All posts by Travis Sanders

Travis Sanders is an accomplished clairvoyant medium, author and teacher who has been working professionally for over a decade. His work with Spirit has been featured on numerous radio and television programs including CBS Radio and most notably A&E's Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal. In spring of 2016 he released his debut book: I Am Psychic, So Are You! What does all of this mean? Everything, and nothing. Travis is just a soul, on a journey, with a passion....Just like you.

The Campbell Brothers- and Precipitation

by Travis Sanders

Not much is written, much to my dismay about the Campbell Brothers. I will present to you what I know and have found.

Allen Campbell was born in England in 1833, and as a young man, moved to the states, where he met Charles Shourds. The two became friends, and business partners, dealing with importing and exporting in the New England States.

The Campbell brothers were not brothers but actually said to be lovers, using the “brothers” title in their work to make their relationship palatable.

Charles (whose date of birth is unknown) and Allen both started working as mediums in the late 1890s. They are said to be the mediums responsible for introducing the idea and use of a spirit cabinet.

Allen’s forte seemed to be the manifestation of spirit art through means of precipitation, while Charles could materialize spirits. They were known as well for slate and type-writter seances, where a type writer was placed on a table in a small cabinet, and as sitters joined hands around the table, messages from the “dead” would be typed and later distributed.

One of their most known works was produced in June of 1887. In this seance a large (40×60) spirit portrait was precipitated of Allen’s Spirit guide, Azure. The portrait, titled Azure the helper, hangs today in the lobby of the Maplewood hotel in Lily Dale, NY.

Azure the Helper 1887

I have been fortunate enough to see the painting for myself, and there is a palpable energy to it, to say the least.

Allen died in 1919, and Charles passed in his home in Cottage Row at Lily Dale Assembly, in 1926.

Sources:
The Spirit Book by Raymond Buckland
Seance 101 by Elaine M. Kusmeskus

Mediumship is a Commitment

by Travis Sanders

image by Lisbeth Cheever-Gessman

Mediumship Is a Commitment
By Travis Sanders



If there is one word, to me, defines the path of the medium, it is that of commitment. To first step upon the path is to make a commitment to know thyself. To see your own self as Spirit, as a soul. This can be accepted logically, but to know the self experimentally takes patience, it takes time, contemplation and reflection. It requires the desire to feel that truth in the core of your being, and to seek that truth always with passion and heart.

As we know our own soul, as we know we always have been, and always will be, then we know some intelligent force must be behind our very existence. You can call this “God,” Great Spirit, Creator, or some electromagnetic field. It matters not. But you know you are One with that, and in making a commitment to know thyself as deeply and truly as possible you have made a commitment to know the Divine; a commitment to recognize the oneness of brotherhood, which shapes our thoughts and actions. We strive to be better. Never perfect, but evolving toward a more spiritualized self.

And so, as you walk the path of commitment in knowing yourself as part of the greater whole; as you own your place within divinity; you become aware of those intelligences that live on, still, from the world of Spirit. You know they are not dead, nor are they far away. In many ways they are more alive now than they ever were in their physical shell.

This excites and inspires you. You commit daily to allowing the presence of spirit to dust your awareness, and in time you begin to get messages of guidance, messages of hope, and messages of survival. The inspiration to share that truth of eternal life bubbles up within your throat, and within the fires of your belly, until one day you take the leap.

You speak Spirit’s truth, and to your delight, it is accepted, and appreciated, and validated by some beautiful someone. You know this is what you are meant to offer the world. And so you commit to be of service and as instrument to Spirit in some form or fashion, however they will it.

Time passes, and you continue to allow your Spirit to be moved in service, committed to the trust that you know it is real and true. Some of those that are around you think you’ve lost your mind, some, believe you are in league with the devil. You suffer the slings and arrows of broken relationships, but your commitment to this higher truth pushes you forward through the pain and the judgment. It hurts, but compares little to the joy and unconditional love you feel in being aligned with your purpose.

