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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

Stop Doing This in Your Mediumship!

By Travis Sanders

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I was recently listening to an interview with UK medium Andy Byng, whose reputation holds high esteem. While the opinion of others in regards to who is “good” and who is not, holds little of importance to me-  I have found lots of wisdom in Andy’s words and video lessons over the years.

In this particular video, Andy was discussing the things we as mediums do, that may have been good for us developing structure in the beginning phases of our mediumship unfoldment, but eventually become impediments as we evolve and refine.

I have been trying to incorporate these into my own practices and wanted to share and summarize what I gleaned with you and for you:

  1. Drop the habit of wanting to look for certain types of information

    One quote I really resonated with was “Where we control, we get in the way.” Often we have preconceived notions of what a good or proper spirit contact should look like for the sitter or the audience- this limits Spirit! Spirit knows what the best information is to demonstrate that they still live. Always think about your work as a communicator/translator from the SPIRITS pov to better learn and understand how we can be the best instrument for the Spirit World that we can be. We often find ourselves thinking “I wasn’t as good as I used to be,” I know I have; but its because when mediumship is new to us, its natural, were not colored by expectations- and when we learned how others think it should be, or over structure the way we work, we become unnatural in how we approach it.

    Andy said: “Structure should be used to harness the power of the medium, not stifle the naturalness”

2. Sop demanding how you receive evidence

Maybe you are used to working clairvoyantly or clairsentiently. Maybe you ask your guides to show you x, y or z in the form of  specific symbols. In early stages creating a system is wonderful for a foundation. But imagine going to the gym everyday and only ever working your upper body…you’ll eventually end up with chicken legs! Allow Spirit to give you information through the channels THEY see fit, and in personal development do exercises to strengthen the channels you don’t excel in so you can be the most well-rounded medium you can be. Give Spirit access to your vision, or words, your mind, your  heart, your body. Let it flow through however it flows through. Let the power build, and follow its flow. And if you feel stuck- don’t be afraid to simply say to Spirit “help me.”

3. Stop asking questions of Spirit

In early development we are often taught to mentally ask questions of Spirit to get to the answers we are seeking. BUT what if they aren’t interested in the questions you are asking? As novices, when we feel stuck, asking Spirit a question can absolutely get the flow going again- but if we always rely on that standard as a way of continuously working, then we are leading process. The more of “us” involved, means less room for Spirit. Mediumship is more active than say trance, but it is still somewhat passive as we are receivers. Asking questions takes us into the left brain-analytical mind and brings us out of the power. Imagine being a Spirit communicator, and you only have a few precious moments to communicate your heart to your loved one, and you wish to express a cherished memory but the medium is pestering you with “How old were you?,” “what kind of car did you drive?” “What is your favorite food?” —It must be so frustrating for them!

4. Chuck the “checklist” approach

Many of us have learned C.E.R.T ; the acronym meaning communicator, evidence, reason (message) and ‘tie it up’ as how to appropriately and efficiently move through a contact/message. This is great in the beginning but as we grow, this again can limit Spirit. As you become more confident in your mediumship trying working in the “blend and surrender” way. Let your communicator blend as closely as possible to you and just let their mind/thoughts/feelings lead. Stop worrying about having to do things in a certain order, or get 3-5 pieces of evidence. Evidence is necessary but not the epitome of mediumship- if the presence, the personality is not transmitted, not felt by the recipient, then the contact may feel cold, sterile, and unconvincing. If spirit wants more message than evidence, so be it. If they are evidence heavy, so be it. Most importantly let the essence of the communicator shine THROUGH you- put the flow of information in their hands, and I promise you the most amazing evidence will naturally be brought fourth without left-brain interference on your part.

So try incorporating these ideas into your work, maybe they help, maybe not! Either way some food for thought! A big thanks to Andy Byng and the work you do! 

 

 

Clifford Bias- Trumpet Medium

By Travis Sanders

Those who know me know that one of the places dear to my heart, is this historical Spiritualist community, Camp Chesterfield. One thing I admire about camp, is how they uphold, and still remember their mediums of yesterday.

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One such medium, Clifford Bias, has always fascinated me. Not much is written about Clifford Bias, although Bias himself was a prolific writer on spirituality, metaphysics, ceremonial magic, and mediumship.

His many books include: Trumpet Mediumship and it’s Development, The Art of Astrological Synthesis, The AMOS Path of Light, The Ritual Book of Magic, The Way Back, Qabalah, Tarot and the Western Mystery Tradition and more.

