Your Spirit Team: By Travis Sanders

By Travis Sanders

Regardless of if you’re a psychic, medium, or muggle, we all have unseen helpers in the World of Spirit. Most commonly these helpers are referred to as Spirit Guides.

In the Modern American Spiritualist Tradition, we designate guides into two categories: Inner Band Guides, and Outer Band Guides.

Inner Band Guides are those of our Spirit team, with whom we have made agreements with prior to incarnation, that they may accompany us through this lifetime as our spiritual support system. We can think of these connections as karmic if you like.

Our Outer Band Guides are those who are drawn to us via our vibration and actions. They may be long term, semi permanent, or short lived connections, meant to assist us with certain aspects of our life. For example, if you have an interest in art, you may attract artists in the Spirit World to assist you in your developing artistic aspirations. You can think of them as Specialists.

In this blog, we are going to explore the Inner Band and the roles these specific Guides play in our lives.

1: The Joy Guide


“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

The first guide most people come into contact with is the Joy Guide. For those of us who engage in mediumship, the Joy Guide is usually what is often referred to as the “Gatekeeper” or the guide who acts as switchboard operator helping us connect to Spirit to pass along messages, and keeping order with those souls who wish to communicate through us.

While these souls may be wise beyond measure, they often present themselves as children or child like. Their purpose is to bring levity and humor to our Earthly experience which can be dense and heavy as we learn and evolve. Joy Guides love music, and often give us messages through song. They remind us to play, laugh, and lighten up!

2: The Doctor Teacher


Sometimes known as a Teacher Guide, Philosopher or Dr of Philosophy, the Doctor Teacher is concerned with guiding you in your life lessons, spiritual, and personal growth. They may be more serious, but are very loving. Like a parent, they do whats in our best interest, even if we don’t always like the messages we receive or lessons that we face. They’re role is not to interfere but guide us through our lessons so we may achieve the most growth as possible. Our teachers will often guide us to the right books, classes, teachers, and places that are perfect for what our soul intends to learn at any given moment. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

3: The Doctor Chemist


Your Chemist is like your otherworldly physician. They’re responsible for the chemistry and wellness of our body, both physical an energetic (though some Spiritualist says there is both a chemist and alchemist, the latter of which is more concerned with energetic bodies). You can ask your Chemist, more modernly called Spirit Doctors or Healer Guides for help or advice on health and wellness (though you should also regard a living qualified professional as well). If you’re a healer, your chemist may work through you in channeling healing energies to yourself and others.

For those who work in the realm of mediumship, the chemist assists in bodily changes necessary to attain and hold the vibrational rate appropriate for spirit contact.

4: The Protector


Most of us believe we have a guardian angel or protector of some sort. This sentiment is echoed in the concept of the Protector. This role of the Inner Band used to be called the “Indian Guide” but as times have become more understanding and politically correct, we simply say Protector, as it isn’t offensive as the previous label was.

The reason the former was used, is because for many (at least in the US), the protector is native (or indigenous to where a person was born/lives or sometimes their genetic lineage). I don’t however believe this is always the case. Native Americans had a connection to both Earth, and the Spirit World. They’re grounded, yet attuned- making them ideal guardians. Your protector is naturally there to assist with our safety. We can ask them for physical protection as well as spiritual protection.

5: The Master Teacher


Also called the Master Guide, the Master is our most highly evolved Sprit Teacher. Unlike the rest of our Inner Band, the Master Guide is not exclusive to us. They work with many people, often of the same soul or karmic path. Many people equate them with the Higher Spiritual Teachers such as avatars, saints or mystics of various religions or spiritual traditions, or what New Age has termed “Ascended Masters.” I don’t believe this to necessarily be true. Some might feel their Master Teacher is Jesus, Saint Germaine, but usually these evolved souls aren’t interested in earthly personas as they don’t want their identity to distract from their teachings. Another school of thought is that they might adapt a persona or archetype of a great teacher that soul may have followed, or have similarities to.

