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  • Writer's pictureAnthon St. Maarten

Mediumship Is Not A Psychic Sideshow

The modern psychic medium faces the challenge of remaining true to a spiritual calling, despite the sometimes unrealistic client expectations engendered by popular culture. Mediumship is in truth not a dog and pony show aimed at applause or viewer ratings. It is a spiritual endeavor that seeks to validate, console, heal and uplift. It's a blessing from beyond... like a phone call from God.

Mediumship presented as entertainment is a double-edged sword. The media hype generated by psychic television shows, and live stage performances featuring celebrity mediums, has no doubt contributed much to an increased public awareness of mediumship. It has liberated spiritualism from the stereotype of the 19th century séance by bringing the work of the psychic medium into the public domain and mainstream culture. But does mediumship as an entertainment genre do spiritualism and the daily work of psychics any real justice? I am certainly not a purist. Neither am I a traditionalist when it comes to spiritual matters. I tend to shy away from any form of fundamentalism or fanaticism. But having the work of talented mediums dished up as trivial amusement has certainly proven to be a mixed blessing in my own practice as psychic medium.

The modern psychic medium faces the challenge of remaining true to a spiritual calling, despite the sometimes unrealistic client expectations engendered by popular culture and the mass media. Mediumship is after all not a psychic sideshow, but a spiritual blessing. It is a gift to humanity. There is a reason why the outdoor services at the Lily Dale Assembly, for example, are traditionally described as “religious services”.

So many people in this world seem to think being a medium is glamorous and something with an almost ‘celebrity’ status. That’s probably because we see it portrayed on our television screens in that way ~ Lorraine Holloway-White

Mediumship is not aimed at applause or viewer ratings – it seeks to validate, console, heal and uplift. Mediumship is a phone call from God. “Ghost whispering”, as it is portrayed on your television screen, is therefore not an accurate reflection of what you should expect from a proper mediumship reading. If you are planning to consult with a psychic medium or spiritualist, you may find it useful to adjust your expectations and cultivate a flexible attitude, to ensure you get the most from your session.

Remember that mediumship is always an experiment, and never an exact science. Booking a session with a medium does not guarantee you will receive any messages from spirit. Mediumship is not a dial-up service, nor is it a fast food order. Spirit does not communicate on-demand and the psychic medium is not an automated teller machine (ATM).

In my practice it seldom happens that nothing comes through during a session, but from time to time I do experience a complete, resounding silence… like a ‘dead phone line’ from the other side. In these rare cases I simply refund the client. Nothing more to be done. Like some experiments, mediumship sessions sometimes fail, and it is usually not the fault of the client, nor the medium for that matter. I have, however, noticed that connection is sometimes blocked by spirit when a client expects the session to be entertaining, or dished up like the frivolous 'comediumship' they have seen on television. Humor can indeed be very healing during a mediumship reading, and some fun and laughter is often welcome when the mood becomes too solemn. But, when humor and entertainment happen to be the main aim of a session, it is unlikely that the reading will be much of a success. ​Beware also those “mediums” who claim they can call on specific spirits to come forth on your behalf. True Lightworkers will never command the dead. That is not spiritualism or mediumship, it is necromancy. And necromancy is a dark magical art using spirit invocation as a form of divination. Summoning spirits is treacherous territory and certainly not something to be trifled with for entertainment purposes.

Do mediums who go into a trance make moaning sounds and gyrate their bodies in circles, before speaking in loud exaggerated voices? Yes, they do - when they’re hamming it up! ~ Gordon Smith

It is impossible to control or predict who will come through during a mediumship reading. You may expect your deceased grandmother, but instead you might receive messages from a former colleague, or a distant cousin. Spirit shall communicate as it pleases. Patience in this regard sometimes does pay off, because once the initial communicators have been acknowledged and dealt with, the loved ones who you were hoping to hear from might speak up next. Different spiritual energies or personalities will also communicate in different ways, utilizing the medium’s different pathways of psychic ability in their own, unique way.

For example, in some sessions I often rely more on clairyoyance and clairaudience, while in others I will receive more information through clairsentient and claircognisant channels. How the information presents itself is beyond my control, and sometimes also subject to my flawed, human interpretation. In my experience spirit often comes through only once to validate that there is life after death, and to bring messages of hope, consolation and forgiveness. I have had many cases where clients failed in their attempts to get additional messages from the same loved one, by scheduling unnecessary follow-up sessions. If you have had a successful, satisfying mediumship session concerning a specific loved one, I recommend you be content and grateful, and let your loved one rest in peace. ​Clients who pursue what I call “psychic binge sessions” are either struggling to accept their bereavement, or they are using repeated readings to postpone the necessary process of grief. Much worse, for some individuals it is a hobby or mere entertainment. Mediums who encourage people to get repetitive follow-up readings about the same family member are simply not being ethical. Mediumship is not meant to be a weekly tea party.

​​I have, however, experienced some interesting cases where spirit came through repeatedly, sometimes in very remarkable ways. My most memorable experience was with a deceased airline pilot who came through on three occasions over a period of about two months. On each occasion the session was with a different family member: first his mother, then his wife, and finally his daughter. This in itself was unusual, but what made it even more extraordinary was that none of the three women knew that the other would be consulting with me. Each of them booked their own session without knowing that the other had done the same.