You commit your time to sitting for Spirit daily. And even when it seems that not much is happening you know you are being shaped and molded. There are days where you doubt yourself, days where you don’t get it quite right, but Spirit shows you over and over that when you meet them halfway, they always meet you too.

Despite the work, you are human. There are days where life beats up on you and in your humanness you feel so alone. You wonder where Spirit went. In the last minute of despair, the miracle; a sign, a visitation, a coincidence, you are reminded once again, reassured, that Spirit has never left your side. They are committed to you as you are to them.

This is your life, your life in this world. And like all things of this world, you grow, age, and eventually, this physical shell that so many people think is you, begins to decay until it takes its last rattling breath.

The aches and pains of the physical body seem like a distant memory. You feel weightless, and hopeful. Your heart is full and Light fills your awareness. The feel the throngs and hear the murmur of the great unseen company all about you. Every thought feels alive.

You’re embraced by the presence of your loved ones long “gone’, moving towards you. They’re radiant. Those you remember, and those you’ve forgot you even missed embrace you. You experience them with every sense. In colors earth never knew.

Those unseen’ helpers that guided and inspired you begin to share in this embrace. Finally, you reunite with these souls you have felt your whole life, whose hands you placed your faith and trust in. “You’ve done well, dear brother.”

You’re not sure how much time passes, for time means little here. But, with these trusted companions you begin to reflect upon the life you lived. At times it is uncomfortable. You witness your shortcomings, and your mistakes. But you also see how much you have grown, and the effects of your actions both “good” and “bad.”

You see that in every step upon your path, these beloved souls were always there, committed to you, even when you knew not of them. As you begin to reflect upon your path of service, your journey as a medium, an instrument, you re-encounter every soul you’ve ever been privileged to speak on behalf of.

You become aware of how this communication helped them on their journey, and the journey of every recipient of that message; but even further, you see the ripples and chain reactions of that contact, both upon the earth and in the higher spheres.

You never imagined so many years ago that the commitment to simply ‘Know thyself” was essential thread in the great fabric of the All, and the unfolding of the divine plan- more complex than any human mind could ever imagine. You are beyond humbled.

You turn to your guide, your dearest friend; “So what now? Am I done?” What does done even mean?” They smile, amused at you “Not hardly, and well, Beloved, that is up to you…what happens next is a commitment that is yours to make.”


HISTORICAL MEDIUM: Etta Wriedt

by Travis Sanders



American medium, Etta Wriedt, was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1859. She was said to be a remarkable direct-voice medium, and only charged $1 dollar for seances.

Much like the more contemporary Leslie Flint, Wriedt did not enter trance to produce her phenomena, and often was heard conversing with the spirits along with her sitters. Additionally she never tired from producing phenomena as many physical mediums do.

According to her primary control, a Scottish pharmacist called “John Sharp,” he used a collective energy from the sitters more-so than drawing energy from the medium to produce the phenomena. While the majority of her seances were held in the dark, she was known to occasionally produce phenomena in in partial and even full-light conditions.

Like most physical mediums, Etta was not free of accusations of fraud and ventriloquism. Poet W.B. Yeats was dismissive of her seances’ authenticity, and Norwegian scientist Prof. Birkeland claimed to have uncovered use of chemical reactions caused by potassium and lycopodium to produce reactions attributed to Spirit.

However, multitudes of people, including psychical researcher and author, Admiral Usborne Moore, and journalist W.T. Stead attested to phenomena incapable of being produced by trickery. Stead even invited Wriedt to the UK to hold seances, which she did, and where the infamous spirit-control John King, would work with Etta, and take charge of producing even more phenomena that before, such as partial materialization, spirit lights, and movement of objects.

