Modern Spiritualism (usually shortened to just Spiritualism) has its roots in Hydesville, New York, USA. Much historical information and comment is readily available online. In the UK it is officially recognised as a legal religion with churches and ministers. Again, an online search will explain the background to this situation. In many other countries it is not treated in the same way. The basis of Spiritualist philosophy is that all humans survive as individuals beyond physical death. Those who have passed on are usually termed spirits. Spiritualism teaches that these individuals are still very much alive and active. Furthermore they retain their characters and characteristics, both of which can provide evidence of identity when they return to communicate with loved ones. Someone who helps facilitate this is known as a medium. Providing evidence of survival through communication defines the primary role of a Spiritualist medium. She or he acts as a ‘go-between’, someone able to hear the words from a spirit communicator (clairaudience) or able to see and describe them (clairvoyance). Other forms of mediumship are also sometimes demonstrated. The medium tries to pass on as accurately as possible whatever they receive from the spirit communicator to the intended recipient. Such communication can provide details of personality, names or places which are recognised, evidence showing that loved ones are still alive. It is a two-way process and the recipient of a message can pass on their own message or question. It is frequently said that mediums are psychic but psychics are not necessarily mediums. Psychics may be aware of spirits, even able to communicate with them, but they may not provide the information which characterises evidential mediumship.