They all found me of their own accord, a few weeks apart, without ever discussing it with each other. In fact, two of them had not spoken a single word to each other in the five years since this man’s passing! In time it became clear why the former pilot was so determined to guide his relatives to me for mediumship consultations. ​​His family had become torn apart after his passing. He was the key person who always kept his large family together and his passing left a considerable void. He was no longer around to guide and lead his family, who was now falling to pieces due to strife and petty feuds. The separate consultations I had with his three relatives ultimately served to heal many wounds and to reunite the family.

Part of the reason that the prominent Spiritualist leader Emma Hardinge Britten left her work as a public ‘test medium’ for a career in lecturing for the cause, seems to be that her ’spirit friends’ told her not to turn mediumship into a show from the platform ~ Charles & Penelope Emmons

I have also found over the years that some clients are so determined to connect with a specific person that they experience what is known as 'psychic amnesia.' In these cases the sitter does not recognize or understand any of the information I relay to them, because it is not coming from the person they are hoping to hear from, or in the form they expected.

Only much later in the session, or sometimes days, weeks or months later, do they suddenly connect the dots and comprehend what the message was all about. One client contacted me two years after a reading to let me know she finally figured out who I was talking about! It is also not wise to strike some sort of ‘bargain’ with spirit before your reading. Don’t make deals about what you expect the message to be. Some people try to make a mental agreement with their loved one to present specific information, or relay certain facts as proof of the authenticity of the reading. This strategy is seldom effective, and often the client misses out on valuable messages, because they were holding out to hear about that golden pendant, or the funny bumper sticker, or that photo on the dresser. Spirit communication does not always convey what we demand to hear. It is best to keep an open mind and not have rigid expectations, because it simply sets you up for disappointment. It is best to keep an open mind and have no set expectations, but never attempt to force any of the information to 'fit.' A successful mediumship reading does not always run as smoothly as depicted on television. Anyone who has been to a recording of a psychic show will tell you that the show they later saw on television did not accurately reflect the actual chronological events of the original live performance.

Nineteenth-century British medium Bessie Williams said, ‘When these mediumistic gifts are used, it should be for some higher purpose than an hour’s entertainment ~ Charles & Penelope Emmons

Broadcasts featuring celebrity mediums are usually edited to create drama and add entertainment value. Do not expect your reading with a psychic medium to necessarily offer a similar series of quick-fire and awe-inspiring 'hits,' or amazing 'aha moments.' If psychic parlor tricks are what you’re after, you might find the typical, garden-variety medium rather dull and unimaginative. Other precautions you can take when consulting with a psychic medium is to ensure that you are relaxed, well-rested and sober. Participating in a mediumship session when you are stressed, sleep deprived, intoxicated, or stoned, is never a good idea. It will affect the clarity of the reading and will most likely restrict the quality of the psychic connection.

Most of all, approaching a mediumship session with love, trust and respect will ensure the best clarity and accuracy during the reading. I remember one incident where a client booked a second reading with me, less than a month after her first session. Instead of booking under her own name, she chose for some bizarre reason to schedule the second session under a false name by using a pseudonym. The moment we connected on the phone I instantly knew that we had spoken before. I asked her if this was true, but she vehemently denied it. I was once again shown that we had spoken before, yet still she denied it. I asked her for the third time, and then she suddenly admitted that “we may have spoken before”. She finally admitted that we had indeed spoken before. When I asked her why she was pretending to be someone else, she confessed that she was so astonished by the accuracy of the first reading, during which I communicated with her deceased husband, that she decided to “test” me the second time… to see if I was the real deal? Apparently none of the powerful evidence this client had received from her husband during the first session fully satisfied her skeptical disposition, but she must have been sufficiently impressed to make a second appointment. So much for staring a gift horse in the mouth... Oddly, the duplicitous client was very shocked when I informed her I was unable to continue with the second session. She apologized, and she tried to encourage me to go on with the reading, but at this point everything inside me had simply shut down. In these situations it almost feels as if spirit slams the door in my face, and the phone line to the other side is then nothing more than a distant dial tone. She did not understand that I could not find it in myself to act as a medium for someone who treats me with such contempt and disrespect. Psychic mediums tend to be highly sensitive souls; we have to be in order to do this work. I cannot speak for other psychics and mediums, but personally I find it quite impossible to perform a 'dog and pony show' for those who offend me, and those who choose not to believe. © 2016 Anthon St. Maarten



Anthon St. Maarten is a psychic medium and destiny coach with a global clientele of thought leaders, business executives, celebrities, politicians, academics, and luminaries in the arts and sciences in more than thirty countries spanning five continents.

He is also a metaphysics teacher, psychic development coach, podcaster, and spiritual blogger. Anthon is a hereditary psychic medium in professional practice since 2004 and a liberal arts post-graduate with a major in psychology.

psychic medium and destiny coach Anthon St. Maarten offers a range of professional psychic reading options, including psychic and mediumship readings, love and relationship guidance, soulmate readings, business and finance readings and annual forecasts and psychic predictions.


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