Several different variants of mediumship exist; arguably the best-known forms involve a spirit taking control of a medium's voice and relaying a message, or where the medium can hear the message and pass it on. Other forms involve spirit manifeastations like apparitions, hearing a voice, as well as telekinetic activity.
In Spiritualism the mediums role is of an intermediary between the living world and the spirit world. Mediums can listen to and relay messages from spirits and can allow them to control their body and speak through it directly or by using other forms of communication.
Spiritualists typically classify mediumship into two main categories: "mental" and "physical":
- Mental mediums that "tune in" to the spirit world by listening, sensing, or seeing spirits..
- Physical mediums produce materializations of spirits, and other effects like knocking, rapping, bell-ringing, and others.
A more contemporary term is "channeling" where the medium receives messages from a "teaching-spirit", an ascended master or from an angel, but basically through the filter of their consciousness.