I teach mediumship, as do many other teachers across the U.S. Many of these teachers are Spiritualist ministers and certified mediums. I learned the backbone of what I know from Spiritualist teachers (I am credentialed as a medium) and the rest came through experience and what my guides have directly taught me. Spiritualism began the entire modern spirit communication movement 150 years ago. The very word "medium" came from the Spiritualists.
The TV show, Medium, may be familiar to you. It's entertaining, has a large following, but in large part it's misleading according to the way I understand mediumship, not so much because of what it shows, as what it doesn't show. The same is true of Ghost Whisperer, although it, at least, seems less dark and troubling to me. Spiritualist mediums do their work typically in a positive and upbeat way, not as these shows depict their manner to be-gloomy, and frightening.
Also, these shows do not even seem to touch on guides. Guides are unsung heroes and could use some praise in the media; and I don't know why or how these shows chose to eliminate them, but they seem to have decisively chosen to do that. It can be argued that after we are firmly in touch with our guides and have an ongoing dialogue, signs and symbols become less prominent in what we do. Then, it follows that we won't mention our guides as much as we did early on in our work and that's why the TV shows about spirit communication leave out the guide's importance. It's true that this is a desirable level to reach in your work, where the guide comes in immediately when we ask for spirit's guidance.
I am not putting these shows down. I simply know and want you to know that the Spiritualist model of teaching spirit communication came originally from the teachers on the Other Side of life who brought the techniques for doing and learning spirit communication to those on earth through trance mediums (now loosely called channelers)and that was Spiritualism's basis for the work it has done and continues to do so effectively. Since we have so few Spiritualist churches now that we can attend for quick messages from those on the Other Side, those of you who are new especially may not know anything about what I'm saying, but you'll see how this plays out as you come to future classes.
Many people today ignore the importance of spirit protection for the beginning medium. They simply don't know about it so they don't seem to care about it. If they did know about it, I feel sure that they would follow the Spiritualist model of teaching spirit communication. The guide, when we begin to know him/her, protects us from random spirit communicators (who may be mischievous, at best, destructive, at worst). Those who can see what goes on over on the Other Side of Life report that the guides also can be seen and heard directing spirit communicators who have a message they want to give one of us on earth on how to go about working with them and with us to make that happen.
You can see spirit communicators on the Other Side standing in line to speak to us through a medium on earth. I have seen them. I have also seen mischievous communicators waiting in that line, as well. My guide (doorkeeper) weeds out the illegitimate ones and so will your guide because that's part of the job they do. Guides both guide and guard us.
I want to address the problem, also, that a certain number of students have when they first come to class-the problem of not really believing in guides-I was like that when I first entered a Spiritualist development class. I just didn't want a person in Spirit interfering in my life. It seemed to violate my spiritual integrity, somehow. It also seemed that a direct connection to information I received was more reliable. The guide could be seen as negating my free will, also. We now can understand why it's necessary, I hope-to protect us from mischievous spirits and to help with the communication process. So that's out of the way. The free will argument is a different matter, however.
First of all, you do not need to believe in guides, at all. You will continue to receive information whether you believe in guides or not. I was getting spirit information for a while before I went into a Spiritualist class and when I was in class, I continued for many months, probably at least a year or so, to believe that there might be a guide who brought some of it, but thought it couldn't be a guide that brought the majority of it to me.
Eventually, I came to believe that my guide was the pathway to spirit information. I still know that there are other sources of information, especially psychic sources. There are past lives (we can detect these in the aura around others) and simply past experiences from within this present lifetime that are held in the aura, and the hopes and dreams of the individual, again, held within the aura, therefore available to our psychic senses.
In order to reassure the students I've just referred to the ones who don't really believe in guides, recently I have used the example of past life therapy and the effectiveness of past life therapy in spite of the fact that we may not need to believe in the reality of past life recall either as therapist or client, because past life recall simply works, whether or not we believe in past lives at all. I was able to learn to do Spiritualist work without believing in spirit communication as my sole source of information. I eventually became a reader in Spiritualist church (after being in a development class for several years, I joined the staff as one of the mediums), and by that time I was largely a believer in guides. I don't honestly think it matters whether you start out believing. I feel certain, however, that most people will be aided by the guide methodology of bringing messages to us-and you may even come to have a strong belief in this time-honored method of spirit communication after awhile.
For those who have no trouble believing in guides, just continue as you are.