Trance mediumship or channelling as it is sometimes called, like so many other forms of spirit communication, is very much misunderstood. In recent years a number of mediums have called themselves Trance Channels, when infact, they were not working in a genuine trance state. This has caused some considerable confusion amongst many people.
So what is the trance state? When spirit links with a medium, the spirit communicator exerts various degrees of control, or over shadows the consciousness of the medium. This will be done to a greater of lesser degree, depending on the intent or conditions of communication, as well as the ability of the medium to lend him/her self to be overshadowed or controlled.
Trance is considered the strongest degree of control the spirit can exert onto the medium. Yet, even here, there are various degrees of trance control, ranging from light to very deep trance states. Deep Trance is usually used for Physical mediumship.
There are many factors which indicate Trance Control, and parapsychologists have used various tests to determine whether, in fact, a medium is under control, and if so, to what degree?
Genuine Trance is a sharing of mental and physical energies and consciousness between the medium and the spirit communicator. There is generally not always manifested within the medium, the following:
a. A slowing of the heart rate.
b. A slow, deep and steady breathing pattern.
c. No rapid eye movement or REM.
d. A lowering of body temperature.
e. A greatly reduced reaction to touch or pain.
f. Various degrees of unconsciousness.
Furthermore, because in the trance state, the spirit communicator is speaking directly through the consciousness of the medium, rather than the medium relating what is being mentally given to him or her. The voice pattern and general manner of speech differ from that normally exhibited by the medium.
Finally, much research has been conducted around the language patterns of dialogue exhibited during trance communications. There is very often a broken speech pattern, a reversal of sentence structure, and an overall change in grammar usage.
One final point needs to be mentioned: that of control. What does it mean to be controlled by spirit? First of all, it does not mean that the medium is, in any way, possessed by a spirit personality. Possession or attachment, is extremely rare. Nor does it mean that the medium leaves his/her body and the spirit enters therein.
Mediumistic control means a sharing of mental and physical energies between the medium and the spirit control or operator. Control signifies a telepathic rapport between the two. How strong that rapport depends on the degree of control. Control can range from inspired thought, to conscious control, to light trance, to deep trance and very deep trance. It all depends upon the work at hand and physical energies available to the spirit communicator or operator.
So what actually happens?
Spirit people, when communicating can be varying distances away from the medium. In fact most mediums can tell you whether a communicator is on his left, right or behind them. But spirit guides who have a strong connection with their medium are able to come closer, some describe this as walking into their Aura. (The human Aura can extend some four feet around us, so when a guide enters this area, there is a bonding and deepening of contact.
Lets explore overshadowing. In this particular form of communication the spirit guide or communicator (I say or because it is not always the guide that speaks) has come very close to the medium (all this happens with the complete permission of the medium, in fact it would be impossible otherwise.) It is this closeness that allows the spirit communicator to influence the medium; he or she will then be able to speak for the communicating spirit. The voice will be the mediums but the words will be of the communicating spirit, and the medium will be able to let the guide/communicating spirit address those in the circle. Usually this will be an informative talk on spiritual matters, and on some occasions those in the circle will be able to ask questions of the guide/spirit control.
This is perhaps the more well known form of spirit trance communication and happens when the full co-operation of the medium is utilised. In this form the medium will spend a few moments attuning to their guide, before seemingly falling asleep. After a brief period the medium will have become an instrument for the guide, the guide being able to use the mediums voice directly. In explanation our medium has simply withdrawn to allow the spirit communicator through and will be unaware of the actual words spoken by him/her. Often tape recordings are made of these sittings to enable the entranced medium to know what has been said.
On these occasions the guide will usually impart great knowledge and teachings, for he is in direct contact with those around him. Questions are often asked and indeed the communicating guide will often invite them. Usually the voice accent is apparent, which would be logical, they are representing themselves at this time, accent, mannerisms and all.
Public demonstrations of Trance mediumship have been given with mixed reception. To hear an individual suddenly start speaking in a foreign accent and speaking of things that we can not often confirm, can for some people be a little hard to swallow. But, if we listen, just for a moment and dispense with our logic, so that we can hear the words, we may just find great enlightenment. For the words spoken by a guide are usually eloquent, knowledgeable and reasonable to out intelligence. A truly entranced medium will not be stuck for answers to questions, though we may not always hear what we expect.