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]
Mediumship became quite popular in the 19th-century United States and the United Kingdom after the rise of Spiritualism as a religious movement. Modern Spiritualism is said to date from practices and lectures of the Fox sisters in New York State in 1848. The trance mediums Paschal Beverly Randolph and Emma Hardinge Britten were among the most celebrated lecturers and authors on the subject in the mid-19th century. Allan Kardec coined the term Spiritism around 1860.[12] Kardec claimed that conversations with spirits by selected mediums were the basis of his The Spirits' Book and later, his five-book collection, Spiritist Codification.

At times, a spirit that hasn’t crossed over yet may linger as they have some sort of “unfinished business.” Sometimes, they linger in our homes, cars, or at work. If we sense them during your reading, we will clear them out of your home and help them on their journey by crossing them over or helping them release whatever they were holding onto. Almost all of our clients report a significant “light feeling” in the area where they felt was once dark and “spooky.”

The biggest problem with de Gebelin’s work is that there was really no historical evidence to support it. However, that didn’t stop wealthy Europeans from jumping onto the esoteric knowledge bandwagon, and by the early nineteenth century, playing card decks like the Marseille Tarot were being produced with artwork specifically based on deGebelin’s analysis.
The magician Julien Proskauer revealed that the levitating trumpet of Jack Webber was a trick. Close examination of photographs reveal Webber to be holding a telescopic reaching rod attached to the trumpet, and sitters in his séances only believed it to have levitated because the room was so dark they could not see the rod. Webber would cover the rod with crepe paper to disguise its real construction.[162]

In a series of fake séance experiments (Wiseman et al. 2003) paranormal believers and disbelievers were suggested by an actor that a table was levitating when, in fact, it remained stationary. After the seance, approximately one third of the participants incorrectly reported that the table had moved. The results showed a greater percentage of believers reporting that the table had moved. In another experiment the believers had also reported that a handbell had moved when it had remained stationary and expressed their belief that the fake séances contained genuine paranormal phenomena. The experiments strongly supported the notion that in the séance room, believers are more suggestible than disbelievers for suggestions that are consistent with their belief in paranormal phenomena.[51]
Second, when the spirit speaks to Saul and gives a prediction, the spirit says, "tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.” Again we have to ask, if Samuel is a good man and prophet of the Lord, isn't he supposed to be in heaven? If we assume that the spirit of Samuel is in heaven, then, how can Saul, who is in rebellion against the Lord, also end up where Samuel is the next day? It seems the spirit is a lying spirit!
Yes, it’s certainly possible. My type of mediumship works on a mental level, as I receive images and words through the power of thought, so there’s no language barrier. I’ve read for Ethiopians, Chinese, Latinos, Brazilians, Japanese, and many more. Each time I connect with someone who has lived in another country, I always feel their culture, comprehend their language, and understand their experiences. In a funny sort of way, it’s almost as if I’m actually there.

“When we used to send telegrams, each word costs money,” Matthews explains, “so you’d have to send very few words like, ‘Big baby. Mother well. Come to hospital.’ And you’d get the gist of it. I read cards in a very similar way—starting from a few general keywords and making sense of them by filling in the words that are missing. This isn’t the tarot style of reading where you project things, like, ‘I can see that you’ve recently had a great disappointment. Mercury is in retrograde and da da da.’ A cartomantic reading is much more straightforward and pragmatic, for example, ‘Your wife will eat tomatoes and fall off the roof and die horribly.’ It’s a direct way of reading, a pre-New Age way of reading.”
The original purpose of tarot cards was to play games. A very cursory explanation of rules for a tarot-like deck is given in a manuscript by Martiano da Tortona before 1425. Vague descriptions of game play or game terminology follow for the next two centuries until the earliest known complete description of rules for a French variant in 1637.[11] The game of tarot has many regional variations. Tarocchini has survived in Bologna and there are still others played in Piedmont and Sicily, but in Italy the game is generally less popular than elsewhere.
In 1954, the psychical researcher Rudolf Lambert published a report revealing details about a case of fraud that was covered up by many early members of the Institute Metapsychique International (IMI).[163] Lambert who had studied Gustav Geley's files on the medium Eva Carrière discovered photographs depicting fraudulent ectoplasm taken by her companion Juliette Bisson.[163] Various "materializations" were artificially attached to Eva's hair by wires. The discovery was never published by Geley. Eugéne Osty (the director of the institute) and members Jean Meyer, Albert von Schrenck-Notzing and Charles Richet all knew about the fraudulent photographs but were firm believers in mediumship phenomena so demanded the scandal be kept secret.[163]
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]
One frequent obstacle with spiritual reading is the question of where to start.  There are so many writings of saints, magisterial documents, and enough devotional books and pamphlets to fill a library.  Choosing what kind of books to read should have a multi-pronged approach, depending on each individual.  I think a great way to organize it is an adaptation of St. John Paul II’s recommendations in Pastores Dabo Vobis.  The encyclical was on the training of priests, and he called attention to four basic areas of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. Even though most of us aren’t ordained priests, we can still apply this to our spiritual reading habits.  Good spiritual reads will ideally aid us in all four of those elements—or at least focus on one or two. 

As he did so, I was aware that he’d lost a brother. I could feel his brother right beside him, right there at the party. I didn’t really know quite what to do or how to behave. I had two choices, the first being to just blurt out something, and potentially shock this man by saying, “Hey, I know you lost a brother, and he’s standing right beside you!” No, somehow I don’t think that would have been the right approach. So what I did was this. I put my thoughts out to the brother and said, If you want me to give your brother a message, then you figure out how that conversation is going to come about. I put the responsibility on the spirit to work it out.
The mediums ranged from 15 to 47 years of automatic writing experience, performing up to 18 psychographies per month. All were right-handed, in good mental health, and not currently using any psychiatric drugs. All reported that during the study they were able to reach their usual trance-like state during the psychography task and were in their regular state of consciousness during the control task.
The British medium William Roy earned over £50,000 from his séance sitters. He confessed to fraud in 1958 revealing the microphone and trick-apparatus that he had used.[166] The automatic writings of the Irish medium Geraldine Cummins were analyzed by psychical researchers in the 1960s and they revealed that she worked as a cataloguer at the National Library of Ireland and took information from various books that would appear in her automatic writings about ancient history.[167]
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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