The Master Teachers is not concerned with the day-to-day. They’re don’t pop in just because. They make themselves known as needed. You can think of them as who your guides defer to when they need help helping you. They are only concerned with your path, the evolution of your soul, your life contract.

Additional Guides 

Familial and Ancestral Guides


While not considered a part of the inner band, our ancestors can often bring us guidance from the Spirit world. Depending on how long ago they passed away they may have elected to become an official guide in some capacity. Many people like to believe that their grandparents or loved ones, known in this life that have passed away, are their Spirit Guides or guardian angels. In a sense this is true, in that they are in Spirit and can bring you guidance, but they are technically not guides as we known them in the Spiritualist sense. The may bring us guidance but remember, the personality has probably not changed much. SO- your grandfather could potentially give you guidance on financial matters- BUT if your grandpa gambled all of his money away, is this the type of guidance you would want to listen to?

When we come into life, when we make agreements with souls to look after us, they go through preparation to adequately guide us. They know our life plan, our spiritual agreement, the intentions we have for this life, and how to best help us navigate through it. Becoming a guide is part of their growth too, and it is a responsibility not taken lightly.

Final Thoughts

We cannot put Spirit in a box. For some this system will resonate. For others it may not. This model of guides is not taught in Spiritualism in the UK. It is more prevalent in Spiritualist communities in the United States. Even if you do resonate or find this model of guides to be right for you, I don’t think someone stands at the pearly gates with a checklist making sure there is a guide for each office. We created these labels SPIRIT did NOT. These are general roles for areas in a persons life. This may mean a guide may fill several roles or positions for you and you may feel the guides who work most closely with you may change over time. Above all else, trust your own intuitions and knowings, and trust the most important guide you have- your own soul or Higher Self.



Athens, Ohio’s Forgotten Spiritualist History: by Travis Sanders

By Travis Sanders

The year is 1852, and Jonathan Koons, an atheist and farmer, living in the wilderness of the Appalachian foothills of Athens, Ohio, is attending a séance with local Spiritualists. Despite the fact that he was intent on defrauding the young maiden medium, what Jonathan witnessed that night would change his life forever.

Jonathan_and_Nahum_Koons_1857CROPPicture Credit: Mysterious Planchette

What exactly Koons saw I do not know- but he did convert to Spiritualism- and he did receive a message- that he too was a medium of extraordinary talent, and this his wife Abigail, as well as the oldest of his 9 children, Nahum Ward Koons, had a talent that Spirit would not ignore.

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Jonathan and his family lived in an area of Athens county known as Mt Nebo, which was considered by the Shawnee native so sacred that they would not hunt or camp there. Today the exact location of the Koons former residence is debated but people say its either a 3-way intersection on Peach Ridge or near the intersection of Mill Creek and Sand Ridge, Athens County. Could the spiritual energy the Shawnee believed in have contributed to the rapid growth of the Koons’ family’s rapid development?


Very quickly John and Nahum were producing phenomena, falling into trance states, and producing automatic writings and drawing which soon lead to control voices coming through Nahum’s séance trumpet. The main control identified himself as “King,” John King or Henry Morgan the renowned Welsh pirate of the 1600’s. Now for those of you who are familiar with physical mediumship’s past you may be familiar with Florence Cook, the young medium who quite famously materialized her control, or spirit guide, Katie King- daughter of the famed John King. References to both King and Katie have also been found in other accounts of physical mediumship- it seems they loved to communicate from the other side during the pioneering of potential mediumship feats of the time.


Now some accounts claim that King was a catchall name for several spirit communicators of which John King was a part of- other accounts also speak of Adam- a collective of Pre-Adamite (older than 6,000 years old/older than the creationist story) souls, under the direction of a high Angel named Oress. It was under this celestial influence that Nahum allegedly channeled a chart of the “spheres” of the angelic realm and the afterlife.

