Physical Mediumship

Physical Mediumship

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

There are two main types of mediumship: mental and physical. Mental mediumship is subjective while physical mediumship is objective. Basically, physical mediumship covers that which is done without physical contact. Levitation, apports, materializations, etherializations, trumpets, slates, ectoplasm, rappings, and independent voice would all come under the heading of physical phenomena.

It is not always easy to categorize whether a particular phenomenon falls under the heading of mental or physical mediumship. For example, automatism may be regarded as mental mediumship because although the hand of the medium is utilized in producing the material, what is produced seems to come through a mental process. Yet it is a physical action which produces the results; it is spirit that controls the hand and therefore it might well be classed as physical mediumship. Similarly, table tipping and direct voice are difficult to categorize. Physical mediumship is usually accompanied by mental, but not necessarily so the other way around.

References in periodicals archive ?
We shall be offering for sale, books, candles, incense and all items related to phychic research, paranormal phenomena and practical ritual workings, as well as hauntings, physical mediumship, witchcraft, white and black magic, seances, divination, mediumship and exorcisms.
Three thousand men and women from all over the world flock here to indulge in everything from yoga and spiritual healing to full-blown physical mediumship where they attempt to make tables float high above their heads.
During the latter part of the 20th century, however, demonstrations of physical mediumship declined (but see Keen, Ellison, & Fontana, 1999).
Although the chapter was an interesting read, I found myself in agreement with a recent review by Emily Williams Kelly (2005) of Fontana's book in which she was skeptical about the relevance of physical mediumship to survival and about the strength of the instrumental transcommunication data.
I kept a careful balance in the book between the phenomena of mental and of physical mediumship, with 128 pages devoted to the former and 122 to the latter (not 150 as she suggests).
In two additional chapters on physical mediumship, Fontana describes the well-known cases of D.
In the first she reviews spontaneous phenomena occurring in daily life, including physical mediumship, which perhaps should have been treated separately, as such studies were sometimes conducted scientifically, including extensive precautions against fraud and sensory factors.
Later psychical research developed these concepts further, especially in the face of the phenomena of physical mediumship.
Interestingly, Mishlove misses the opportunity to discuss the highly relevant heyday of physical mediumship.
A look at Kardec's writings in his periodical Revue Spirite and in books such as Le Livre du Mediums (1861) makes it clear that he based his moral and philosophical teachings, as well as his "explanations" of phenomena such as apparitions and physical mediumship, on the content of mediumistic communications.
For example, the late Brian Inglis (1984) has argued that Europeans, such as the French, were more advanced regarding physical mediumship than British researchers for the first two decades of this century.

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