Mediums of the Past: Leonora “White Crow” Piper

By Travis Sanders

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One of the most hailed trance-mediums of the early 1900’s was Leonora E. Piper. Despite being born in 1857, Piper’s psychic experiences didn’t start until around 8 years of age, when a blow to the head induced clairaudient sounds. The sounds produced the name of Aunt Sarah, who unbeknownst to Leonora, and her mother, had passed away the very same moment as Leonora’s injury.

In 1881 Leonora married William Piper, and not long after attended a seance by blind clairvoyant and healer, Dr J.E. Cocke. While Cocke went into trance, Piper did too, simultaneously, and channeled automatically a written message of a profound nature- and of which she had no awareness of.

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After that Leonora’s ability as a trance medium blossomed. An American, (Boston) Piper traveled to the UK and was studied by leading psychical researchers of the time, including Sir William Crookes. It was through the agency of her mediumship that the “Faunus” message was delivered in 1915, predicting the death of Sir Oliver’s  son, and consecutive sittings with Mrs. Piper, (along with messages received through table tipping) made a believer out of Lodge in the legitimacy of her Trance Mediumship and the survival of his son’s consciousness.

Pipers primary control was a french doctor named Dr Phinuit (pronounced “Finney”) though her controls changed over the years. It is debated whether the controls were independent beings or aspects of her subconscious, regardless, the evidence of her trances left no doubt that the communications from and about loved ones were genuine spirit-contacts.

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Mrs Piper earned the nickname “White Crow” from William James- a researcher with the American Society for Psychical Research, after he was quoted saying “If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, it is enough if you prove that one crow is white. My white crow is Mrs Piper.”

As Leonora aged, and tended to her ailing mother, her trance mediumship faded, and by the time of her death in 1950 was limited to mostly automatic writing. Despite this, during the years of 1885 and 1915, she was one of the most tested and impressive trance mediums in the world.

Sources:
Great Moments of Modern Mediumship: Meilleur
The Mighty Dead: Penczak
The Spirit Book: Buckland

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Eileen Garrett and Her Many Voices

By Travis Sanders

One of the most fascinating mediums of the 20th century, in my opinion, is Eileen J Garrett: psychic, trance-medium…and skeptic?

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Born in Ireland in 1893, Garrett knew tragedy from an early age. While still very young, her parents committed suicide, and she was raised by her religious aunt and uncle. While her uncle was a sweet man, her aunt was described by Eileen as cold, and strict, and she and Eileen never truly connected. This lead Eileen to retreat into her inner world where she found visions and voices.

As a very sickly child growing up near moors and sacred stone circle, Eileen appreciated nature and the magic therein. From a young age she saw auras around people and even experienced spirit visitations, much to her aunt’s dismay.

Misfortune followed Eileen into adulthood, especially into her 3 marriages. Each one ending in death or divorce. Her first marriage to a man name Clive, yielded three sons who all died very young, and one daughter who thrived, named Eileen after her mother.

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After WW1 Eileen was attending a table tipping seance, a new experience for her, and while at the session, she appeared to fall asleep. But asleep she was not! Eileen fell into a trance state and began giving information about the other sitters deceased loved ones. Upon waking she was unaware of what transpired. Encouraged by those in attendance, she sought out the help of a hypnotist who was able to induce the trance state (like many mediums, later on this was not needed for her to go into trance) and while under trance, revealed a spirit control (Spirit guide) by the name of Uvani.

Uvani, who claimed Arabic origins, was Garrett’s main control, but in time a secondary control named Abdul Latif, a persian physician, introduced himself and would work with Eileen in trance diagnosis and disseminating medical information, much like her contemporary “The Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce. Interestingly Edgard Cayce and Eileen Garrett did meet, and performed trance readings for each other.

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As Eileen Garrett’s reputation and her own curiosity grew, she began to work with and be tested by a number of researchers, scientists, parapsychologists, and spiritualists, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Oliver Lodge, The British College of Psychic Science, and after moving to America where she eventually would become a citizen, Dr Joseph Rhine with Duke University and the American Society for Psychical Research. One  of the more controversial feats of her mediumship involved communicating with a spirit connected to the R101 Airship disaster, and allegedly communicating unknown mechanical information that lead to the crash, though this is debated by believers and skeptics alike.

