Knowing the difference between a psychic, a medium, and a channeler can be helpful in determining which type of individual you want to contact for which type of service they likely provide – and I’ve seen a lot of people asking about this distinction for this reason. So, I thought I’d write up a quick little blog post to help understand the difference between these three types of abilities.
But…it should also be noted that these distinctions are kind of just arbitrary boundaries. We, as humans, like to categorize and identify as one thing over another, but, in the grand scheme of things, these demarcations are not always so exact or precise. So, while one person may identify as a psychic, they may bring through deceased loved ones as a medium does and may not even realize it.
With that caveat, let’s but some arbitrary boundaries on these categories and define them!
What is a Psychic?
A psychic is an individual who reads energy. I’ve written in the past about the real difference between how I categorize intuition (high level pattern recognition) and psychic ability (reading energy patterns), but really people like to lump together these two abilities and switch the terms around.
When a psychic reads patterns of energy this usually takes the form of seeing symbols and then interpreting what those symbols mean. Psychics may also use any of their various “clairs” to receive and process information.
Psychic is also a broad category. If you are looking at the difference between a psychic, a medium and a channeler, you can view psychics as the base of a triangle. Psychic ability is a basic stepping stone, meaning that all mediums and channelers are also psychic. It is the foundation upon which they build and grow their abilities from.
*** If you want to learn how to develop your psychic abilities, check out my Psychic Development book (amazon affiliate link – may earn small percentage off purchases from link) which offers some practical techniques to help strengthen this natural ability that all people have.***
What is a Medium?
A medium is an individual who communicates with those who have crossed over – basically, a medium talks to the dead. The mediumship ability comes through very similar to psychic abilities, meaning they use similar “clairs” to access information. Some individuals may “hear” in their mind communication while others are more likely to see images and symbols from the deceased loved one.
What makes mediumship different than psychic ability is that the medium depends on a spirit to transmit information. From my personal experience, some spirits have a knack for communicating with mediums and some have a greater difficulty. This makes mediumship sessions sometimes hit or miss with the information that they are able to bring through. If the spirit of your deceased grandma does not communicate well with a certain medium – if they aren’t on the same wavelength or frequency – the medium may not be able to give much information.
Mediums must also deal with the human aspect of what they do and getting confirmation or acceptance of certain facts or details. The spirit may transmit perfectly, but the human hearing this information from the medium may not know or be able to confirm what is brought through. When your grandma starts talking about how Albert met her when she transitioned, you need to know that her brother’s name was Albert, or you won’t be able to understand this information that the medium is bringing through.
In summary, mediumship is the ability to communicate with dead people but depends heavily on a variety of factors including the deceased loved one’s ability to communicate, the client’s own knowledge base, and the mediums abilities and natural frequency.
What is a Channeler?
A channeler is an individual who brings through spirits or entities who are not your deceased loved ones. Some channelers focus on spirit guides (that’s me!) while others bring through alien beings or angels or other entities who do not hold human form.
In reality, channeling can work very similar to mediumship and there is a lot of cross-over between the two. What I have found is that sometimes a very strong deceased loved one who is good at sending information can appear very much like a spirit guide and it may be difficult to tell them apart.
In general, when channeling spirits or entities this process may actually be easier than channeling deceased loved ones because spirits know how to communicate and are usually specifically there to communicate with humans.
Channelers also tend to bring through information that is broader in scope and has a more “spiritual” message. Whereas a medium will relate practical details about the human life the deceased loved one had, a channeler will transmit information about the purpose of life and the makeup of reality.
Sometimes channeled information may be a little “dry” and lack “human” emotions. Something that is seen as “bad” or “negative” in the human life may not be seen that was to a spirit. They will likely speak of opportunities and possibilities instead of roadblocks and heartbreak. Whereas a deceased loved one may see you loosing your job as “bad” a spirit would speak more of it as an opportunity or a potential.
Channelers are also more likely to directly channel the entity or spirit, allowing the spirit to use their vocal cords to speak through them. Channels tend to “move out of the way” so the spirit can come directly through them. This is possible for mediums to do as well (thus the overlap), but is more common among those who channel.
It is not necessary for a channeler to allow this access and many modern day channels retain their consciousness while allowing a spirit or entity to communicate, but this was a popular trend in the last century.
So, there you have it – a psychic reads energy patterns, a medium communicates with the dead, and a channeler communicates with other spirits and entities.
How do you distinguish between Psychics, Mediums, and Channelers?? Is there really that great of a distinction??