What it's like to be a medium and thoughts about mediumship

She Sees Dead People: A True Story of Mediumship Communication as Told By a Real Medium

Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Avia

Connecting with dead people always came naturally to me. As I got older, I trained and practiced as a medium and eventually got my certification in 2000.  Since then, I’ve done countless public readings and private consultations, using mediumship communication to connect the living with the so-called dead (which I’ll refer to as “non-local” or “non-physical” throughout the rest of the article).  

Today, my relationship with the non-physical is as strong as ever before. However, instead of reading for others, my propensity for relating to the entities on the “other side” is more intimate and more internalized. I’ve learned fathoms from the visions and voices cast upon me from the beyond, and I think you can, too (if you’re not already).  That’s why I thought I’d share my story about my experience with mediumship communication and what it’s like to be a medium.

Mediumship: What it Is (and what it’s not)

Any good story has to start at the beginning. It’s got to answer that initial question: “What is this?” My story about what it’s like to be a medium is no different.  So, here is my take on what mediumship is – what it means – and what it is not.

What it Is

It’s a dizzying dance. A mashup between ephemeral and shifting realities.  It’s heavy stuff; mediumship is.  But in the quest to convey what it is on a digestible level, mediumship is the ability to connect with entities who have transitioned out of this physical earthly existence and into a different existence.  It’s a fascinating and often misunderstood practice. 

It’s also an enriching practice in which a medium can make contact with the non-physical and gain information.  Sometimes this information is for the living.  In my experience, the preponderance of communications are reassurances – sentiments from beyond that are meant to soothe the living.

What it Isn’t

So what is not mediumship communication? It’s not a parlor trick.  It is a real thing; it can be done, and real-life mediums can successfully communicate with the so-called dead.  It can even be proven.  At least, in my years, I’ve had innumerable clients come back to me (sometimes years later) to confirm whatever messages came through were indeed accurate, telling, and purposeful.  It wasn’t uncommon for people to relay feedback such as, “Yeah, that was my Uncle Morell. Yeah, he smoked a pipe.  Yes, what he said through you is exactly what happened.” etc., etc.

I’ll tell you something else mediumship isn’t.  It’s not woo-woo.  It’s not hokum.  It’s a real practice that some people are either gifted or trained to do, and real exchanges can be made with energies on the other side of this physical life on earth as we know it. 

If you’re looking for textbook answers, mediumship is the ability to communicate with non-physical energies, allowing for a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds. Mediums act as intermediaries, relaying messages from the deceased to the living. This form of communication has been practiced for centuries and exists in various cultures and belief systems.  As a medium, maybe that’s why I’m so immersed in all the work I do on this website. Anyhoo – that’s a different subject – let’s press on…

Understanding Different Types of Mediums

Some mediums rely on clairvoyance, which involves receiving visual images or symbols from spirits. Others use clairsentience to sense the emotions or physical sensations of spirits. Additionally, some mediums possess clairaudience, allowing them to hear messages from the spirit realm.

I guess the title of this post about being a medium is misleading. I don’t “see dead people.” Not the way some might assume. I smell them. Feel them. Hear them. It’s like listening to someone using a glass pressed against the wall.  Other times, it’s like conversing with an entity obscured by a frosted glass shower door.  

My style is very much making the unknowable knowable.  If that sounds obtuse – well, I suppose it is.  It’s hard to put my experience into words, because being a medium can be genuinely unfathomable.

At any rate, understanding the different types of mediums is essential in grasping the various ways in which spirits communicate. My methods will be different from a different medium. Which leads me to ponder – how does mediumship work anyway?  I’ve got answers…

How Does Mediumship Communication Work?

In my experience, non-physical entities often communicate through signs and symbols, which can be highly personal and significant to the recipient. It’s also why I’ve devoted 18 years to building this website about signs and symbolism – because this is often how I gathered messages from the non-physical.  It requires being open and receptive to subtle (and symbolic)  messages, as these glimpses or snippets of data often carry profound meaning for the intended recipient.

I’ve found spirits may use symbols to convey specific messages or emotions. These symbols can appear in dreams, visions, or even during meditation.  I’ve learned over the years that communication in the spirit realm is more amorphous than definitive or linear.  

I believe that is why signs and symbols in mediumship communication are a go-to form of expression for the non-physical.  Clear, concise words and sentences aren’t really tools of communication.  Rather, concepts are used – sometimes big concepts. So, in conveying information, non-physical entities will use symbols (instead of words) to express a concept or an idea.  

That said, I’ve had communications with the non-physical that were very verbal.  Also smelly. For whatever reason, I pick up smells and tastes from those on the other side.  But it’s still a way of exchanging information – and I learned to embrace all these details to relay information to my clients.

