A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

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A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

Post by Wes on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:14 am

Last year Lis gave some very considered and detailed responses to some questions about trance and channeling, which I've edited slightly to present here as a "beginner's reference guide":

"At what level of personal development is it appropriate to be channeling?"

It is not easy to give a comprehensive answer to this, but in a general sense, a person should have had some degree of spiritual awareness and inclination before undertaking to develop channeling or trance mediumship. The reason for this is really pretty obvious. Unless a person has some level of knowledge of what might be accessed through entering into a trance or channeling state, they are unlikely to be able to adequately assess and discern the value, meaning or origins of the material given out during channeling or trance. Part of personal development is self-awareness, the capacity to have insight into one's own motivations and interests, and the wisdom to understand that not all that the mind can conceive or create is necessarily real or valid.


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Re: A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

Post by Wes on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:15 am


"What is the difference between trance and channeling?"

'Channeling' is an American word used to describe a person entering into an altered state of awareness and while in that state, which may be 'conscious' or 'unconscious' transmitting the words or thoughts that come into the mind. As such, it may be that what is transmitted comes from the person's own mind or 'higher consciousness' or may be information from a source outside of their individual mind, that is, a 'spirit.' For many people who ''channel" it might also be perceived as transmitting information from Archangels, ancient wisdom teachers or even aliens - all is considered possible in the channeling context.

Trance - and there are at least four different levels of trance state - from mild overshadowing where the person is fully conscious to deep trance where the medium is quite unconscious and unaware of what is occurring while the spirit communicates through them - is fundamentally a term used to describe a process of communication between those in the spirit world and those in the physical world and is most often used to transmit the deeper philosophy of Spiritualism, though it can also be used to transmit information constituting evidence of the survival of a known and identified individual in spirit.

There are potential difficulties with both channeling and trance. First and foremost, it is important to establish the veracity of 1. Who or what is communicating and 2. What is the value/accuracy of what is communicated. Often in situations where the approach has been to 'channel' there is little evidence given to establish that who purports to be communicating is in fact who they claim they are. This may also occur with trance - but usually a spirit will attempt to give some identifying information.

To undertake either trance or channeling a person must be very alert to the possibilities of interference - that is interference by their own mind - which may distort the accuracy of the information transmitted. As Spiritualists, we always say it is important to 'test' the spirits, and this old adage is never so important as when contemplating trance or channeling.

In reality, a person who enters into attempting to channel or do trance, who has not understood the implications of what they want to do, and who are not willing to question and test whatever information comes through probably should not undertake either. A number of people most attracted to the idea of channeling and trance, are in fact, quite unsuited to such an activity, either in terms of their personality - that is, if they are of a nervous, excitable or gullible nature - or because they are a person who has a strong ego, and/or a desire to be seen as important, special or hold power over others.

If channeling or trance is to be attempted in a group that already exists for another purpose a clear discussion of the potential implications, the impact on members of the group, and the likely alteration to the group dynamics (including the potential to disrupt the group or even to cause it to break-up) should be undertaken, along with those wishing to channel or trance declaring their reasons for wanting to do this, and why they think it might be of benefit to them and other group members.

Unless there is general agreement amongst the group members, it is unwise to proceed. Even where there is an agreement to explore this particular form of 'communication' rules need to be formulated right from the start, and someone in the group would need to be chosen to co-ordinate the time spent on this activity in the group in order that the situation does not degenerate into several people 'going off into trance' at the same time. Clear time constraints should be imposed, especially if several people want to try this activity. An equal amount of time is allocated to each person, and when that time is up, the coordinator must close that segment down and allow another person to have a go. A record should be kept of what transpires, and a time set aside each time the group meets to assess the content of what was channeled or communicated through the trance state. A specific time scale should be worked out - say, the group will allow members to try this activity for a period of 3 months, at which point, its value and impact on the group should be evaluated and a decision made on, before further efforts are made or the activity ceases.


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Re: A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

Post by Wes on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:15 am

“Is trance a form of physical mediumship?”

I personally believe, as a mental and trance medium with over 46 years’ experience, that it is incorrect to class trance states, even deep trance as an aspect of physical mediumship EXCEPT in the sense that ALL mediumship is in some respects physical as even in mental mediumship the mind of the medium is being physically influenced by the spirit communicating - often to the extent that the medium experiences the physical symptoms that were associated with the spirit's passing.

Physical mediumship is, from my perspective, a very specific and defined form of mediumship which produces physical, objective phenomena, that is independent of the actions of the medium except for the fact that the energy required to produce the phenomena may be drawn from the physical form of the medium and utilized by the spirit realms. The difference between trance - and physical phenomena mediumship is quite clear.


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Re: A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

Post by Wes on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:16 am

"What safety measures should be in place while doing it, such as having a control that you trust?"

