Spiritual Terms


An apport is something that spirit have caused to appear apparently out of ‘thin air’. This may be a gift given to someone in a physical circle (see circles later on this page), or it may be anything that appears seemingly from nowhere – for example, keys that appear in a house but do not fit any locks; coins; stones etc. On one occasion in circle, a small piece of yellow Jasper appeared by my feet whilst we were in meditation. Usually an apport will be warm or hot to the touch when it first appears.


An aura is the energy field around everything. Even things that do not appear to be ‘living’ have auras. The aura can be photographed using a special method called Kirlean Photography. Semyon Kirlean discovered, in 1939, that when half a leaf was photographed using his special camera, the missing half of the leaf would appear. To find the edges of your aura, extend your hands outwards and then, with your palm turned inwards, slowly bring your hand back towards your body. If you do this slowly, you will feel a slight resistance (usually about a foot away, although this varies). This is the edge of your aura. The aura is often brightly coloured, although if you are ill or if you are feeling bad about something, the aura will not be so bright. If you feel uncomfortable because someone is ‘invading your personal space’ it is because their aura has touched or entered yours. When a medium works with those in spirit, he or she will allow communicators to ‘step into’ their aura, and this makes communication possible.

Automatic Writing

Automatic writing is the term used when spirit communicate through writing. It differs from inspired writing in that spirit control the pen with automatic writing so that the handwriting (when this is done by an experienced medium) will be the same as the person’s handwriting was when they were on the Earth. Many mediums who use this method will hold the pen in their left hand (if they are right-handed) or vice versa. It makes no difference how the pen is held – it is spirit who are doing the writing – not the medium.


Chakra is from the Sanskrit for ‘wheel’. The Chakras are the seven main energy points of the body.


Clairaudience means ‘clear hearing’ and refers to the ability to hear spirit. Most mediums hear spirit as a ‘thought’, in other words there is no physical voice, but they will often be able to distinguish an accent or vocal inflection. The worry of developing mediums is that what ‘pops into their head’ is them – their imagination, or what they expect the person to say. This is usually not the case and with experience it becomes easy to distinguish which is ‘us’ and which is spirit. Some mediums hear spirit physically; they will actually hear the voice of the communicator.


Clairsentience is the ability to sense spirit. This may be as a ‘feeling’ or it may be that the medium will smell a scent relative to the person communicating (for example, perfume or tobacco smoke). If you have ever entered a house and felt uncomfortable, only to discover that something tragic has happened there – or if you have sensed that a house is haunted, that is clairsentience.


Clairvoyance means ‘clear seeing’. In many people the term ‘clairvoyant’ will conjur up an image of a fortune teller. This is by no means the case. It refers to the ability to see spirit. Some ‘see’ spirit in the mind’s eye and some mediums can see spirit in a more physical form – either as a complete person, or a misty form or perhaps just a face.


Development Circles

Open Circle – This is a development circle primarily for beginners. It is a circle that anyone can join – the number of sitters will vary from week to week. This is an ideal circle to join to get an idea of how spirit work.

Closed Circle – This is a development circle for more advanced mediums, who may or may not still be in training. To join a closed circle you must first be invited by the circle leader and there may be a trial period to make sure that you are right for the group. Strong committment and dedication are required to sit in a closed circle, which has the same number of people every week and the same sitters each time.

Physical Circle – This circle is primarily for the development of physical mediumship, such as trance, transfiguration and direct voice, to name but a few. Often this circle will be held in total darkness, although a small light may be used.

Spirit Rescue Circle – This circle is dedicated to the task of helping spirits who are ‘stranded’ – either because they are afraid to pass over, or because they do not realise they have died, or because something is holding them back from moving on into ‘the light’. This circle requires a strong mind as the work can be emotionally and physically draining.

Healing Circle – A circle which will sit each week to send out remote healing to those in need.

Direct Voice Mediumship

A form of physical mediumship, which occurs when spirit either use the voice box of the medium or creates a ‘voice box’ from ectoplasm. In either case, the voice that is heard will be the voice of the communicator. One of the most famous Direct Voice Mediums was Leslie Flint. His website, containing examples of Direct Voice communication, is on my links page.


Ectoplasm is a substance produced from a physical medium, by spirit, and is pure energy. It can emanate from any orifice. Spirit can use the ectoplasm to create images – for example, a hand or a face.

‘Evil’ Spirits

Spirit comes from different levels – from the highest planes of existence in the world of spirit to the lowest (see ‘Planes of Existence’ below). The spirits that are considered to be ‘evil’ will always come from the lowest plane of existence and are mischievous and misguided. They are the hooligan element of spirit. These spirits often trick people into believing that they are talking to someone famous, or a relative or friend, if the person that is communicating with them is doing so for the wrong reasons, if they are dabbling in mediumship but do not understand or know what they are doing, or have been playing with a Ouija Board. If your work is carried out in love and light, and you raise your consciousness high, you need not worry – never forget that ‘like attracts like’.


