glossary - what words mean

Not open for further replies.


janitor / administrator
Below is a glossary of commonly-used words and terms. It should help you understand how words here are used. If you'd like more information then please post a question or send a message via our private mailing system where it will remain confidential.

After-Death Communication (ADC) Any communication a living person has from or with a 'dead' person.

Astral Body The body that temporarily leaves our material body during sleep and during out-of-body experiences. It permanently leaves the material body at death. When seen on a material level of reality the astral body appears to be made of energy.

Astral Plane The non-material plane(s) of existence or the afterlife levels.

Astral Projection The movement of one’s astral body outside and away from one’s physical body.

Astral Travel Out-of-body travel in the non-material levels.

Aura An energy outline which may be visible around a living thing in certain lighting conditions. Human auras can be various colors and shades depending on an individual’s current health, emotional state and general level of spiritual development.

Clairaudient Able to hear communications from disembodied or dead individuals - as in clairaudient medium.

Clairsentient Able to sense the emotions of other people, living or dead, often by touching objects owned or used by them.

Clairvoyant Able to see spirits without the use of material eyes.

Communication Any form of contact between the living and the dead.

Consciousness This term is often used as a near-synonym for human mental activity and awareness. There is strong evidence that consciousness is a kind of universal base energy and may be the only thing that is real.

Control A spirit individual who regularly assists a living medium to communicate with the dead.

Cross-Correspondence In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries some dead people eager to prove their existence would communicate parts of a single message through several widely-scattered mediums. Connecting those message parts allowed the original message in full to be seen.

Death The permanent cessation of life functions in a physical body. (see also 'Silver Cord')

Deep-Trance Medium Someone able to go into trance allowing a spirit (often called a control) to speak to the living using the medium’s vocal cords. Development of this skill requires extended periods of practice and deep-trance mediumship is less common in this 21st century than it once used to be.

Drop-In Communication Still awaiting a good definition and proof of concept.

Earthbound Generally considered to be the spirit of a dead person who has not successfully transitioned to the afterlife levels, their spirit remaining close to the material earth level. The spirit may sometimes be discerned by sensitives who may also communicate with it. Some earthbounds will be unaware they are dead or confused about their situation. Others are aware they have passed over but are reluctant to leave the earth plane to complete their transition. It may be they may wish to continue enjoying the pleasures they experienced when incarnate or for other reasons. They are not abandoned, however, and help to complete their transition is always available for the time when they choose to make use of it.

Ectoplasm In certain forms of physical mediumship, particular substances from a medium's body are 'borrowed' by a spirit-team working with a physical mediumship group. This is somehow mixed with some kind of material(s) from the etheric dimensions. This new material has been termed 'ectoplasm' and can take various forms from rod-like rigid structures to free-flowing soft material which may be molded. As such it may be molded to create parts such as hands, feet or even faces and sometimes to create voice boxes enabling a discarnate to speak directly to onlookers. At the end of the seance, the borrowed materials are returned to the medium's body.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) Recognizable communications from spirits that have been electronically communicated and/or recorded.

Evidence Information that may persuade a seeker of the survival beyond bodily death of a loved one. Used in preference to the word 'proof'. It may also be other kinds of information, for example details giving insight into conditions found in the afterlife world.

Extrasensory Perception (ESP) The process of perceiving information by means other than the usual bodily senses.

Ghost A popular term for a disembodied spirit perceptible on the material level of reality.

God The supreme creative being. Evidence is overwhelming that God is not material but is instead an infinitely powerful and infinitely loving creative energy or 'spirit'. It may be that this energy or God is all that exists.

Haunt The process of a ghost making its presence known to living people; often thought to be a way of causing fear.

Heaven A term used to denote where people go after their passing. Commonly seen as a beautiful and congenial state of being in the afterlife.

Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) Any sound made or recorded in a mechanical or electronic manner and produced or affected by a spirit communicator.

Jesus A highly spiritually-elevated being who incarnated 2000 years ago to teach about God and the nature of reality, death and the afterlife.

Kirlian Photography The process of photographing the auras of living things.

Light Being This general term refers to an advanced spiritual being who appears appears to glow with light.

Medium There is no widely-accepted single definition of the word 'medium'. It is often used to describe a person with psychic sensitivity but who can not facilitate communication. Equally it may be used to denote an individual who can communicate in that way. (also see 'mediumship' below)

Mediumship The attribute of being able to communicate with the dead for the benefit of others.

Modern Spiritualism A movement also termed a philosophy, a religion and a science. It promotes the message of survival beyond physical death, communication via mediumship and spirit healing.

