This was originally posted on May 20, 2018, it still rings true today! 

I want to open yet another uncomfortable conversation for the Spiritualist community.  This time I want to share some things I have witnessed that happen during Public Mediumship Demonstrations.   It seems that there are a wide variety of opinions of what constitutes good mediumship.

Recently my mentor Rev. Jack Rudy and I started a dialogue that made many practitioners in the Metaphysical community mildly uncomfortable.   We dared to talk about the Selling of Spirituality by the pound with regards to for profit Spiritual Shows.

Today I want to talk about the quality of Mediumship when Mediums perform publicly.     I am not Certified or Registered by anyone.   As a result, I travel around the area and have observed Mediumship through a variety of places — Gallery Readings at shows, various church services where Mediums give messages and the various message services at Lily Dale.   These experiences gave me insight and I have written a book about Mediumship.

Public Demonstrations Are Tough

Many Mediums I have observed  leave me shaking my head.   Recently I have been wanting to take my own Mediumship to the next level, searching for ways to improve and serve Spirit in a greater way.   The greatest teacher for me has been observing others.   My mentor gave me a firm foundation to grow from.

Evidential Mediumship sole purpose is to help you overcome any skepticism you might have about our ability to communicate with your loved ones.   Once you understand who we have and that we are truly connected with your loved ones the messages we give you are more powerful.

Public demonstrations are usually referred to as Gallery Readings.   This format is how many churches function and the outdoor demonstrations at Lily Dale are run.    What is considered a good message?    Well Lily Dale is the local mecca for all things Spiritual and their outdoor services are suggested that Mediums should do 3 greetings in 5 minutes.   A greeting is a clear identification of the Spirit and what ever message they wish to convey to a recipient.   Rare instances should there be a single message that goes 5 minutes.   These are greetings — not readings.

Many times there are Mediums that give incredibly healing and beautiful messages that are very evident.  I want to take a moment and talk about some of the bad things that I have seen while watching Mediums in public demonstrations.   There are so many student mediums that read my blog and I think this will be helpful for them to gain confidence if we talk about things that make it hard for those that are observing someone doing public demonstrations.

What are some of the problems I see?

The greatest gift my mentor gave me was to teach me to NEVER pick someone out prior to getting up to the podium.   I get up to the front turn around and say “Good Morning/afternoon/evening” and only then do I see who I am going to go to.  Think about it, it is a demonstration of your connection to Spirit.   If you don’t trust that connection, how will the audience?

Picking Someone While Waiting to Serve

I cringe when I hear “While I was sitting in the back I was drawn to you” or “while sitting in the back I was visiting with your…”  Picking who you are going to ahead of time is dangerous.  If another Medium goes to the person they picked before, they get up there they are flustered.   I recently served at a church where the Medium next to me leaned over and said “I have this person, that person and that one — don’t go to them.”      I watched him through the whole service write down detailed notes for each person.   Really???!!!   You have so little faith in your connection with Spirit that you do this?   This is a technique we use when people are learning and observing.   Not something you should use when actually doing message work.

Using the Same Message Over and Over Repeatedly

There are a few Mediums that I have seen in action over the years.   Perhaps it is because I am watching but when they give the same message every time I see them — I have a problem.   I was sitting with a friend one day and one such Medium went up.   I looked at them and said “they are going to tell someone who is obviously overweight that their loved one wants them to eat better and someone else that there is a problem with their brakes on their car”.  When they went to sit down, they had given those two exact messages my friend was amazed.  I said, don’t be, the last 4 times this person has given messages that was the messages they gave.

Not being Evident

Going to someone who is obviously over 65 telling them they have a grandparent for them and nothing else.   That to me is a little too obvious.   I have seen messages from grandparents to the elderly with great detail “she used to read to you before you went to bed sitting in her rocking chair in front of the fireplace” or “she is showing me a farm-house that is gray with a fence and a garden” or “she passed just before your 10th birthday”.   Give details!

There is one church that has a Certificate program for their Mediums.   I watch Medium after Medium give messages that do not qualify as evidence from Spirit.   These messages are vague, usually without a connection to Spirit.   I expect messages like this from Students and welcome them.  Someone that professes to be a trained professional not so much.

Messages that start with “they are telling me” or “you have been dealing with a lot of emotional stuff lately” “They are showing me x which means…” are examples.   Always start with the Spirit — who.    It isn’t the Medium’s fault, they don’t know any better.   It is the lack of a standard that is the problem.

Poor Handling of Identifiers

I have seen Mediums get angry because the person does not recognize the Spirit.   I personally try three identifiers, if that does not work, I will ask can anyone else take the message?  It is possible I have gone to the wrong person.  If nobody else can take the message, I will look at the person and gently say “you may have to do a little research, I trust my connection with Spirit so I am going to give you this message”

I have found that most times it is what they have to hear at that moment.   The message may not be evidential, but nevertheless it was healing.  In my book that is a win.   A public forum can be overwhelming to a person who is getting a message.   In some instances, the message gives them clarity of who is coming through with the message.  They may not make the connection, but they will.  Sometimes we are only meant to plant a seed.   I have lost count the number of times someone has come up to me weeks or months later to say “remember that message you gave me — I figured out it was x”.

Doubling up on a person

I feel that in public demonstrations you should give as many messages as you can.   So many times I will see a Medium go to someone and say “I know you have already had a message but…” and the continue on with what was said by another Medium.  If you have something to add, take the person aside after the service.   In my opinion, this is just pure grandstanding.

Relying on Guides for Messages

There are times you may have an Angel or a Spirit Guide.   I once went to a young woman with Downs Syndrome and started the message “You see Angels all the time” she shook her head I further described this Angel to her in great detail, she turns to her mother and  says “She sees her too, it’s not my imagination!”   If you can get confirmation from the sitter, by all means they are as real as great-aunt Sally.   Too many times I see Mediums fall back to the Angels and Guides and be generic in message because they are not trusting their connection with Spirit.

It is not all bad

I am learning and growing and these are some of the things that I have seen that just give all of us a bad reputation.   It is time that we start dealing with some of the problems in the Metaphysical community before it is too late.   Isn’t it time we Light Workers Code of Ethics have a standard to work from?  Oh wait, that would mean a few people would have to set aside their egos and agree.

I am not the best Medium performing public demonstrations.  So when I am looked upon as amazing — I shake my head.  I have much to learn and I know I can do better.   Each time I serve it is my goal to be better than I was the last time.  If you are a student, that is my best advice I can give you..


Rev. Colleen Irwin
Reverend Colleen Irwin is a Spiritual being having a human experience as a Blogger, Wife, Mother, Mentor, Healer and Public Speaker living in Rochester New York. Colleen, a Natural Born Medium, teaches, lectures and serves Spirit when called upon. She remembers speaking with Spirit as a child and learning how to share this knowledge with others has been an adventure that she captured in her book “Discovering Your Stream”. Colleen has been mentored by Reverend Jack Rudy, and ordained as a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek by the Reverend Dan Chesboro through the Sanctuary of the Beloved. When she is not doing her Spiritual work she is a volunteer docent sharing Susan B. Anthony's history to visitors of the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester. Her trust in Spirit gave her a new title – PREVIVOR. She now uses her platform to educate others about the BRCA genetic mutation and how one can take control of their health and well-being.
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