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The thing that intrigues me the most, and that I respect the most about Eileen, is that she never doubted WHAT she was able to do, but she was never convinced in regards to HOW she was able to do it. She often wondered if much of her psychic ability was simply a telepathy- but even more interestingly, despite being one of the most credible and studied trance mediums in the world- she was not convinced that her own spirit guides/controls were legitimate Spirits, but believed them to likely be aspects of her own subconscious personified, and ultimately was unconvinced in a Spirit world or life after death.

Sources:

Many Voices: The Autobiography of a Medium by Eileen Garrett
The Spirit Book: Raymond Buckland

Wikipedia
Fst.org
Youtube: Dueling Psychics: Edgar Cayce and Eileen J. Garrett

 

 

 

Andrew Jackson Davis: The Father of Modern Spiritualism

By Travis Sanders:

When people think of the beginnings of Modern Spiritualism, they automatically think of the Fox Sisters. But did you know the Hydesville Rappings were foretold?
In his journal, one the same date of March 31st, 1848, Andrew Jackson Davis wrote:

“About daylight this morning a warm breathing passed over my face and I heard a voice, tender and strong, saying ‘Brother, the good work has begun- Behold a living demonstration is born.’ I was left wondering what could have been meant by such a message.”

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Because of this, Andrew Jackson Davis (AJD) is often referred to as the “John the Baptist” of Spiritualism. Davis, born 1826, had a simple upbringing near the Hudson River in NY, at the age of 12 he began hearing voices which encouraged him to encourage his family to move to Poughkeepsie, which they did. Little did his mother and (alcoholic) father know that years later their son would be regarded as the Poughkeepsie Seer. AJD’s mother would pass before ever getting to witness these accomplishments.

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As a teen Davis was introduced to Mesmerism by a traveling showman, and found that he could be “mesmerized’ (hypnotized) and while in this trance state diagnose disease and see inside the human body clairvoyantly, much like the Sleeping Prophet, Edgar Cayce, who wouldn’t come for nearly a century more down the road.

In 1844 in a trance-like state, Davis found himself in the Catskill Mountains (nearly 40 miles from home) where he claims to have had discourse with the Spirit of the ancient greek physician Claudius Galen, as well as the swedish mystic and scientist, Emmanuel Swedenborg.

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Jackson’s work included not only medical intuition, and remote viewing, but trance- philosophy, and automatic writing- which over time became less automatic in nature and more inspirational in it’s reception by the medium. Regardless by the time Davis was 20 he wrote what Sherlock Holmes author and Spiritualist, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, considered to be a very profound book of philosophy- The Principles of Nature, the first of numerous volumes which would be produced through the vehicle of his mediumship.

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Davis also has a reputation for being a bit of a womanizer. In 1848 he married his first wife, Catherine, who started as a patron, and then became his mistress, eventually leaving her husband for Davis. Their marriage was cut short when 5 years into it, Catherine passed away. In 1854, he married is second wife Mary, who also left her husband for Davis. Their marriage was much longer than his first, lasting 30 years, but ending in divorce, and Davis believed his true mate was a woman by the name of Delphine, whom he married in 1885.

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AJD contributed much to the movement of Spiritualism, including his numerous volumes of writing, lectures, his contributions to the Lyceum movement within Spiritualism, and even somewhat to the medical community as he eventually attained an M.D from the US Medical College. Davis spent his later years in Boston, MA, managing his bookstore until his death on Jan 13, 1910.

Sources:
Advanced Spirit Communication & Public Mediumship: Klingler
Book of Spirit Communication: Buckland
The Spirit Book: Buckland

Mediums of History: The Bangs Sisters by Travis Sanders

Very few people had as special of a gift as May and Lizzie Bangs.

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May, born 1853, and Elizabeth, born 1859, in Chicago, Illinois, were the daughters of Edward and Meroe Bangs. Known for their ability to produce a form of physical mediumship known as precipitation, even at a young age the girls were no stranger to psychic phenomena. As children, experiences frequently happened in the home, such as furniture moving of its own accord, and coal “raining” from the ceiling.

As they grew, so did their mediumship blossom and reveal its crowning achievement in Spirit Portrait Precipitation. Unlike automatic and other forms of psychic art, the portraits produced by the Bangs Sisters where not produced through the body of the medium, or by any human hands- but through their energy and disposition to physical mediumship phenomena. Images of the ‘deceased’ appeared almost as if the pigment condensed onto the canvas.

