The “gifts of the Spirit” is the name given specifically within Christianity as endowments which may be given by the Holy Spirit. These were supernatural ‘gifts’ which individual Christians need (or needed in the days of the Apostles) to fulfil the mission of the church. They are described in full in the New Testament and are related to both "natural" abilities and seemingly more "miraculous" ones, empowered by the Holy Spirit, in effect they are defined as being ‘gifts’ from God. Gifts such as clairvoyance, prophesy, healing, speaking in tongues, discerning of the Spirits and many others besides have parallels to our current experience of Spiritualism. Whilst there are many types of spiritual gifts listed within the New Testament, I believe the greatest definition of them are from Peter 4:1 who states that “whoever speaks” and “whoever renders service” in God’s name is demonstrating a ‘spiritual gift’.
In modern day, our spiritual gifts are not exclusive to believers of a faith or religion. There are many stories from around the world of people having supernatural experiences without having even heard the name of Jesus and so therefore we must explore and examine why. Noticeably, spirituality and religion are increasingly seen as being opposite and yet the ‘gifts’ continue to manifest themselves. There are stories of housewives miraculously healing people without having had any religious experience, businessmen refusing to get on a plane because of a ‘hunch’ and then the plane crashing shortly after take-off, and many bereaved people around the world of all faiths and cultures who regularly witness and have conversations with their deceased loved ones. So why does this happen outside of the arena of religion and what can it tell us about our own spiritual selves and unfoldment? It also leads us to ask the question, IS mediumship and healing truly a gift as some practitioners lead us to believe? Is it really a special faculty bestowed only on those deemed worthy by the Divine and those who are so advanced in their spiritual evolution? Or is it that because we are ALL of the Divine, and therefore we already come ‘pre-installed’ with the ability to connect to our spiritual home? Or could there be something much more earthly to consider in how, and why this awareness occurs?
Trauma is an emotional and psychological response to a highly distressing experience where safety is threatened or compromised. This trauma doesn’t have to be illness, near death, or abuse, it can sometimes be something seemingly minor that occurs in our younger years. Consider that a child could experience trauma when their parent doesn’t respond to their needs at all, or quickly enough, or if they grow up in an environment which doesn’t psychologically, or emotionally feel safe to them. If a child experiences this frequently, they might feel, consciously or otherwise that their safety is compromised in some way. As a result of this inconsistent parenting, and exposure to threat or harm, the child learns to watch and notice everything in their environment and become hyper-vigilant as a way of staying ‘safe’. They will look for potential threats and in looking for danger they will develop awareness as a reflection of their level of consciousness at that time. They will see beneath the surface of people and situations; they will often see and know things that others don’t. This hyper-vigilance is borne from a psychological response to threat, but in the spiritual arena we might call this same awareness intuition. This might be one explanation as to why many people have intuition and yet have no interest in spiritual matters. It also might go to explaining why when we visit a psychic, someone using their intuition they invariably always talk about the negative aspects of our lives, rather than what's positive and working well!
The majority of people within the spiritual community would accept that we are both a Soul, and a physical being with an identity, personality, and physical form. The Soul could be defined as the core of your being, the essence of who you truly are. The Soul is beyond form, is ageless and infinite, and it recognises the interconnectedness of all things. It is eternal, embodied potential and is on purpose to express itself in the world. It is the true, authentic Self and is the seat of your mediumistic Power. The Soul can and does guide us and encourages the transcendence of the mind, which interestingly is why when we explore our Spiritual selves our earthly life and choices have to change.
So, could it be that both things are true? Could it be that the traumatic experiences in our early years, and the resulting hyper-vigilance is also extended to those in the unseen world who are available to us through the Soul that we are? I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes from Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi; “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Is it the ‘wound’ that allows us to access the Soul that we are? To answer that, we must look at the evidence of our own experience.
Did you choose these gifts, or did they choose you? Were you born into a family of Spiritualists where Spirit Communication was the norm, and you just followed their lead? Or did your awareness of the Spirit World find you, reveal itself, and give you no choice? Did it shake you up, wake you up, and turn your life around? Or did you make a clear and conscious decision to explore your gifts in the same mechanical way you’d learn to play an instrument and fit it around your lifestyle and commitments without it really affecting you too much? In essence, did your potential for mediumship present itself from that Soul that you are, or did you explore it from a psychological desire to find connection?
When our mediumistic potential presents as an aspect of the Souls purpose, we really don’t have a choice. When it’s who we really are, and why we’re here, we don’t have a choice. When it’s in your Soul to do mediumship, we don’t have a choice. The Soul’s only desire is to express itself and all it contains in the world, to be a demonstration of itself, and so once our ego, and our personality are in alignment with our Souls purpose, then we really are “rendering service” in the way Peter spoke of in the New Testament.