There are numerous accounts of 5 different languages being spoken via Wriedt’s direct voice phenomena, despite the fact that Etta only spoke English. Below is a testimonial from one of Etta Wriedt’s seance attendees, James Robertson:

“The voice of my mother was the voice I was familiar with, the same broad Doric speech, as if she had never gone from us. The Scotch idioms were never departed from for a moment; if we did not see her in the habit in which she lived, we, at least, felt she was unchanged in manner; the girls present were still children to her, and her memory of the earth life and its people quite keen. She spoke to me as if we had but parted yesterday, called me Jeems as she had always done while in the body, and as she had often done since when influencing other mediums to speak to me. Here, it was speaking direct as it were without using another’s voice. Mrs. Wriedt could not by any possibility have given a replica of the Scotch tones I heard, for while my mother was conversing with my daughters the medium was talking in her usual Yankee tones.”


Sources:
http://www.vitaumana.it/pag/xf02-etta.htm
https://www.spiritualpathspiritualistchurch.org/etta-wriedt-physical-medium/
https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wriedt-etta-ca-1859-1942
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etta_Wriedt#cite_note-2





Dealing with Psychic/Spiritual Burn Out

By Travis Sanders

I am 32 years old. I have been reading professionally since I was 16, and full time since 2012. I haven’t had a vacation in nearly a decade. I am burnt out….I started working psychically, and even though I’d had some training and a few experiences in readings with spirit “breaking through,” I didn’t really start going full-steam with mediumship until spring of 2012.

For the past year, my mediumship had been inconsistent. It became a struggle, it started to effect my confidence. Was I broken? Did I just suck? No, I was mentally blocking myself because I was burnt out. Out of balance. On top of writing my books, juggling phone clients, in-person clients, and students, I manage a metaphysical center 5 days a week- and I was really beginning to slip at both and feel resentful towards something I was once very passionate about. This wasn’t right. I needed to reflect and re-evaluate.

The obvious didn’t dawn on me until one day, out of the blue, meme’s, videos and podcasts about burnout, as well as just the word itself, seemed to haunt me, and pop out everywhere I went. I guess I didn’t think about it, I mean, I have struggled off and on with chronic fatigue since my teens, at this stage in my life I just took being chronically tired as the default state of functioning.

But now the Universe/Spirit couldn’t be more clear. I’m the type that I can trust my intuition clearly and confidently for others but often times when it comes to myself, I need to be bopped over the head with a spiritual 2×4. I was burnt out and I needed to make adjustments and plans to ease this burnout. So I did.

Below I will list several conclusions and actions Ive come to and am working on still. If you yourself are dealing with any type of spiritual or psychic burnout, see if any of these actions and thinking points resonate with you. Perhaps it will help. At-least that is my intention!

1) Take a break!

It seems obvious right? Like, duh! But like many of us who are self employed on a spiritual path, I had fallen into the trap of “I cant afford to take a break.” or “When I have x amount saved up, then I can take a break.” But guess what, if you’re at the point where your ability to be of service isn’t at it’s best, or you find yourself dreading your passion, then you cant afford to NOT take a step back,

I used to think that if I stopped I was somehow letting Spirit down. But by not being the best channel I could be for my clients, I was already doing that. I remember about a year ago I considered taking a step back, and every time I went LIVE to make the announcement my internet cut out, and I couldn’t, perhaps that wasn’t the time, but now it certainly was.

I wasn’t quitting, just taking a step back from mediumship to regain clarity. I was still offering psychic readings as I found this took little effort or energy to perform. And It gave me a chance to focus on Spiritual Healing, which I enjoyed practicing but was rarely sought by clients as most people know me for my readings. This allowed me to ignite a passion for spirit-healing, and begin to explore new avenues of trance healing which I have become very excited about!

2) Do “un-spiritual” things

How often do we see “spiritual” people living in the mind/spirit 24/7 and neglecting the earthly, physical, and mundane? It’s easy to do, but we have to be balanced. It is all about body, mind and Spirit balance. I have always been heavily into mind and Spirit and the physical side of things was lacking. I found that getting outside with fresh air, sunlight, and moving the body was helpful. I couldn’t remember the last time I stood barefoot on the earth, or just sat outside and watched the sky. I have tried to make daily walks in a nature a part of my routine.

