After meeting Sahar in 1996, I began my quest to understand the nature of spirituality and the power of psychics and to explore how to reconcile those theories and forms of thought with traditional beliefs and views of religion. The Spiritualist Association of Great Britain, in London’s prestigious Belgrave Square, is a reputable place to begin in the search for a medium.
The first medium I consulted there was Terry Tasker. He has been in the business since the sixties and has a large and loyal following. He made it clear that the main point of mediumship is to provide evidence of life after death. He will not broker a dialogue nor translate conversations between you and your loved ones in spirit. Rather, he will interpret messages given by the spirits that the sitter may understand and which prove that ‘life’ does not end at the point of dying.
Before taking a private sitting with Terry, I attended a public demonstration to enable me to establish his credentials. Most of the SAGB mediums are on a rota of public sittings which take place every afternoon and evening on weekdays and in the afternoon at the weekend. I was, without doubt, the tensest person in a room of about fifteen people. I lifted my eyes to the grand chandelier and wondered whether its crystals would start tinkling and whether a spirit would come to me at all. And, if a spirit did grace me with its presence, what would actually happen?
When recently bereft, one wants concrete proof of life after death: that, in my case, your fiancé, Tom, and your mother are thinking, reflective beings, cognisant of your feeling of bereavement and concerned about your welfare. You want to commune with them. As the seasoned spectators began to produce notepads and pens in the expectation that Terry would give them some relevant titbits, I tried to relax and ‘open my mind’ as I waited my turn. He wasn’t able to give names but his descriptions of my mother and of Tom were very accurate and their messages instantly resonated with me.
When I later met Terry for a half-hour private sitting I was able to explore the meaning of it all a little more. I found myself in a little room (considering the profound event about to take place), which contained two chairs, a table, a tape recorder and a box of tissues.
Terry told me that we were about to embark on an experiment with no guarantee of success. One cannot just summon up a spirit – he or she has to agree to be contacted. I learned that Tom was “ok.” The nature of his illness was confirmed to me by way of proof that we had engaged the right spirit. For the first fifteen minutes I was given gentle, downbeat messages that were definitely from Tom but which were not very intimate. I very slightly slumped in my seat, deflated. Terry continued to chirp on and gradually began to reveal things that only Tom could have known.
I had observed certain rituals after the death of my mother that Tom, and only Tom, had observed, and Terry told me that Tom knew that I did the same for him. Most tellingly, I learned that Tom knew that I often slept with his watch in my hand. Do all widows do that? I mean, could any medium worth his salt guess that I was sleeping with the watch that Tom’s son had taken from his father’s wrist?
I had gone into the session with healthy scepticism and was determined not to believe that any general messages were real messages from the dead. I left the session disappointed that I had received no bold declarations of love from Tom. I had no idea what Tom had become or whether he was a cognisant being in the ‘next room’ but…and a big but… I knew that death was not the end. And I knew that somehow he knew that I was lighting candles for him in Southwark Cathedral. So he did know my pain. It was our code word.
One day Mediumship course
Being an inquisitive soul, I wanted to know more about how all of this works and attended a one day mediumship course that promised to explore the different methods – clairvoyance (clear seeing), where the spirit appears to the medium, clairaudience (clear hearing), where the spirit speaks out loud through a person using its own voice or makes noise, and clairsentinence (clear feeling), where a person’s possessions provide messages.
Different mediums specialise in different techniques. Terry took the assembled company through guided meditations in which we met our spirit guides. It was interesting that when all twenty of us were asked to go through a door at the end of our journey and to describe the colour and number of the door, many people had been through the same blue door – number forty-three. My spirit guide, waiting for me through the door, was Tom. The power of collective thinking?!
Working on that higher vibration?! The day was intense. One of the most memorable parts of the day was the clairsentinence produced from holding other people’s watches. In pairs we were asked to concentrate on our partner’s watch in an attempt to glean something about the other person. The lady with whom I worked picked up on the significance of another watch – Tom’s watch, I suppose. I, in turn, intuited that she loved dancing and worked in antique fayres selling old vases.
The ‘piece de resistance’ of the day was the transfiguration mediumship. The medium drops into a deep meditation and allows spirits to appear through him. I had seen this before and knew what to expect but for ages it seemed as if this particular experiment had failed. After 25 minutes it began: my vision blurred and as I struggled to focus, I began to see Terry’s face mutate into many different faces. I saw my mother briefly but not Tom – and you can imagine how desperately I wanted to see Tom – and the faces changed and changed.
Terry snapped out of his trance after a while and asked in a gentle Yorkshire lilt, “did anyone see anything?” The room was silent and then the responses erupted – everyone started to talk at the same time. Three-quarters of the room had seen at least one loved one in spirit and many other unfamiliar faces and yet the other quarter had seen nothing.
I had attended the course with a friend and we had a truthful session over drinks later on. “What did you really see, Tanya?” She described the green light emanating from Terry’s body – his aura – and as she brushed the equivalent parts of her own body to demonstrate where the light had been, I knew we had seen the same thing. So clearly some people can operate at this higher vibration, and others cannot, or do not know how.
I thoroughly recommend this course for people with an interest in mediumship. Even if you have no designs to become a medium, the insights you gain allow you to judge whether a medium is good or a charlatan. Throughout the day Terry recounts anecdotes about the tricks used by those with no talent in mediumship, to convince people that they are communing with the spirits.
© Emma Pegler 2004
Spiritual Association of Great Britian www.spiritualistassociation.org.uk