So, can we learn mediumship? It’s a question I’ve been asked many times, and the answer varies from teacher to teacher. Mediumship as we’ve seen isn’t necessarily a religious experience, and as I’m sure many of you are aware doesn’t also function because mediums are spiritually minded, in some cases they’re not even nice people! Of course, a teacher of mediumship can help you to increase your powers of perception and awareness, show you how to listen to the stillness within, and give you mechanical exercises to access your sensitivity, but there are no guarantees that this will make you a medium or a healer. The decision as to whether you are a medium or not, lies within your Soul, and not in your mind, your desire, or how much money you throw at the subject. The question I would ask someone if they have a desire to explore their own awareness would be “Why do you want to be a medium?”. The most common answer by far is, “I want to help people” which on the face of it is a noble and kind thing to offer, but that statement actually originates in their ego. It is THEIR desire to make well, THEIR needing to feel a part of something bigger, or THEIR wanting to ease suffering that is really behind that statement. By stating that you want to help someone you’re forming an opinion on, and sometimes making a judgment on what kind of help people need often without even asking them, and of course we all know that sometimes our opinions and judgments are wrong. As I’ve said previously, the Soul and Its power seeks to express itself, to be the demonstration of Itself in the world. When your mind and personality are in alignment with your Souls desire then help comes regardless because it bypasses your egos needs. The only answer that I believe accurately answers the question of why anyone would want to be a medium is “I want to be of service to the Spirit”.
I now know from experience that true mediumship and healing come from the heart and Soul of a person and not from their mind; just because you have a certificate doesn’t mean that you’re competent, it sometimes just means you turned up at the same time every week to complete the course. So rather than learning anything, I think it’s in the un-learning or rather the remembering of our Spiritual nature that the magic happens. I’m not saying here that the only way to unfold your spiritual gifts is to sit in prayer or meditation for 10 hours a day, nor am I saying that you’ll be a better medium if you do these things either. What I AM saying is that the very nature of these gifts cannot be manufactured artificially, they are not tricks of the mind, nor are they psychological practices, and learning from a book doesn’t guarantee competency, that would be a little like visiting Disneyland and claiming that you’re Mickey Mouse! The beauty of all forms of mediumship are borne out of the relationship you have with your Soul.
So, what is the ‘right’ way to unfold and access your spiritual gifts? The ‘right way’ is incredibly personal to everyone and one which some teachers will have you believe that theirs is the right and only way, I would argue that point. We are all incredibly unique, physically, emotionally, and how we experience life; It would also make sense to me that who we are Spiritually is just as unique and therefore how we access that part of us will be just as personal to us. So, the role of the teacher I believe is about helping you to find the way that feels right for you and to insist that you are not blinded or influenced by other peoples’ experiences, but to learn from your own. The author William Arthur Ward states that, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
Does your teacher tell, explain, demonstrate, or inspire you in your work through the expression of their own? The language of the Spirit inspires, the very nature of the word inspiration contains the word Spirit within it and it’s the wisest part of who we are and always contains the wisdom of the Soul. When you are in the presence of your intuition from this source, that’s exactly what’s happening, you’re IN TUITION, you are learning something through that connection to your own Soul. Are you listening? But more importantly, are you feelingwhat you’re hearing? Does your instinct shout “Yes!” in response to what’s being taught, or does it whisper “No – that just doesn’t feel right”. It doesn’t mean that this will be the case forever, as your level of understanding, experience, and unfoldment grows, so do the range of phenomena and evidence that your mediumship contains and exhibits.
I’ve heard countless stories over the years of people being taught mediumship by someone who doesn’t practice mediumship. They’ve happily parted with their time and money to sit in the presence of a teacher they have never seen demonstrate their link to the Spirit World to ANY standard let alone an adequate one. In fact, when we think about it, is a teacher of mediumship indeed necessary at all or do we just need to experience it?
Each medium has their own method of making that connection and accessing the Soul that you are, and there are various CDs made by a thousand-different people to assist you in doing so. Sitting to blend with the Spirit World and developing that level of trust and cooperation with them is guaranteed to accelerate your mediumistic unfoldment because you become in harmony with your Soul and allow it to express its potential without the mind’s interference. The Spirit World are the reason we are defined as being mediums at all and so it makes sense that we must sit with the Spirit World as often as we can in addition to the workshops and classes we attend or the spiritual teachers we subscribe to.
Regardless of whether you sit to unfold your awareness alone, in a group, a circle, a workshop, from a book, or via a mentorship scheme, listen. Don’t be swayed by the ‘celebrity’ of the teacher, by how many books they have written, by whether you like them, whether they’re funny, or recommend themselves to you, listen. What does your inner teacher say, what does your intuition speak of, and what does that feel like? We all have that voice, the Soul is constantly speaking to us, it’s our spiritual guidance system, and if we listen to it, and are then willing to respond accordingly we are taken to a deeper, higher, and greater truth that is appropriate to who we are and where we are in that moment. Sometimes when we act on that it upsets people, sometimes they get angry, sometimes they beg and plead for us to stay, sometimes they ask us to leave, but sometimes that awareness stops us getting on a plane and actually saves our lives.