With the exception of my once a week sitting for Spirit session with a friend, I also decided to put a temporary halt on my daily meditation practice. I needed to give myself permission to be “un-spiritual” (which isn’t really a thing, we are all Spirit therefore we cant not be spiritual). I needed to just chill. So perhaps instead of meditating and reading Spiritual books, I would binge on Forensic Files or Kitchen Nightmares and read some fantasy (something I did a lot of as a teenager but rarely have as an adult as I am avid in metaphysical and spiritual non-fiction research and study).

This can also benefit you down the road as you resume your practice. Spirit can only utilize what is already in our subconscious. When we engage in mundane things such as fiction stories or television, we are often creating references/parallels/and symbolism that Spirit can later use.

3) Invest in self care

It’s funny how “spiritual people” wont bat an eyelash at dropping hundreds of dollars on unnecessary crystals, card decks, and books, but become frugal at the idea of investing in themselves. Get some energy work, a massage, a manicure, go to the spa! Your body is just as much an instrument as the mind and it needs to be kept in tune. This means exercise too, in whatever way is best for you- be it a gym membership or the yoga studio. You will feel better for it! This may also mean investing in healthier food options that nourish the body.

4) Supplements and Substances & Energy tools.

Lifestyle changes in regards to what we put into our bodies can be beneficial. In meditation a message I received was that my nervous system was taxed. As psychics and mediums our nervous system is already delicate, but when we over-work it consistently, we can very much fatigue our nerves into a state of exhaustion.

Now with any herb or supplement its always recommended to seek advice from a medical professional. For me I found magnesium to be very beneficial for the the nervous system. I also found that a low dosage iron supplement helped boost my physical energy (this was a hunch) as well as the herb Astragula. I also started taking Ginko for mental clarity and hemp seed oil for overall health.

I am a big fan of the work of Edgar Cayce. In his medical readings what he said in regards to what we would today call exhaustion or chronic fatigue is that the liver, kidney and lungs act as the “batteries” for our bodies. Now what took some honesty on my part was looking at how frequently I drank, and how that effected that liver, and how much caffeine I consumed and how that might effect my kidneys. I have cut back on caffeine and stopped drinking alcohol to give my body (both physical and etheric) a chance to heal.

Burn out can also be a Solar Plexus issue, so any energy work like Reiki, spirit-healing, or even Emotional Freedom Technique aka tapping, can be wonderful (there’s wonderful EFT videos on YouTube by Brad Yates). I also worked with visualizations such such as liquid gold, honey-like light coating my nervous system, working with color therapy, especially with the colors green and teal, imagining calling my energy back to myself, cutting cords to those who pulled on my energy, and tracing meridians in the body via Donna Eden’s energy medicine techniques.

5) Explore other passions

Do you have any new or old passions that you’ve put on the back burner? Explore those! Ive used this time off to start reading more on herbalism and folk healing, as well as painting and other creative projects like restoring and re-purposing thrift store furniture pieces.

6) Make a plan for moving forward

If you’re burnt out and take a break, but then go right back to the same structure you were working from before, then you will inevitably end up burnt out again. Take time to reflect on what wasn’t working for you, journaling can be helpful for insights. Perhaps you need to limit the number of clients or days you work? Perhaps you need to prioritize other aspects of your services? Do you need to readjust your boundaries with certain people? Contemplate, make a plan and put it into action!

This self-care detour has been an interesting journey for me so far, and I’m sure will continue to be as I slowly move back into my mediumship work. I know these are just some of the things that work for me and I hope that maybe they will help you to.

Take care of yourself, there is only one YOU!

Travis James Sanders

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.

Sources:
https://theosophy.wiki/en/William_Stainton_Moses
https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/william-stainton-moses
Spirit Teachings by William Stainton Moses
https://www.nasm.org.au/pdf/spirit%20teachings.pdf

Is Spiritualism a Cult??