In part, some of my previous comments may answer this question. Primary safety measures include
1. Each member of the group knowing the rules, and committing to abide by them.
2. one person who takes charge of the segment, a person who has some knowledge of what trance and channeling are about (or is willing to learn) and is capable of firmly, but gently guiding people.
3. A person who is able to 'bring the person back' from a trance/channeling state, when their allocated time is up, or when the person appears to be struggling or distressed.
4. Discussion at every step about the value of what is being transmitted - even though this may cause some people to feel challenged.
5. A strict time limit - a limit that is adhered to every time.
6. An agreement to immediately discontinue the segment if anyone in the group is distressed, uncomfortable or offended by what is communicated.
7. Complete avoidance of alcohol or other stimulants prior to the group meeting.

Other rules might include using a specific dedication or 'protection' technique before undertaking the trance/channeling segment - useful in energy terms and also psychologically - as it highlights the seriousness of the undertaking and prepares the group for working at a deeper level of spirit contact.


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Re: A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

Post by Wes on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:16 am

"How do the group dynamics affect channeling, is it all up to the one doing it, or the circle as a whole?"

The energy created by the group is fundamentally important to the success of any channeling or trance work. If anyone in the group is uncomfortable with this kind of activity the energy available is reduced and may interfere with the success of the activity.

The whole circle would need to devote all their attention and energy to the person, or each person, if several are interested in trying this, while the person is attempting to move into the required altered state.

There should be an attitude of acceptance and encouragement - and a willingness to see that other person's development move forward in this way.

Each member of the circle would need to keep an open mind about what is transmitted, at least until discussion time when concerns or uncertainties should be raised.

It is important to remember that moving into an altered state of consciousness or into the deeper levels of the trance state, takes time to learn and become competent in. It can take even longer for a spirit guide to build up enough energy and connection with the person to allow them to communicate through them in a clear and coherent manner. Such things cannot be rushed.

It is also important to understand that some people can convince themselves they are in touch with spirit when they are not - and such people are too often the ones that want to do channeling - so caution must be exercised at all times.


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Re: A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

Post by Wes on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:16 am

"Will your gatekeeper allow spirits to channel through you according to what's best for you, or according to what your intentions and preferences are?"

A person's gatekeeper would not want to allow a spirit or spirits of no good intent or purpose to work through the person; however, if the person is willing to let whatever comes, come through, the gate-keeper is not in a position to prevent it happening due to the issue of free-will.

In other words, the person must set the intent - that only a spirit of good purpose and higher knowledge or wisdom, or only a spirit that has a genuine desire to provide evidence of their survival to someone in the room - is wanted, and will be granted permission to communicate through them during trance or channeling activity. The person would also be wise to invite their door-keeper, whether known or unknown to them, to carry out the task of filtering out the undesirable from those in the spirit world who might 'see the light' of the medium and try to get a look-in!

If a person is particularly taken with the idea of channeling 'Jesus' or an Archangel, or an Egyptian High Priest, there are many in the spirit world who will oblige and take on that personage and perhaps eventually destroy the confidence of the person as they come to realise the falseness of it. Worse, some will never realise they are being duped by false spirits and will continue to channel and proudly proclaim the name/status of that which they channel. It is for this reason that testing and questioning is so important.


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Re: A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

Post by Wes on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:17 am

"Does opening yourself up to one also open yourself up to the other, or can you set your own ground rules for your gatekeeper/guides to follow?”

You are entirely responsible for the degree to which you open up and allow yourself to go into an altered state, or to channel. You can set your own rules - i.e., to say I do not wish to go into deep trance, but will allow a state of inspiration or light trance that ensures I remain conscious and aware of what I am saying. Indeed, to begin with, such an approach is very sensible and ensures you build a level of confidence in the process and also become more aware of the sensations associated with the spirit or spirits with whom you are in contact.

By building up a level of trust with those spirit and your guides, who may or may not be the spirit that wants to communicate through you, it becomes possible to allow yourself to move to a deeper level of altered consciousness, even ultimately to deep trance, knowing that if necessary, you will be made aware of what was given through you either by hearing it replayed on a tape recording, or by it being given to you sometime in the following 24 hours after.

Even with guides and spirits that you have begun to trust, there may be occasions when 'interference' in the transmission occurs and false or distorted information is given. This does not necessarily mean that there is something seriously amiss, it may just be that the medium's own mind got in the way, or even that the atmospheric conditions distorted communication.

It is, however, when it occurs, wise to bear it in mind for future communications and to regularly assess and evaluate the material received. If repeated errors or falsehood occurs, or over the top claims, predictions or demands are given, then it would be best to withdraw for a period of time, cease channeling until the matter has been clarified to you satisfaction.

Remember, you are always in charge. You always have the right to work in this way or to refuse to do so. It is your decision. By telling your guides what you are comfortable with and what you are not, they will do their best to accommodate you while striving to get their message across.


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Re: A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

Post by Wes on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:18 am

reserved
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Re: A User's Guide to Trance and Channeling

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:59 pm

Thanks Wes that was an excellent idea I will endeavour to make this a sticky topic so it stays at the top of the list for any newcomers
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