About Silver Birch
The profound spiritual teachings of Silver Birch have guided and inspired tens of thousands of followers around the world for decades. Spoken in words and phrases whose meanings are simple to absorb, his philosophy has guided countless people on their spiritual journeys through this earthly life.
They have learned to view their lives and those of others with love, compassion and understanding, knowing that we each have our own divine purpose. This realisation comes from the insights offered by Silver Birch’s unique other-world vantage point.
The Spiritual Truth Foundation owns the copyright of Silver Birch’s teachings and promotes their spiritual wisdom through a series of books as well as rare recordings of him speaking.
Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Silver Birch, such as:
A psychic artist depicts him as a serious-looking Native American Indian with a single feather and compassionate eyes. There is evidence to suggest that this was simply a convenient persona behind which a far more spiritually evolved soul hid in order that those who read his words would judge them not by who he was but by the wisdom that pervades every sentence. In the privacy of the home circle he was known to his medium and sitters as ‘Big Jump’, a name made public only in recent years. For more details on this intriguing revelation, and to read the guide’s own personal answer to the question Who is Silver Birch? click here
The spirit portrait of Silver Birch was painted by French artist Marcel Poncin (1891-1953). Before embarking on his spiritual art, Poncin had been a distinguished painter for some years, exhibiting his work in high-profile venues such as the Salon des Artistes Francais, the equivalent of the UK’s Royal Academy. He was raised in a spiritually nurturing environment – his mother and grandmother were psychic – and it is said that he attended a seance at home when he was just four years old. However, it would not be until the early 1930s that Poncin would dedicate himself to spirit portraiture. Despite the fact that this change of pathway had earlier been predicted by several mediums, the artist was not at that time ready to accept it. As a result of his subsequent friendship with Maurice Barbanell, Poncin developed a deep affection and respect for Silver Birch. His signed painting of the guide was presented to Barbanell as a Christmas gift in 193?. The iconic portrait is now owned by the J.V. Trust. It has hung in the offices of Psychic News for many years and continues to do so today.
There are many special aspects to Silver Birch’s teachings, and each person who reads them will have their own view on what makes them so unique. Perhaps their most extraordinary feature is their profound relevance to many 21st century issues, despite the fact that in earthly terms they were transmitted so long ago. This timeless quality is remarkable, shedding light on many of the pressing moral and ethical issues of our time. War, armaments, human rights, the treatment of animals, the culture of fame and celebrity, medical treatments and organ transplants are all covered, along with many other topics. The flowing beauty of Silver Birch’s language, and his intense compassion and understanding of the struggles of earthly life, are also wonderful hallmarks of his communications.
Silver Birch stated categorically that when the time came for his medium Maurice Barbanell to pass to the spirit realms, his own communications would cease and his work with the earth would be complete. We can only speculate as to the precise reason for Silver Birch’s decision, except perhaps to say that his two-world partnership with Barbanell was of such a deep and extraordinary order that it could never be matched or surpassed.
Each and every circle sitting at which Silver Birch spoke through his medium Maurice Barbanell was meticulously documented by the circle ‘scribe’. This was because recording equipment was still very basic (and frequently unreliable) at that time. Thanks to the painstaking dedication of the circle scribes (one of whom was A.W. Austen, later editor of Psychic News) we have verbatim transcripts from which to produce the Silver Birch series of books. This means you can be sure that our books are the most accurate source for learning about the wonderful philosophy and wisdom of Silver Birch.
— Silver Birch
About Maurice Barbanell
Silver Birch gave his teachings through a medium named Maurice Barbanell.
Barbanell was the founder and editor of the weekly Spiritualist newspaper, Psychic News, and for half a century devoted his life to spreading spiritual knowledge through its columns and those of other publications with which he was associated.
In his own obituary, which he wrote before his passing at the age of 79 on 17th July 1981, he revealed that he was told by Estelle Roberts’ Red Cloud — a spirit guide for whom he had the greatest admiration and affection — that in a previous incarnation he had made a promise to reincarnate and devote his life to spreading Spiritualism. Though he had no conscious knowledge of that life or promise, events certainly conspired to make it possible.
Barbanell was born to Jewish parents in a poor area of London’s East End. His mother was devoutly religious but his father, a barber, was an atheist so Barbanell heard many arguments about religion during his early years. His father always won, and his son adopted the same outlook but later changed to agnosticism. Yet after hearing about Spiritualism from a speaker at a social and literary club of which he was secretary, Barbanell refused to start the debate by putting an opposing view — one of his duties — because, he explained, he had made no personal investigation and therefore his opinions were valueless.
This impressed the speaker, who invited Barbanell to attend a seance in which a medium, Mrs Blaustein, was entranced by various spirits of different nationalities. He was not impressed, and on a second visit fell asleep. On waking, Barbanell apologised, believing that either boredom or tiredness had been responsible, but the other circle members informed him that he had not been asleep but had been in a trance and a Red Indian had spoken through him. Silver Birch had found his mouthpiece at last.
Later, with the encouragement of famous Fleet Street journalist Hannen Swaffer, Barbanell founded Psychic News, partly as a vehicle for the guide’s teachings. But, because he knew he would be criticised for publishing his own mediumship in his own newspaper, Barbanell did not reveal to his readers for many years who was channelling the wisdom, by which time the guide had a huge following on his own merits.
Silver Birch spoke regularly at Barbanell’s home circle and the proceedings were always recorded meticulously in shorthand. There were a number of differences in style and procedure between Barbanell’s own journalistic efforts and the way in which Silver Birch communicated, as Barbanell himself observed:
“In my working life I use words every day. I have never yet written or dictated an article with which I was satisfied when I read it. Inevitably I find, when looking at the typed material, that I can improve it by altering words, phrases and sentences. No such problem arises with the guide’s teachings. These flow perfectly, requiring usually only punctuation. Another interesting aspect is the occasional use of words that I regard as archaic and do not form part of my normal vocabulary.”
It’s also fascinating to note that Barbanell’s personal views did not always correspond fully with those of Silver Birch. Perhaps the best known example concerns the guide’s many references to reincarnation as a fact. Barbanell was less categorical. His argument was that it was impossible to prove reincarnation, because every case he had encountered could just as easily be explained as spirit overshadowing (or possession).