Glossary of Spiritualist Terms


Is the Science, Philosophy and Religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication through mediumship with those who live in the spiritual plane. Spiritualism is a rational religion for a materialistic world. It will bring back a sense of spiritual values. Spiritualism affirms that man survives the change called death and that his spirit maintains a continuous existence in a spiritual world, which surrounds and interpenetrates our material world, the truth of this assertion being scientifically proven through communication with the spirit through mediumship. Spiritualism strives to understand and to comply with the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Laws of Nature, which are the Laws of God.


Is the ability of human instruments to attune themselves through their inherent Psychic facility to the vibrations of the spirit people and through peculiar chemical properties of their physical bodies to produce the ectoplasm necessary for the manifestation of physical phenomena. In mental phenomena the intelligence is conveyed entirely through the mind of the medium. The phenomenon of Spiritualism involves the psychic powers of a medium and the directing powers of spirit intelligences. Spirit communication requires the co - operative efforts of these two factors and under suitable conditions, communications can take place.


Spiritual Healing is the healing of the spirit body to manifest in the physical body. Spiritual Healing complements conventional medicine by treating the whole person - mind, body and spirit - to help restore harmony and promote good health. Spiritual Healers act as a conduit for healing energy, helping to relax the body, release tensions and stimulate self-healing. The energy being channelled through the worker comes from the divine source which is available to all people, regardless of race, religion or belief. The benefits of healing can be felt on many levels, not just the physical, and the effects can be profound.


We all live by the power of suggestion. Over a period of time, one habitually makes the positive effort to bring thoughts of spirit from the subconscious to the conscious mind by positive suggestion and after a while it becomes a physiological process. If a more powerful 'negative' suggestion is made by a biased skeptic, this will cause the subconscious to respond to the stronger negative suggestion and destroy the process of communication. Sympathy and harmony between spirit, medium and the recipient of a spirit message is the first essential to successful communications. Through development, the medium becomes more sensitive to vibrations from the spirit world and more selective of the controlling spirits who become guides, or helpers, each specializing in some function for which the medium is used as an instrument: e.g. Healing, Clairvoyance, Trance, Speeches, Automatic Writing, etc.


Is the simplest and most primitive form of physical phenomena. It's special characteristic is that the effects produced can be perceived by the physical senses so that witnesses have no doubts and those with materialistic views of life which prevent them from accepting survival evidence have become convinced that discarnate spirit are able to manifest and thereby provide indisputable evidence of life after so-called death.


Is that psychic condition of a human being, who thereby becomes a medium, which enables spirit intelligences through the manipulation of the nerve centers of sight, to impress or photograph upon the brain of the medium, pictures and images which are seen as visions by the medium without the aid of the physical eye. These pictures and images may be of the things spiritual or material, past or present, remote or near, hidden or uncovered, or they may have their existence simply in the conception or imagination of the spirit communicating them.


Is that psychic power of function of seeing objectively, spiritual beings, objects and things by and through the spiritual sensorium which pervades the physical mechanism of vision, without which objective clairvoyance would be impossible. A few persons are born with this power; in some it is developed, and in others it has but a casual quickening. Its extent is governed by the rate of vibration under which operates; thus a clairvoyant may see objectively spiritual things which to another may be invisible, because of the degree of difference in the intensity of the power.

Clairvoyance literally means "Clear Seeing" but in Spiritualism it has a technical meaning and refers to psychic sight. Clairvoyance may be either SUBJECTIVE or OBJECTIVE. It is often difficult if not altogether impossible, for even the clairvoyant to distinguish between the two. Other definitions can deal with phases of these two forms.


Clear- hearing or Soul- hearing, the ability to hear with the split ear, the voices of those who have made the change called death.


Clear-sensing or Soul-sensing the ability to sense the spirit people and to receive their impressions. Sometimes called impressional mediumship.


A word coined by Professor Charles Richet, to cover all the mental phases of mediumship.


Is Soul- measuring (psyche meaning soul and metry measuring). It is the ability of the medium to read from vibrations emanating from articles held in the hand and to give the names and messages of people connected with the article. It is sometimes called a form of clairvoyance because psychic vision and intuitive ability of the soul to sense invisible relationships are at times indistinguishable from each other.


Is the ability to focus the mind upon a given point or object and to hold it there to the exclusion of all else.


Means to reflect upon, to ponder over. As you reflect upon the great truths of life you will come into a consciousness of God, for the fullest expression of life is through a realization of spirit and is found in those silent moments when we raise our vibrations to contact those of the higher forces.


