In 1891 at a public séance with twenty sitters the medium Cecil Husk was caught leaning over a table pretending to be a spirit by covering his face with phosphor material. The magician Will Goldston also exposed the fraud mediumship of Husk. In a séance Goldston attended a pale face materialization appeared in the room. Goldston wrote "I saw at once that it was a gauze mask, and that the moustache attached to it was loose at one side through lack of gum. I pulled at the mask. It came away, revealing the face of Husk." The British materialization medium Annie Fairlamb Mellon was exposed as a fraud on October 12, 1894. During the séance a sitter seized the materialized spirit, and found it to be the Mellon on her knees with white muslin on her head and shoulders.
In 1910 at a séance in Grenoble, France the apport medium Charles Bailey produced two live birds in the séance room. Bailey was unaware that the dealer he had bought the birds from was present in the séance and he was exposed as a fraud. The psychical researcher Eric Dingwall observed the medium Bert Reese in New York and claimed to have discovered his billet reading tricks. The most detailed account at exposing his tricks (with diagrams) was by the magician Theodore Annemann.
Humans have been fascinated with contacting the dead since the beginning of human existence. Cave paintings by indigenous Australians date back 28,000 years, some depicting skulls, bones, spirits and the afterlife. Other cave paintings in Indonesia date back a further 10,000 years. Mediumship gained popularity during the nineteenth century, when ouija boards were used by the upper classes as a source of entertainment. Investigations during this period revealed widespread fraud—with some practitioners employing techniques used by stage magicians—and the practice began to lose credibility. Fraud is still rife in the medium/psychic industry, with cases of deception and trickery being discovered to this day.
Tasting or smelling “messages” from spirit may sound odd or useless. So here’s an example I’d like to share…During a reading, I had the pleasure of tasting AND smelling homemade, sweet molasses syrup – warm and delicious. This was how my client’s deceased aunt chose to identify herself when she came through. My client was absolutely delighted that her aunt chose this wonderful memory to share. The molasses was her aunt’s specialty and there were many happy memories connected with it. To me, it smelled and tasted so real my stomach growled.
There are many ways to access and express your spirituality, including religious rituals, art, poetry, music, and nature appreciation, as well as yoga, meditation, and numerous other areas of spiritual pursuit. Spiritual readings are an essential part of this dynamic range of options because they provide a bridge to the spiritual realm that you do not have to cross alone. In fact, spiritual psychics can be seen as guides who can help you approach and understand aspects of spirituality that you may not know how to access on your own.
"Trance mediumship" is often seen as a form of mental mediumship. Most trance mediums remain conscious during a communication period, wherein a spirit uses the medium's mind to communicate. The spirit or spirits using the medium's mind influences the mind with the thoughts being conveyed. The medium allows the ego to step aside for the message to be delivered. At the same time, one has awareness of the thoughts coming through and may even influence the message with one's own bias. Such a trance is not to be confused with sleepwalking, as the patterns are entirely different. Castillo (1995) states,
Your spiritual reading will also be influenced by the personality of the psychic, medium or clairvoyant who is giving you a reading. Some spiritual readers are able to translate the spiritual information they receive in a language that is easy to relate to and understand. There are however, some spiritual readers who choose to impart insight and information in a more dramatic manner, so do not be surprised when they start talking about angels, spirit and your Higher Self.
Skeptics have challenged the veracity of the claims of psychic readings, largely through disclosure of the methods. Psychologist Richard Wiseman's 2011 book Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't There noted the tricks of the trade, and Wiseman noted in a podcast appearance that the disclosure generated negative feedback from the psychic community.
^ LeCron, Leslie; Bordeaux, Jean (1970). Hypnotism Today. Wilshire Book Co. p. 278. ISBN 0-87980-081-X. When in a trance ... the medium seems to come under the control of another personality, purportedly the spirit of a departed soul, and a genuine medium undoubtedly believes the 'control' to be a spirit entity ... In the trance, the medium often enters a cataleptic state marked by extreme rigidity. The control then takes over, the voice may change completely ... and the supposed spirit answers the questions of the sitter, telling of things 'on the other plane' and gives messages from those who have 'passed over.'
When I am writing and channeling simultaneously, I am very much ‘in the zone’, but far from unconscious. I would describe it more as being in an altered state of consciousness, rather than a ‘trance’. To get into this state I simply put my receptive right brain in the drivers seat and my rational left brain in the passenger seat. There are times when I give my rational mind permission to ask a question (which is usually answered) but, for the most part it is a passive observer of the process. I find it is important not to judge any of the material I’m channeling. I read it with my left brain filter after the channeling has finished.
Theosophy is in opposition to the spiritualist interpretation of evolution. Theosophy teaches a metaphysical theory of evolution mixed with human devolution. Spiritualists do not accept the devolution of the theosophists. To theosophy humanity starts in a state of perfection (see Golden age) and falls into a process of progressive materialization (devolution), developing the mind and losing the spiritual consciousness. After the gathering of experience and growth through repeated reincarnations humanity will regain the original spiritual state, which is now one of self-conscious perfection. Theosophy and spiritualism were both very popular metaphysical schools of thought especially in the early 20th century and thus were always clashing in their different beliefs. Madame Blavatsky was critical of spiritualism; she distanced theosophy from spiritualism as far as she could and allied herself with eastern occultism.