In spiritualism, the term “medium” refers to a person with an ability to produce phenomena of a mental or physical nature by “channeling” or communicating with a spiritual entity.
Mediumship involves cooperative communication between a human and one or more discarnate, spirit personalities.
There are different forms of mediumship, but mental mediumship is most commonly demonstrated. Other forms of mediumship are trance mediumship and physical (very rare) mediumship, both of which take many years to develop and are not as commonly witnessed as mental mediumship.
Mental mediumship is communication from a spirit that takes place within the medium’s consciousness, without the use of any of the five physical senses. Because mental mediumship often occurs through telepathy, it is sometimes called telepathic mediumship. The medium relates what he/she sees, hears, or feels to the recipient, or sitter. The medium may use various states of trance to obtain this information. Mental mediumship comes in three main forms: clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience.
Clairvoyance (“clear seeing”) is the ability to see anything which is not physically present, such as objects, animals, or people. This sight usually occurs in the “mind’s eye,” and some mediums say that this is their normal vision state. Others say that they must train their minds with such practices as meditation in order to achieve this ability, and that assistance from spiritual helpers is often necessary. While some clairvoyant mediums say they can see a spirit as though the spirit had a physical body and were physically present, others say that spirits appears as a movie, television program, or photograph in their mind.
The term “clairvoyance,” when used in a mediumistic sense, is often used to refer to seeing spirits and visions instilled by spirits or, more colloquially, to refer to fortune telling. This definition is different from the official definition used by parapsychologists, who define clairvoyance as “paranormal acquisition of information concerning an object or contemporary physical event” that derives directly from an external physical source…, and not from the mind of another person.”
Clairaudience (“clear hearing”) is the ability to hear spirit voices that are not audible to other people. In some cases, mediums say they hear the spirits’ voices as though a person were sitting next to them. Others claim they hear spirit voices within their head/mind as more of a thought or a verbalization of a thought. In both cases, the voices are inaudible to others, even if they are seated in close proximity to the medium. The medium may also hear music or singing, in addition to spoken thought.
Clairsentience (“clear feeling”) is said to be the most commonly experienced form of mental mediumship. Clairsentience is the ability to sense physical attributes of a spirit presence. The medium may feel the presence of a spirit through a touch, a smell, temperature change, or a slight breeze. Some mediums say that they will feel the ailments the spirit had while alive.