A medium is a person who serves as a conduit for communication between the material world and the spirit world. Mediumship may take any of several forms based on who is being contacted and how the contact manifests.
A medium may mediate communication between living humans and spirits of the deceased or between material humans and spirit beings, including Gods, angels or the medium’s own spirit guide or Ascended Master. This is most often done while the medium is in a trance state, but the actual process varies greatly.
The medium may channel the spirit, allowing it to completely take over the medium’s faculties; speaking and acting through him or her. In this way the spirit can deliver its message directly through the medium’s voice (often changed) or through another means such as automatic writing. Some mediums report no memory of anything that happens while they are being ridden by a spirit, other mediums report watching the events unfold in a passive manner and still, others are able to maintain some active control during the channeling event.
Alternatively, the spirit may simply speak to the medium so that the medium may pass along the information.
Some mediums are able to bring encourage physical manifestations of the spirit through visual materialization, sounds, such as knocking and the movement of objects and the appearance of ectoplasm. In these cases, it may be possible for the spirit to speak directly with the third party through conversation or simply answering yes or no questions and responding through a code (like “once for yes, twice for no” ) or a Spirit board with the medium acting a facilitator.
In modern Western tradition, mediums often ply their trade at seances or gallery readings. These tend to be in great demand during the Samhain season. These practitioners are best known in the media for their theatrics and the media delights in nothing more than pronouncing them frauds and many are. But mediums hold an important place in many magico-religious and spiritual systems including Candomblé, Spiritualism, Spiritism, Umbanda, Voodoo, Vodoun and Wicca.