The History of Spiritual Mediums
A simple question – what happens when we die?
For centuries, religion and science have weighed in. Each giving a unique perspective. For a moment let me speak personally – and from my own experience. What happens when we die?
Some spark – some essence of who we were while we lived, and loved, and moved among the living, continues on. The experiences I’ve had and the evidence I’ve captured, the exploration I’ve done, has given me no other option then to believe this.
Let me be clear – I’m standing today on the fringe of both the scientific and the religious worlds, not asking you to believe what I believe, simply asking you to explore with me the history of communicating with the spirit world, and the idea that it is possible. The idea that death is not the end.
At the core of this idea, stands the person charged with making contact, with facilitating the ritual of speaking to the dead. At the heart of the belief that it is possible to, stands the medium.
I want to give you a peek at some of the history behind mediumship, speak to you from the heart sharing my own experiences, and the knowledge that I’ve gained so you too can communicate with people on the other side should you choose.
The earliest record we have of mediumship comes to us from a cave in France known as the caverne des trois freres, in Ariege France. The cave holds a drawing done in 13,000 BC, known as the sorcerer. It is a depiction of a man dressed in the skins of a stag, wearing the mask and antlers of the animal. The man is thought to be playing the role of the God of Hunting – leading a ritual designed to bring success to the hunt that would follow. As part of his role the man dressed as the stag would certainly have spoken as the deity , directing the hunters in their own pantomimed actions. Whether realized or not – he was channeling the deity; actually allowing the hunting god to speak through him.
Ancient Greek oracles would go into trances and speak with a changed voice and personality – channeling spirits.
In the sixteenth century a group known as the Tremblers of Cevennes, would go into trance, speak in tongues, communicate with spirits and reportedly cure sickness.
Even the bible was touched by mediumship, the woman of endor is a depiction of a spiritualist medium. Producing the exact same phenomena that mediums have been regularly producing in seance rooms for the last one hundred and fifty years.
The modern spiritualist movement was born on a small American homestead belonging to the fox family.
They began to be plagued by inexplicable noises, raps, ghostly voices. It was Friday March 31st that would see these prior manifestations grow in intensity. The family had just retired to bed, and the noises started again. It was at this point that three young girls, the fox sisters, began communicating with an entity they referred to as ” mr split foot “.
They would communicate using a series of raps. Not unlike the raps and knocks we ask for when working in the field. Family infighting between the sisters later lead one of the sisters to recant any claims that had been made. Claiming that the noises produced in response to questions were simply created by the sisters themselves. Sadly the sisters died within 3 years of one another. The final word on the validity of their claims comes from a medical doctor – with no ties to the spiritual movement or mediumship. The doctor attended to Margetta – the last of the fox sisters to pass. The Dr stated that as Margetta lay dying in a bed, unable to move her hands or feet – the raps still came.
Knocks emitting from the floor, walls and ceiling in response to Margetta’s faint questions.
After the Fox sisters the rise of spiritualism continued. People were eager to explore the supernatural. Many were eager to get into contact with relatives who’d passed. And certainly – as is true today – many sought to take advantage of grief and vulnerability.
Scores of people claiming to be able to communicate with the dead were debunked as frauds throughout history. Painting the practice with an ever darker brush.
By Jeff Richards