"I am a great believer that in our movement healing is very much underestimated, while the medium is placed on a pedestal"
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"I think of myself as a rational Spiritualist. I do not hold with a lot of the nonsense that is spoken about the Spirit world"
Spiritual Medium, Healer & Teacher
I've known Mark for some years and before I moved north he was my most influential mentor. Mark has been working with Spirit from a very young age and has a wealth of experience and outstanding knowledge. He undertook much of his training at The Arthur Findlay College, near Stansted and has served churches and organisations throughout the country as a medium and teacher offering workshops in a variety of subjects including Tarot reading, healing & trance mediumship.
Mark was also the owner of the Mind, Body Spirit shop in Poole until recently when he has changed direction to concentrate on his students and workshops that take most up most of his time. Mark is more than just a great teacher though. He is also a wonderful friend to his students and always on hand to guide and advise. One of Mark's personal mentors was the late Glyn Edwards who instilled in Mark the importance of 'In The Power' as the basis for good mediumship. Glyn was taught by the late Gordon Higginson and that influence is apparent in Mark's ethos today.
In the time I spent under the guidance and mentoring of Mark, I learnt so much and am proud to be able to still refer to him as a wonderful friend and mentor.
[Updated August 2017]
- THE INTERVIEW-
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
Mark, how old were you when you were first aware of your psychic abilities and what was the occasion?
I personally don’t recall the first experiences as they were when I was a very young child and just starting to talk to people, but my Mum tells me of many of the things that happened in those early days.
Tell me about the most amazing psychic or spiritual incident that happened to you in your early days Mark?
The earliest incident that my Mum told me about was when I was around 3 or 4 years old. She took me into a shop and I was standing by the sweet counter. Mum was picking some bits up when she heard the shop keeper exclaim, “What did you say?”
My poor mum thought I was swearing! But when she got to the counter she heard me talking to the assistant. I kept saying to him, “The train isn't in yet. The train isn't in yet!”
Mum spoke to the assistant and he explained to her that he was waiting to get a call from his mother. She was travelling from Sheffield for the first time and had never used the train. The assistant explained to mum that he was concerned he was going to be late going to pick her up.
I know your Mum, Tina, is very much involved in psychic work, but generally, were others in your family supportive throughout?
My Grandparents on my Mother’s side were both Spiritualists. However, my Father’s side are Roman Catholic. Still to this day, if I mention anything to do with Spiritualism in their company, the conversation carries on as if I have said nothing at all! It’s a shame, but some people’s fear of our understanding still frightens them to such an extent they prefer not to acknowledge its existence. My Mum’s side always encouraged me to express my thoughts and feelings and to follow whatever I felt I needed to do Spiritually. They never pushed or forced it upon me, it was just what we were and what we did.
Can you recall who the first medium was that you seen work and did they have an impression on you?
I went to church from such an early age so naturally can't recall all their names. I saw many fine local mediums in Bournemouth in my youth and there were a number who inspired me.
Which area of this work did you take to first?
From early on my Nan always told me, “Whenever anyone is ill, place your hands on them and ask Spirit to take it away." So healing & mediumship were hand-in-hand from being a child. I started working with cards in my teens (though against the wishes of my family as they were worried about the cards predicting bad things). I went to Spiritualist church with my family from a baby onward. I started sitting for unfoldment in my early teens and took my first Spiritual Church service when I was 17. To date I've been working Church platforms for 23 years. (2014)
In your early years who was the most important mentor you had - in spirit or alive?
Because I did not have the easiest of starts in Spiritualist circles for a number of reasons, I would have to say those who worked with me in spirit. They helped me to understand the difficulties I was facing and kept me going when I felt like leaving it all behind.
What is the most influential Spirituals book you have read?
I loved the two books by Arthur Findlay: "On the Edge of the Etheric" & "The Way of Life". Each book gives such a good insight into the Spirit world from their viewpoint. For my interest in trance work I found J.J. Morse's Practical Occultism fascinating. I think the title has little to do with the real focus of the book as it looks at how trance affects the medium. It's brilliant!
Mark, define what a Spiritualist is, in your words?
Spritualism is hard to define because of the diversity of people in our movement. However, I'll describe how I see myself as a Spiritualist. I think of myself as a rational Spiritualist. I do not hold with a lot of the nonsense that is spoken about the spirit world. I believe the spirit world is sentient and rational thought and common sense still prevails. Spiritualism for me proves the survival of life after death but also the power of spirit within life, all that the discarnate spirit can do, we the incarnate spirit are also capable of. So for me Spiritualism looks to further the understanding of the spirit within and the spirit without.
Do you believe we've lived previous lives before our current one?
Well this has been a bone of contention for many years and still is open for debate. Initially I didn't believe in reincarnation. I believed that what people mistook for past life visions were actually their guides showing their lives to the medium. However, when I started working in the trance states one of my controls started to discuss reincarnation and therefore hearing what was said changed my views. I then started to believe in aspects of reincarnation - but not necessarily one soul that continually reincarnates but more to do with soul groups or family, and aspects of us incarnate. But of course, this is such a huge subject we could never explore it fully in a question and answer.