How to Prepare for a Mediumship Session

In the early days, I never really gave my clients any pre-mediumship communication advice. I figured if it was important for them to seek information from the other side, they would prepare themselves accordingly before meeting with me.  But, looking back, I can see where it would have been a good idea to suggest some prep – especially if someone was completely new to the idea of connecting to their great-grandma or whatever.

To this (with a lot of retrospect in my rearview mirror), I would say – preparing for a mediumship session can promote a conducive environment for clear and accurate communication. At the very least, set an intention, stating your purpose and desired outcome for the session. This intention acts as a guiding energy, helping to attract the right spirits and messages.  

On the other hand, if I recommended this to some of my clients, it would be mistaken for an expectation.  An intention often gets confused that way. I’ve found that sometimes folks set an intention and that gets all bound up and concretized – leading to some kind of weird spiritual constipation in that they get stuck believing the intention must also equate to the outcome.

That’s almost never the case.  If you’re gonna set an intention before a mediumship consult – do so loosely. Don’t anticipate your intention coming to fruition. Instead, hold an ambiguous hope that all things will come through from the other side exactly as they should. 

Meditation and grounding exercises can also aid in preparing for a mediumship session. Today, I would recommend some silence, self-reflection, or mindfulness before a mediumship session occurs.  These practices help calm the mind, open the channels of communication, and establish a connection with the spirit realm. A centered client helps mediums too. By cultivating a peaceful and focused state of mind, mediums can enhance their ability to receive and interpret messages.

How Mediums Prepare for Communication

As a medium, I can tell you that meditation has saved my ass -and my own sanity.  Hanging out with the so-called dead is a loopy thing.  If not grounded by practices like meditation – I think I might just float off like a balloon – drifting among the ethers waywardly with no hope of finding an anchor back to this current reality.  

That said, any medium worth their salt will practice self-care techniques, and meditation and visualization are powerful tools for getting grounded as well as connecting with the non-physical. 

Through meditation, mediums can quiet their minds, eliminate distractions, and create a sacred space for communication.  It’s a necessary thing – it’s like building a foundation first, in preparation for an upcoming connection on the other side.  

My mentor Ruth once told me (before I got formal training and became a certified medium) that preparation before linking with those who have crossed over was akin to preparing for a first date.  You get cleaned up.  You gussy up.  You get some rest.  You get ready for the date.  I always liked how she explained that.

Common Misconceptions About Mediumship Communication

I already touched on this – citing what mediumship is not – but it bears reinforcement because misconceptions and skepticism often surround mediumship. Addressing these misconceptions is important to better understand the practice and its potential benefits. 

One common misconception is that mediums have control over which spirits they communicate with. In reality, the non-physical may choose to communicate or not, and mediums act as conduits for their messages.

Another misconception is that mediumship is solely about predicting the future. While some mediums may offer glimpses into future possibilities, the primary focus is on connecting with departed loved ones and spirit guides to provide comfort, closure, and guidance.  

Speaking of misunderstandings about mediumship – this leads me to one of my pet peeves (of which, I have many when discussing metaphysical subjects).  A medium isn’t necessarily a psychic.  A psychic isn’t necessarily a medium.  There are psychic-mediums, though.  So, how does that work?   

A medium is one who can communicate effectively with the so-called dead and relay those communications to the living.  A psychic is one, who, through various means or methods, is able to glean unknowable information from a non-traditional source. Both psychic and mediumship data comes from a non-local vastness, and it’s incredibly creative in nature.  It can also be foretelling.  In writing this, I can see how psychics and mediums are often confused.  But, I digress.  

Ethics and Boundaries in Mediumship Communication

I’m rabid about privacy, ethics, and moral responsibility.  I mean, it makes me foam at the mouth.  Why? Because I’ve been in this field for gee….30 years now?  I’ve seen shysters.  I’ve witnessed skullduggery.  I’ve seen too many people taken advantage of at the hands of shrewd yet unscrupulous mediums.  Makes me so mad I can spit nails.  So, I hold myself and my practices to a high standard.  I know I’m accountable for what I convey to others.  There are consequences for the messages I give.  

A medium of good standing will know this and realize this is a service that carries titanic responsibility.

My diatribe aside, it goes without saying that ethics and boundaries play a crucial role in mediumship communication. Mediums must approach their work with integrity and respect for both the living and the spirit realm. This involves obtaining consent from the client or recipient before initiating communication and maintaining confidentiality.

Mediums should also be mindful of their own energy and well-being. I can speak to this – bigtime.  Regular self-care practices and spiritual protection techniques are essential to avoid energy drain or interference from negative entities. Setting boundaries and knowing when to limit or end a session is crucial for maintaining the integrity of mediumship communication.

Developing Your Mediumship Skills

My instinct in responding to people who have an interest in becoming a medium is this: “Don’t do it.” At least, not unless you are 100% committed and serious about it.  Don’t get me wrong. It’s an incredibly rewarding field.  It gave me the opportunity to help hundreds of people heal, move on, reconnect, gain peace.  It’s also broadened my understanding of relationships, our world, and even the universe.  