By Travis Sanders


Since my teen years I have been very vocal about anti-organized religion, and yet since my early to mid-twenties I have identified as Modern Spiritualist. That being said, Modern Spiritualism is a recognized religion in the US and the UK, and yet I feel no qualms about being a member of the Spiritualist Church. Why is this? Frankly, because, unlike other organized religions, especially those that are Abrahamic, Spiritualism doesn’t hold Dogma. At least, it shouldn’t.

Dogma: a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

While there are “National” Spiritualist Churches and independent Spiritualist Churches, most outline their tenets similarly to:


  1. We believe in Infinite Intelligence.
  2. We believe that the phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.
  3. We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith, constitute true religion.
  4. We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the individual continue after the change called death.
  5. We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.
  6. We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
  7. We affirm the moral responsibility of individuals and that we make our own happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey Nature’s physical and spiritual laws.
  8. We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any soul here or hereafter.
  9. We affirm that the precepts of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship.

    They”re pretty basic and too the point. To be blunt, life continues, mediumship allows us to interface with Spirit, and don’t be a dick.
    You can be a Christian Spiritualist, a Buddhist Spiritualist, or a Pagan Spiritualist. Our principles are harmonious with most spiritual truths or paths. However, when you hear of things like seances, camps, or “the medium’s league,” I can understand how to those on the outside might see it as culty.

    One such culty religion is Mormonism (sorry mormons, it is…along with Scientology, Catholicism, and a vast host of others) . An internet blogger and social media influencer I follow, by the name of Tanner Gilliland, an ex-mormon, along with Samantha Shelley (who comprise Zelph on the Shelf) used basic traits associated with cult phenomena to illustrate how and why they believe Mormonism holds the characteristics of a cult.

    I thought I would put Modern Spiritualism to the test!

    Cult 101

    1) The Leader is the ultimate authority.

    Spiritualism has no leader. There is no pope, llama, or celestial Messiah. Only pastors, ministers, and board members which change over time.

    2) The group supresses skepticism.

    Anyone involved in mediumship I think, who is genuine, is and should be open to skepticism and critical analysis. There is such a thing as healthy skepticism. It is grounded. Cynicism is another story.

    3) The group de-legitimatizes former members.

    To be clear, yes Spiritualism is a religion, but it is also a philosophy, science and way of life. One can identify from any of those perspectives and consider oneself a Spiritualist. You do not have to be a member of a Spiritualist church or organization to be considered a Spiritualist.

    Those who do whoever, are not stigmatized for leaving churches or organizations. Spiritualist believe that everyone’s path is unique to them, and everyone’s journey is different, as it should be.

    4) The group is paranoid about the outside world.

    We WANT those to come and experience mediumship and the philosophy of Spiritualism for themselves. We encourage it.

    5) The group relies on shame cycles

    While many abrahamic-derived faiths deal with sin, which is what you need in order to impose guilt or shame, sin is not part of Spiritualist ideology. There is simply choice, and natural law, cause and effect. As the principles state, we are free to chose to make our own happiness or unhappiness.

    6) The leader is above the law.

    Again, there is no leader or authority figure in Spiritualism, both in this life or the afterlife. Even in regard to God, in Spiritualism god is not a personified being, but a force present in all things.

    7) Thought Reform Methodology

    While many people learn a nice pretty-packaged version of how Spiritualism came into the world via the Fox sisters in 1848, there is no mass recon about the ups and downs of our movement (though Im sure some don’t like to discuss the controversy of the past surrounding fraud).

    Many places such as Lily Dale acknowledge there have been frauds or wolves among sheep and have taken to testing and certification of their mediums to try to ensure genuine phenomena and spirit contact.

    Furthermore to reform thought or essentially brainwash, one must be told what to do/think or feel for extended periods of time. Spiritualist meetings are usually once a week for about an hour. Additionally we encourage people to think for themselves, as we have no holy book and therefore no dogma or a list of breakable rules.

    One thing that I love about Spiritualism is that over the years it has updated and modernized it’s principles, because we believe we all continue to learn and grow and change vs the old testament mindset of a God who is ” the same today, tomorrow and always.”

