“”The tree is known by its fruits.” Side by side with passive mediums in the progress of the world’s history, appear active mediators. We designate them by this name for a lack of a better one. The ancient witches and wizards, and those who had a “familiar spirit”, generally made of their gifts a trade; and the Obeah woman of En-Dor, so well defined by Henry More, though she may have killed her calf for Saul, accepted hire from other visitors.
In India, the jugglers, who by the way are less so than many a modern medium, and the Essaoua or sorcerers and serpent-charmers of Asia and Africa, all exercise their gifts for money. Not so with the mediators, or hierophants. Buddha was a mendicant and refused his father’s throne. The “Son of Man had not where to lay his head”; the chosen apostles provided “neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in their purses.”
Apollonius gave one half of his fortune to his relatives, the other half to the poor; Iamblichus and Plotinus were renowned for charity and self-denial; the fakirs, or holy mendicants, of India are fairly described by Jacolliot; the Pythagorean Essenes and Therapeutae believed their hands defiled by the contact of money.
When the apostles were offered money to impart their spiritual powers, Peter, notwithstanding that the Bible shows him a coward and thrice a renegade, still indignantly spurned the offer, saying: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the Gift of God may be purchased with money.” These men were mediators, guided merely by their own personal spirit, or divine soul, and availing themselves of the help of spirits but so far as these remain in the right path.
Far from us be the thought of casting an unjust slur on physical mediums. Harassed by various intelligences, reduced by the overpowering influence, which their weak and nervous natures are unable to shake off, to a morbid state, which at last becomes chronic, they are impeded by these “influences” from undertaking other occupation. They become mentally and physically unfit for any other.
Who can judge them harshly when, driven to the last extremity, they are constrained to accept mediumship as a business? And heaven knows, as recent events have too well proved, whether the calling is one to be envied by any one! It is not mediums, real, true, and genuine mediums that we would ever blame, but their patrons, the spiritualists.”
H. P. Blavatsky