There are two kinds of mediumship: Physical phenomena and Mental phenomena. Physical phenomena are of such a nature that any person sitting with the medium during its manifestations can hear or see what is happening.

In mental phenomena the intelligence is conveyed entirely through the mind of the medium. The sensitive will see clairvoyantly the form of the spirit and will describe its features, form and clothing. In addition to this, the spirit voice will be heard clairaudietly so that communication can be repeated to the person sitting with the medium. Some sensitives are clairsentient. They are unable to see and hear spirit in the strictest sense of the word but are able to sense, to feel the presence and conditions of spirit and thereby relay accurate descriptions and messages.

Sometimes the medium will develop a state of trance so that spirit can control the speech of the medium in a more direct manner. In a similar way the spirit can often control a medium's hand and convey what it has to say in writing. In such mental forms of communication however, the medium's subconscious mind tends to color, to some extent, what is being given but even this disadvantage cannot prevent facts being given which are totally unknown to the sensitive.

Some of the Physical Phenomena are:


Is done by spirit employing the use of ectoplasmic rods from a physical medium. The ectoplasm is built up in the body of the physical medium but is actually contributed to by all the sitters and surroundings, as well as a spirit chemist. A rod is attached to the leg of the table and spirit is able to move the table in answer to questions put forth, thereby building up a form of communication. If the table is particularly heavy, the ectoplasm is formed into a lever mechanism to take the weight. At all times this ectoplasm is attached to the medium's body.


Used from a spirit entity were formed into a method of communication- one tap for yes, two for no. The Modern Spiritualism Movement was initiated from the Hydesville experience in 1848 through this preliminary form of communication with spirit. The raps from spirit have been known to be so sophisticated as to make the sound of a match scratching and can be anything from a soft tap to a loud bang.


Is energy in motion as used in the phenomena of moving objects through the air. It has been known that when a sitter changed his position in the circle, the object is brought to the correct person. The object is witnessed as rising into the air and put gently into the hand of the recipient. This is a description of LEVITATION, through mediumship, of all articles (APPORTS) or objects, ectoplasm being the basis of the manifestations.


Is accomplished with the aid of a horn or trumpet, usually of aluminum, which is used to intensify the spirit voices. It is also used as a cabinet into which the sound vibrations are drawn and in which the ectoplasmic vocal organs, necessary for articulation, are materializes. The trumpet will move around the circle and come to rest in front of the sitter it wishes to address. It has been shown to gently tap a sitter to indicate its intentions but with all its movements around the circle, it has never been recorded that the trumpet hit anyone by accident.


Is the appearance of a spirit entity on photograph paper. The photograph paper is held between the hands of a sitter and a reproduction will appear; some photographs have been a copy of existing photographs and sometimes it is an entirely new pose. Mediums have been known to find "extras" on their photographs of specific events.


Is a phase of which consists of the production of an ectoplasmic replica of the spirit entity's former human body. The medium enters a state of deep trance, slowly the ectoplasm begins to flow from the body and take form, the figure remains constantly linked to the medium by a channel of nourishment, a sort of umbilical cord. The spirit appears in 3 dimensional form, which can be seen and felt by any person, although ectoplasm is avery sensitive substance and must be handled with caution, and only when the controlling spirit gives permission. It is also likely to disintegrate when exposed to light; a dark red light is usually the only illumination.


Is an outer layer of protoplasm; an emanation from the medium's body an etherealized substance, which is sensitive to thoughts and exudes from the mucus membrane of the medium's body. It is used as the basis of all manifestations of physical mediumship. (Word coined by Richet)


Is the ability of an artist to attune with the spirit connected to the sitter, through a trance state and to draw the likeness of this spirit entity. With eyes tightly shut during the entire process, the selects the colored charcoals to be used, separates them from the pack and proceeds to draw, still with the eyes tightly shut.


Is the control of the hand of the medium during the process of writing. The medium is in a trance state relinquishing physical control of the hand.

In the early history of Modern Spiritualism physical phenomena was common, but it required years of practice to develop the physical medium and the exposure was limited. For the manifestation of results from physical mediumship it is necessary for the medium to be in a deep trance state, produce ectoplasm, have dark surroundings (no white light- a red light is permissible) limit the number of sitters which led to many instances of fraud and misdeeds. Spiritualism was first to recognize and eliminate these frauds from their ranks, but it colored the opinion of the general public.

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