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In a typical sitting two paper canvases where placed face to face and propped up in a window, with the bottom of the canvases resting on a table. Curtains were drawn to the edges of the canvas and an opaque shade was drawn over the canvases so that anything illuminated in the room, was the light that shown from the outside, through the fabric of the canvases.

Either the sisters would sit on either side of the canvas with the sitter (recipient of the portrait) sat in front of the table- or both sisters would sit to one side of the canvas, while the sitter sat on the other side with a hand on the frame of the canvas. During these sittings shadows and changes in light could be seen on the canvas through the light of the window, and sometimes in as little as minutes, full portraits would would be achieved. When the image stopped developing, much like a polaroid picture, the canvases would be separated to reveal stunning, color-filled, life-like images of the sitters loved ones (and sometimes spirit guides).

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                                               Portrait depicting Emily Carson in 1894

As their gifts continued to develop, their portraits could be produced in full daylight, and often on stage, the pigments precipitating and stunning images appearing before the audiences eyes, as random attendees were selected to receive theses special forms of evidence of survival. Later, May and Lizzie also produced what many refer to as direct spirit writings that were examined and studied by the famed psychical researcher, Sir William Crookes. It is unclear however if the writings were precipitated directly onto paper, as the portraits were, or if it was directly written by solidly materialized spirit hands in seance conditions- I have yet to find out.

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               Portrait depicting Dr John Sharp, spirit guide of Etta Wriedt (Detroit, MI)

I have been fortunate enough to view many of the Bangs Sister’ portraits first hand at the Hett Art Gallery on the grounds of Camp Chesterfield, in Chesterfield Indiana, were the Bangs sisters arrived in the early 1900’s and whose house today still stands and is occupied by a current registered Chesterfield medium. The portraits are breathtaking and lifelike, and no brushstrokes can be found. In fact researches who have examined these portraits and have stated that the pigmentation used to produce these airbrush-eque images are not a known substance, and often compared to the likeness of the dust on butterfly wings. Art experts who have studied these portraits have said that it would take a master artist many hours over extended days to produce such a quality portrait that the sisters allegedly produced in 1-2 hours or as little as 5 mins.

While being shown around the Hett Museum by a local resident of camp, it was revealed to me that if you examine the portraits closely, you will find that for some unknown reason, none of the people have eyelashes, despite being highly detailed otherwise. Details of the portraits were even known to change at sitters request in mid production, and often time images changed or other images appeared after the portraits were taken home.

While few others have produced Spirit Portrait Precipitation through history, none are as revered or admired as the Bangs Sisters. If you ever have the opportunity to see these great works of art, and evidences of survival, please don’t pass the opportunity up!

Sources:

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The Bangs Sisters & their Precipitated Spirit Portraits, Irene Swann

The Spirit Book, Raymond Buckland

 

 

Mediums of History: Daniel Dunglas Home By Travis Sanders

By Travis Sanders

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Daniel Dunglas Home (pronounced Hume) was a delicate and often sickly young man, born in Scotland in 1833. His father, William, was a drunk, who claimed to be the illegitimate child of a noble, and his mother Elizabeth McNeal, was said to have the gift of Sight.

Allegedly because of his frail health, he was sent to live with his Aunt Mary McNeal at the age of 9, around 5 years after the time his own visions began. His Aunt’s family, along with Daniel, moved to Connecticut, USA, where Daniel began to be visited by Spirits, including the Spirit of his sister who had passed, and a friend who died around the age of 12.

Around his 17th year, Spirit Rappings, and supernaturally moving objects began to manifest in Daniel’s presence, very similarly to the phenomena that took place with the Fox sisters in Hydesville, a couple years prior. Distraught by what was perceived as unnatural or ungodly, Home, was turned away from his his family home, and began staying with many spiritualist, living somewhat of a nomadic lifestyle, eventually ending up in Europe, where he continued to conduct seances for people from all walks of life.

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One of the phenomenas that DDH is most famed for are his levitations. The first occurring in 1852, where he floated to the ceiling, and circle members where unable to hold him down. Home  was also know for trance, elongation, and handling hot coals without being burnt. Often times in his seances musical instruments were levitated and played by Spiritual forces.

In 1855 while spending an extended period of time in Florence, Italy, Home was stabbed three times, and nearly killed by a man who accused him of sorcery and believed his “powers” were evil. Not long after, he fled to Paris, and in February of 1856, Spiritualists delivered a message to him from the Spirit world, that he would be without this Spirit power for the period of a year, and true to word, Home was without his remarkable talents for exactly a year, after which he went back to performing Seances, this time for Napoleon the 3rd at royal court.