    8) The group is elitist.

    While specific mediums with egos may personally hold elitist and competitive mindsets towards other working mediums, the religion of Spiritualism honors all paths, knowing that we are “walking each other home.” No one is better or worse than anyone else because we all came from Spirit, and to Spirit we will all return, regardless.

    9) There is no financial transparency

    Unlike the Vatican, and other centers of other movements, Spiritualism has no one headquarters. There many churches and centers, some associated with larger organizations like NSAC or SNU and many of them are independent charters. Therefore each church and/or organization handles its own finances. Like any organization we may need money for electricity and building maintenance, but we don’t require that anyone give anything, or tithe. And we certainly don’t want your assets when you die.

    Lastly, the group performs secret rites.

    There or no sacrifices, secret rituals, or strange initiations. In fact pretty much any service or offering within a Spiritualist church is open to the public. Perhaps the strangest of things that might be considered a ceremony of sorts is a seance, which depending on whether it’s being hosted by an organization or an individual may or may not be open to the public, or by invite only.

    The purpose of a seance is to connect with the other side, usually in regards to witnessing lesser seen aspects of physical phenomena vs the mental mediumship we see on platforms and in churches. That being said they usually consist of a prayer, singing, conversation and meditation- and do not require any specific clothes, or lack thereof, sacrifices, uncomfortable request, or requests unknown to the sitter before signing up.

    So no, Spiritualism doesn’t fit the parameters of a cult. It is simply a path, and for other’s a calling. It may not being the roaring lion it once was, but for those of us who walk the path, it provides a way of looking at life (and death) that provide comfort and help us to navigate this crazy world that we live in.

    Sources:
    NSAC.org

    https://www.plonialmonimormon.com/2018/06/zelph-on-the-shelf-just-accidentally-proved-that-mormon-stories-is-a-cult.html

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Y4j05DDAXv7vCedrOQ9FQ/videos


Emma Hardinge Britten, Spiritualist and….witch?

By Travis Sanders

Born Emma Floyd, in 1823, Emma Hardinge Britten is a giant in the history of modern day Spiritualism. Known as the silver-tongued lecturer, like most mediums, was said to display clairvoyant ability from a young age. Born in England, Emma, had a gift for words, and the charm of charisma, this would eventually serve her as her gift for trance emerged as a young woman.

In her youth, she traveled to the United States as a stage actress, and began experiencing psychic phenomena. After sitting in a seance with medium, Ada Hoyt, Emma was converted to Spiritualism and soon developed into a remarkable medium, gifted in automatic writing, and trance, and eventually wrote many books upon the subject.

She would lecture for great crowds of people on audience-selected topics, allowing spirit to influence her speech or entrance her all together. She was renowed. She even used her gifts as an orator in the campaign to re-elect Lincoln. Known at that time as Emma Floyd, she married William Britten, an ardent Spiritualist. The name of Hardinge is believed to have been given by groups that she allegedly studied occult knowledge with in her youth, prior to coming to America.

Amongst her accomplishments she established the spiritualist journal “The Two Worlds’, and along with Helana Blevatsky, and other members, founded the Theosophical society in 1887. Additionally she is a founding member of the Spiritualist National Union in the UK (along with J Arthur Findlay and Maurice Barbanell), one of the two largest Spiritualist organizations in the world. It is through her mediumship that the SNU’s 7 principles were received. They are as follows:

1) The fatherhood of God
2) The Brotherhood of Man
3) Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels
4) Continuous Existence of the Human Soul
5) Personal Responsibility
6) Compensation and Retribution, Here and Hereafter
7) Eternal Progress for Every Soul


While Spiritualist today may try to paint EHB as a Christian Spiritualist, she was not. In addition to being a Spiritualist and Theosophist, she proudly wore the badge of ceremonial magician, occultist, mystic and witch. She even authored under a pen name, books synthesizing Spiritualism, Magic, and Mesmerism, one being Arte Magick.

