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.
"Pull a card and put it under your pillow at night. Let the energy of that card seep into your dreams," she said. "Wake up in the morning; observe the card. Read about what its different meanings are. Is it the major arcana or minor? Is it connected to one of the elements - fire (wands), water (cups), air (swords), or earth (pentacles)? Then notice during the day what happens that might have been a sign from the cards. It's pretty cool when you start connecting the messages."
Associated with the element of fire, the suit of wands represents passion, inspiration and willpower. The wands imbue their users with primal energy, for it is through them that the cycle of creation can begin. Because of their ability to bring energy into any situation, they are also associated with action, ambition and making plans. At their worst, they can refer to situations that are filled with recklessness and lack of direction. As you follow the journey within the wands, you'll come across these themes again and again.
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From its earliest beginnings to contemporary times, mediumship practices have had many instances of fraud and trickery. 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. 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. Lewis Spence in his book An Encyclopaedia of Occultism (1960) wrote:
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But to balance such arcane decks, there are divinatory cards that offer little room for interpretation, like “Le Scarabée d’Or” or The Golden Beetle Oracle, one of Wolf’s most prized decks. “It’s just fantastically bizarre. There’s a little window in the lid of the card box, and when you shake it, the beetle appears, and points to a number,” he explains. “Then you find the corresponding number on a set of round cards, with beautiful script text on them, and read your fortune. Can you not imagine standing in a Victorian parlor in France, consulting the Golden Beetle? It was like performance art.”
“The Rider-Waite deck was designed for divination and included a book written by Waite in which he explained much of the esoteric meaning behind the imagery,” says Wolf. “People say its revolutionary point of genius is that the pip cards are ‘illustrated,’ meaning that Colman Smith incorporated the number of suit signs into little scenes, and when taken together, they tell a story in pictures. This strong narrative element gives readers something to latch onto, in that it is relatively intuitive to look at a combination of cards and derive your own story from them.
Physical mediumship is defined as manipulation of energies and energy systems by spirits. This type of mediumship is claimed to involve perceptible manifestations, such as loud raps and noises, voices, materialized objects, apports, materialized spirit bodies, or body parts such as hands, legs and feet. The medium is used as a source of power for such spirit manifestations. By some accounts, this was achieved by using the energy or ectoplasm released by a medium, see spirit photography. The last physical medium to be tested by a committee from Scientific American was Mina Crandon in 1924.
For example, you smell your grandmother’s perfume or your grandfather’s cigar when you are in your car or in your bedroom. At times, you may feel anxious when you walk into certain rooms and then feel better once you leave. Whatever the case may be, if there are ghosts that haven’t crossed over in your life, we will cross them into the light and help them continue on their journey.
Illusionists, such as Joseph Rinn have staged 'fake' séances in which the sitters have claimed to have observed genuine supernatural phenomena. Albert Moll studied the psychology of séance sitters. According to (Wolffram, 2012) "[Moll] argued that the hypnotic atmosphere of the darkened séance room and the suggestive effect of the experimenters' social and scientific prestige could be used to explain why seemingly rational people vouchsafed occult phenomena." The psychologists Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones in their book Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking (1989) wrote that spirits controls are the "products of the medium's own psychological dynamics."
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."
Among the Israelites, the penalty for anyone practicing spiritism was death. "A man or woman who is a medium or a spiritist among you must be put to death." (Leviticus 20:27, NIV.) God tells us, "And when they say to you, 'Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,' should not a people seek their God?" (Isaiah 8:19, NKJV). The admonition from heaven is clear. When in need of counsel, we are to seek God. He who assures us, "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV). In seeking God, His Word, the Holy Bible, is to be our guiding light. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105 KJV).
Three, some psychic mediums receive messages telepathically, as an inner knowing or inner sensing. Messages are sent from the spirit’s mind to the psychic medium’s mind, and vice versa. Here, the spirit might flash a picture or a word in the psychic medium’s mind. Spirits have the ability to use the psychic medium’s brain as a file cabinet, and they will search through that psychic medium’s knowledge and experiences for ways to best communicate what they want to convey.
The swords is the suit of intelligence, logic, truth, ambition, conflict and communication. It is associated with the element of air. In readings, these cards focus on the faculty and power of intellect, which like the swords themselves, are double-edged. This can be used for both good or evil, to help and to harm, and our greatest conflicts usually come from this delicate balance. At their worst, the swords can be abusive, harsh, and lack empathy.
Mediumship must under no circumstances to be taken lightly. Years of training and development, personal balancing and tuning are required. You are dealing with other people's emotions after all, it's a big responsibility. A good spiritual medium stands for truth, love and light, with the highest intent to serve. Spiritual mediumship is a selfless act. A good professional medium may require a fee to put food on the table, but mediumship should not be undertaken with excessive profit as the main driver, instead it should be the will to help others, provide healing, understanding, reassurance and comfort.
Other good starting points in studying the intellectual side of the faith are Frank Sheed’s Theology for Beginners and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catechism is probably thought of more as a reference book, and it certainly is useful for that—but it also contains a tremendous amount of spiritual wisdom. In pondering the mysteries of our faith, we can better make connections between what the Church teaches and why the Church teaches it.
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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.
You may not always get the opportunity to physically sit down with someone who is skilled in the art of reading the cards, or perhaps afford to pay for regular readings, so here at Lotus Tarot we aim to provide you with a little guidance and easy and convenient access to information. Hopefully, this will bring you some pleasure, as well as insights and hope for the future.