How would you define trance mediumship?
For me trance mediumship is a constant blending with spirit in all forms of mediumship and healing. All awareness is an altered state, therefore all awareness occurs through some form of entrancement. When people think of trance speaking I believe we have a great sense of coming together mentally with the other world and hopefully will allow their words to be heard with as little of our own interference as possible.
I think we know from previous answers you've given, but just to reiterate, how important do you think the power of healing is?
I am a great believer that in our movement healing is very much underestimated while the medium is placed on a pedestal. All forms of mediumship are healing and good healing requires, in my opinion, just as much awareness and understanding of spirit and the process of unfoldment as mediumship does. It's important to remember also that healing is required, not just for others, but also on a personal level of self-healing. Healer, heal thyself
Whose Spiritual and psychic work do you admire the most nowadays and why?
For me, the most influential person I have in my spiritual unfoldment over the few decades is my late friend, mentor and fellow tutor Mr Glyn Edwards. He has helped and inspired me to move forward with my work immensely. What Glyn creates is a sense of true freedom within unfoldment and keeps alive the memory and teaching of his mentor the late and great Gordon Higginson. His belief in me stopped me from walking away from my work when life was tough and through that I found him to be a wonderful person to work with. So many tutors try to tell you how you should do mediumship. Glyn, however, gets you to explore how your mediumship works and how you work as a unique instrument for the spirit and what is possible through their presence and influence and that power that is divine.
Are you aware of guides or helpers around you and if so, do you communicate with them?
Over the years I have become more aware of different people who work with me from spirit. From the outset I was aware of one or two only. However, as I worked with other forms of mediumship I became aware of other spirit people who had been there but hadn't been to the forefront of my awareness. I find I have conversations in my head. Not only when meditating but also at other times too. I believe they are a big part of my life and unfoldment, not only as friends, but as teachers too.
What would you consider to be your strongest sense?
Clairsentience really, as so much is felt and I often become totally engrossed in the emotions and feelings of the spirit communicator.
(note from interviewer: Note here that Mark states that the emotions and feelings are being projected through the communicator.)
I know that you spent a lot of your time mentoring and teaching students these days. What drives you to do this?
I have a passion to see people become aware of their own potential. It is a wonderful experience as a teacher to see students really unfolding what is within them and seeing what the spirit world is capable of through them as an instrument of the spirit. It is lovely to see someone you have worked with over a number of years starting to serve the spirit and see what a difference they will make to the lives of others using their unique awareness of spirit. (I think it’s akin to being a proud parent seeing how well your children do as they make their way in the world!)
There is a lot of talk of mediums going onto Church podiums without enough training and knowledge. What's your thoughts on this issue, Mark?
There certainly seems to be a trend of people getting onto the platform after only a short period of training and sometimes, dare I say, trained by people who have not really trained much themselves. A big problem in our movement is the lack of self-discipline to study and learn a subject. Too many people do not understand their own mediumship and how it works for them. Mediums of the past truly explored their awareness and sought to know how and why it occurred. In my humble opinion, mediumship is not just about being able to deliver a message. Anyone can be shown how to tune in and give a message quickly and easily. The art of mediumship is understanding the communication, knowing how your mediumship works and being able to become the purest instrument for the spirit - making it an art form not just an ability.
Referring to the 7 Principles, do you think they are relevant for today's Spiritualism?
Yes to an extent, I am weary of Compensation and Retribution . . . . I feel its too much of a hangover from Christianity and God punishing us for deeds. I do believe we see what we have done (when we cross to the other side) and in some ways will be encouraged to repair the damage. But I just think that the wording in particular is a bit archaic.
THE SIXTH PRINCIPLE OF SPIRITUALISM
Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on earth
If you could add an 8th principle what would it be?
Learn to be Spiritual, not just be called a Spiritualist
With your future in mind, what is the one thing you would love to achieve more than anything else in your Spiritual journey?
To be the best instrument for the Spirit world that I can be in whatever area of mediumship my journey takes me on. I have come to realise that mediumship is a journey and not a destination. Goals are set and change so quickly during the unfoldment. Therefore, just doing my best for Spirit in whatever I do will be achieving and fulfilling.
Finally Mark, outside of Spiritualist and psychic work what is your other passion/hobby/pastime that gives you the most pleasure?
My previous choice of work was going to be the stage with acting and singing a major part of that. I did train and work on the stage and still today I love to sing. I also love being out in the garden and chilling out around nature.
Mark, thank you for taking the time out to answer these questions and offer a little insight into your world. Your passion for your work with Spirit shows and I know you will have a wonderful future learning, unfolding and helping others like me with own personal unfoldment.
Sadly, since this interview took place, Mr Glyn Edwards who Mark refers to, has passed to Spirit. His work, however, continues through Mark and those that benefited from his incredible wealth of knowledge.