Exploring Physical Mediumship
Physical mediumship can be best described as; the spirit world manipulating our world through a medium creating tangible physical evidence and proof of life after mortal death. Physical mediumship was more prevalent in the mid 19th and early 20th century. The first real documented evidence was that of the Fox sisters in Hydesville in 1848. They communicated with Mr Splitfoot as the girls called him, later confirmed as Charles B Rosna in what came to be known as the ‘Hydesville Rappings’.
This was marked as the birth of modern Spiritualism. The Fox sisters Catherine (Kate) and Margaretta (Maggie) made contact with a spirit communicator by ‘rapping’ on a table, Mr Rosna replied with similar sounds. The sisters developed a simple code and realised if they asked questions, they would get a reply.
Another incredible form of physical mediumship which is more widely seen today is automatic writing. I feel it is completely underrated as a spirit communication technique. For a medium to allow part of their body to be overtaken by the spirit world and be aware of their hands writing words they never thought of in a completely different pen style is incredible. From a training and development point of view its perfect for the medium to become aware of what’s happening to part of their body. From an evidential point of view, it’s an excellent practice as not only does the medium have writings and information from spirit but also a sample of the spirit communicators handwriting.
This should not be confused with inspired writing, which, for the writers among, us is more commonplace. Have you ever been lost in the flow of words, writing or typing frantically but deliberately? When reading the work back think ‘did I write this?’
The spirit world and mediums developed automatic writing was part of their communication techniques, it was quicker and more direct than rapping’s. More information could be given with less energy from both medium and spirit communicator.
Another form of physical mediumship is physical materialisation. Arguably the most impressive and in modern day the rarest form of mediumship. The medium will usually, but not always, go deep into a trance state and allow their body to be taken over by the spirit world. This would usually happen in a box or cupboard, under controlled conditions using a dim or red light. Ectoplasm would form from the medium and excrete form their aural orifices or from their solar plexus, it would be made up from dead skin and waste products from the mediums body and could extend to form a physical manifestation of spirit communicators.
One of the finest physical mediums was Alec Harris, he worked with his spirit guide ‘White Wing’ for many years. In 1940 he had received repeated messages from White Wing saying ‘One day. Faithful, White Wing will walk, talk and mingle with you.’ He had to trust. Helen Duncan, who was a high-profile and extremely gifted medium at the time, was in town for a séance and demonstration. On trying to get a place at the demonstration (as he thought it would be the only way for White Wing to materialise), Mr Harris was told that he would be able to do materialisations in his own circle if he changed the evening it took place. He immediately moved it to Tuesday evenings. On the first Tuesday, a ball of light formed in the cabinet. A head and headdress formed, a full materialisation followed, it was White Wing and the beginning of Alec Harris’s physical mediumship.
Teaching and Philosophy
We are witness to many seemingly impossible things in life, it’s important to keep an open mind. Whether we have experienced the unexplainable or touched our own inspiration, surprising ourselves with what we can achieve. Opening to the impossible is one of the best ways to push ourselves to believe that anything possible.
Written by Richard Stuttle