Napoleon the 3rd was not the only Royal enamored with Home’s mediumship. He also held seances for the King of Naples, the Queen of Holland, The German Emperor, and Russian Royalty.

Home’s most famous seance and feat of levitation occurred in London in 1869. During his seance (which were held in natural light) Home horizontally levitated out of an open window 70 feet up from ground level, into the adjacent window of the next building, the distance between windows being about 8 feet apart. Not only was this observed in clearly lit conditions, but the window itself was only opened about a foot, and yet a stiff and entranced Home glided between buildings and through windows with grace and speed.

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In 1871 Daniel married a Russian noble woman, much to the surprise of many, as Home was a handsome but effeminate man, and rumors of homosexually followed him throughout his career.

In 1871 Home wrote the book “Lights and Shadows of Spiritualism”, and in 1886, passed away at the age of 53 from tuberculosis, the same condition that his wife died from. He is buried in St Germain, Paris. His headstone reads: ” To Another, Discerning of Spirits.”

Resources:

The Spirit Book: Buckland
Spirit Guides & Angel Guardians: Webster
Time Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown: Spirit Summonings

 

Did I lose my Gift? By Travis Sanders

By Travis Sanders

Ive been working since 2007 as a psychic, and since 2012 as a medium, providing evidence and spirit communication from loved ones to sitters. I have excelled as a psychic, and I considered myself a pretty good medium, enough so to make a living at it.

However, recently, I had a sitting where I was unable to connect with Spirit communicators for my clients…no biggie, it happens on occasion. But then it happened in the next reading, and the next. The psychic reads were always fine, but it seemed that my connection to the other side was diminishing.

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Now, “fuzzy” periods happen in mediumship. All mediumship is experimental, and often subject to conditions of the medium, the sitters, the Spirit Communicators, and sometimes even the environment. Sometimes it may be a day or so when things don’t seem to be working, and then its back to business. But when this fuzzy period didnt seem to be ending…I began to panic.  How would I work? It’s my livelihood, how would I pay my bills? I couldn’t wait it out any longer, I couldn’t not see clients.

As a reader, I like to give my clients the best of me. So I found myself avoiding appointments that indicated they were interested in Spirit Communication. For the first time since my teens, I found myself wondering if I should give it all up, or drop “Medium” from my title and simply work as a Psychic. I felt defeated.

When I asked my own guides and helpers about this in meditation, the answer was that I had to work with it, to work through it. See, as mediums, getting No’s can really be our Kryptonite. One no or two is standard, we can misinterpret things, but when we get several no’s it really makes us loose confidence in ourself, and we find ourselves dropping out of the Power.

My message was that I had to learn to work with the No’s, to get back into accuracy. To learn to be grateful for being wrong, so I could work out why I was wrong, and focus on working with Spirit to be right in my message work. So I did. I gave several sitings that seemed rocky…but even if the client didnt understand what I perceived from Spirit I stuck with my guns and powered my way through the readings. I once heard from a Lily Dale medium tell a class of us that often times readings go wrong when we don’t set the stage of what to expect (or not expect) for the client.

This medium has a rule…the client can be honest and say, “I do not understand” “Im not sure” “Doesn’t ring any bells, but I’ll keep it in mind” but they can’t say the word NO. Not because his ego can’t handle it, but because even if a piece of information isn’t understood, if its not explored or dismissed as wrong, further information behind or linked to that initial impression could be missed. And sometimes the insight behind or linked to that information can help make sense of the initial impression to begin with.

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I had mentioned that often times success in mediumship also depends on the conditions of the medium. Prior to this “dead period” happening I experienced the end of a long term relationship, a relocation, and a re-homing of a dear pet. So many changes in such a short period of time really rocked my world. Not to mention coinciding with this I was obsessed with learning new spiritual information and technique, soaking up new areas of metaphysical interest like a sponge.

When we go through change or transition, as uncomfortable as it may be, we GROW. And sometimes the guides and helpers that worked with us at one level or at the rate of vibration, shift and change to reflect the new vibration or energy that we work from. It may be a new guiding presence, or guides that have always been there, but step back while others step forward who are better suited for the next leg of our journey. Its like this- the shoes you wear before puberty would not fit your feet after puberty, your feet change, and you need different shoes that are a better fit.

