Entertainment Purposes Only? Consumer Protection?

entertainmentI enjoy questions. Good debates. Entertaining chats. And ways to expand my knowledge. But I’m not a medium for entertainment purposes. I’m a medium because I believe that what I can pass on to people is part of my pastoral care. Because I practice spirituality.

Already I can hear one or two subsidiary questions. They are the ones I asked myself when  the Fraudulent Mediums Act was repealed to be replaced by the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations in 2008. Designed, amongst other things, to stem the flow of begging letters from unscrupulous people who target vulnerable people for money they cover all sorts of unfair practices. Unfortunately the interpretation of these regulations is very much the remit of Trading Standards officers as they are the ones who prosecute cases. So there can be different approaches across the country. In 2008 I saw advice that suggested I should start using a disclaimer. Words to the effect that my readings were ‘for entertainment purposes only’.

It got me thinking about whether what I was doing was only for entertainment. I hope my readings are uplifting. There may be lots of laughter. Even some tears. But I’m not a TV programme, theatre production or comedy show. I am passing on what I believe and trust are the words of people who have passed over into the Spirit World. To do so is a long way away from what most people might consider entertainment. Especially when I’m working in a Spiritualist church or centre. Because there it is a matter of religious belief. I am sharing something that people respect as a way of worshiping a higher power. So much as I love what I do a blanket disclaimer isn’t helpful.

That then begs the question, if it’s not for entertainment, what is a reading? And why might someone want one?

Of course, as I’ve already said, someone may get a great deal of entertainment from my readings. However, my work is about bringing the evidence forward that is available from the communicators I work with. In other words it’s about passing on messages. Messages that contain information I couldn’t possibly know. Words of comfort, support or encouragement. I see this as the essence of pastoral care. Helping people in my community to deal with the ups and downs of their life. You might ask how is this different from counselling? When I work as a counsellor I may use some of the same skills that I use in my mediumship. But the emphasis is very different.

Counselling comes from an understanding of our metal and emotional processes. Readings come from  an understanding of our spiritual beliefs. There is no way that the counselling and psychology profession would describe themselves as ‘for entertainment purposes only’. And neither would I in relation to my pastoral care. I am mindful of the vulnerability of the people who I work with. In both roles. So I have an ethical framework to help me ensure that I am not taking advantage of someone. This includes allowing the readings to be recorded. And dealing with any issues about the quality of a reading openly and honestly. I am also prepared to stop the reading within the first five minutes if there is a poor connection.

I hope that I do provide entertainment if that is about people leaving feeling uplifted. But I return to my opening. It’s not the only thing a reading embraces. My readings reflect my spiritual beliefs. They are a way for me to demonstrate my beliefs. And I am delighted to share my messages with those who believe and those who don’t. In equal measure.

Day 874 of my blogging challenge