I remember, when I was about 12, going to a spiritualist church. Mother took me. I was fascinated by the artist who sketched alongside the medium who spoke and who handed out pictures which were recognised by folks in the audience.
Last month I went to see a stage medium with two friends and followed it with a trip to the local spiritualist church. Going as an adult with experience of magic and energy was fascinating – to feel what happened magically as well as to watch the evidence given, down to names, ages, descriptions of bedrooms… educational.
The point of a spiritualist mediumship demonstration is to provide evidence for the audience that their dead are still with them, still there. It attempts to prove to those present that there is life after death. There are other explanations for what happens – perhaps the ‘medium’ is psychic and reads the information from their audience, or perhaps they are a fraud and collect information beforehand somehow… the ability to watch what the energy does, however, showed me that there were spirits being spoken to.
Since then I’ve been reading about Seidr again. It highlights one of the differences in perspective between ‘pagan’ and Christian paths. Where the spiritualist primarily gives evidence, the Seidr Prophet primarily answers questions. They both speak to the spirits, contact the dead, use trance and so on… but the pagan participants are expected to already accept the continuation of life-after-death, the Christain setting does not expect belief before proof.
I wonder why? Perhaps we expect, within paganism, that folk will have sought their own experience already? Perhaps it is more due to the ‘rationalist’ soil in which spiritualism grew up?
Either way, despite my own personal experiences with the dead and despite the possibility of it not being accurate, the evidence given moved me. It has really helped me to solidify my thoughts into beliefs where scepticism still lived.
I wonder; have you sought out evidence for something you’ve believed already… and has it helped?