Mediumship is a practice that can be dated to early human history and is still as relevant today within modern culture.
It’s an area that still fascinates many throughout the world. The big question: what comes next? This is a question that psychic mediums answer in part through their demonstrations as they channel various messages and answers from beyond.
The Waterside Theatre will host English psychic medium and television personality, Tony Stockwell on Wednesday 20th June where he will demonstrate his gift to a local audience, disclosing messages communicated with passed loved ones.
Considered to be one of the U.K’s most well respected mediums, Tony also teaches and lectures at a number of prestigious colleges such as the Arthur Findlay College and the College of Psychic Studies in London and he has written four books about his experiences as a Spiritualist medium, while also appearing on numerous television shows to demonstrate his gift.
It’s a gift which has taken Tony across the world and he is very much looking forward to making the short trip across the water as he prepares for his Northern Irish tour later this month.
Speaking with us ahead of his Waterside Theatre demonstration, Tony began by explaining how he first became involved in mediumship.
“I first noticed it when I was 16” revealed Tony. “I went to a spiritualist church for the very first time, really, it was out of curiosity. My grandma had just died and some weeks later a friend’s sister said that she was going to see a medium and asked if I would like to go with her. So I went along.
“I was absolutely terrified and I had no idea what on earth it was all about, but I went along to the centre which was close to my home and most of all, I was really struck by how nice the people were. I was sitting listening to these people talking, and I was trying to work out just how they were doing it. I became enthralled and mesmerised by what was happening.
“I then went and read all of the Doris Stokes books - Doris who was a really big medium in the 80s - and then it just gradually became a fascination of mine really. By 18 I was asked to join the development group for that little centre, and one year later they asked me to stand up in front of everyone and see if I could do it.
“I then went on to study at the Arthur Findlay College, the same college where I actually teach now. It is a lovely big manor house in Stansted, Essex, which sleeps over 100 people.”
The supernatural has long been used within stories to scare kids, or even big kids, and is a genre that has seen some of the highest grossing movies to come from Hollywood. It can also be a divisive topic, those who believe, those who don’t. However, it’s also a topic that people can’t get enough with, but what about actually experiencing it for real? Tony revealed that it is not his gift which makes him fearful: “I stand up most nights when I’m working and surrender myself to whatever comes into my head” said Tony.
“It’s terrifying because you don’t know if it’s going to be good that night or not so good, or if the group will like you or not so much, but it becomes what I do. Scared in an apprehensive, weird, fascinated kind of way.
“I have worked with quite a lot of murder cases where I’d had to see some stuff that wasn’t particularly pleasant and that’s when you’re dealing with the worst of humanity, not spirit people. I’ve worked on various cases in different countries and I have visualised some very difficult scenes. But you crack on because you know you have to crack on for the benefit of those who seek you out. It hasn’t always been easy for that reason. Sometimes you do see stuff that you don’t actually want to see, and once you see it, it can’t be unseen.
“The majority of it however is a blessing. It’s a wonderful thing of course because you are hopefully dealing with people who are having reunions with spirit. A lot of the cases are of people who have lost their mum, their dad, their brother or their sister, so they come to me and I do my best to bring some evidence that these people are alive, well and here.”
And is there an off switch to this gift? “Oh yes, of course” laughed Tony. “To do it properly I think that you really need to get into a mindset where you are in that power and to maintain a sustained effort at that level is tough so when you’re finished it’s nice to go for a walk or do the normal things in life such as the school run, walk the dog or do some gardening. That other stuff provides a welcome respite because trying to be tuned in all of the time is hard, it’s delpeeting.”
Speaking about how the demonstration unfolds and what his audience can expect, Tony explained: “It’s mainly visions for me. I try to blank my own mind and as I stand in front of a group, I explain my entire process to them and what is actually happening. I describe exactly what I can see in my vision.
“It’s a very open and honest with clearly stated details where audience members either agree or don’t agree with, so it’s very transparent. It’s great even for people who are maybe sitting on the fence because they will receive a real understanding. It’s generally funny too, the whole evening is joyful.
“All I ask is, come with an open mind, come with an open heart and with high expectations. Your life could be changed. Truly. If you get a message and you know it’s true, for example I describe your dad, say his name is James, he’s 81, and he’s here describing things that he may have seen since he passed, he’s with his grandfather and his grandson in the spirit world, it’s stuff that defies all logic, but your life changes forever. It not only says that we’re not dead, but it also says that you will never be dead too.
“A lot of religions ask you to believe and accept through trust, with mediumship, we actually demonstrate the possibility of life after death.
“We do it in a non-pushy way, come if you fancy, come with an open heart and we’ll have a laugh and hopefully there’ll be some revelations, some epifanies whilst we’re doing it” said Tony.
You can see Tony Stockwell, the Psychic Medium at the Waterside Theatre on Wednesday 20th June and grab your tickets here.