What is the difference between Physical and Mental Mediumship?

What is the difference between Physical and Mental Mediumship?
3rd December 2020 Richard Stuttle

What is the difference between Physical and Mental Mediumship?

There are many misconceptions when it comes to mediumship, one major distinction that needs to be understood is the difference between physical and mental mediumship. Firstly, it’s important to understand that both types require the power and knowledge of a medium. Through extensive training and practice mediums are able to attune to different frequencies, this allows the spirit world to work with the medium when demonstrating either physical or mental mediumship.

It’s important to note that the primary purpose of all mediumship is to prove proof of the immortality of the human existence.

What is Physical Mediumship?

Physical mediumship can be described as; anything happening of a physical nature that can be perceived by the medium and others present. The catalyst for all physical mediumship is through the correct attunement, this state is sometimes called ‘Trance’ which takes many years of study and dedication to master. Physical mediumship includes a wide spectrum of phenomena. Going back to the 1880’s and the ‘Hydesville Rapping’s’ which has since become known as the birth of modern Spiritualism. The Fox sisters, Leah, Catherine and Margaretta who first communicated with the spirit world. It was the two younger sisters, Catherine (Kate) and Margaretta (Maggie) who made contact by ‘rapping’ on a table, the spirit world replied with similar sounds. Over time they developed a code and realised that if they asked questions the answers would come in the form of a knocking sound. As Spiritualism developed this phenomenon became known as percussion and included any percussive sound made by the spirit world.

As the mediums became more developed through the early 20th century the spirit world was able to produce ectoplasm utilising products from the mediums body, when people think of physical mediumship this is generally their first thought. Physical mediumship is classified as the spirit world manipulating the medium. Another example would be automatic writing where the spirit world is physically manipulating the hand of the medium. There are also many documented cases of telekinesis, apports and asports as well as white noise phenomena or EVP and ITC. Transfiguration, Levitation and Direct Voice also fall into the category of physical mediumship.

Unfortunately, today there are very few physical mediums, this is partly due to the extensive training and development that is involved. It takes many years to develop the skills required to work with the spirit world in this way. Another reason is that the spirit world has found other more energy efficient ways to communicate.

What is Mental Mediumship?

Mental mediumship is classified as communication from the spirit world which is interpreted through the mind and consciousness of the medium. Most mediums working today are mental mediums. This is called ‘Perception’, and is anything relating to Clairsentience, Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairolfactriance, Clairgustance and Claircognisance which is perceived by the mind of the medium. Perception also includes inspirational writing, speaking and drawing. The medium is in an altered state and inspired by the spirit world.

Another type of mental mediumship is ‘Spirit Controlled’ mediumship, this is where the medium enters a trance state, and the spirit communicators take over the mediums body. The face could change, voice be overtaken, and mannerisms of the spirit person could be seen through body movement. People sometimes think this is physical mediumship, but the distinction needs to be clearly made, with all mental and perceptive mediumship the medium is aware of what was happening and can regain control at any point.

Perceptive mental mediumship is mainly used to provide evidence of survival after death to loved ones during a Divine Service, private or group sitting. This form of mediumship works well for three-way attunement, the recipient, the spirit communicator and the medium.

Spirit controlled mental mediumship is more likely to bring forward communication form the ministry of angels or spirit guides to share teachings and philosophy that could benefit a larger group.

What is Healing Mediumship?

Known by many mediums as the purest form of mediumship. Spiritual healing can take many forms, from contact to absent healing, trance healing and magnetic healing. Although people who specialise in healing won’t profess to be mediums, they are using mediumistic abilities to attune to the spirit world. They become a channel for healing. It is worth noting that during both physical and mental mediumship healing is also delivered.


The fundamental difference between physical and mental mediumship is the way the spirit world communicates through the medium. When the spirit world manipulates our physical world for other people to experience, this is classed as physical mediumship. The spirit world manipulating the senses of the medium to be interpreted by the mind and body of the medium is classed as mental mediumship.

Written by Richard Stuttle