“The imagery was designed to reflect important aspects of the real world that the players lived in, and the prominent Christian symbolism in the cards is an obvious reflection of the Christian world in which they lived,” he adds. As divinatory usage became more popular, illustrations evolved to reflect a specific designer’s intention. “The subjects took on more and more esoteric meaning,” says Wolf, “but they generally maintained the traditional tarot structure of four suits of pip cards [similar to the numbered cards in a normal playing-card deck], corresponding court cards, and the additional trump cards, with a Fool.”
The medium Henry Slade was caught in fraud many times throughout his career. In a séance in 1876 in London Ray Lankester and Bryan Donkin snatched his slate before the "spirit" message was supposed to be written, and found the writing already there. Slade also played an accordion with one hand under the table and claimed spirits would play it. The magician Chung Ling Soo revealed how Slade had performed the trick.
Do your homework when choosing a medium either for teaching or for having a reading performed for yourself. You might want to attend a few readings before deciding to go ahead and practice mediumship yourself. How long have they been practicing? Do they come recommended? Do they belong to an online community where they are rated? Did they have any formal training? There are official organisations and colleges that train mediums if you care to research them, you could study at one yourself! Always thoroughly check and ask for recommendations before joining any group, teacher or organisation.
The biblical basis is St. Paul's advice "Attend to reading" (1 Tim 4:13) which meant that Timothy his disciple should "apply to the reading of holy books, not in a passing way and for a short time, but regularly and for a considerable time," said St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Catholic Church on Moral theology. St. Bernard of Clairvaux said that "spiritual reading and prayer are the arms by which hell is conquered and paradise won."
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.
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As I’ve already mentioned, I have three of them. Many ordinary people have these guides — it’s not just limited to mediums. They may show themselves in many forms, such as a Franciscan monk, an indigenous person, an ancient Egyptian, or even a child. I believe that they choose to show themselves in these familiar forms for our benefit. I feel that too many people place responsibility on these guides and expect them to do the person’s work. Guides are here to assist us, not make decisions for us. Angels are in a different category from guides — they’re “messengers of God.”
Playing cards first entered Europe in the late 14th century, most likely from Mamluk Egypt, with suits of Batons or Polo sticks (commonly known as Wands by those practicing occult or divinatory tarot), Coins (commonly known as disks, or pentacles in occult or divinatory tarot), Swords, and Cups. These suits were very similar to modern tarot divination decks and are still used in traditional Italian, Spanish and Portuguese playing card decks.
In 1925, Samuel Soal claimed to have taken part in a series of séances with the medium Blanche Cooper who contacted the spirit of a soldier Gordon Davis and revealed the house that he had lived in. Researchers later discovered fraud as the séances had taken place in 1922, not 1925. The magician and paranormal investigator Bob Couttie revealed that Davis was alive, Soal lived close to him and had altered the records of the sittings after checking out the house. Soal's co-workers knew that he had fiddled the results but were kept quiet with threats of libel suits.
The exposures of fraudulent activity led to a rapid decline in ectoplasm and materialization séances. Investigator Joe Nickell has written that modern self-proclaimed mediums like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, Rosemary Altea and James Van Praagh are avoiding the Victorian tradition of dark rooms, spirit handwriting and flying tambourines as these methods risk exposure. They instead use "mental mediumship" tactics like cold reading or gleaning information from sitters before hand (hot reading). Group readings also improve hits by making general statements with conviction, which will fit at least one person in the audience. Shows are carefully edited before airing to show only what appears to be hits and removing anything that does not reflect well on the medium.
Find the best level of detail: Your question should be focused but not overly detailed. Rather than looking at one aspect of a problem, find a way to look more broadly at it. For example, rather than asking how you can make your home life less chaotic, ask how you can better balance the family's schedules. That's a focused question. But do not go so far as to ask how you can coordinate baseball, soccer and Cub Scout schedules and still have family time — that's too detailed. Only include the minimum level of detail needed in order to express what you want to learn from the cards.
Using Your Tarot Deck Look at the cards one by one, take time to immerse yourself, and try to acknowledge the symbolism. Draw cards only when you feel inspired to do so. Full moon days and Mondays are auspicious for drawing. It is best consult Tarot when you are neither preoccupied or stressed. Your surroundings should be quiet and softly lit, possible. It is also helpful to light candles or incense. Set the cards on a neutral-colored cloth (black or white), and then begin your reading. Questions must be precise and clear. Then the cards have to be well-shuffled, cut, displayed and chosen with your l hand. If you shuffle the cards and one accidentally falls out of the deck, look at it; as it often indicates something important.
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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.”
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