What is channeling and are there different types of channeling?

"Channeling 101" ebook by Anne Reith, PhD

I want to begin by acknowledging that channeling, perhaps more than most metaphysical topics, is often misunderstood.  Some people don’t want anything to do with channeling because they believe it is “weird,” “scary,” or even “evil.”  I was actually one of these people; I found the idea of channeling “scary” . . . until I experienced it firsthand.



What is channeling?

Channeling is often defined as the act of allowing a spiritual entity (e.g., angel, archangel, ascended master, guide, deceased loved one) to merge, join, or enter your body and use your vocal cords to communicate directly with those on the Earth plane. 

Channeling is often done sitting quietly with your eyes closed. However, sometimes the entity will move the channeler’s body (e.g., open your eyes, move your arms/legs, have you walk around). The channeler has to give the entity permission to do this.


What does channeling feel like?

True channeling is a spiritual experience that is difficult to describe, partly because each channeler will experience it in their own unique way.  It’s truly something you just have to experience for yourself. Typical body sensations can include feeling:

  • Very hot or very cold
  • Tingling or vibrating sensations
  • A feeling of floating or being very heavy
  • A feeling of pressure on one or more areas of your body
  • Feeling as if there is a presence near you or touching you
  • And many other sensations

One thing is usually consistent: “The other side” is ONLY love. Therefore, when you channel, you are connecting with a high-vibrational form of love in a very intimate way.  The love you feel when you allow an entity from the other side to blend with you defies words! 

It’s not surprising that the most common reaction when someone channels for the first time is awe and often tears of joy.  The love you feel is incredible. I always joke, “Who needs drugs when you have channeling”!


Different types of channeling

Although this really is more of a continuum rather than black-and-white categories, channeling can be done in two different ways:

  • Conscious channeling is done while being fully aware of what is happening, including being able to stop the experience at any time.  This is sometimes referred to as voice channeling.  The channeler usually can remember what was said to varying degrees.  Often conscious channels will say that they hear themselves speaking as if they were at a distance or as if they were listening from another room.  When told about what was said, they often feel as if they are remembering a dream.  There are many people currently alive on the Earth plane who consciously channel.  For example, Esther Hicks brings through the group of entities that refer to themselves as Abraham (no relation to the Old Testament).  They speak about the Law of Attraction.
  • Trance channeling is channeling done while in a deep trance state.  Arguably one of the most famous trance channelers was Edgar Cayce.  He was referred to as “The Sleeping Prophet” because he only channeled when he was in a deep trance state.  This meant that he lost all muscle tone and had to be lying down. He was also unable to remember what he said, which meant that his secretary had to be present to take dictation and then transcribe the notes from the channeling session.

NOTE: When a medium is channeling a deceased loved one, this is a special form of channeling referred to as physical mediumship.


Which form of channeling is “better”?

My guides have explained to me that due to the thinning of the veil between the Earth plane and other dimensions, it is no longer necessary for most people to be in a deep trance in order to allow channeling to occur. 

Why would this be?  They have explained that many souls who are present on the Earth plane at this time in humanity’s history have reincarnated many times and have evolved. Therefore, many have vibrational rates that are already high enough to allow an entity to join with them without inducing a deep trance state.  For this reason, more and more people are finding that they can consciously channel now as compared to the past.


Learning how to channel

For most people, it takes time and practice to learn how to channel.  Each channeler needs to learn how to:

  • Relax his/her mind and body.
  • Learn how to allow his/her soul to “step aside” in order to make room for the entity to use the body.
  • Discern between messages that are coming from the light and messages that are coming from a dark source.

I always recommend that you find a teacher who can guide you through the process of learning how to channel. it’s important that this teacher is:

  • An experienced channeler.
  • Clearly states that only entities “of the Light” are allowed to channel during his/her classes.
  • Creates a loving and safe environment in which students can practice their channeling skills.
  • Never pushes anyone to try channeling until they feel ready to do so.

You can search online for someone who teaches this subject. However, please be sure to trust yourself to determine if this person is the right teacher for you. If something doesn’t feel right, trust that!

Having someone present is particularly important if you’ve never tried channeling before. Why? Because some people are naturally trance channelers. This doesn’t happen very often; but when it does, it can be dangerous if not handled carefully. Remember, trance channelers are those who go into a deep trance when they channel, and they, therefore, lose all muscle tone. If sitting upright in a chair, the channeler could unknowingly fall out of the chair and harm him/herself. An experienced teacher will recognize signs of trance channeling and make sure the channeler is safe.

NOTE: In my eBook Channeling 101, I provide additional recommendations when trying channeling on your own.


What are natural channels?

I have coined the phrase natural channels for people who channel or learn how to channel easily.  I now believe that those who are “natural channels” probably channeled in a previous lifetime(s); therefore, they are just remembering how to do something in this lifetime that they already know how to do.

I happen to be a natural channel, so I know that this can happen. Although I was initially very nervous about channeling, I was totally surprised when I channeled the first time with my teacher. 

I no longer teach channeling, but I did so for almost 20 years. I have found that natural channels tend to be those who have channeled at certain times in their lives but didn’t know that they were channeling. For example:

  • Natural channels often report times when they would say something and later be unable to explain where the thoughts or words came from. This is especially common when they were under a great deal of stress and didn’t know what to do or say in a situation. Spirit knew this person already knew how to channel based on past life experience, so they stepped in and basically said “Let us handle this.”
  • Automatic writing is a form of channeling that uses one hand (writing) or both hands (typing). Although not always the case, automatic writers often find it fairly easy to make the transition from writing to voice channeling.
  • Those who are artists or musician can be natural channels, especially if they look back and report that they sometimes experienced being “in the zone” when producing their artwork or music. When this happens, they often report that (a) they don’t fully remember what they were doing and (b) what they create sometimes feels different from their usual creative endeavors.


How do you know when someone is really channeling?

The messages that are brought through by a channel need to be evaluated carefully in order to determine:

  • Is the person truly channeling?
  • Are the messages coming from “the Light” and not from a dark source?

Again, before channeling alone, I believe it is important to learn how to channel when in the presence of an experienced channeler or teacher.  You need to learn how to discern between messages that should be listened to and those that shouldn’t. 

For now, here are some basic ways to determine true channeling from false channeling:

  • ALL the messages should be loving, supportive, and encouraging.
  • The messages should NEVER cause anyone to feel frightened, blamed, or reprimanded.
  • Especially when channeling with a group, the messages will usually apply to humanity as a whole and not to an individual.

NOTE: Again, for much more information about channeling and recommendations for learning how to channel, please consider downloading my eBook Channeling 101.


Blog posts and information related to channeling




Visit our Facebook page to receive Anne Reith’s daily inspirational quotes and announcements.

By Anne Reith, Ph.D.