OK so you’re interested in development, you've had a few experiences and you would like to develop further, and you ask yourself "what do I do next?" , "Where do I go?" Well you can develop online in chatrooms that offer development classes, this is ok to a point, but it's always better to join a development group at your local spiritualist church most of them offer weekly groups.
There are 2 different types of circles there's "Open Circles" and "Closed Circles" Open circles are open to everyone and closed circles are for people who have been with the group for a long time and turn up regularly, these type are often open to members of the church only and normally have the same people every week unless you're invited to join.
There's no real difference between the 2, maybe just the people are a little more advanced and because they have the same members each week the energy within the circle is constant for example, not a lot of outside influences can disrupt the group, where as the open circle people can come and go each week so there are new energies in and out of the circle all the time, although for me personally this is the better option as there are always new people to try out your reading skills on. The techniques they use for both groups are pretty much the same.
Development groups are often held within the spiritualist church although some of the groups may hold there own "Home Circles" and are normally limited to a selected few unless you're invited to join.
If you're new to development it's always best to join a group within the SNU (Spiritualists National Union) as they work with certain guidelines and is a safe environment to work in, I say safe in the sense of they know what there doing (experienced) There are other churches not in the SNU, but if you're just starting out best to stick with something official.
Spiritualist churches are not like the normal churches that you would associated with. Spiritualist churches are often well furnished with carpets and a nice warm atmosphere and the people are very down to earth with a sense of humor. Most spiritualist churches hold a number of event each week, Sundays being the main service, maybe a development group on a Thursday and healing on a Tuesday.
The service normally starts of with an introduction of guest speaker/mediums then maybe followed by a hymn then the healing minute where we can send thoughts to those who need healing then maybe another hymn followed by some poetry or a guest speaker giving some philosophy then another hymn followed by a demonstration of mediumship by the guest medium for that week, this is where the medium will give messages to the congregation. There is normally a different medium each week.
The whole service takes about an hour and a half with the mediumship demonstration taking the most of the time. Tea and coffee is normally served after the service, this just an example the running order may not be exact.
You can find your nearest UK SNU church by following this link: Spiritualists' National Union
What Happens At A Circle?
Most people often have a fear of going to a group as they are unsure of what happens so this is an example of what to expect at a development group, again different groups may do things slightly different the example below is based on the SNU church I used to go to.
When you arrive at the circle you will notice that the chairs will be arranged in a circle this is really just the keep the group close and is easier this way for communication within the group. You will be offered a glass of water if you need one. When the rest of the group arrive and everyone is settled there is normally a prayer of protection said either by the group leader or volunteered by one of the members. The group leader is usually an experienced medium.
After the prayer is said the group are asked to sit with feet flat on the floor and hands resting in your lap with palms turned upwards. Then a 15 to 20 minute meditation is normally done some groups may have a nature tape playing in the background with birds or running water etc. The group leader will normally guide you through a meditation pretty much the same as the one on the "Meet Your Guide" meditation available on the spirit guides page
The group leader will lead you so far into the meditation, maybe to a point where you where you are left with your guide. At this point this is where you get your messages either for yourself or other members in the group, it doesn't matter if don't get anything this is why you're at the circle to learn.
After the group leader feels enough time has passed in the meditation he/she will guide you out of the meditation. Then the group leader will go around the group and ask what you saw or any messages you received in the meditation, this is where you give any messages or visions you may have seen.
After everyone has given there messages or visions the group leader will then start some development activity, sometimes you will work in pairs for this. These activities may include psychometry, tarot, any thing that involve development. Here are some of the actives I used to do at my circle.
This is where the person has volunteered to do the reading will leave the room for a few minutes, while another member of the group would put there hand into a bowl of water after this member has done and returned to their seat the volunteer would be asked back into the room and would put their hand into the water and try to read the energies left in the water and give off any information they picked up form the water and hopefully giving the name of the member who had their hand in the water.
This is very similar to psychometry where one member would hold the ribbons which normally consist of several ribbons all of a different colour and try to put their thoughts and feelings into the ribbons then a volunteer would take the ribbons from the member and try to pick up there feelings and thoughts.
This is where group members would bring in old photographs of ancestors who have passed and volunteers would hold the photo and give off as much information as they could, again this is similar to psychometry.
These are just a few of the many activities done within a development circle, again each church/group will vary in how they conduct a development group, but you will find it won't be much different from the above example. After the group has finished the group leader guide you through a closing down exercise. The group leader will normally tell you what has been planned for the next week so you can bring anything with you that could be used in the next weeks group.
Other Things To Consider
Most churches and development groups are free, although they do ask for a donation which is only fair as they have to pay for electricity, gas, tea and coffee etc. Normally a donation of a £1 - £2 each visit is acceptable or whatever you can afford. If you cant afford anything that's fine they are not in it for the money, just to cover costs.
The reason I also mention going to an SNU development group is when you're a beginner their group leader is an experienced medium or should be, as while during meditation some group members have known to have gone into trance, trance is where spirit can come very close and try to communicate through us, this is why you should have an experienced medium running a group who can safely deal with such occasions. Please note this is rare and doesn't always happen but it can.
There are many advantages of joining a group rather than using development classes online as you can see from above.