There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Deuteronomy 18:9-12
Before there was New Age "channeling," there was occult mediumship. Spiritualism began to become popular in North America and western Europe in the mid-19th century--probably peaking in the 1920s--but was long past its peak in popularity by the time the following article by Sharon Winkelaar appeared in The Edmonton Journal on Friday, May 3, 1963, page 19 (in a section of the paper then known as "women's pages"). Any resemblance between spiritualist practices and contemplative "Christian" practices is, of course, coincidental--or is it?
Vancouver Spiritualist To Visit City Temple
"It will be a normal sort of church service," said secretary of the Temple of Spiritualism, Mr. John Morrison.
The only difference will be that the person who gives the sermon, the Rev. B. Gaulton Bishop of Vancouver, "will probably go into trance and will give a trance lecture from someone else completely."
The someone else will be a different entity, a spirit guide, a disembodied soul, if you like.
What visiting medium Mrs. Bishop says at the two services Sunday at the Temple will "depend entirely on the guide."
Mrs. Bishop, president of the International Spiritualist Alliance of Vancouver, will arrive Saturday. She will be honored at a reception at the Temple Saturday evening, and will take charge of morning and evening Sunday services.
Until May 16, Mrs. Bishop will demonstrate her powers for both members of the Temple and curious enquirers. And whatever else a medium is haunted by, curiosity could be called the most persistent.
Monday, Mrs. Bishop will conduct a trance circle for members only, and Mr. Morrison is hoping to arrange a circle for "handpicked" persons outside the Temple's membership.
Trance is a "state of passiveness in which the medium is controlled by a discarnate entity," Mr. Morrison explained.
To demonstrate how completely separate a medium can be from his spirit guide, Mr. Morrison told of a male medium in England who didn't believe in re-incarnation--but his spirit guide preached it through him!
Each medium gathers a band of spirits--like good friends--and each spirit has a specific job. In addition, a medium will have a guardian spirit who keeps "lower vibratory" entities from him.
Mrs. Bishop will do "aura diffiniations" on Tuesday, at which she will tell visitors the color of their aura, or roughly speaking, halo. White is the purest color, indicating progress, but not necessarily nobility.
Thursday Mrs. Bishop will demonstrate flower psychometry. Mr. Morrison has never seen this done, but supposes that the medium will pass messages to persons according to a flower they will be given as they enter the Temple.
In following days, she will demonstrate the psychometry itself. This is giving a person a message of the past or future by holding an object they have been associated with.
Broadly speaking, basic spiritualist tenets are that each person has a soul, and his soul has a certain vibration. When a person dies, the vibration survives and is partly made up of his complete personality.
This personality, or disembodied soul, carries on in afterlife much as before, his vibration determining the state of existence which he or she can change and improve upon.