Difference between a Psychic and a Medium

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One of the most common questions people have is what is the difference between a psychic and a medium.  A “psychic” is a catchall term for anyone who works with information received by means other than their five recognized physical senses.  This information is what informs your “intuition.”  Everyone is psychic to some degree, but not everyone is a medium.

Some professional psychics have worked with and developed their intuitive senses well enough to be able to “read” information recorded in people’s energy fields, or auras, and to use this extrasensory perception (or intuitive senses) to make informed predictions of what might happen in your life.  They do not connect to souls or energies in other dimensions like the Spirit World.

A medium is a psychic in that he or she has learned to fine-tune the use of their intuitive senses to receive messages from the Spirit World.  Professional mediums have trained to develop a strong link to other dimensions and to tune into the information being transmitted through these other senses.

Mediumship is more than using intuition to read information available in any beings magnetic energy field.  It involves opening the medium’s energy field and senses to energies or souls that are no longer present in our lives in physical form.  There are several distinct categories of mediumship:  mental mediumship, physical mediumship and trance mediumship.  

The first and most common form is called mental mediumship. Mediums utilizing mental mediumship place themselves in a highly active mental state in order to perceive information from the intuitive senses.  The medium is full conscious at the time of the reading, although many mediums will not fully recall what they told you during a reading. 


Mental mediumship uses the mind – the intuitive mind, not the rational or logical mind – to tune into higher frequencies or energies at which spirits vibrate. Mediums using this method of mediumship are able to sense impressions from the spirit world and communicate those impressions to the person for whom they are doing a reading.

Spiritual Gifts "The Clairs"

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There are a number of intuitive senses (sometimes referred to as “the clairs”).  


The most commonly talked about of these senses are:


Clairvoyance or "Clear seeing"

People who are clairvoyant can receive mental images of people, places, or situations using their third eyes which is located in the center of the forehead rather than with their physical eyes.

Clairaudience or "Clear hearing"


Those with this ability can receive information without the use of physical ears.  This is also referred to as mental telepathy, which is the communication of information through thoughts.

Clairsentience or "Clear feeling"


People with this ability can perceive information and psychic impressions through feelings.  They can feel emotions, as well as environmental factors such as heat, cold, though none of those things may be physically present. They are also known as empaths.

Clairscent or "Clear smelling"

Those who are open to this ability can smell scents that are not physically present.

Clairgustance or "Clear Tasting"

People can taste substances without putting anything into their mouths.

Clairangency or "Clear Touch"


Those with this ability can hold an object and pick up on the energetic impressions attached to it.  This is also known as psychometry.

Mediumship takes psychic ability a step further.  All mediums are psychic and have the additional abilities of sensing, discerning, and communicating with spirit energy. Some mediums are born with abilities rendering them able to communicate with spirits since they were young children, and other mediums develop their abilities over time.

It's important to remember that a medium doesn't create or summon the spirits; rather, they connect with spirits who choose to make connections with them. Simply having a reading with a medium doesn't guarantee that you'll be able to connect with the specific person on the Other Side that you're seeking. 

Mediums choose to develop and use their senses to facilitate communication between the spirit world and the physical world for a variety of reasons.  Most often it is because of a deep calling to be of service to others in the physical world – to help heal grief or to provide guidance, as well as to prove life after death. 

Although mediums and psychics have a lot in common there are also a lot of differences between the two, hopefully you have a better understanding of what those differences are.

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Image by Jakob Owens
Image by Artem Kovalev