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]
Playing cards, imported into Europe from Egypt, consisted of four suits similar to the ones we still see in tarot today: cups, swords, wands (or staves) and coins. As early as 1227 C.E., symbolic meaning was attributed to certain cards, some of which began to take on names such as “The Sun” and “The Moon,” etc. This attachment of symbolism to the cards heralded the development of the trumps. Occultists suggest that this evolution of the tarot coincides so closely with the rise of both the Kabbalah and the Inquisition that the symbolism entrenched in the tarot is really the hidden remnants of Pagan Europe struggling to survive.
By comparing various decks from different time periods, tarot-card enthusiasts can identify the evolution of certain illustrations. “For example,” says Matthews, “the modern version of the hermit with the lantern, you’ll find that that was an hourglass and he was Saturn or Chronos, the keeper of time. You can see how that translates with the Tarot Bolognese meaning of delay or blockage. It was about time moving slowly, though that’s not used as a modern meaning much now.”
This is an organized event that can take place in an auditorium, church or even a TV studio. Participants are picked out from the audience randomly, and the spiritualist or medium passes messages, either directly from the spiritual realm or via his or her personal spirit guide. It’s a good way to see how it all works, but you are playing a numbers game as the chances of you receiving a message are remote.

I remember being in a parking garage in Los Angeles once, and I was driving up a steep ramp. Another car came flying over that ramp in the opposite direction, coming right at me with lightning speed. All of a sudden, my car stalled right in its tracks. Had I continued to drive, I would have hit the approaching car head on, but because my car stopped so suddenly, the other vehicle had room to avoid me. Was it a random act of luck that my car stalled at that precise moment, or did I have a little Divine help? I think I know the answer to that one.
Cynthia has the rare ability to give her clients much more than accurate spiritual psychic predictions. She gives them insight into how and why things are happening in their lives and what they can do to start making a difference. Cynthia gives both practical and spiritual psychic guidance into personal relationships and major decisions. Cynthia’s clients often report feeling a more spiritual connection with themselves and their lives, and the usefulness of the information she is able to connect with is worth much more than they paid for. Cynthia wants to give her clients useful information, hope and confidence with practical and spiritual ways to proceed in the real world
As souls, we all progress as we realize our faults, as well as whom we’ve hurt here, while we deal with all the decisions made in this lifetime. It’s almost as if we have a higher view of things when we cross over and can see why certain things transpired. It means a lot to my clients when I blend with the energy of their loved ones and start to describe and take on their personality or some of their individual habits. Since we’re all so different, getting a spirit’s personality can sometimes be the best evidence for a client.
Contrary to what the uninitiated might think, the meaning of divination cards changes over time, shaped by each era’s culture and the needs of individual users. This is partly why these decks can be so puzzling to outsiders, as most of them reference allegories or events familiar to people many centuries ago. Caitlín Matthews, who teaches courses on cartomancy, or divination with cards, says that before the 18th century, the imagery on these cards was accessible to a much broader population. But in contrast to these historic decks, Matthews finds most modern decks harder to engage with.
Many spiritual works exhort us to form the “human”; that is, to become the best version of ourselves.  To form the spiritual side of us is to draw us deeper into communion with Our Lord.  The intellectual aspect is important; we have to know what we believe.  It is not opposed to the spiritual side; why would God have given humans such a remarkable intellect if He didn’t intend for us to use it?  Lastly, I’d change “pastoral” to “vocational” for those of us among the laity.  Vocational books on being a parent, spouse, father, mother, etc. have been coming up more and more.
At Waite's suggestion, Smith used the Sola Busca artwork for inspiration, and there are many similarities in the symbolism between Sola Busca and Smith's final result. Smith was the first artist to use characters as representative images in the lower cards. Instead of showing merely a cluster of cups, coins, wands or swords, Smith incorporated human figures into the artwork, and the result is the iconic deck that every reader knows today.
One, some psychic mediums see spirits. Not every spirit chooses to show himself or herself to a psychic medium who has this ability, but many of them do. If the psychic medium can see spirits, part of the communication will be based on sight. A psychic medium may see something in their mind’s eye (as an inner vision), or they may see spirits the way they see other people (as a physical manifestation, except the spirits are more ethereal, ghostly).
The medium Frank Decker was exposed as a fraud in 1932. A magician and séance sitter who called himself M. Taylor presented a mail bag and Decker agreed to lock himself inside it. During the séance objects were moved around the room and it was claimed spirits had released Decker from the bag. It was later discovered to have been a trick as Martin Sunshine, a magic dealer admitted that he sold Decker a trick mail bag, such as stage escapologists use, and had acted as the medium's confederate by pretending to be M. Taylor, a magician.[155] The British medium Estelle Roberts claimed to materialize an Indian spirit guide called "Red Cloud". Researcher Melvin Harris who examined some photographs of Red Cloud wrote the face was the same as Roberts and she had dressed up in a feathered war-bonnet.[156]
Automatic writing is where pen and paper are used by the medium during a meditative or trance-like state. The arm of the medium is taken over, and words are scribbled sometimes quickly, conveying meaning. Artistic spiritual mediums can use spirit drawing. An image of the spirit can be drawn using a clairvoyant impression and artistic skills. The portrait may not always appear identical to how the client remembers them in life, this is because spirits sometimes present themselves how they want to be viewed, perhaps younger in their earthly life.

Humans have been fascinated with contacting the dead since the beginning of human existence. Cave paintings by indigenous Australians date back 28,000 years, some depicting skulls, bones, spirits and the afterlife.[3] Other cave paintings in Indonesia date back a further 10,000 years.[4] Mediumship gained popularity during the nineteenth century, when ouija boards were used by the upper classes as a source of entertainment. Investigations during this period revealed widespread fraud—with some practitioners employing techniques used by stage magicians—and the practice began to lose credibility.[5][6] Fraud is still rife in the medium/psychic industry, with cases of deception and trickery being discovered to this day.[7]
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