FIRST SPIRITUAL TEMPLE

Founded in 1883

Making Sense of God, Christ, Spirit and Religion Through 4000 Years of Spiritualism

Trance Mediumship and Channeling

By Rev. Simeon Stefanidakis

Trance mediumship or channeling, like so many other forms of Spirit communication, is often misunderstood. In recent years, a number of mediums have called themselves “trance” channels when, in fact, they were not working in a genuine trance condition. This has been a source of great confusion for many people.

When spirit links with a medium, the Spirit communicator exerts various degrees of control, or overshadows the consciousness of the medium to a greater or lesser degree. This varies, depending upon the intent and conditions of communication, as well as the ability of the medium to lend himself or herself to be overshadowed or controlled.

Trance is considered the strongest degree of control. Yet, even here, there are various degrees of trance control: from light trance to very deep trance. Deep trance is used primarily in physical mediumship.

There are many factors which indicate genuine trance control, and parapsychologists have used various tests to determine whether, in fact, a medium is under trance control; and, if so, to what degree.

Genuine trance is a strong sharing of mental and physical energies and consciousness between the medium and the Spirit communicator. There is generally – although not always – manifested, within the medium, the following:

  • A slowing of the heart rate.
  • A slow, deep, and steady breathing pattern.
  • No rapid eye movement, or REM.
  • A lowering of body temperature.
  • A greatly reduced reaction to touch and pain.
  • Various degrees of unconsciousness
Furthermore, because in the trance condition the Spirit communicator is speaking directly through the consciousness of the medium – rather than the medium relating what is being mentally given to him or her – the voice pattern, inflection, and general manner of speech differ from that normally exhibited by the medium.

Finally, much research has been conducted around the language patterns of dialogue exhibited during trance communication. There is often a broken speech pattern, a reversal of sentence structure, and an overall change in grammar usage. This is evident in the Cayce readings, the Seth material, in Eileen Garrett’s trance communications, and in Rev. Stephen Fulton’s trance communications.

One final point needs to be mentioned: that of control. What does it mean to be controlled by Spirit? First of all, it does NOT mean that the medium is, in any way, possessed by a Spirit personality. Possession – or attachment (a new and, in my opinion, disturbing buzz word) – is extremely rare. Nor does it mean that the medium leaves his or her body and the spirit enters therein.

Mediumistic control means a sharing of mental and physical energies between the medium and Spirit communicator or operator. Control signifies a telepathic rapport between the two. How strongly en rapport they are determines the degree of control. Control can range from inspired thought, to conscious control, to light trance; finally, to deep trance. It depends upon the work at hand and the mental and physical energies available to the Spirit communicator or operator.

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