Articles about Spirituality

Define Spiritualist
By:Julia Drake

Spiritualists are practitioners and followers of Spiritualism, an American-made religion that dates back to 1848. The National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) defines Spiritualism -- or Modern American Spiritualism -- as a religion, science and philosophy centered on the belief in the continuation of life after death. At the heart of Spiritualism are the Spiritualist mediums who communicate with the dead.

First Spiritualists
The beginnings of Spiritualism are accredited to two sisters, Catherine (Katie) and Margaretta Fox. In 1848, the two young girls were staying in a cottage with their parents in Hydesville, New York. After moving into the cottage, the family began to hear mysterious noises, movements and rapping. The sisters, believing that there was a spirit in the house, devised with their mother a code of rapping -- taps of sound -- for the spirit to communicate with them. The sisters developed their psychic abilities and news of their communication with the spirit spread to the public. People came from all over to witness the Fox sisters commune with spirits.

Growth of Spiritualists
The intrigue of the Fox sisters and their psychic phenomena encouraged other mediums, or intermediaries between the living and the dead, to communicate to the public their talents of communing with the dead. People flocked to seances held by Spiritualist mediums who displayed both mental and physical phenomena in their spirit communications. A Spiritualist medium's link to the spirit world offered the public evidence of an afterlife. A religion, complete with beliefs, ministers and churches, began to form around mediumship. Spiritualists grew both in America and overseas in England after Spiritualism spread there in the 1850s.

Spiritualist Beliefs
The NSAC lists Spiritualist principles of belief on its website. Spiritualists believe in an infinite intelligence (God) and that nature is an expression of this intelligence. They believe that after death, a person's existence and personal identity continue to exist. Spiritualists also believe that the religion of Spiritualism scientifically proves the possibility of communication with the dead. Prophecy and healing are expressions of the divine and individuals have control over their lives and a responsibility for their actions.

Spiritualist Types
Spiritualism is composed of Spiritualists, Spiritualist mediums and Spiritualist healers. Spiritualists believe in the teachings and messages of spirit communication and live their lives in accordance with the Spiritualist teachings they receive. Spiritualist mediums are those individuals who are in touch with the vibrations of the spirit world and convey a spirit's message to a person seeking communication with that spirit. Mediums are skilled in different techniques such as prophecy, trance, clairvoyance, spirit communication through taps of sound, automatic writing or healing. A Spiritualist healer can heal others through mediumship or through natural inborn power. Spiritualist healers focus on holistic healing and transmitting healing energies to a person.