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The Koons’ reputation quickly grew and people from far and wide came to witness the phenomena that were happening in the Koons’ séances. So much so that under the direction of the Spirit voices Jonathan was guided to be a “spirit room” which was really a 16×12 cabin separate from his living quarters specifically where séances were to be held. In this room a machine was placed. This machine was diagramed by spirit- and built by Koons’ with the intention of assisting séance. It was able to produce sound as well as had elements of copper and zinc, which were said to aid the spirit energies.

1854 November 4 Cleveland Plain Dealer Koons Spiritual Machine

Now getting to the Koons’ residence was no easy task. One had to travel to Columbus, Ohio, take stagecoach to Athens- and then hike a 2-mile hike to the Koons’ on Mt Nebo. This however, did not detract people from all over the country from making this journey.

In the séance room, a large table was placed with pencils and paper, as well as many musical instruments and the element phosphorus. As the lights were extinguished, Jonathan Koons’ would begin to play violin, and as he did, instruments all around the room started to play in synch with him. Unearthly, beautiful choirs were said to join the instrumental. Those who heard them said people could not have made them. It was too beautiful, too perfect. As the music died down, and instruments landed from their levitation, King would begin to speak via trumpet and bring through philosophy on life both spiritual and physical. The Spirit people would also use the phosphorus to materialize illuminated hands that could touch, fly around the room, and write- as requested by sitters.


Approximately 3 miles from Koons’ residence, a man by the name of Tippie also began to hold séances with similar phenomena. Often in sources researched Koons and Tippie are mentioned together but little is said of John Tippie. Some sources make it seem as if he and Koons were friends, other sources made it seem as if there was an air of competition between them.

For many these séances were wonderful- but for the fundamentalist settlers of the area, this was the work of Satan. Koons family faced a lot of backlash including physical assults on the Koons children, and eventually the arson of the séance cabin. Both Koons and Tippie, tired of such condemnation, left Ohio. Tippie went to Colorado and Koons senttled in Illinois. After moving the spirit control, King, seemed to be absent, and eventually Koons mediumship faded, as did his star. Not much is known about the Koons post-séance life.

Modern American Spiritualism by Emma Hardinge Britten

8 Steps to Raise Your Vibration: by Travis Sanders


Vibration. We hear that word a lot in the spiritual and metaphysical community. But what does it mean?

Everything is energy. We know this. Science agrees with this. The rate at which energy moves, the oscillation of particles, constitutes the quality or rate of vibration. Everything has a vibrational quality.

In Power Vs Force Dr Richard Dawkins, is able to measure and map the rate of vibration of human emotion. Emotions such as acceptance are high on the measurable scale, as emotions like fear are on the low end of the spectrum.

Essentially the higher the vibrational quality of something, be it an emotion, a though, or physical matter, the better and healthier it us for us. The lower the vibration, the more detrimental it may be.

Our personal vibration consists of the quality and health of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies (i.e. chakras, aura). When our vibration is high and healthy, we are happy, balanced, and Spiritually connected. When our rate of vibration is low, or weak, we are more likely to be down, unhealthy, or spiritually disconnected from our own Source (guidance, intuition, purpose).

Below are some suggested ways to live an maintain a high vibrational life!

1- Nature


When we spend time in nature we receive the positive benefits of fresh air and sunshine (a nice Seratonin boost).  Being connected to the earth can help us ground erroneous energies, leaving us feel refreshed and relaxed. The more we spend time in nature our natural cycles and rhythms reset themselves to natural settings.

2- Regular Exercise


Physical movement is not only healthy for the systems of our body, but it helps us be seated in the present and properly grounded in our body. As we move the physical body, energy and life force moves through us and renews us. When there is a lack of movement there is stagnation, and when stagnation occurs, imbalance and potential illness may set in. Walking, jogging, and yoga are wonderful exercises for keeping the energies of health flowing in the physical and subtle bodies.

3- Prayer

Prayer is a powerful tool because it lifts our awareness to the Divine. You may wish to redefine prayer. It doesn’t have to be memorized speeches, but sincere communication from the heart with whatever you consider to be a higher power (God, the Universe, Spirit, guides and angels). Prayer may be out-loud or silent, in words, or thoughts, pictures or even the focusing of feelings. Think of prayer as communion with Divinity.


