Mediums of the past: William Stainton Moses

By Travis Sanders

William Stainton Moses, born 11-5-1839, in Lincolnshire, England, was a brilliant man and skilled medium, who served the Church of England after being ordained at the age of 24. Like many, he used to see Spiritualism as a load of hogwash, but in 1872, he attended a seance with medium, Lottie Fowler, and after receiving evidential communication from a ‘deceased’ friend, began to explore Spiritualism more sincerely.

Moses’ mediumship potential blossomed fairly rapidly. Five months after he began sitting for Spirit he experienced his first levitation. A variety of phenomena developed within his mediumship including: spirit-rapping, the manifestation of music, smells, psychokinetic energy, materializing hands of light, trance, direct writing, and independent voice.

Perhaps his most utilized gift was that of automatic writing, which he used to produce a number of books and pamphlets, the most well known being Spirit Teachings by WS Moses. The book which took 11 years to complete, is primarily compiled of theological discussion from Spirit’s point of view. Dictated by a band of spirit guides, the chief of which called himself Imperator, is said to have been the biblical prophet, Malachi. Within this spirit band were other familiar spirits including “Doctor” and Rector, who were regular communicators.

Being from a highly educated family, Moses had an unquenchable thirst to learn and go deeper into his spiritual studies. In the mid 1870’s he met and befriended Henry Olcott and Helena P. Blavatsky and was admitted into the Theosophical Society. Both Olcott and Blavatsky were highly impressed with the potency of Moses’ occult prowess, but as a Spiritualist he had a hard time rectifying the opposing beliefs that his communication came from what Theosophy believed to be “Masters” vs discarnate souls. Eventually he left the society but later returned with the understanding that he would stay if Olcott could keep HPB’s attitude towards Spiritualism more friendly than it had been.

1981 William Stainton Moses helped found the Society for Psychical Research, and he returned to Spirit in 1892.

Spirit Teachings by William Stainton Moses


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