Many websites or forums can be found with the words spirit or spiritual in their title. They often cover a multitude of interests and the adjective 'spirit' or 'spiritual' at one extreme may just mean 'not of the material' or at the other extreme be used to describe life at levels which challenge our understanding. Many people use the word 'spirit' when they really mean individuals who are very much alive but not in-the-body. But the word spirit may also be used to describe the very energy which gives substance, form or life to everything we see - and everything we can't. The creator of all things, or 'God', may even be referred to as The Great Spirit. Many websites have sections which deal with life after physical death and ways of communicating with those who have passed over; the words mediums, psychic, sensitive and channelers are frequently mentioned. Sometimes the ideas involved are confused and confusing. What follows is an attempt to simplify, clarify and perhaps define them and explain how they are often used. Mediums One of the simplest definitions of a medium could be: 'A person who facilitates communication between someone in the world-of-the-spirit and someone who isn't.' Certain mediums have conveyed the words and teachings of spiritually-evolved teachers and guides. Such guidance is not personal and applies to humankind generally. In the past details about the nature of life after death, and the dimensions in which we live, have been communicated in just such ways. This might be called teaching or philosophical mediumship. Guides and teachers often say they have experienced life on earth. When information is communicated through a medium there is always a risk of coloration from the mind of the medium. The more developed is the relationship between the sender and the medium (as was the case with certain trance mediums) the better may be the minimisation of coloration from personal or cultural bias, prejudice, belief etc. Mediums found in the religion and philosophy of Modern Spiritualism often act as 'go-betweens'. They act both for their 'sitter' (the seeker/enquirer) and for those in the unseen world wishing to connect with her or him. They may be called evidential mediums because they gain from the communicator evidence of identity along with information the receiver finds personally relevant. A medium may (for example) use clairvoyance (seeing, describing) and/or clairaudience (hearing) to acquire details which authenticate the message. Sensitives A sensitive may be thought of as someone able to sense the presence of unseen individual(s) in another dimension of existence. The unseen individual(s) may, or may not, have lived on this earth. A sensitive may communicate with an unseen discarnate but if (s)he doesn't act as a third-party go-between for others, (s)he would not be classed as a medium. Any information or guidance would be primarily for the benefit of the sensitive. Psychics One way to think of a psychic is as an individual able to 'pick up' information from both discarnate and incarnate individuals – from 'spirits' or from ourselves. They do not act as a go-between for communication as a medium does. This may explain the saying “All mediums are psychic but not all psychics are mediums.” Some psychics may use what they learn, in conjunction with interpersonal skills and abilities, to counsel or advise a sitter. Channelers Channeling is a technique that became more widely recognized a few decades back. Channelers claim to communicate the words of discarnate entities, some of whom have not had earth existences. It may appear similar to mediumship but one difference is that evidential communication seems rare - communicators do not appear to have familial or friendship links to the receiver. They may be described as Ascended Masters or as named angels and archangels and may say they have not experienced incarnate life here. Although one channeler may suggest her/his communicator is their personal 'guide', another channeler may act simply as an uninvolved go-between. When this happens it may be seen as similar to mediumship.