During the process, especially if you don’t recognize it when its happening, we may feel disconnected because new guides, and new energy means a new way of perceiving, and a new way of working. Its like an life long HP user suddenly switching to Mac. While the technology is still there and usable, you have no idea what the hell you’re doing or how systems operate, but in time you get familiar with it, and you’re back and better than you were before.

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Luckily I am feeling like myself again, and my mediumship seems to be on the up and up! But remember, if you’re a medium and you begin to feel like you’re loosing your touch:

*Your gift is a part of your soul, no one or nothing can take it from you.

*Be gentle with yourself

*Learn from your No’s

*Dont avoid working in fuzzy periods, engage the challenge, it’s how you learn your new way of working. 

*Know that it is the nature of the beast, you will go through phases were you are sharper, and phases where you are not as clear. It will wax and wane.

*The better self care, the easier you will acclimate. 

*Dont be afraid to “Do the work” in bettering yourself- work on your lessons, and strive to be the best person you can be. 

*Know that you’re human, you will make mistakes, but they are blessings and opportunities to learn. 

*And probably most importantly- Never take your Mediumship for granted! 

Where Psychic Information Comes from: By Travis Sanders

By Travis James Sanders

 

“How did you know that?” “Who told you that?” “You told me X was going to happen and then it did, right when you said!” As a reader of over a decade I have heard that question  and statement more times than I can count. If you were to ask me in my teen years, where my information came from, I would have just shrugged and said, “I don’t know” or “I just knew it, Im not sure how,”  but after conducting literally thousands of readings and undergoing formal training in the psychic arts- I have concluded that there are 4 main sources of psychic or extra sensory information.

  1. The Aura

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The aura is a bio-energy field that surrounds all living things. Most people think of the aura like a living mood ring, reflecting color and personality, and while this is true it is so much more. The Auric field is a repository of our history, thoughts, feelings, talents, moods, beliefs, and potential. When a psychic intuits information about a sitter on a psychic level, it is the result of these two fields (the readers aura, and the sitters aura) intermingling and communicating information, that the readers subconscious mind organizes and brings to the conscious mind in a way the the reader can interpret or understand.

2) The Akashic Field

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Akasha literally means sky, space or ether. It is the etheric substances that is present in, and a part of all things. Sometimes thought of as “the mind of God”, the Akashic Records are the collective storehouse of all history, personal and planetary, as well as future potential. The data of our past lives, present lives, soul contracts and agreements, and potential future choice/options all reside in this etheric hard drive. While many people think of the Akashic Records as a library-like space (which isn’t incorrect) it is a also a state of consciousness, and a field of nonphysical physical information present in, and connected to all of life.

3) Spirit

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In the context of a psychic reading, some of the information will come from the reader’s Spirit Guides and helpers. I often think of the process as my guides talking to my clients guides, and then reporting back to me what best needs to be communicated to the sitter…

In the context of Mediumship, the information of course is coming from the sitters loved ones in Spirit (with the help of the mediums guides also).

4) The Ego

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A good psychic reading will always come from the first three sources, but more often than people might think the “reading” is simply coming from the “psychics” own ideas, opinions and beliefs.

Usually in these instances, it is because instead of just “reporting” the reader decides to insert what they think a person should do, instead of just giving the who, what, when where and why. And more often than not, the advice they are giving, is the advice they themselves most desperately need to hear. Always be weary if a reader tells you what you “need” to do and how to do it. A reader is there to empower you, not control you.

Often times the reader isn’t conscious that they are doing it, which is why self awareness is sooooo important to cultivate. But another instant where you can instantly tell if a reader is genuinely connected to an authentic source, or coming from the ego, is where they use time in the reading to either talk about themselves or waste time over explaining or moving into teaching a mini-class instead of focusing on the client. You don’t need to give a 10 min discourse on the aura to explain to the client what you perceive in theirs…

Now all readers at sometime will have a personal trigger of an experience come to mind to help them interpret or draw a parallel or similarity for a client, but our clients don’t need a 5 min backstory on the life and times of the reader.

That being said, the ego isn’t evil. We need SOME aspect of ego to do the work, and be able to interpret the information, the ego has a job, but it often needs to be told what to do. Like an unruly child, in these instances it simply needs direction and discipline. I once heard someone say “We all have egos, it’s what we do with them that counts.”