Michael Shermer criticized mediums in Scientific American, saying, "mediums are unethical and dangerous: they prey on the emotions of the grieving. As grief counselors know, death is best faced head-on as a part of life." Shermer wrote that the human urge to seek connections between events that may form patterns meaningful for survival is a function of natural evolution, and called the alleged ability of mediums to talk to the dead "a well-known illusion of a meaningful pattern."[201]

Magicians have a long history of exposing the fraudulent methods of mediumship. Early debunkers included Chung Ling Soo, Henry Evans and Julien Proskauer.[59] Later magicians to reveal fraud were Joseph Dunninger, Harry Houdini and Joseph Rinn. Rose Mackenberg, a private investigator who worked with Houdini during the 1920s, was among the most prominent debunkers of psychic fraud during the mid-20th century.[60]


All of Kerouac's work constitutes a dialogue between his Buddhist and Hindu learning and the residues of his Catholic upbringing. This autobiographical novel, his most joyous and optimistic work, centers on his meeting and friendship with Gary Snyder (here called "Japhy Ryder"), the American poet and student of Chinese and Japanese culture and Zen Buddhism. Kerouac, the child of immigrants and raised in a Massachusetts mill town, is guided by Gary Snyder, Oregon mountain man and anthropologist, in treks up mountains toward "heaven," and in his first steps toward an ecological view and a path of personal independence. Kerouac, in turn, becomes our guide to the spiritual possibilities inherent in the grandeur and beauty of the great American Northwest. As Kerouac and Snyder trade Buddhist one-liners and bring Eastern thought into contact with native American influences like Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, and John Muir, we realize we are witnessing a rebirth of American transcendentalism. The book is filled with a youthful energy and idealism that makes you wish you were there with them during a time when anything seemed possible for young Americans and for the American novel. See also5 Must-Read Summer Books
In 1907, Hereward Carrington exposed the tricks of fraudulent mediums such as those used in slate-writing, table-turning, trumpet mediumship, materializations, sealed-letter reading and spirit photography.[107] between 1908 and 1914 the Italian medium Francesco Carancini was investigated by psychical researchers and they discovered that he used phosphorus matches to produce "spirit lights" and with a freed hand would move objects in the séance room.[108]
The spirit photographer William Hope tricked William Crookes with a fake spirit photograph of his wife in 1906. Oliver Lodge revealed there had been obvious signs of double exposure, the picture of Lady Crookes had been copied from a wedding anniversary photograph, however, Crookes was a convinced spiritualist and claimed it was genuine evidence for spirit photography.[106]

Modern tarot decks, such as we know them, appeared in Italy in the 15th century as series of intricately painted works of art used to play card games. These decks consisted of a varying number of cards and were not specifically created for divination. The first such cards, usually created for noble families to celebrate special occasions, were known in Italy as trionfi (“triumphs” or later, “trumps.”) These trick-taking games later became known by several names, including Tarocchi, Taroc/k, Tarau,and Tarot. Some people even write it as tarrot, taro or tarro - but those spellings are very uncommon.
If I had to choose one book to take to a desert island, this would be it. The ageless "Song of God" is, of course, a magnificent, sacred scripture and not technically a novel, but its narrative form makes it read like one. The Gita tells the story of Arjuna, who turns to the God Krishna, his friend, for explanations and advice on life. Krishna lays out an entire worldview, the philosophy of Vedanta, one of the great achievements of human thought. Christopher Isherwood, an English novelist, and Swami Prabhavananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and Isherwood's guru, translate the Gita in a simple, modern style, alternating between prose and poetry without sacrificing the majesty and wisdom of this ancient story. Krishna gives Arjuna simple advice which I have found so useful in my own life, such as not to do anything for results, but rather for God: "You can have the work," he tells Arjuna, "but not the products of the work."
“I don’t usually get spirit messages. I just don’t. But one day I was sitting with a friend, and all of a sudden, clear as day, I knew I had to tell her that her grandmother wanted her to go home. I told her, and she said that all her grandparents were dead. She called home anyway, to make sure everything was okay, and found out that her sister had been hurt at work and was on her way to an emergency room. I have no idea why my friend’s grandmother chose me to pass this message along, and it’s never happened since.”
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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