Teacher and publisher Jean-Baptiste Alliette wrote his first book on the tarot in 1791, called “Etteilla, ou L’art de lire dans les cartes,” meaning “Etteilla, or the Art of Reading Cards.” (Alliette created this mystical pseudonym “Etteilla” simply by reversing his surname.) According to Etteilla’s writings, he first learned divination with a deck of 32 cards designed for a game called Piquet, along with the addition of his special Etteilla card. This type of card is known as the significator and typically stands in for the individual having their fortune read.
In 1880 the American stage mentalist Washington Irving Bishop published a book revealing how mediums would use secret codes as the trick for their clairvoyant readings. The Seybert Commission was a group of faculty at the University of Pennsylvania who in 1884–1887 exposed fraudulent mediums such as Pierre L. O. A. Keeler and Henry Slade. The Fox sisters confessed to fraud in 1888. Margaret Fox revealed that she and her sister had produced the "spirit" rappings by cracking their toe joints.
Likewise, the entire audience can affect the clarity of the spirit communication at a psychic medium demonstration. If the audience as a whole is very open, accepting and light-hearted, this helps the psychic medium, as it would help any speaker on stage. If the audience as a whole is skeptical, apathetic or angry, this can negatively affect the psychic medium, as it might affect any speaker in front of such a group. Spirit communication is about energy. If the energy in the room is low, it makes it more difficult for the psychic medium to raise his or her energy to connect with spirit. If the energy is high, it can assist the psychic medium to raise his or her energy.
In a series of experiments in London at the house of William Crookes in February 1875, the medium Anna Eva Fay managed to fool Crookes into believing she had genuine psychic powers. Fay later confessed to her fraud and revealed the tricks she had used. Frank Herne a British medium who formed a partnership with the medium Charles Williams was repeatedly exposed in fraudulent materialization séances. In 1875, he was caught pretending to be a spirit during a séance in Liverpool and was found "clothed in about two yards of stiffened muslin, wound round his head and hanging down as far as his thigh." Florence Cook had been "trained in the arts of the séance" by Herne and was repeatedly exposed as a fraudulent medium.
The earliest evidence of a tarot deck used for cartomancy comes from an anonymous manuscript from around 1750 which documents rudimentary divinatory meanings for the cards of the Tarocco Bolognese. The popularization of esoteric tarot started with Antoine Court and Jean-Baptiste Alliette (Etteilla) in Paris during the 1780s, using the Tarot of Marseilles. After French tarot players abandoned the Marseilles tarot in favor of the Tarot Nouveau around 1900, the Marseilles pattern is now used mostly by cartomancers.
How we live, what and how we think, how we love ourselves as well as others, and how we can help others in need is all part of being spiritual. We’re always given the opportunity to raise our vibration to a higher level simply through our actions. So many people are trying to have spiritual experiences when the truth is simple: we’re spiritual beings trying to have human experiences. Acts of unconditional love and compassion are the highest forms of “being spiritual.” Each and every one of us is capable of such wonderful and beautiful things. We can achieve so much with our time here, so let’s embrace it!