But it’s not for the faint of heart.  It’s not for the weak-minded or spiritually wishy-washy.  You’ve got to know yourself.  You’ve got to be clear about why you want to pursue mediumship in the first place.  

In my case, I got solid training as a way to control the impressions and communications that were bombarding me all the time since my childhood.  Maybe not the most noble of reasons, but I knew I needed to learn from experts who could teach me how to live with the non-physical while also living with myself in this physical reality simultaneously.  Without training, I would have wound up an addict (using was a way for me to escape the inundation of energetic communication), and that’s the truth. 

I guess that’s all I have to say about that.  If you’re authentic and you earnestly want to connect with purpose – get training.  

Yes, yes. Meditate until you turn blue. That’s good too.  Meditation is the best escalator to the great beyond.  But it’s only a glimmer of the big picture.  That’s where legitimate training from a reputable teacher makes a big difference. My training was done through the First Spiritualist Temple of East Aurora – the first and only of its kind.  I was fortunate.  

I also had a mentor who recognized my penchant for exchanging concepts, dialogue and ideas with the so-called dead. That’s where I really fell into the best luck, because Ruth (my mentor) supported me.  The world I grew up in didn’t have room for mediums or psychics (in fact, it was a very unyielding, conservative, “burn the witch!” kind of environment).  Ruth was a buoy in a chaotic sea of antagonization I was exposed to at a young age.  But, I digress (again).

Yes, of course – regular meditation, energy healing, and psychic development exercises can help enhance your natural mediumship abilities. I highly recommend connecting with experienced mediums and joining supportive communities that can provide guidance, feedback, and a safe space to explore and refine your skills. 

But please – you be you – pursue mediumship for your own purposes.  And commit to it.  Mediumship is a muscle – it needs to be exercised to get stronger.

Finding Reputable Mediumship Practitioners and Resources

As I’ve been yammering on about training or learning to become a responsible and talented medium – I really need you to understand that while there are experts in this field – there is no singular authority.  

The “out there” is not linear. It’s not black and white.  There are no right or wrong answers.  With this kind of gray area – who could possibly be the gospel-writer of mediumship?  

I say this because I’ve seen infatuations or fawning over mentors too often (especially in young people).  I’d see people almost worshipping teachers.  That’s not right.  There are teachers who have legit gifts in connecting with the non-physical.  It can be impressive. So much so, it could lead one to think this person has some sort of godly power.  They don’t.  They’re human.  

That said,  it’s important to do thorough research and seek recommendations from trusted sources. Reputable mediums should have a solid track record, adhere to ethical practices, and prioritize the well-being of their clients.

Numerous books, online resources (I can think of one – whats-your-sign.com is a great start! Haha!), and workshops are available that provide valuable insights and techniques for developing mediumship skills. These resources can serve as a foundation for understanding the language of spirits and honing your own communication abilities.

What’s It Like Being a Medium?

I’m afraid my answer to this is rather unromantic. In my world, being a medium is not much different than being a janitor.  At least, that’s how it was when I was a public medium.  I was good at it. I got trained.  I prepared for work. I took out the trash when necessary.  I made things clean.  Made things whole.  I cared about restoring order, making things better.  Just like any good janitor would do on the job. 

I’ve already touched on this, but being a medium can also pose dark, morose tones.  Had I not learned how to organize and work with non-physical impressions in healthy ways, my sanity would have suffered irreparable damage.  It happens.  I certainly battled with substance abuse due to my connection with the non-physical.  Simply because that was (at the time) the only way I knew how to cope.  

To this day, I still have sonic blasts from the beyond that make me feel like my skin is peeling off – that’s when I really want a drink, a joint, something to escape.  Sometimes I indulge. Sometimes I get back in my spiritual saddle and ride those blasts off into the sunset. 

Being a medium can be rigorous. It can take a toll if you don’t know what you’re doing.  Without structure, it can be a tremendous pain in the ass – not to mention a huge downer in social terms. Don’t even get me started on societal stigmas revolving around mediumship.  But then again, my generation was different. My experience was/is different.  Yours will be different too.  

Avia’s Final Word on Mediumship Communication

If you come away from this heartfelt article with any advice, I hope it’s this:  Get into mediumship for the right reasons.  Also, before building relationships with the non-physical….build a rock-solid foundation with yourself firstTemet nosce.  Know thyself (and a little bit of sapere aude doesn’t hurt either).  Continue to learn about yourself.  That’s what it’s like being a medium in my experience.  Your experience will be a whole different kettle of fish – hopefully a happy one too.  I hope these insights into what it’s like to be a medium, what a medium is, and about mediumship communication proved helpful to you.  As always, thanks for reading!

Mighty brightly,

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