So basically I created this blog in order to spread information about my experiences as someone exploring their developing abilities as a Spirit medium and clear up some misconceptions people may have about it. I am actually part of a small group of mediums from around where I currently live and our little “circles” don’t usually go the way most people imagine them. So yeah, that’s pretty much it. Make of it what you will.