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Seeing Is Believing

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Seeing Is Believing

Witnessing The Many Faces Of Spirit
John  Holland
John Holland More by this author
Sep 30, 2010 at 10:00 AM

“Am I really seeing what I think I am seeing?” I turned and whispered to one of my fellow students and teachers in the packed lecture hall. It was eerily quiet, and I could feel the intensity of the atmosphere as everyone sat on the edge of their seats staring at the medium. I was lucky enough to be part of a private gathering to see a Transfiguration Medium demonstrate his extraordinary ability. What with all the reading I’d done on psychic phenomena and mediumship, I couldn’t wait to hopefully see this specialized type of mediumship for real. During my intensive two-year stay in England, where I studied every aspect of mediumship, I was privileged to witness many strange yet wondrous demonstrations of the extraordinary power of Spirit. Of course, I’d heard about this type of mediumship, but never thought I would get to attend an actual demonstration since this form of mediumship is very rare and takes years of dedication and patience to develop on the part of the medium.


A gasp rippled through the audience as the faces of the dead started to overlay the face of the medium onstage. If I hadn’t witnessed this with my own eyes, I might not have believed it! It was an extraordinary experience.

Before I finish this story, let me explain a bit more what this is all about. Transfiguration is a rare form of mediumship that allows those in spirit to materialize and communicate through the medium. To put it in the simplest way, it’s when the face of the person who has passed on will appear over the face of the medium. I know you’re most likely saying to yourself right now, What?! Let me explain further.

A Transfiguration Medium has the ability to communicate like other mediums with those in the Spirit World, but something different also happens. Anyone who has seen me work knows that I talk about raising my energy (which, as I mentioned, I often refer to as “the quickening”), which is all part of blending my vibrations with those of Spirit to forge the connection.

Transfiguration Mediums also start out in the same way. First, they enter a trancelike state or an altered state of consciousness. Then, when the time is right, a veil of ectoplasm slowly appears in front of their face, and it’s this veil that gets molded into the exact features of the spirit who’s trying to communicate. When I witnessed this for the first time, I must admit that I did say to myself, John, keep an open mind here, and experience the whole thing before you react or decide on what you feel you’ve seen.

Ectoplasm is a translucent substance that oozes from the medium’s body during the trance state. Spirits are able to manipulate and use the substance to push their own faces through the veil just like a mask. It’s not remotely gory or anything like that, and once spirits have communicated, the ectoplasm returns back into the medium’s body. The substance is very light sensitive, and that’s why many Transfiguration Mediums will often hold séances in darkened rooms.

In the UK, transfiguration was very popular during the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, when interest in Spiritualism was at an all-time high as a result of the horrific aftermath and human loss resulting from World War I. Thousands of people became interested in the whole concept and the reality of the afterlife. Grieving families tried to come to terms with the loss, often spanning generations, as fathers, husbands, and sons were lost during the war. So many people with heavy broken hearts wanted to know if there really was an afterlife and if their loved ones were safe.

I found it immensely poignant when I read how people who’d lost loved ones in the First World War would attend transfiguration séances, in the hopes that they would get the opportunity to see their loved ones’ faces just one more time. I know from doing this work that all too often when someone dies tragically, such as in the case of war, the family members who are left to grieve have a harder time coming to terms with their loss, as they rarely got the opportunity to say good-bye.

Nevertheless, I do want to reiterate that this form of mediumship is quite rare. It takes absolute dedication and desire as well as patience to sit in a development circle for years to develop this special ability. Therefore, you can imagine that when I was offered the opportunity to witness this myself, I jumped at the opportunity.

About Author
John  Holland
John Holland is an internationally renowned psychic medium, spiritual teacher, author, and radio host. His public demonstrations provide audiences with a rare glimpse into the fascinating subject of mediumship, which he delivers in his own unique Continue reading