There are many different types of healing, but here are a few examples:

Spiritual Healing – This is the type of healing that is most likely to be carried out in a Spiritualist church (although some churches may offer a wide range of healing). The healer channels energies from spirit (they usually have a guide specifically for this work) which can be used to provide the healing as required. Spiritual healing can treat physical symptoms and ailments or it can be used to help a person who is low in spirits. Absent healing (or remote healing) works along the same principles, but the person is not present (obviously!).

Crystal Healing – Crystals have their own energies and properties and these can be used to restore the right balance in our own energies. Each crystal has different properties, and is capable of treating different ailments, whether in mind, body or spirit.

Reiki – Reiki is the use of cosmic or universal energy, channelled through the healer to provide the necessary healing.

Chakra Healing – Similar principle to crystal healing – and is used to restore the balance of the chakras. For individual Chakra healing, a crystal appropriate to the individual Chakra is used and is placed on the Chakra for 5 to 30 minutes. For complete Chakra healing, 7 clear quartz crystals are placed on the Chakras and left for the same amount of time.

Inspired Writing

I would compare Inspired Writing to taking dictation, although it is more complex than that! The medium will feel the guide or spirit who wishes to write draw close to them and will be inspired to start writing. When I am working with my guide and writing down his words, I am aware of each individual word as it is written, but am not able to absorb properly what has been written down until I read it back afterwards – so it is as though I am reading it for the first time. I never know in advance what he is going to write about.


Kundalini is energy and is often referred to as the coiled serpent that lives in the Base Chakra. As a medium/healer develops, the serpent will start to uncoil and rise up through the Chakras. It is imperative that this is not done too fast – the Kundalini can affect our physical bodies and if it is uncoiled too fast it can cause physical harm. Once the serpent has uncoiled, it will remain uncoiled.

The Light

Mediums may often refer to ‘the light’ – and may use phrases such as: ‘passed to the light’ or ‘sending a lost spirit to the light’. In spiritualism the light is descriptive of the higher planes – or in essence, what we would refer to as ‘heaven’. In many out of body experiences, people report seeing a bright, white light and say that they were floating towards it.


You may often hear a medium referring to ‘linking with you’ or ‘making a link with you’. This refers to the connection that is created when you are visiting a medium or a church and one of your loved ones comes through to communicate via the medium. Once the medium has heard your voice, even if you only say ‘hello’, the link between you and your loved one in spirit becomes stronger. The medium is like the operator at a telephone exchange – the link (or message) is between you and your loved one, but they are relaying the message; and to do so a link is necessary.

Ouija Boards

‘Ouija’ comes from the French and German for ‘yes’. They usually consist of a board which has on it the letters of the alphabet, yes, no, and goodbye, and a pointer. It is NEVER a good idea to use a Ouija Board. Quite simply they are dangerous. To know what you are doing would require training as a medium – and if you are trained as a medium you would have no use for a Ouija Board! Although the results of using a Ouija Board may not be as dramatic as portrayed in some films, the results can often be catastrophic nonetheless. You are very likely to summon not ‘dear old Auntie Mabel’, but a mischievous spirit from the lower levels (see ‘Evil’ Spirits’ above). It is rare to get a spirit from the higher levels through a Ouija Board – after all, why would they want to play games? Some people believe that if they are using a glass to point to the letters etc on the board they simply need to break the glass and the spirit will be gone. This is not the case.

Planes of Existence

There are five planes of existence and each vibrates at a higher vibration than the one before it (see ‘Vibration’ below). Each level co-exists with the others, but most people are not aware of anything other than the first plane – the Earth plane.

Earth Plane – The most familiar! This is the plane on which we exist, and is the densest of all the planes.

Etheric Plane – When people ‘die’ their spirits will pass through this plane to reach the plane of existence where they belong. However, some spirits remain for quite some time in this plane, until they can accept their condition and move on – or to put it another way, until they are ready to accept ‘the light’.

Astral Plane – This is the plane where the spirit who are most likely to make contact with a medium are situated.

Celestial Plane – This is the highest level of all and this is the plane where those we come to know as our guides and teachers exist.

The more spirit progress, and the longer they have been in the spirit world, the higher the plane in which they exist.


This is of the utmost importance. Before beginning any spiritual work, you should ask for protection. This may take the form of a prayer (the Lord’s Prayer, for example) – or you might just call upon your guide(s) for protection. If you ask for protection you will be protected – it is just a matter of trust. Envisage a bright white (or blue) light flowing through you and around you, acting as a shield. This is also useful when you are going out and you know that you may encounter negative emotions, and because it acts like a shield, any negative emotion will ‘bounce off’. Placing one arm across your solar plexus in an unpleasant encounter with another person is useful as extra protection – for emotion is often felt and absorbed through the Solar Plexus Chakra.


