What Is A Medium? How Are They Different From Psychics?

Last Updated on May 31, 2021

When people first start getting interested in the paranormal or the unknown, one of the first people they’ll meet is inevitably someone who is (or claims to be) psychic. In many situations, the psychic in question says they use their “medium abilities” as a way to find out about the future and the person’s current life.

Sometimes, the person who claims to be psychic is not legitimate. Other times, the querent gets floored by how accurate the predictions can be. Regardless of the outcome, hearing about someone who claims to be a medium can be a little perplexing for newbies.

Truth be told, being psychic and being a medium are two very different things. Here’s the truth about the commonly mistaken terms, and what you should know about each.

What Is A Psychic?

Psychics are not just people who wear funky clothing and predict the future. Being psychic is an umbrella term used by people to describe someone who has a paranormal ability to see, hear, feel, or know things that aren’t revealed to them. Psychic talents come in an incredibly wide range of different “flavors,” including these:

  • Clairvoyants literally see things from afar, as they happen. At times, they also can see things in the past and future.
  • Clairaudience can hear things from afar or may get impulses that let them know what’s going on with someone without anyone telling them.
  • People who have this ability can “feel” things that tell them about others, as well as pick up on feelings associated with certain places. Sometimes, this can cross paths with telepathy.
  • Divination is the use of tools to help determine the future, and the use of tools to help them enhance their abilities. Tools that are commonly used include tarot cards, dowsing rods, and pendulums. Most people who work with psychics actually see diviners.
  • Energy Working. Energy working is the use of psychic abilities to heal or perceive a person through the energy they send out.
  • This psychic ability allows a person to “talk” using their minds, rather than regular speech. It’s a trait of a mind-reader, literally.
  • Also known as pre-cognition, a person who has this rare trait can predict the future.

Of course, this is hardly a complete list of psychic abilities. There are other, even rarer, traits that have been witnessed in people. However, these are the most common forms of psychic abilities that you will find.

What’s A Medium?

A medium is also called a channeler, and they are psychics who have the ability to communicate with otherworldly beings. These beings can be anything from the spirits of loved ones who have passed away, to angels, to demons, to beings from other dimensions.

For the most part, mediums communicate with these beings by hearing them or getting “impulses” in their minds. Some even can see the beings that they are currently communicating with, though that’s very rare.

Being a medium is not easy, and can actually open up the individual to problems of the paranormal kind. In extreme cases, mediums can actually become possessed by the very beings who they are able to get in touch with.

It’s important to remember that all mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums. Mediums are a very small sliver of the psychic world.

Can A Medium Have Other Psychic Talents?

Absolutely! In fact, it’s very rare to see a medium that doesn’t also have other psychic traits. In many cases, mediums are also clairvoyant or diviners. These talents just seem to go hand in hand, for some reason.

How Mediums Work

Being a medium doesn’t mean that there’s a codified method they use to channel the spirits they do. Many just receive messages or feel spirits around them, and use the vibes they get to determine what the spirits are saying. Others can hear them, and in rare cases, some even see them as full-bodied apparitions.

Though it is somewhat rare, there are mediums who use divinatory tools as a way to get information from spirits. Pendulums, in particular, are commonplace among mediums who want to get “yes/no” answers from spirits.

You don’t always have to be awake in order to be a medium. Some mediums can’t communicate with other beings unless they are asleep. When sleeping, they will dream of interactions with the dead and use their ability to lucid dream as a way to talk with them.

Are You A Medium?

It’s possible that you are a medium, and you don’t even know it! Like many other psychics, mediums often discover their abilities through strange situations they’ve encountered in life. If you are wondering whether or not you’re a medium, watch for these common signs of a special connection with the otherworldly.

  • You used to see ghosts and strange things as a child. Think back to your childhood. Did you see people who weren’t really there? Were there any moments that made you think you were seeing things, or that freaked out your parents? A large portion of mediums realize they can see spirits when they were young. While you might not still be able to see them now, that doesn’t mean you lost your ability. It just means you need to channel it more.
  • Paranormal activity spikes around you. Ghosts, spirits, demons, and non-dimensional beings all can tell when someone is a medium—and they immediately flock to mediums. If a lot of strange things happen around you, it’s very likely that you’re a medium.
  • You occasionally feel like you’re being watched by unseen eyes, especially in places that have connections with death. That feeling you get of being watched is often the best indicator that you can sense and possibly channel the dead.
  • Somehow, you know information that only someone who died knew. Mediums can’t always figure out how they get the information they do, but they do know what they know is real.
  • You often know when someone passes before anyone tells you they died. Mediums are known for getting signals from people who are just crossing over to the other side. Sometimes, it just feels like a hunch. Other times, it’s a dream or a feeling of urgency. If this sounds familiar, mediumship might be why.
  • People in your family have a reputation for being psychic or having medium abilities. Being a medium isn’t always hereditary, but for reasons unknown to us, it does seem to run in the family. If your mother, father, or siblings are psychic, you might be, too.
  • Your life was filled with a lot of tragedy. Though this isn’t always a rule that’s set in stone, many paranormal researchers noticed that mediums tend to gain their abilities during or after serious losses in their lives. Due to the connection that certain people have with death, it’s likely that loved ones they’ve lost may still try to reach out.

Mediums, just like any other psychic, never have the exact same “symptoms” that lead up to their discovery. The way they experience their abilities or channel the dead will vary greatly, and what works for some might not work for others.

What Should I Ask A Medium?

If you’re going to reach out to a medium for his or her services, it’s important to know what you should expect, what you should do, and what you should avoid when talking to them. Knowing this will help you get the most of your session, and may even help you unlock latent talents in you!

The number one thing you should avoid doing with a medium is bringing in negativity in your session. Grieving is okay, but hostility is not. Asking a medium to channel something that’s overwhelmingly negative will never be welcome, nor will going in with an attitude of trying to “test” the medium’s abilities.

There’s no real process to expect when you are with a medium. Mediums work through a variety of different methods. Some just talk to you about what they see or feel around you, while others may use divination tools. In some cases, mediums may be able to tell you what may happen in the future. Other times, you will just hear details from the person who has passed.

If you were hoping to reach out to someone, and the medium made no mention of them, don’t blame the medium. Communication is a two-way street, and sometimes, the spirits you want to meet just aren’t going to be there at a given time. This doesn’t mean they don’t care about you; it just means they are elsewhere at that given moment.

When in doubt, it’s best to just let the medium call to your loved ones or their spirit guides to dictate what the session should involve. You might be surprised to find out what they have to say!


About Brandon Hall

Hi! I am Brandon. Writer and content creator for PA, specializing in phenomena that is sometimes beyond normal scientific understanding. My mission is to help guide people seeking answers in a positive and enlightening way.

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