4- Meditation

Meditation has many benefits including helping to raise our vibration and expand our conscious awareness. Additional benefits to meditation are relaxation, stress relief, and improved bodily functions. Through being silent we commune with our own soul. We hear. We come to new conclusions and inspirations that lead to a healthier version of ourselves. Remember, meditation isn’t as much about clearing thought as it is about becoming conscious of thought, recognizing it, and then letting go as we focus on breath and stillness. This helps us to discern true intuition and guidance from fear, insecurities and ego.

5- Healthy Eating


This is one of those areas where I will say do as I say and not as I do. I struggle with this one as I enjoy refined sugar, processed and convenient food. Fresh foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables have a higher vibration and life force to them. Processed, frozen and fast foods and slow, low vibrations. Everything we take into us and surround ourselves with has influence on our personal vibration. So be mindful what you put in your body.

6- Music


Music is such a powerful influence. Music that is uplifting, fun, and that makes you want to move or sing can lift your spirits and your rate of vibration. Keep this in mind the next time you are feeling stuck. Its hard to be down or feel “muddy” when you’re signing and dancing to your favorite song, when you feel it down in your Spirit.

7- Healthy Relationships


If you’re surrounded with needy, victim-minded, pessimistic people its going to effect your vibes! We all have friendships and social ties to people we feel loyalty to. We all go through challenges. But if your friend or co-worker is chronically negative, drama filled, or unwilling to even attempt to help themselves, then what you have is a toxic relationship. These relationships will drag down your vibration faster than a sinking stone. Take inventory of your life and do a “vibe clean up.” Are there one-sided or unhealthy relationships? If so, clean them up either by setting new, healthier and firmer boundaries or by cutting unhealthy ties all together. You will feel so much better for it. This is not being unkind, this is simply care and compassion for self.

8- Kick the Habit

Part of your vibe clean-up may include lifestyle alterations such as our personal vices. We all indulge and enjoy from time to time as we should. But once something becomes a habit or addiction it has power over us and no longer is supportive to a healthy vibration. Examples of low vibrational habits may include smoking, drinking, excessive television or social media addictions (can you go a whole day without Facebook)? Inherently none of these things on their own are “bad.” Remember, healthy moderation is key!

There are many ways to raise your vibration! These are just a few- you don’t have to implement a bunch of changes at once. Start with just one and see how it feels, and most importably- follow the voice of your own intuition as to whats best for you!


Into the Mystic

Into the Mystic
By Travis James Sanders


After nearly 10 years of working as a clairvoyant I can honestly say I’ve had my share of “mystical” experiences. It boggles my mind when I hear people talk as if they’ve never witnessed a miracle, or amazing synchronicity, or even are unable to tap into the voice of their intuition to guide them through life. To a person who is only aware of their five physical senses, and sometimes not even fully aware of those, our world can seem mundane, flat, and one- dimensional. The mystical experience is something that happens to someone else, mystics, seers, saints and prophets, but not the average Joe. I can assure you, however, we are all able to tap into and experience the Divine, and even the “mystical’’ in our everyday experiences.

The first step, we must redefine our definition of “mystical.” That which we see as mystical is not separate from that which we are. If we are truly One with The All That Is, and I assure you, we are, then the mystical and what is seemingly mundane, go hand in hand, are two sides to the same coin. You can experience them both separately, but even more so, they can be a part of your experience simultaneously if you choose to allow it.

Secondly, we must be aware! So much of the time the mystical and magical are taking place regardless, but because it’s not on our radar, we are not in vibrational or energetic alignment to it, it walks right under our nose unnoticed. It exists all around us, but on a different frequency or station. Just this morning on my drive to work I was thinking about my career, my frustrations, where I felt stuck, and I had a moment, a thought, a sense of “If I let it be what it is, instead of beating myself up for what I think it should look like, I would be much more empowered and things would flow more easily.” At that exact moment, soaring in the sky above me was a beautiful and majestic bald eagle. The Eagle represents Spirit, The Higher Self, mediumship, and divine assistance. If I wasn’t aware of my thoughts, or even just my basic surroundings, I would have never noticed to the eagle, or the correlation of its appearance to my stream of thought- which, because of my intention, was inspired by Spirit to confirm or validate the guidance I needed.


