How Channeling Works

By Matthew Joyce

“Hang on. There’s a message coming through.”

You’d expect to hear these words if someone was holding a mobile phone. It’s a bit more unusual when the person is receiving invisible messages from the ether.

No, I’m not talk about secret psychotic voices. I’m talking about the concept of channeling.

Channeling has grown popular during the last few decades, yet for those who don’t know how to do it the process can seem mysterious. How does it work? Where do the messages come from? What does it take to try channeling for yourself? These were some questions asked at a recent Higher Self Guides event and we thought we’d share the answers with you.

What Is Channeling?

Channeling is the practice of bringing into physical reality concepts, ideas, and information from the nonphysical realm. Tossing the word “nonphysical” into that definition adds a touch of mystery to the practice, but the process of channeling is hardly a mysterious one. Chances are you are already doing it and you don’t even know it.

The practice of channeling has been around for as long as there have been humans. It’s been observed in cultures all over the world and yet despite its widespread nature channeling is often perceived as being the province of the divinely gifted few.

The Bible is considered by many people to be the word of God, yet someone had to write it down. You can read about a number of gifted prophets in the Bible, but Jews and Christians don’t have a lock on channeling. Shaman and oracles were channeling divine information from the gods for millennia before the advent of Christianity or Judaism. In fact, virtually every religion from Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam to the more recent entrants of Mormonism and Scientology all have aspects that their followers claim were divinely inspired.

Yet the practice of channeling doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with religion at all.

Who Can Channel?

Modern channelers, such as Jane Roberts, Lee Carroll, and Ester Hicks—too name just a few—claim no particular affiliation with any religion. Unfortunately the celebrity of these well known authors inadvertently perpetuates another barrier that keeps people from getting started—the idea that only the psychically gifted can channel.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re human, you can channel if you want to.

The trick is, you need to understand how channeling works. Once you do, you’ll recognize it when it’s happening.

How Channeling Works

The process of channeling is similar to translation. When you translate something you convert one set of ideas into a similar set of ideas that are expressed in slightly different way. You’ll get the idea when you think of the process of translating from Spanish into English.

Let’s say that you want to talk with someone who only speaks Spanish and you only speak English. You would need a translator to help you understand one another. The translator’s job would be to listen to what was said in Spanish and then convert those ideas into English words that convey a similar meaning.

If the translator is good, he or she will choose words that not only accurately convey what the other person was saying, but also convey the message in a way that makes it easier to understand and assimilate the ideas being expressed.

It is the same with the process of channeling. Except that when I channel I don’t translate between spoken languages. I translate between nonphysical communication and English.

The interesting thing about channeling is that the original nonphysical concepts are often not expressed in words at all. Instead I become aware of ideas and concepts that are not yet embodied or wrapped up in words. Sometimes they are expressed in images or motion pictures. Other times they might be sounds or a clear sense of knowing. As these ideas come to me I translate them into words and string them together as phrases, sentences, and paragraphs.

Sometimes the translation process happens so quickly and effortlessly that it seems to me as if the ideas are coming through in English. Other times the process is slower and I find myself searching for the English words that best capture what is being expressed.

Different Methods of Channeling

Some people who channel find it most effective if they temporarily set aside their own personalities and allow other intelligent beings to speak through them directly. At the other end of the channeling spectrum is the mechanistic process of translating each idea into a word in English one at a time. Different channelers work at various points along the spectrum.

My preference is for somewhere near the middle of the spectrum. I generally don’t feel comfortable stepping completely out of the way, but I also recognize that being too mechanistic is not only too slow, it also often misses the opportunities that arise through spontaneity.

I find the messages come through clearer when I allow them to flow unimpeded. So for me channeling is a process of opening up, allowing the ideas to come, and trusting that the next idea will follow in quick succession. When I have it right, the ideas flow, and I’m sometimes surprised by what comes next.

You’re Probably Already Channeling

The process isn’t as challenging as you might expect. In fact, I’d wager that there have been times when an idea just popped in your head seemingly out of nowhere. You didn’t gradually think of it. It just suddenly appeared as if it was fully formed and ready for you to receive it. Most people call this inspiration. I consider it to be a spontaneous reception and the start of the channeling process.

I’m also fairly sure that there have been times when you have been so excited by something that you began talking before you even bothered to decide what you wanted to say. The words just seem to burst out of you, flowing one after another without the need to give them much thought.

When you put these two practices together you begin to appreciate the essence of what channeling is about. The difference is that when you are channeling you are not babbling. You’re quickly translating clearly formed concepts into English.

Channeling Isn’t Just About Words

Of course, channeling isn’t just about the spoken or written word.

Artists receive inspirational images and translate them into works of art. Musicians find inspiration through sound. Sometimes they write musical scores. Other times they simply jam in the moment, reaching for one note after the other without needing to think about which note should come next.

Such creative expression is as much channeling as the more commonly labeled channeling of the spoken or written word. As creative beings we have an innate ability to reach beyond what is available to us through our five physical senses and translate what we perceive into a wide variety of forms that others can enjoy and that can be preserved over time.

How to Channel Yourself

We cover the basics of channeling in our Excursion Workshop, but you can try it your own without the guidance of the structured workshop.

To get started you might want to practice with a friend. Having a friend helps you to better trust that you are not just making things up. To begin:

  1. Find a quiet spot with minimal distractions.
  2. Have your friend think of a question and write it down on a piece of paper—but don’t let them tell you what the question is. The best types of questions are those that invite a verbal or descriptive response without a single correct answer. So don’t let them ask you for the square root of 289. Instead, have them ask you for advice on a question they are pondering.  Typical questions might be where should I go on vacation, what should I do about my boyfriend, what is the best way to handle the issue with my neighbor’s dog, what would be most helpful to know about advancing my career, etc.
  3. Sit quietly and take a few moments to clear your mind.
  4. Then envision a blank space within your mind. This is the mental space you use to project your day dreams upon.
  5. Think of your friend’s question and expect to receive an answer.
  6. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. As you do, pay attention to the first thing that comes to your mind. It might be words, images, sounds, emotions.
  7. Trust whatever it is. Describe it to your friend. Your friend should listen with polite interest no matter what you say. They can nod in acknowledgment but they shouldn’t say anything.
  8. Then check your mind again for more information. Add to your description.
  9. Repeat the process until you feel you are done.
  10. When you are done, ask your friend to share the question and to comment on your response.

Don’t worry if you answered the question appropriately or not. The point is that as you practice reaching into that creative ether and translating what you perceive you will be building your channeling abilities.

The more you practice and the more you gain confidence, the more readily and accurately the information will flow until you eventually find yourself saying, “Hang on. There’s a message coming through.”

Next Step

Read more articles, and if you haven’t done so already:


(That’s a hint!)

3 Responses to Channeling

  1. Vic Contoski says:

    Dear Matthew:

    Your usual excellent job–clear, simple, wise. I’m forwarding this to friends, as usual.

    The usual love (which is LOT!) from your friend,

  2. Magaret Wonsik says:

    I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  3. Matthew says:

    @Magaret Glad you enjoyed the article. As you may expect the articles are naturally “short” since they are written for the website. We have many more available to our newsletter subscribers. To see them you’ll need to subscribe at

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