Sources:
Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits: Rosemary Ellen Guiley
The Spirit Book: Raymond Buckland
The Might Dead: Christopher Penczak
http://www.snu.org

Mrs Meurig-Morris and ‘Power’

by Travis Sanders

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Little is out there about the life of the remarkable trance medium, Louisa Ann Meurig-Morris, but what is out there is impressive evidence of the depth of her trance states and influence of “Power,” the mediums primary control or “spirit guide.”

Born to Frederick and Ellen Bayles in London, 1899,  Louisa, like many mediums, was sensitive at a young age- though it is said her sensitivity was dampened by the religion of her youth. In 1922 at the age of 23, Lousia Ann attended a seance with a direct voice medium by the name of Newton Abbot, which ignited her mediumistic potential, and allowed her to develop rapidly as a trance medium.

In the early stages of trance, the controls or guides was first a child-guide called Sunshine, later a french nun referred to as Sister Magdalene, and eventually settling on Power, a regal, philosophical control, whose blending with the medium caused her soft, higher-octave voice to take on a baritone quality, and her mannerism to become demonstrative and captivating.

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In 1929 she caught the attention of agnostic playwright, Laurence Cowen, and he, as a result of her demonstration, converted to Spiritualism and championed her which lead to weekly demonstrations of trance control at the Fortune Theatre in London, and eventually was the first (to my knowledge) to have a professional studio recording of trance made available to the public.

In 1931, in the presence of Cowen, and Lady Doyle (wife of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Mrs. Muerig-Morris was filmed on a sound stage for British Movietone Company, demonstrating trance. During the course of her demonstration, a microphone suspended by a cable above the medium suddenly fell, making a commotion and swinging past the mediums head, nearly missing it by an inch. Any other person, except for one entranced, would have jumped, flinched or moved. Not only did Power position the medium in a spot where the mic missed her, Mrs Morris whilst entranced never flinched, stammered or lost focus in her address, a testament to the power and depth of the trance control state.

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Additional ardent supporters and believers in Mrs Muerig-Morris’ ‘powers’ included famed psychic-researcher, Sir Oliver Lodge and the incomparable medium, Gordon Higginson.

Morris died in 1991 and shy of her 92nd birthday.

Sources:

                                  The Gale Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxjewi39vzU
https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Morris%2C+Mrs.+L.+A.+Meurig
https://www.spiritualismlink.com/t1195-mrs-meurig-morris-and-her-control-power

Information & Images courtesy of:
https://www.badseysociety.uk/people/morris/louisa-ann-meurig

The Remarkable Minnie Harrison

By Travis Sanders

One of the last remarkable materialization mediums was Minnie Rose Harrison. Born in the UK in spring of 1895, she was the youngest of 11 children, but not the only mediumistic one.

While at a conference, during Minnie’s teen years, her oldest brother, Albert, experienced some paranormal phenomena, which lead to an invitation to a private home circle. While the family sat in circle, 5 of the sibling developed into deep trance-control mediums: Albert, Jack, Mary, Agnes, and of course, Minnie.

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By 1915, Minnie married Tom Harrison and began her own family, and by 1930, Minnie’s sister Agnes, was a professional working-medium for the Marylebone Spiritualist Association. Agnes tried convincing Minnie to come work there, but Minnie didn’t like the idea of charging for sittings, and was quite content with her participation in the Lyceum movement of the SNU and serving local churches.

As a youth, her son, Tom, would chair for her, as she would take the platform. Tom would routinely watch his mother go into trance at the podium and deliver the most remarkable clairvoyance and evidence of survival while in the entranced state.

In 1946 “Aunt Agg” who by this point had become a wonderful direct voice medium as well, would pass into Spirit, but this would not be the last of her! In 1946 Minnie, her son, and several routine sitters would start their own Saturday Circles, where Minnie’s own powers of physical phenomena would develop.