There are many ways we can cultivate awareness but the most easy and powerful way is through mindfulness and meditation. Now when I say meditation, I mean it in whatever way works for you. You don’t need to “Om” or twist into a pretzel to gain your higher awareness of the mystical or divine. The simplest form of meditation is just to breath and be present. It’s perfectly ok to have thoughts in your mind. Breathe, and release them. If the thoughts come back again just continue to acknowledge them and try to move through them with your breath. To me, meditation is not all about clearing your mind, which is nearly impossible a feat to accomplish, but becoming so aware of your own voice that when the divine or mystical voice nudges you to notice or witness a thought, synchronicity, event, or miracle, that you notice it as a separate stream of thought than your own analytical, internal dialogue.

I believe to notice the mystical we must also take moments from our day to acknowledge the magical and mystical that we are already aware of. For example think of that mighty tree in your front yard. That leafy giant, so strong, and standing tall, once came from a seed smaller than your fingernail. That giant oak was a tiny packet of potential, and before that, a tiny packet of potential energy. Think about how every seed and every tree that has been reproduced from that oak tree all come from that tiny spark of potential energy inside of a seed, popping in and out of existence. Now…Is that not a miracle? Is that not amazing and mystical when you stop to think about it? The wood that would build many homes, buildings and structures for countless future generations all stemmed at one time from a seed you could hold in the palm of your hand.


Lastly, we can begin to experience the mystical, magical and miraculous by inviting it into your life. How do we do this? It doesn’t have to be formal, we can simply ask. Ask the universe, your Higher Self, your spirit guides and divine teachers. Or, engage prayer. Prayer, regardless the nature of our prayer, lifts our vibration, and in turn, our awareness, helping connect us more deeply with the divine. When we pray we communicate with the Divine, we touch that Divine spark. When we touch the Divine, it touches us back.

Spiritualism in North Central Ohio

By Travis Sanders

Imagine being born a medium in a small catholic farming town in North Central Ohio on Lake Eerie only to find out many years later as an adult, and Spiritualist, that your area used to be a hotbed of Spiritualist activity? I just did, and my inner history nerd is so excited!

As a regular visitor and presenter at such places like Camp Chesterfield, and Lily Dale Assembly (I’m presenting here for the first time this summer), I am always fascinated by the history of these places. A few years ago I learned of a small but barely surviving Spiritualist camp in Ashley, Ohio as well as a small Spiritualist center in Sherwood, Ohio known as Crystal Fountain.

While the Internet has not shown much in the way of Ashley and Crystal Fountain (Camp Ashley seems to be active partially during the year, but their website is under construction, and to my understanding Crystal fountain Spiritualism is now de-funked but Crystal Fountain is still a public park) it did bring up some interesting search results from Google- mainly because one of the towns mentioned in an article where concerning Clyde Ohio, a mere minutes from my hometown of Bellevue, Ohio.

According to the January 1868 edition of the Banner of Light (Boston), Clyde, Ohio held “First Convention of the Ohio State Association of Spiritualists, November 8th, 9th and 10, 1867.”

Amongst mention of AB French as a participant and speaker is listed R. E. Betts, Thomas Davis, Mrs. S. Vandercook, Mrs. E. Whipple of Clyde Ohio. While I could find no information on Betts, Davis, or Vandercook, there is limited mentions of Mrs Whipple, some mentions referring to her as Prof. Whipple, and shows records of lectures given on natural law and mediumship. However much was found concerning Mr. AB French. (Almon Bruce French).


Coming to Clyde in 1859, he was a seemingly modest man, who started into nursery business, and then moved into law and politics.

