There’s a difference between psychics and mediums. All mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums. Psychic abilities include higher sense perceptions such as clairvoyance (sight), clairaudience (voice or sound), clairsentience (feeling), and claircognizance (knowing). I spoke about these recently in my presentation “Psychic Development for Writers” at Seton Hill University’s recent In Your Write Mind workshop.
Psychics use their higher sense perceptions to gather information—data that’s “out there” and available to anyone trained to access it—from people’s energy fields as well as higher levels of consciousness. Mediums, on the other hand, use psychic abilities to not only gather information, but to connect with discarnate intelligences. This includes the so-called dead, those whose bodies have died and who now exist in the spirit world, and higher forms of intelligence such as spirit guides and ascended masters. I’m a medium and a channeler, someone who communicates with and delivers messages from discarnate entities.
When did you realize you had mediumistic abilities?
I’ve always been interested in “the other side,” evidenced by my lifelong love of supernatural fiction. But it wasn’t until my grandparents died that I discovered I could see transitioned spirits. Shortly after each of them passed on, I saw an inner vision of them in the next life, happy and whole. At that time, I didn’t believe in such things, and merely dismissed it as imagination.
Mediumistic abilities crop up in my duo of shorts, Desperate Spirits. And in my Seton Hill thesis novel, Death Perception (which I’m still working on), the protagonist is a young guy who can discern the cause of death of those he cremates. No big deal, since they’re already dead. But when what he discerns differs from what’s on the death certificate, he finds himself in the midst of murderers. He begins to see and communicate with the spirits of the departed.
When I wrote the book in 2004-2006, I in no way believed in such abilities—they were pure fantasy to me. However, five years later, after the death of a family member, I began to have mediumistic encounters. I did some schooling to understand what was happening to me, and am now a practicing Spiritualist medium.
How have your abilities affected your writing?
I was already writing about the supernatural. But now, I’m more informed, and with the things that I experience and the entities I meet on the spirit side of life, I have a much richer idea pool to draw from.
Since studying mediumship and psychic development, I’m better able to respond to inspiration. And I think I’m getting help from the other side for all aspects of the process: idea generation, story development, writing, editing, and marketing.
Can you turn off your abilities, or are they with you all day, every day?
Today’s TV and movies often paint a picture of “gifted” people helplessly being invaded at any moment by psychic information or departed spirits. In real life, being spiritually developed and psychically skilled includes learning how to turn your abilities on an off at will, exerting control. That’s what professionals do.
I set personal boundaries for when I will and won’t receive such contact. For instance, I don’t want people—on this side or the other—waking me up in the middle of the night to tell me something!
After specifically opening up to receive such communication during a client session, I close down the connection at the end. And I do physical activities to ground myself so that my consciousness isn’t always “floating.”
I work at home full time, so I spend much of my days alone. My mind wanders, so I can’t help but pick up information. (But I think this happens to everyone, especially writers.) As I’m about my business, I don’t mind if my personal spirit guides step in to tell or show me something based on what I’m doing at the moment. But for everyone else, they have to make an appointment…
Is psychic ability, in your opinion, something you're born with, or can you develop it?
I talk about this in “Psychic Development for Fiction Writers.” Psychic skills are human skills. They’re not just for a “gifted few.” Everyone who wants to can develop psychic skills such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience. It’s all a matter of desire and practice.
I believe that psychic information and creative inspiration for fiction come from the same source and are delivered along the same channel. By learning to open your psychic channel, you become better able to receive inspiration and to channel creative information that makes fiction really resonate. In short: If you widen the psychic channel, you’ll get better ideas. So open up and practice!
If psychic ability can be developed, do you have any suggestions for sharpening your sixth sense?
In my metaphysical studies, I employ the notion of “noticing what you notice.” The first step in developing psychic abilities is to be aware of your own awareness. Engaging in short periods of meditation to quiet the left brain and open the right brain is a good way to start developing this awareness.
Receiving higher sense perceptions is actually much easier than most people think. Everyone already receives psychic information, but it typically doesn’t wallop you over the head. It’s not at all dramatic like in books or movies. In fact, it’s usually so subtle you don’t notice it, or you dismiss it.
You must get in touch with where, on the inside, you receive visual and auditory information.
Close your eyes (uh, after you read the next sentence…). Inside, picture a flag flying atop a sunny, grassy knoll. Can you see it? Where you saw it is where you receive clairvoyant information. It’s that simple.
Higher sense perceptions are not generated by force of will or intense concentration. Rather, they come by:
- Setting an easy intention
- Relaxing the conscious mind
- Letting go
- Opening up to the flow of images, sounds, and feelings from higher consciousness
I discuss this at length and provide exercises in my presentation “Psychic Development for Writers.” There are also many good books out there for those who are interested in pursuing development.
I’d be happy to answer any questions. You can contact me at either of my blogs.
Lee Allen Howard writes horror, erotic horror, dark fantasy, and supernatural crime. He’s been a professional writer in the software industry since 1985. Besides editing fiction and non-fiction, Lee has served as a book publishing consultant and now publishes for Kindle. His publications include The Sixth Seed, Mama Said, Desperate Spirits, Night Monsters, and Stray. He blogs about writing and editing on his writer’s site: leeallenhoward.com. Lee also discusses metaphysical and spiritual issues at buildingthebridge.wordpress.com. He works as a Spiritualist medium and healer. You can connect with him on Facebook and at his Amazon author’s page.