Near-Death Experience (NDE) A wide range of experiences often associated with a health crisis, generally involving extraordinary aspects such as awareness of separating from one's body, often experiencing a trip through a tunnel and meeting with dead relatives, friends and even spiritually advanced beings.

Non-Locality (of Consciousness) Scientific research is showing more and more conclusively that conscious is not generated by or centered in our brains but it is more of a general grid on which all of reality can be considered to hang. Afterlife evidence confirms this and further suggests that all of consciousness actually radiates from a single, creative source.

Out-of-Body Experience (OBE) An experience during which the astral body and its sense of place and awareness become separated from the physical shell. OBEs may involve simply seeing the physical body as separate and at a distance and more advanced OBE experiencers may be able to explore certain 'regions' of the afterlife or other non-material areas of reality.

Outer Darkness The non-physical level of post-death reality with a vibratory (or energy) level closer to that of the material world. It is considered the darkest and grimmest post-death level of reality.

Paranormal A term suggesting anything that science cannot explain is not normal. As human understanding progresses we are coming to understand ever more clearly what we used to think of as “paranormal” is actually normal!

Parapsychology The scientific study of “paranormal” aspects of psychology and human abilities, including the study of psychokinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition.

Phenomenalist An individual able to bring about various physical phenomena involving psychic energy but not involving spirit communication. Often confused with physical mediumship.

Physical Medium A medium able to produce various physical changes or phenomena at a material level in connection with spirit communication. (compare with 'phenomenalist')

Poltergeist A spirit often able to move physical objects or in other ways affect the material world.

Possession The process by which a spirit is said to occupy and partially or completely take over a living person’s body. This phenomenon has been little studied but there is evidence to suggest some disorders considered to be mental may be improved or cured if the spirit seemingly possessing the sufferer can be persuaded to leave and enter the afterlife.

Prior Personality A notion based on the freeing of a person's spirit during violent death enabling their spirit to then 'take over' the life of a developing fetus. The child may later appear to have detailed memories of someone else's life.

Psi A broad category of non-materiality based skills and abilities.

Psychomanteum An ancient form of communication with the dead which involves the use of a mirror or a body of still water.

Reincarnation The process in which a human soul or spirit animates a different body to experience one or more further earth-lifetimes.

Rescue The process of helping 'lost' spirits to complete the process of transitioning to the afterlife. Rescue will involve both spirit and earth individuals or teams.

Scientism The belief that the scientific study of materiality will sufficiently answer every question.

Scole During the 1990s in the village of Scole in Norfolk, England, the Scole Experimental Group conduced a series of highly successful experiments in communicating with the dead, later documented in The Scole Report.

Séance A meeting typically of a small group of individuals including a medium all working together to communicate with spirit individuals.

Silver Cord A glowing (although generally invisible) highly-elastic energy tube connecting a material body to its astral counterpart body during earth life. Corporeal death occurs at the point the cord is severed, the animating spirit being freed at that point from its physical body.

Soul A religious term which generally refers to the spiritual aspects of the mind-energy of a human being. Often used interchangeably with the word 'spirit'.

Spirit A self-aware being composed of mind-energy.

Spirit Guides It's taught that each embodied person has the assistance of at least one spirit guide at all times. Some of us have one primary spirit guide for our entire lives, while others may have their spirit guides change as their needs and tasks change through a lifetime. When we are attempting something that is spiritually difficult, we might have several guides helping us at once. It's also taught we communicate with our spirit guides during sleep.

Spirit Photography The act of photographing a spirit which may not be visible to the naked eye but can be seen in the resulting photograph. Apparent spirit photographs may sometimes be fake but this is not always the case.

Spirit Possession The situation of a spirit being said to have entered the body of a living person so as to express itself through that person. Such possession may be brief or appear to have a longer duration with a limited or wider effect. It may even be seen as dominating and suppressing the living person.

Spiritism (adherents 'Spiritists') Most widely known in South America and similar in many ways to Modern Spiritualism. One significant difference is the way reincarnation is regarded by Spiritism as compared with Spiritualism.

Spiritualism See 'Modern Spiritualism'

Summerland Afterlife levels which are considered by some to be 'mid-levels' given the numerical designation three through five. They are experienced by those who live there as being as solid as the earth-level but immeasurably more beautiful with living conditions mostly unlike anything experienced on earth with none of the constraints imposed by poor weather, hunger, deprivation etc.

Survival Shorthand for survival beyond death of the body.

Trance Medium A person who when in trance allows his or her body to be used by a spirit “control” to speak directly through it.

Walk-In A notion whereby a spirit can take over the body of a person prepared to leave their earth life prematurely.

Xenoglossy The speaking of an unlearned language, perhaps as a result of reincarnation.

Yeshua The Aramaic name of Jesus.
Last edited:
Not open for further replies.