Born in West Virginia in 1910, Clifford had psychic experiences from the age of 5. Around such times family members were experimenting with table tipping. When young Clifford placed his hand on the table, energized, it danced about. Clifford also had a play-mate that only he could see. “Pepper” as it turns out, grew up with Clifford, and he would later come to understand that he was a spirit control, along with others, as his mediumship developed, including Sylvia, his joy guide, and Dr Lasceles.

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At age 14, while still in Huntington, he attended his first development circle, ran by Mrs. Effie Fulton, for a fee of 25 cents. He decided not to go back because he thought he slept through the events, but in actuality he fell into deep trance, and vocally channeled spirit without knowing.

Clifford Bias was ordained in 1937, and helped create and/or serve in numerous churches in the U.S. including Michigan, Ohio, New York and Florida. He even helped organize the Universal Spiritualist Association, and formed A.M.O.S or the Ancient Mystics Order of Seekers. This wasn’t what a young clifford would have expected for his life. He was passionate about analytical chemistry and also had a love of collecting circus programs. He even tried to be an actor on a riverboat cruise in Ohio, and yet, he couldn’t escape being a medium and spiritual teacher.

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Bias also held residency, as well as the presidency of Camp Chesterfield with the Indiana Association of Spiritualists, and served as the educational director. His mediumistic talents included blindfold billets, trance, independent voice, partial materialization, and his direct-voice via the trumpet developed quite strongly after sitting with trumpet medium, John W. Bunker, which he believed helped “activate” this potential for physical voice-based phenomena within him.

As a teacher, Clifford believed strongly in laying a firm foundation of understanding Natural Law. In his development circles he work partially in light, and partially in darkened conditions, developing the mental and physical side of his students mediumship simultaneously.

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In 1985 he retired to Anderson, Indiana, and passed into Spirit in 1987. A portrait of him can be gained from the part-biography, part-fiction work, The Hierophant of 100th Street, by Cullen Dorn.

Sources:
wikipedia: Clifford Bias
Trumpet Mediumship & It’s Development: Bias
Mediums & The Development of Mediumship: Chaney
Chesterfield Lives: Indiana Association of Spiritualist
The Hierophant of 100th Street: Dorn

The Mediumship of Indridi Indridason

By Travis Sanders

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Born in October of 1883, Indridi was a young Icelandic man, from an uneducated farming family. Little did he ever dream that by his early 20’s he would be Iceland’s premier medium of a caliber compared to the great D.D Home.

Around the age of 21 while working as a printer for a newspaper, the wife of a family member he was living with at the time invited him to investigate a table tipping circle with her. He went, and in his presence, the table moved quite powerfully.

Within an incredibly short period of time Indridi’s physical phenomena blossomed. Starting with trance speaking and automatic writing; and eventually evolving into spirit lights, apports, levitation of objects (and levitation of Indridi) as well as direct voice and materialization.

In 1905 at 22, The Experimental Society formed to investigate the phenomena of this young man. They even provided him with a salary and home, which also served as the controlled setting for research. However, by that fall, Indridi didn’t wish to continue. He actually came to see his mediumship as a curse. Indridi claimed to be haunted by poltergeist-like phenomena, some of which scared him. Additionally, his seances left him drained, ill, and depressed for days.

There were several main controls (spirit guides) that were regulars in Indridi’s mediumship, including his grandfather’s brother, who was a prominent professor at the University of Copenhagen.  There was also another who Indridi claimed was unkind towards him, and had died of suicide, though after some time, this control became benevolent and assisted Indridi in his mediumship.

Indridi married briefly before his wife and their baby daughter died of TB/typhoid fever, to which he also succumbed to at the age of 28.  He was invaluable in establishing Spiritualism in Iceland.

Indridi Indridason has always intrigued me. Handsome, gifted, and yet his life was sad and tragic. While I have doubt this was part of fulfilling his purpose in this life, I often feel that if emphasis was placed on the philosophy of Spiritualism, instead of solely focusing on the phenomena, much of Indridi’s agony could have been avoided.

The part that I find interesting as a Spiritualist, is the negative aspects that Indridi experienced in his mediumship. He felt haunted and used. However, mostly in Spiritualism, we do not believe in “stuck” or evil spirits. Could it have been, because of ignorance, fears, insecurities and worries made physically manifest through his physical mediumship abilities (including psychokinesis) that he created his own “demons” and interpreted or experienced that energy or “thought form” as Spirit intelligence? Did Indridi haunt himself? Perhaps he had subconscious worries that his “gifts” weren’t of God, especially since his major opponents in Iceland were those of strict religious practitioners.

We may never know. However, Iceland and The Spiritualist Movement owes a huge gratitude toward the sacrifices of Indiri Indridason.

Sources:

wikipedia
https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/indridi-indridason
Encyclopedia of Ghost & Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley