The Difference Between Mediums and Channelers

Psychic Abilities
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Kathy Walker

Psychic Medium

There seems to be a lot of confusion, even among psychics, about what distinguishes a psychic channel from a psychic medium and vice versa. It is common to find the terms used interchangeably to describe the same thing. One of the factors that can muddy the waters, is that many psychics (like myself) actually fall into both categories, as opposed to fitting neatly into one box. I decided to attempt to try and clarify the differences, if any, between the two. I’d love to know of your experiences or understandings in the comments section.

Mediumship and channeling both involve the use of psychic abilities in order to communicate with spirits, entities, dimensions, or universal consciousness beyond the physical world, however, there are subtle differences between them. Most people, when they think of a medium, picture someone who is able to bring forth messages from their deceased loved ones. Whilst this is certainly true and can bring about great release and closure for the recipients of those messages, it is not the only way in which mediums can connect with spirit. They may also act as intermediaries to relay messages from spirit guides, angels, ascended masters, and more.

Mediums typically only connect with one non-physical being at a time. They usually engage with an individual spirit for a brief amount of time before moving on to interact with the next spirit.  Their connection with each spirit is often a one-time occurrence, one that is frequently never established again. While mediums tend to communicate with many different spirits over time, channels generally interact with the same spiritual entity throughout their lifetime to communicate universal wisdom, insights, and perspectives. Channels mostly connect with groups of spirits or cosmic energies, as opposed to individual spirits, thus channels will often use language such as ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. Channels commonly act as a conduit for messages from spirits or energies where time is viewed as non-linear. In other words, there is no past, present, and future. From that perspective, all lifetimes are viewed as occurring simultaneously, in the now.

Mediums also tend to act as an interpreter or translator for the messages or impressions they receive. They often use their psychic abilities to receive information from spirits. These psychic abilities can include clairvoyance (seeing), clairaudience (hearing), clairsentience (feeling), claircognizance (knowing), and more. The information is unique to the individuals being contacted and may include personal details, memories, or specific validations. The medium acts as a facilitator, relaying the client’s inquiries or messages to the spirit and conveying the responses or insights received. Channelers focus on opening themselves up to higher dimensions, cosmic energies, or spiritual entities and allowing these energies to flow through them. The channeler acts as a conduit or vessel for the transmission of information, teachings, or guidance from the spiritual realm to the client. Psychic channels establish a connection with spiritual realms to access knowledge and insights that surpass their own personal consciousness.

The way I usually distinguish between the two is that, when I’m acting as a medium, I receive information (mainly through claircognizance, but also most of the other ‘clairs’) that I then have to interpret. Some mediums use tools, such as tarot cards or crystals, to do this. Whilst I don’t use any physical tools, I do use my knowledge and experience as a kinesiologist to provide context and significance for the individual regarding the messages I receive. When I’m channeling, the message doesn’t seem to be coming from ‘me’. I don’t know what words are going to be coming out of my mouth next. That is also part of the fun because it’s like having a really good story read to you, except you’re the one who is reading the book as well!

From the perspective of the channel, it can seem as if they are receiving information from some higher source above or outside of themselves. In actuality, I suspect that the connection is more inward than outward, to the ‘God within’ or ‘infinite intelligence’ – pick whatever term works for you – which is not really separate from ‘The Divine’, ‘Universal Consciousness’ or ‘Oneness’. It is our own judgements and perceptions that cause us to view ourselves as separate from divinity or universal consciousness, rather than viewing ourselves as the physical expression of divine love. Divinity in motion.

The messages relayed by mediums tend to be more targeted towards the individual having the reading. When connecting with deceased loved ones, spirit guides, or other ethereal beings, the medium is able to relay messages, provide insights and guidance from the spirit world to the client. This can offer comfort, closure, healing, validation, reassurance, direction, or clarity for the person having a reading. On the other hand, messages shared by channels usually have broader relevance for a larger audience. They frequently address topics such as spiritual growth, consciousness, metaphysical concepts, soul purpose, life lessons, or universal truths. The information and energy transmitted during a session can inspire personal growth, healing, and a deeper connection to one’s own spiritual essence. Existing beliefs can also be challenged, inviting new ways of thinking, and provide a broader context for personal experiences. Sessions can present a fresh viewpoint on life, provide insights into personal challenges, and offer guidance on important life choices. In addition, they often ignite a sense of empowerment, encouraging individuals to embrace their own spiritual gifts and potential.  

Both have their place and one is no more or less important than the other. Either type can provide a very healing and transformative experience, providing a sense of connection with the spiritual realm and a feeling of peace. Every session and every channel is unique, so the specific experiences and outcomes may vary. It can help to approach your session with an open mind and heart, allowing yourself to receive the information and insights with curiosity and receptivity. The intention of the practitioner is important regardless of whether they are a channel or a medium. The overwhelming majority of practitioners set an intention to only relay information that is in the best interests and highest good of their clients, all other beings, and all other things. Be guided by your intuition when choosing the most suitable psychic to book with, and trust that they are the most appropriate person for you to connect with at that point in time.