While researching mentions of him in the history of Sandusky County, it is told that while studying at Western Reserve Seminary at the age of sixteen, he became interested in Spirit Rapping like those of the Fox Sisters. During the hay-day of Spiritualism AB, his mother, and other unmentioned family members developed both physical and mental power for mediumship, which he became known for amongst Spiritualist circles.
Once, French hosted a cabinet séance in his Clyde, Ohio home with medium Elsie Crindle. Someone however was watching through a window and thought that the medium was using masks and other trickery instead of producing genuine physical phenomena. The masks and other items used to fake the manifestations were found. As a result Crindle and her husband were arrested and taken to mayor Bush, where they were fined $5.00.

French is buried in the notable McPherson cemetery in Clyde, Ohio.

Several minutes from Clyde Ohio, is Berlin Heights next to Milan, Ohio, birthplace of Thomas Edison (who may not have been a Spiritualist but definitely researched the subject and even visited Lily Dale in his lifetime. Also it is said that members of his family were practicing Spiritualists).

I lived in Berlin Heights for several years and one of the things I loved about it was how quiet it was. Berlin Heights if known by people at all, is known for its Basket Festival, and possibly the lesser-known history of its controversial Free Love Community. However Berlin Heights was also home to a major contributor to the Spiritualist movement, Hudson Tuttle and his wife Emma.


Born in 1836, in Berlin Heights, Hudson grew up to be a fruit and horse farmer, the land on which his family lived is now known as Walnut Grove Farm in Berlin Heights, Ohio. However Hudson was so much more than a humble farmer. Tuttle found that while attending séances in his youth, he would fall into trance like states, and could produce automatic writing as well as Spirit raps. Through both spirit inspiration and information channeled via writing, both Hudson and his wife Emma (Rood) Tuttle, produced numerous books, lectures and teachings on mediumship, natural law, spirituality, and Spiritualism, even going so far to establish his own publishing company.

Along with his writings, Tuttle is also the inventor of the psychograph, a planchette-like object that has a dial on it, used to spell out messages, similar to a talking board.

Tuttle is buried in the West End Cemetery in Berlin Heights.


Jumpstarting Your Intuition

Intuition. We all have it. Its innate. And yet, most people, especially in todays society ignore that voice. But this is changing. Women have always been more keen to honor the still small voice within, as they are right brained by nature, but more and more each day I see people waking up and realizing the answers are not externally located but internally waiting for us to hear them. So, what are some steps we can take to make it a point to consciously honor the inner voice, intuition?

I see very often that when someone begins to honor and listen to their sixth sense, they often take the guidance or messages they feel to the person least likely to validate them, in hopes that if we can gained said persons approval, the messages must be true, and therefore we would be more likely to trust them. This is setting yourself up for failure. Part of of trust in intuition comes from faith, sometimes trusting that feeling even if there isn’t a reason for it backed by logic. You feel it so deeply, you have to know that its true. The more you do this and the more you see how your intuitions are serving you, helping you, and correct- the easier trust will flow!

Write it down! I always advise anyone hoping to more fully embrace their sixth sense to write down all your perceptions and “hits” you feel or sense about things- but dont look at them constantly. Write them down and forget about them…too often we become attached to the outcome, but the purpose of listening is to be in the moment…When you look back at your “psychic journal” you will be surprised at just how many of your hits were spot on.

Ask yourself why you want to develop your intuition? Is it because you want to entertain your friends with parlor tricks, mind reading or surprising details of their personal life? Is it because you want to feel empowered? Or- is it because you want to live in greater harmony with your own spirit, to help yourself and others? When you develop and hone your intuitive skills from the later, you are more likely to experience success in your endeavors, this is because the nature of intuition has its center in Love Which we eternally a part of.

The last part which may be tricky, is learning to intend that intuition and guidance show up without developing expectations of what that might look like. Your own intuition is often subtle and gently nudging. This is why we call it the still small voice within. You have to get quiet to hear it. Spend time alone in reflection and listen to not only the thoughts and feelings that come to you, but listen to the subtle feelings in your physical body as well. Your entire self is an instrument mean to be fine tuned and played! Be Light and Have fun with it!