I’ve seen quite a few people conflate channeling and mediumship.
Some people use the terms interchangeably, while others assume they’re exactly the same thing. I’ve seen this among practitioners as well as with people who are seeking the services or trying to learn the skills.
To me, the difference between the two is very defined, and there is no crossover. This is how I was taught and how I view it, so I’m not saying this is the “right” way to look at the two practices. I’m saying this is how I look at them, and why I state that I am a channel, not a medium.
Mediumship, as I was taught, is the skill of communicating with dead spirits. Sometimes only those who haven’t crossed over yet, and sometimes extending to those who have crossed over; but either way, it’s about communication with the dead.
Channeling, on the other hand, is the skill of communicating with, and enabling others to communicate with, beings of higher energetic vibration. Dead spirits, those who have died in this life and are awaiting their next, have a vibration similar to, or sometimes lower than, living humans. But the beings who tend to be channeled, including spirit guides, have higher vibrations. (Spirit guides differ from dead spirits in that spirit guides were once human but passed away or crossed over before the channel’s current lifetime. A spirit guide has either completed their incarnation cycle, having learned everything they were incarnated to learn, or has chosen to suspend the cycle, opting to work with humans to guide them through their cycles and lessons.)
Often, channels talk about channeling collectives of beings, typically (from what I’ve seen) ascended masters or angels. Others of us channel one individual being. In my case, that being, Shiva, is also one of my guides, with whom I’ve worked in several lifetimes. I choose to channel him and he chooses to allow and enable me to, but our work together extends to him offering me support and guidance in my own life, and this would be the case even if I didn’t channel him.
I’ve had experiences with clients who assumed, when I said channeling, that I would be talking to dead spirits and passing along messages from “beyond.” Some of those clients were upset, angry, or frightened when I went into a trance and allowed Shiva to speak directly to them. Even a few times when I’ve done relayed channeling rather than trance, a client has gotten angry that I can’t tell them how their dear departed friends or relatives are doing. So, I’ve learned to try to explain very clearly exactly what it is that I’m offering!
Channeling and mediumship are both valid skills, and both can bring wisdom and support to the humans who experience them.
But they are different skills, and it’s important to be sure of which one you’re receiving if you have a session with someone who labels themself a channel or a medium.
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Kim Ramsey-Winkler is a Certified Chios Master Teacher, holistic mentor, channel and transformational speaker based in eastern Massachusetts. She is also a published author and a wife, mother, and grandmother. And, occasionally, a servant of cats.