Entering into a world of wonder and mysticism may seem out of the ordinary. However, one individual is embracing the unexplained with her unique ability.
Mary Lancaster is a local medium who strives to share her abilities with others. A medium is defined as someone who can access or communicate with the non-empirical realm.
Even though Lancaster does not advertise her services as a medium explicitly, she is very open to sharing information and engaging in readings with others.
A reading is when a medium uses ritual to communicate with supernatural energy in order to ask for advice or guidance for others that do not have the ability to connect.
“It’s almost like I am in a dream state,” Lancaster said. “I pull in the energy of whatever I’m trying to connect to.”
Lancaster said she has always felt she had the ability to connect with the supernatural. However, she has recently identified herself as a medium for about four to five years.
Lancaster said she connects with both spirit guides and archangels, which are manifestations of non-empirical energy, depending on the situation she finds herself in.
“For me, it’s nothing formal,” Lancaster said. “If (I) know what situation (I) am going into, (I) can call on (spirit guides and archangels) for backup.”
Lancaster’s experience with the supernatural and paranormal is one that encompasses an array of personalities that interchange in different situations.
One example of a spirit guide she often summons for advice is her Shamanic spirits, which include her spirit animal, the bear. Shamanic spirits embody a particular personality that holds symbolic significance.
Dr. Joseph Laycock, assistant philosophy professor, said the history of mediums in the United States can be traced back to the early 19th century.
Two sisters in Hidesdale, New York, set the stage for the spiritualism movement.
The Fox Sisters had claimed their house was haunted and they had the ability to communicate with this energy through knocking. Later on, the sisters became famous for performing séances, meetings to attempt to communicate with the supernatural.
The cultural misconceptions of mediums, that Lancaster said she frequently comes across, derives from this older understanding about the supernatural and its relationship with those who can communicate with it.
Lancaster’s experience with the supernatural, as well as other contemporary mediums, follows a more eclectic form of communicating with the paranormal.
Laycock said this more “new age” experience of mediums can be traced back to the creation of Theosophical ideology, brought about in the 1930s. This form of thought includes the use of crystals and channeling the supernatural.
Lancaster said she connects to this other world of spiritual beings through her own ritual of channeling.
Ashley Brown, San Marcos local and friend of Lancaster, said her personal experience with Lancaster has been nothing short of intriguing.
Brown and her husband met Lancaster through mutual friends and knew her as a massage therapist. However, soon after, Brown found out about Lancaster’s talent.
“We both went to what was then called ‘soul sessions,’” Brown said. “My husband and I had very different and very profound experiences.”
Brown said she has enjoyed speaking with Lancaster and going to her sessions.
“We still continue to go to (Lancaster) for help and healing when we need it,” Brown said. “It’s a very intimate and personal experience.”
Brown said Lancaster only does one-on-one sessions because they are very private experiences. Brown said the experience starts with Lancaster “leaving,” or connecting with spirit guides, and then bringing back information to whomever is being read.
Brown said she is very open to the idea that there is more to this world than most can physically see.
“I can’t access the parts of the world I can’t see,” Brown said. “There is something about (Lancaster) that is very honest.”
Brown said having a personal connection with someone who she believes can connect with the supernatural world provides comfort.
Lancaster is exhibiting an Americanized practice of communicating with the dead and the supernatural. Her abilities provide an insight into the evolution of supernatural communication and a service to others on a therapeutic level.