Psychometry is mediumship using an object; the person for whom the medium is reading does not have to be present when the reading takes place. Some mediums can psychically determine different things about a person from the object; others can link to spirit connected to the owner using the object (see ‘Link’ above). Psychometry is an especially useful method to use if they know the people for whom they are reading well.


Whether you believe in reincarnation is a matter of personal choice – the jury is still very much out on the subject and those with an opinion of reincarnation are divided. Those who believe in reincarnation hold the belief that we each return again to the Earth plane from spirit to learn a set of lessons in order to progress and advance in the spirit world. Some believe that we return to the Earth to set right past wrongs – the law of Karma (in the simplest terms ‘what goes around, comes around’); for example, if you were wealthy and cruel you may return as someone who is very poor and the victim of cruelty. Many people have ‘past life experiences’ – they may get a feeling of deja vu when visiting a place they have never been before – or they may have dreams of people and places they do not know. Often they will have undergone Past Life Regression under hypnosis, from which many details may be given and verified – often with a high degree of accuracy. Those who do not believe in reincarnation account for ‘past life experiences’ as shared experiences with another member of their Soul Group (see ‘Soul Group’ below).

Soul Group

A soul group is the ‘family’ of souls to which we belong – although we do not necessarily inhabit the Earth plane at the same time as any other member of our Soul Group, it is to this group that we return when we pass to the spirit world. The Soul Group helps the returning member (soul) to review the life that they have lived and to reaclimatise to the spirit world.

Spirit Guides

These are highly evolved spirits who have chosen to guide and help you as you progress through life. They are wise and loving, and will never let you down. Everyone has at least one spirit guide, whether they are ‘into’ spiritualism or not. They might otherwise be referred to as ‘Guardian Angels’. Spirit Guides can change as you go through life – but some are with you throughout your life and have been with you since you were born. They are not all necessarily Chinese or Native American, for example, but I believe that it is down to the individual’s perception. Spirit do not have a ‘form’ as such, and your guide will appear in the form that you will be most able to accept and understand. Therefore, if you expect to see a Native American, you probably will. Some were genuinely Native Americans in their previous lives, but others may simply choose that form because it is what is expected. Others do not identify themselves with any given form – do not ‘show themselves’ – but are there nonetheless as pure energy. They may be members of your Soul Group.


Trance Mediumship

Trance Mediumship takes a long time to develop and takes patience and dedication. For trance to work, the medium has to mentally ‘step aside’ to allow the communicator (often a guide) to overlap him or her more closely. It will not work unless both parties are willing.

Transfiguration Mediumship

Another form of physical mediumship. This is very interesting to witness, and if you ever get the chance to see a Transfiguration Medium, I strongly suggest that you do. It is a form of trance mediumship, except that in the case of Transfiguration the medium apparently takes on the appearance of the communicating spirit – either facially or the whole body. If a person wore a lot of rings, for example, then the rings will appear on the hands of the medium. If the person was very tall, or very short, the medium will become thus – equally, if the person had a beard or moustache, these will also appear on the face of the medium. Most spirit communicating this way do not have the ability to control the medium’s vocal chords – it takes a lot of energy ‘just’ to appear in a recognisable form. These spirits are often able to mouth the words that they wish to speak. However, more experienced and advanced spirit (such as the medium’s guide) are able to use the medium’s vocal chords so that their communication may also be heard.


Everything vibrates. The higher the vibration, the less dense the object. Spirit vibrate at a higher level to us – so in order to communicate with spirit, they need to lower their vibration as we raise ours to meet somewhere in the middle. A good example of how vibration works in this respect is a bee flying. You can see the bee, but you cannot it’s wings. This is because the wings are vibrating at a high rate to keep the bee aloft and this high rate of vibration cannot be perceived with the human eye. The higher we raise our consciousness (our vibration), the wiser and more pure the spirit communicator.

Working with Spirit

To work with spirit as a medium or healer requires a lot of time, effort, dedication and self-discipline. It cannot be done in five minutes, and there are no shortcuts. Spirit will only work at the pace that is right for you. Two other important personality traits in developing mediums are humour and humility. It is possible to develop on your own, but it is a good idea to find a development circle – that way, any questions that you have can be answered, and you should receive the proper guidance in order to develop at the pace that is right for you. However, if you would prefer to develop on your own, there are some good tips on the website of practicing medium Christopher Connelly – there is a link on my Links page. To get to the Links page, click here. I would also advise against meditating alone – it is safer if someone whom you trust can talk you gently into meditation and out again after the appointed time (start with short time-spans and build up) and sit with you while you meditate. That way should you go too deeply into meditation they can gently bring you back out again.

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