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.
From its earliest beginnings to contemporary times, mediumship practices have had many instances of fraud and trickery.[52] Séances take place in darkness so the poor lighting conditions can become an easy opportunity for fraud. Physical mediumship that has been investigated by scientists has been discovered to be the result of deception and trickery.[53] Ectoplasm, a supposed paranormal substance, was revealed to have been made from cheesecloth, butter, muslin, and cloth. Mediums would also stick cut-out faces from magazines and newspapers onto cloth or on other props and use plastic dolls in their séances to pretend to their audiences spirits were contacting them.[54] Lewis Spence in his book An Encyclopaedia of Occultism (1960) wrote:

In 1785 C.E., the French occultist Eteilla (Jean-Baptiste Alliette) became the first professional tarot diviner. He popularized the use of the tarot as a divinatory tool to a wide audience, and was the first to develop and publish a set of correspondences, linking the cards to astrology, the four classical elements (earth, fire, water, air), and the four humors (black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm). These correspondences are still useful today.

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]
After drawing your cards, revisit your initial question to ensure that it has been addressed properly. A good tarot guide can help you interpret the images you see on the tarot cards, but there’s really no substitute for personal reflection. As with any skill, practice makes perfect, so use this tarot tool often (daily, if possible), or order a set of Astrology Answers Master Deck Tarot Cards and practice at home!
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