Why Scottish Mediumship?
This is Marc speaking in Lily Dale about modern Scottish spiritual mediumship in churches, and the differences and scale of it compared to the USA.
Scottish Spiritualism is huge in terms of scale in Scotland. There are more Spiritualists per square mile than in Lily Dale itself. Additionally, it is quite different in many aspects compared to the rest of the world. But why and how did this come to be?
How is it Different?
The major differences between Scotland and the USA can be summarized by these four key bullet points:
Spiritualism is the seventh-largest religious movement in the United Kingdom, with churches located throughout the country. Many of these churches open multiple times a week, offering weekly circles where attendees can witness mediums working for up to an hour in each service in a gallery. Private reading bookings often follow these services.
"We work for Spirit" is a phrase commonly used by mediums, but do they truly understand what it means? In Scotland, due to the large scale of spiritualism and the prevalence of churches, proper attitude and training for mediums are emphasized from the beginning. Consistency and differences exist between churches, but the fundamental principle remains the same: if you work for Spirit, Spirit will work for you.
Mediums work closely with Spiritualist churches in Scotland, where there are a greater number of churches and a higher level of local recognition for each church. Mediums are in high demand and are constantly working on galleries, which helps them build their reputation.
The practical circles are held weekly and are quite different from those in the US. Church services are also significantly different, with the address lasting for six minutes and being given by being open to Spirit. Evidential messages are given for up to an hour, which has led to strong community support for the churches. All of these factors have contributed to a growing local community of individuals who openly identify as Spiritualists in Scotland.
In Scotland, there is a zero tolerance for "calling out," which involves fishing for information to see if someone can take the evidence. Instead, messages are given directly and are highly structured, beginning with evidence of the loved one coming forward, followed by a message that is often evidential and speaks to a current issue. There are also certain things that are avoided, such as diagnosing medical conditions, giving negative messages, or making detailed predictions about the future.
On the other hand, it can be challenging to find a Spiritualist church in the US, and the differences in the structure and approach of the services may be significant compared to those in Scotland.
Why Is it Different - The Historical Reasons
When we think of Scotland, we often imagine men in kilts, bagpipes, castles, and ghosts - images that are effectively used by the Scottish tourist industry to indicate the country's ancient roots. Scotland is an ancient country with legends and religions that date back to the Picts and Celts. Unlike other ancient cultures, the Roman Empire did not completely wipe out the Celtic culture in Scotland. These ancient religions were often based on spiritual beliefs, similar to those of Native Americans, as seen in legends such as that of the Kelpie.
The Scottish people are historically conditioned to accept spiritualism, as evidenced by the numerous ghosts that are said to haunt older buildings throughout the country. In the twentieth century, modern mediumship emerged in New York State, with many of the movement's greatest heroes coming from Scotland, including Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle and Helen Duncan. Most of the established spiritualist churches in Scotland are decades old, dating back to the early twentieth century. A journey through Scotland exposes visitors to the country's ancient tribal history, haunted buildings and castles, and modern spiritualist churches.