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On Tuesday, I returned to The Journey Within Spiritualist Church to attend my first development circle.  

It is my belief that all things should be done with intention, so I set a specific intention for the meeting that evening - part prayer, part appeal for information from spirit.  'Let this experience show me what I might expect if I continue in this direction.'

It seemed a reasonable request.  The following Saturday, I had attended my first Beginner's Mediumship Class with Joseph Sheil and for that workshop I had set the intention of finding out if I should pursue training in mediumship.  I took the answer I received that day as a yes.  It seemed only fair to ask for a taste of what doing so might be like going forward.

The Tuesday night group was led by medium and teacher,  Gloria Weichand, and attended by a half dozen developing mediums.  I found everyone to be open and friendly and appreciated the time Gloria took to explain her methods to me before the class started.

Gloria explained the importance of symbolism and recommended that asking for spirit for a symbol be a part of my daily meditation - a great suggestion that I have not heard before.  She also encouraged us to set an intention for each meditation and to avoid dialoguing or questioning during meditation as this encourages left brain involvement. All great information I plan to incorporate in my routine.

After a lovely guided meditation, Gloria paired us off to practice psychic reception and mediumship.  While I was not as worried as I had been prior a similar exercise in Joe Sheil's beginners class on Saturday, I remained unsure.  I wondered if I would pick up anything of importance or even anything at all.

Our first exercise was in receiving information psychically.  We were asked to gather information about our partner in regard to past, present and future.  I shut my eyes and waited, determined not to say anything until I was given a vision.  In the darkness of my third eye vision I saw a kitchen, it took shape gradually.  I had the impression of a multi-paned window, lots of counters and possible an island, the suggestion of brick either within or without.

A bit lame, I thought, as far as visions go and told my partner I saw a kitchen and moved on in a hurry.  For the present I received an emotion which was a bit hard to pin down, a sensation of calm or peace that might have just been the energy of the sanctuary in which we were seated.  For future I received the impression of a dark car with light upholstery.

I wasn't particularly impressed.  Just about everyone has a car and kitchen and I seriously doubted that my partner did not.

We went on to the mediumship portion of the exercise.  We were told to get a name (of a deceased freind or family member or anyone associated with our sitter), an idea of an age of death and a manner of passing.  

I saw a flash of rose pink and the word Rose popped into my head.  I clearly saw an abundance of flowers and had the clear idea that these flowers were funeral flowers.  For a moment I had an impression of a lined casket in white or light satin.

Trying to put it together I guess that a woman close to my sitter had passed.  This was incorrect.  She had however lost her father less than two years before.  'There were a lot of flowers at the funeral,' she said, graciously.  'Really a lot.'  

After doing better than I expected to do on Saturday, this reading was a bit of a let down and I was disappointed that I had not been able to get more meaningful and specific information.

We reassembled to discuss what we had received and I was interested to hear the details of the other readings some of which supplied a high degree of detailed information, not all of which made immediate sense to the person being read.  When it was my turn to supply information on the person who had read for me, I found it difficult to remember all the info given and resolved to take notes the next time around.

I asked Gloria about the process of relaying a message and she shared an experience of her own which stressed the important of staying true to your vision. The group ended before my reading could be discussed so I evaluated it and my entire experience myself on the long drive back home.

In light of my intention, everything seemed meaningful.  It occurred to me, not for the first time, that developing mediumship was not going to be easy and that if I wanted to pursue it I was going to have to accept that letdowns and disappointing performances were going to be part of the process.  I remembered learning to ski and to do various types of art.  

I remembered in skiing specifically how thinking 'I've got this' often preceded a fall.  I remembered the point in all artwork when the idea of wresting something of beauty from the materials at hand seemed suddenly impossible and how the only way out of that thought was work yourself through to the other side. 

My visions had not been especially meaningful but they had been detailed and clear.  I knew that next time I would stay true to them and share all of the detail I received.  While I was not happy with my performance during the exercises that night but I had not sat in the silence and felt trapped in the dark.  'At least,' I told myself, 'I saw something.' 

And this was a beginning, I thought, on what may turn out to be a very long journey.

To read about my experience at Joe Sheil's Beginning Mediumship Class please check out the following entry "The Complexity of Spirit: First Steps in Mediumship at Journey Within."

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