No one truly knows when playing cards began to be used for divination, although as early as the fifteenth century, additional picture cards (trumps) were being added to decks of playing cards. These cards depicted images of gods, heroes, or motifs to express philosophical, social, astronomical, or other ideals. The earliest known mention of the practice of tarot-style cartomancy appears in literature in the 16th century. By the 18th century, simple divination methods using cards appeared in several manuscripts.

While the tarot is the most widely known, it’s just one type of deck used for divination; others include common playing cards and so-called oracle decks, a term encompassing all the other fortune-telling decks distinct from the traditional tarot. Etteilla eventually switched to using a traditional tarot deck, which he claimed held secret wisdom passed down from ancient Egypt. Etteilla’s premise echoed the writings of Court de Gébelin, who allegedly recognized Egyptian symbols in tarot-card illustrations. Though hieroglyphics had not yet been deciphered (the Rosetta Stone was rediscovered in 1799), many European intellectuals in the late 18th century believed the religion and writings of ancient Egypt held major insights into human existence. By linking tarot imagery to Egyptian mysticism, they gave the cards greater credibility.
The trance medium Leonora Piper was investigated by psychical researchers and psychologists in the late 19th and early 20th century. In an experiment to test if Piper's "spirit" controls were purely fictitious the psychologist G. Stanley Hall invented a niece called Bessie Beals and asked Piper's 'control' to get in touch with it. Bessie appeared, answered questions and accepted Hall as her uncle.[98] The psychologist Joseph Jastrow wrote that Piper pretended to be controlled by spirits and fell into simple and logical traps from her comments.[99] Science writer Martin Gardner concluded Piper was a cold reader that would "fish" for information from her séance sitters.[100] The physiologist Ivor Lloyd Tuckett who examined Piper's mediumship in detail wrote it could be explained by "muscle-reading, fishing, guessing, hints obtained in the sitting, knowledge surreptitiously obtained, knowledge acquired in the interval between sittings and lastly, facts already within Mrs. Piper's knowledge."[101]
Open readings address the larger aspects of your life rather than a specific problem area or question. They're usually done when you're entering a new phase of life, such as getting married, graduating from college or starting a family. You can somewhat direct the reading if you have a general area you want to cover, such as your career or health, but that's as specific as the direction gets.
This is another card which also strikes fear into neophytes because The Devil is fear itself. The Devil is illusion, greed, temptation, the material world. It symbolizes your demons, your projections onto and from others. The Devil is your shadow, dark side and unconscious. It is phallic, sexual, and wild energy. It can symbolize your boss or any authority figures.
The 18th century saw tarot's greatest revival, during which it became one of the most popular card games in Europe, played everywhere except Ireland and Britain, the Iberian peninsula, and the Ottoman Balkans.[12] French tarot experienced a revival beginning in the 1970s and France has the strongest tarot gaming community. Regional tarot games—often known as tarock, tarok, or tarokk are widely played in central Europe within the borders of the former Austro-Hungarian empire.
A medium that has been screened over several months by the University of Arizona's VERITAS Research Program, and has agreed to uphold a code of spiritual ethics as well as hold a strong commitment to the values of scientific mediumship research. An Integrative Research Medium has undergone several stages of questionnaires, interviews, and tests; participated in training in grief psychology, afterlife science, and human subjects research; and demonstrated a strong ability to report accurate and specific information during double-blinded test readings. In January of 2008, Joanne was invited to continue to participate as a Certified Research Medium in the new mediumship research program, under the direction of Dr. Julie Beischel at the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential.
Jesus himself on several occasions was confronted with people controlled by demon spirits, yet still recognized the authority of Jesus. In one instance in Capernaum, "there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him." (Mark 1:23-26, ESV). Just because a spirit can tell the truth, doesn't mean it is a good spirit.
After I had my own private conversation with him, remembering those gallery visits and happy times we’d shared, and how I was blessed to have him as a friend in my life, it was time to say my goodbyes, and I knew I would see him again. I went downstairs, and of course, I just had to ask Amanda, “While you were upstairs, did you ask Michael something about money?” I knew it sounded very personal. She looked at me with a look of surprise and said as she put her head down, “Well . . . yes, John, I guess I was being selfish. I asked Michael if there was anything he could do to help me out financially over there; and if there was any guidance he could send me, it would be of great help now.” I was amazed that he’d answered her so quickly.

As occult interest in the Tarot expanded, it became more associated with the Kabbalah and the secrets of hermetic mysticism. By the end of the Victorian era, occultism and spiritualism had become popular pastimes for bored upper class families. It wasn’t uncommon to attend a house party and find a séance taking place, or someone reading palms or tea leaves in the corner.

Just because spirits can come to me doesn’t mean they are in control — I am. I wasn’t so disciplined at the beginning, but then I was more inexperienced and possibly a little naïve. As an example, I do remember one time when I was at a party where no one knew me. I was mingling with the guests when a young man walked in and pushed past me to get a drink.


The suit of cups rules over all that is associated with emotions, the unconscious, creativity, and intuition. They frequently talk about relationships, whether romantic or otherwise, and one's imagination and inner world. They are associated with the element of water, which becomes a frequent visual theme within this suit. At their worst, the cups suit is fret with uncontrolled feelings, fantasy, and a disconnect with one's inner voice.
At one time these evil spirits were holy angels living in heaven with God.  But they rebelled with Satan and were cast down to planet earth. It's in the Bible, Revelation 12:7-9 NIV. "And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
Of course, they don’t just visit when the going gets tough. By the same token, I often receive evidence that spirits were there to see their children get married, or witness the birth of a baby or a daughter’s graduation. Holidays and special occasions are also big for them — they want to see us happy and like to take part in that joy. After all, if they were here physically, it goes without saying that they’d be present at these important events. Being in spirit doesn’t change the fact that they’re still our family and still care about us.
“Quite recently, it was discovered by Mary Greer that there was a prior source to the Lenormand cards,” she continues. “There’s a deck in the British Museum called ‘Les Amusements des Allemands’ (‘The German Entertainment’). Basically, a British firm put together a pack of cards that has images and little epigrams on the bottom, which say things like, ‘Be aware, don’t spend your money unwisely,’ and that sort of thing. It’s quite trite. But it came with a book of text that’s almost identical to the instructions for later packs of Lenormand cards.”
The Burning Question reading is for times when you have a question that needs to be answered immediately—a burning question, if you will. A card symbolizing the question is placed at the center of the spread with the remaining six cards placed around it, suggesting the shape of a flame as it clings onto an object. Spread created by veteran tarot reader Laura Mead-Desmet.
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