Smartly dressed in a suit, 18-year old Ross Bartlett is often mistaken for being much older than his years and people are frequently shocked to discover his real age. There have been very few recorded mediums demonstrating publicly so young and that’s what makes Ross so unusual.
Ross remembers having his first clairvoyant vision when he was around five years old, when he clearly saw a Victorian lady standing over his mother’s bed. He kept the experience from all but his grandmother, who understood his gift.
“When I had this experience, I knew it wasn’t my imagination. I’m just not the imaginative sort, so it was very unlike me to come up with something like that. Secondly, it was so vivid and seemed so real, I just knew it wasn’t a strange experience as such. However, I also didn’t realise that it wasn’t ‘normal’, I just thought everyone had these types of experiences. It was a bit puzzling, because I didn’t know if other children of my age were seeing what I was seeing.”
Ross approached his grandmother in a very straightforward way, who sat him down and asked him to recount what he’d seen, describe what the lady looked like and recall whether she’d said anything to him. “She spoke very calmly to me and asked me to explain how it made me feel. She reassured me that it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary and that there was nothing to worry about. I later learned that my grandmother was a psychic and had also had these types of experiences herself.”
Growing up, Ross started to experience more physical phenomenon. Lights would be turned on and off, glasses moved up and down the table and things were moved around the house. When Ross was 11 years old, he started practising martial arts, which he cites as his introduction to the world of energies, how they can be used and controlled around the body and how they can be projected in different ways. When wooden items in his home started to vibrate and shake, he knew this was simply spirits putting their energy into things.
Ross first attended Spiritualist Church with his mother, when he was about eight years old. During this first introduction to the spiritualist movement, he felt very much a spectator. “Although I found my paranormal experiences comforting, I always kept them a secret from my close friends and family. I wasn’t sure if they would consider it normal, even though I knew it was normal to me. For me, there really wasn’t anything strange about any of the experiences happening to me. Hearing my name being called, or seeing and feeling energies was a great comfort.”
Ross was 11 years of age when he finally revealed his secret in the classroom when, in the middle of a lesson and not meaning to give them a message at all, he started relaying information from a classmate’s deceased grandfather. “The message wasn’t actually for him, but for his sister, but I was able to give his sister’s name, his grandfather’s name and the message to go along with it.”
At secondary school, Ross’s abilities became a secret once more, after he chose to attend a different school to that of his friends. It was at this time that he started to attend Spiritualist Church on a regular basis and started learning how to become more aware of spirit. His skills were advancing and he was learning how to control his communications with the spirit world.
At the age of 13, Ross had a recurrence of his earlier experience. “I was sat next to a friend in class and I felt a spirit lady draw close to me. It was my friend’s grandmother and she gave me details to pass on, including her name. It came as a bit of a shock to my friend!”
The passing of Ross’s beloved grandmother when he was 13, prompted him into further study and research. He attended more demonstrations and learned the philosophy of spiritualism. “When I started to receive messages from my grandmother, I started to get deeper into things. Other mediums started to tell me that I had the ability to do what they were doing up there on the rostrum. They assured me that if I did it for the right reasons, made the right decision within my life, developed and was dedicated to the path, I could even possibly make a living out of it.”
At 14, Ross started attending workshops and sitting in a circle. Just a few weeks later, he gave his first private reading to a family friend. “At that point, I had a very strong awareness around me and my teacher spent a lot of time developing my mediumship, a gift that everyone has since it is a birthright”.
After just a year’s development in the circle, Ross performed his first platform demonstration aged just 15. “I was very nervous. There were about 40 people in the church and I shared the evening with my teacher and friend. It went very well and from then it just spiralled as I was asked to do more and more demonstrations.”
Much of Ross’s development has been from reading people and the more he practises, the better he gets and the more he learns. “As I felt my blending with the spirit world become closer and closer, I started to give greater information and accuracy.”
Ross also used crystals in his development, which is actually a very unorthodox thing to do for someone with a spiritualist movement background. However, Ross believes greatly in the power of crystals and their ability to change energies and help them grow more rapidly in the progression of mediumship and awareness skills. “People say I’m an Indigo Child, that is to say someone who is highly evolved spiritually and whose specific purpose is to try and change the world at a time when we are coming into our new spiritual age – an age we are on the cusp of now.”
Indigo children are said to be born with violet auras and are sent “into the next age” to guide and open people’s awareness. Indigo children often have a problem with authority, because they feel like they know it already and are often frustrated by those around them, as they have more awareness than most.
At the tender age of 18, Ross has taken on board the advice given to him and is now working as a full-time medium. “I have already worked with many great and well-respected people and I am looking forward to doing as much as I can for the movement. I’m passionate about using my abilities to help others, be it through private readings, public demonstrations or just giving guidance in any way I can. “People come for readings for different reasons. Some like to receive messages, while others simply require evidence of the afterlife. Personally, I like to focus on the evidential aspect, as I feel it is this which is lacking in people’s lives and the paranormal side of things today. I believe that without evidence, one cannot move on to the next step and explore more deeply the philosophy of how it all works. For me, it’s not enough just to believe. I really feel it’s necessary to know there is an afterlife, and feel certain that loved ones are very much alive and happy and are fully aware of what’s going on in this life.”
Ross has some advice for parents with young children who are able to hear, see and sense spirit. “Try not to make your child feel uncomfortable about it. Rather, I would recommend you make them feel like their experiences are quite normal. Rather than leave them to speak to others about it, encourage your child to talk to you about their experiences, as this will give them greater protection from potential negative influences. It’s also good to speak to a medium, as they will be able to help you deal with and develop your child’s abilities. Above all, don’t be afraid. This is the most normal spiritual experience in one’s life and is perfectly natural for your child.”
© Ross Bartlett 2011