Very quickly into the weekly sittings, while entranced, direct voice phenomena would develop. The main speakers where Minnie’s primary control, Sunrise, and you guessed it, Aunt Agg, who would oversee much of the physical phenomena as it began to develop; and as the materialization eventually began to unfold, Aunt Agg would materialize regularly and assist in other spirit people manifesting.

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In addition to remarkable voice phenomena, apports weren’t uncommon. However, one in particular didn’t occur in the seance room. On Minnie’s 53rd birthday she was tinkering about in the kitchen. She opened the cupboard to grab something, and when she open the cupboard again a few minutes later, filling the bottom to the top of the cupboard, was a 3ft tall lilac bush. The power Minnie developed over the years had allowed Spirit to use the darkness of the cupboard as a cabinet to bring Minnie a birthday gift- much appreciated indeed, as Minnie being unconscious through the seances, never got to experience the phenomena for herself.

As time when on, the materializations grew stronger. 1947 Aunt Agg materialized and approach Dr. Britain Jones, a surgeon sitting in the circle, and said “I understand you wish to take my pulse?” To which she extended her wrist, solid as flesh, and Dr Jones indeed found a pulse, to which Agnes responded “Thank you Mr Jones, I am living, and continue to!” In another experiment Aunt Agg allowed Dr Jones to cut a piece of her ectoplasmic robe. As he did so Agnes could be seen grimacing, while an entranced Minnie, in cabinet, let out a small moan.

The first attempt at this experiment didn’t allow to ectoplasm to withstand the light at the end of the seance, though on a second attempt, under the instruction of the spirit world, an empty jar was brought into the seance, where the spirit operators filled it with a special type of liquid. This liquid allowed the ectoplasmic piece to withstand the light at the end of the seance and lasted several weeks before it slowly dissolved.

Another aspect of Minnie’s work she was known for where her Christmas seances. Every year a tree would be decorated with toys and candies and presents, and during the seance, Spirit children would come and play with the toys, as well as messages of love and hope would come through. When asked about where the toys and candies went, Spirit controls said they were played with by the spirit children, and often spiritual replicas of them where made for the spirit children to interact with in the spirit world. The physical objects would then be apported to children in need so that they would be surprised when they woke up on Christmas day.

In 1958, Minnie passed into spirit, but the importance of her work was kept alive through her son, Tom Harrison, who would lecture and write books for many years about the remarkable mediumship of his mother!

Sources:
Life After Death: Living Proof by Tom Harrison 
Great Moments of Modern Mediumship Volume 1 by Maxine Meilleur. 

Moses Hull: Adversary Turned Ally

by Travis Sanders

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The seventh son of a seventh son, Moses Hull, was the second born twin, born in 1835 to James and Mary Hull, in Waldo, Ohio. His twin Aaron, died around 2 years of age, and at 4 years old, his family moved to an “Indian” reservation, where he received little to no formal education, about 18 months total. This however, didn’t prevent Moses’ inquisitive mind from leading him to greatness.

At 14, Hull became a Methodist after “finding God” and eventually converted to Adventism, where he excelled as a marvelous debater. He could pick apart any argument on the subject of Theological beliefs, but this eventually lead to him to dissecting and eventually renouncing Adventism in favor for Spiritualism, after debating William Jamison in Michigan in 1862.

Just prior to this he began hearing voices, and through the beliefs instilled in his Christian faith, he told the voices- “Get behind me, Satan!” To which the voices replied “You pray for light, but when it comes to you, you tell it to go to the rear?”

While not a practicing medium himself, Hull became a fierce champion of the Spiritualist movement, encountering many prominent Spiritualist of the time, including Victoria Woodhull, who he worked with as he launched his Equal Rights Campaign in 1872.

Hull opened a school in Montua, OH, that eventually moved to Lily Dale, NY, and  attracted the attention of Morris Pratt, who donated a building to the cause, and in 1903 the Morris Pratt College opened and still operates to this day.

In 1906, Hull ran from congress as a Socialist, but died the following year in 1907.

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Sources

Spirit Book: Buckland
Encyclopedia.com
Wikipedia