There are many varieties of Tarot decks, and there is no standard number of cards across all decks. While the types of cards, the suits and their meanings are the same, the illustrations vary greatly. Decks are based on various themes such as nature, animals, fantasy, dragons, etc. The most common deck in the United States is the Rider-Waite deck, which was created in 1909 by A.E. Waite, a prominent member of the aforementioned occult group The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and published by Rider & Company. The artist was Pamela Colman Smith. This 78-card deck was the only readily available deck in the United States for many years, which is why some consider it the "definitive" tarot deck in the U.S.

As occult interest in the Tarot expanded, it became more associated with the Kabbalah and the secrets of hermetic mysticism. By the end of the Victorian era, occultism and spiritualism had become popular pastimes for bored upper class families. It wasn’t uncommon to attend a house party and find a séance taking place, or someone reading palms or tea leaves in the corner.
Well, here is where things might be a little more “out there” and magical. You see, we are all connected to a collective, universal wisdom and our inner wisdom. And when we read the Tarot cards—and connect with our intuition—we can tap into this universal wisdom. It’s a little like connecting in with the collective mind, not just the individual mind. 
In the late 1920s and early 1930s there were around one quarter of a million practising Spiritualists and some two thousand Spiritualist societies in the UK in addition to flourishing microcultures of platform mediumship and 'home circles'.[18] Spiritualism continues to be practiced, primarily through various denominational spiritualist churches in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, over 340 spiritualist churches and centres open their doors to the public and free demonstrations of mediumship are regularly performed.[19]
Even the earliest known tarot decks weren’t designed with mysticism in mind; they were actually meant for playing a game similar to modern-day bridge. Wealthy families in Italy commissioned expensive, artist-made decks known as “carte da trionfi” or “cards of triumph.” These cards were marked with suits of cups, swords, coins, and polo sticks (eventually changed to staves or wands), and courts consisting of a king and two male underlings. Tarot cards later incorporated queens, trumps (the wild cards unique to tarot), and the Fool to this system, for a complete deck that usually totaled 78 cards. Today, the suit cards are commonly called the Minor Arcana, while trump cards are known as the Major Arcana.
If I had to choose one book to take to a desert island, this would be it. The ageless "Song of God" is, of course, a magnificent, sacred scripture and not technically a novel, but its narrative form makes it read like one. The Gita tells the story of Arjuna, who turns to the God Krishna, his friend, for explanations and advice on life. Krishna lays out an entire worldview, the philosophy of Vedanta, one of the great achievements of human thought. Christopher Isherwood, an English novelist, and Swami Prabhavananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and Isherwood's guru, translate the Gita in a simple, modern style, alternating between prose and poetry without sacrificing the majesty and wisdom of this ancient story. Krishna gives Arjuna simple advice which I have found so useful in my own life, such as not to do anything for results, but rather for God: "You can have the work," he tells Arjuna, "but not the products of the work."
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The fifth, and final, thing you should know before going to a psychic medium demonstration or private reading is a piece of advice my friend John says best before every one of his demonstrations, “Don’t Feed The Medium!” If the psychic medium tells you that your Uncle Charlie is present. Don’t blurt out, “Oh, my goodness, my Uncle Charlie was a police officer who lost his leg in the war and died two years ago in a car accident!” Let the psychic medium tell you these things. If you offer that information yourself, then you miss out on the excitement and validation you could gain if the psychic medium was about to tell you those details. 
"Mental mediumship" is communication of spirits with a medium by telepathy. The medium mentally "hears" (clairaudience), "sees" (clairvoyance), and/or feels (clairsentience) messages from spirits. Directly or with the help of a spirit guide, the medium passes the information on to the message's recipient(s). When a medium is doing a "reading" for a particular person, that person is known as the "sitter".
Growing up in the 1950s, I felt lost amid the materialism and shallow sunniness of the postwar culture; I longed for some overarching meaning. Then I came across books by two novelists, Jack Kerouac and J.D. Salinger, that opened my eyes to an entirely new way of looking at the world. I had not known that books could do this. These novels made life seem a much more mysterious and rich experience than I had imagined. At heart, they were books about spiritual journeys, and they made spirituality seem hip and wonderful. They also introduced me to the Buddhist concept of "right livelihood," thereby ultimately changing my life, for in time I gave up a lucrative career as a missile engineer to become a novelist and teacher of literature. Today, these novels have become spiritual classics, timeless books that provide special wisdom and insight for readers grappling with life's thorniest philosophical dilemmas. The novel as an art form originally came into being as bourgeois entertainment concerned with everyday matters, such as money, success, and ambition. Paradoxically, its very concreteness, which requires the novelist to create plausible characters operating in a credible world, makes the novel an ideal vehicle for exploring spiritual themes and presenting unorthodox worldviews. The best-selling novelists of our time seem not to understand this; but over the past century or so, the form's masters have put this opportunity to especially good use. Their handiwork includes, among others, the following 10 spiritual classics (including a novella, a short story collection, and one novel-like sacred scripture). I cherish these volumes as old friends and teachers; your summer reading experience will be greatly enhanced by packing one or more of these treasures in your travel bag.
Like common playing cards, the tarot has four suits (which vary by region: French suits in Northern Europe, Latin suits in Southern Europe, and German suits in Central Europe). Each suit has 14 cards, ten pip cards numbering from one (or Ace) to ten and four face cards (King, Queen, Knight, and Jack/Knave). In addition, the tarot has a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool. Depending on the game, the Fool may act as the top trump or may be played to avoid following suit.[1] These tarot cards, without occult symbology, are still used throughout much of Europe to play card games.
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.
Jump up ^ God's World: A Treatise on Spiritualism Founded on Transcripts of Shorthand Notes Taken Down, Over a Period of Five Years, in the Seance-Room of the William T. Stead Memorial Center (a Religious Body Incorporated Under the Statutes of the State of Illinois), Mrs. Cecil M. Cook, Medium and Pastor. Compiled and Written by Lloyd Kenyon Jones. Chicago, Ill.: The William T. Stead Memorial Center, 1919.
Because the spirits who respond to the channelers are satanic, channeling is abhorrent to God. There are few who have any true conception of the deceptive power of spiritualism and the danger of coming under its influence. Many tamper with it merely to gratify their curiosity. They have no real faith in it and would be filled with horror at the thought of yielding themselves to the spirits' control. But they venture upon the forbidden ground, and the mighty destroyer exercises his power upon them against their will. Let them once be induced to submit their minds to his direction, and he holds them captive. It is impossible, in their own strength, to break away from the bewitching, alluring spell. Nothing but the power of God, granted in answer to the earnest prayer of faith, can deliver these ensnared souls.

Open readings address the larger aspects of your life rather than a specific problem area or question. They're usually done when you're entering a new phase of life, such as getting married, graduating from college or starting a family. You can somewhat direct the reading if you have a general area you want to cover, such as your career or health, but that's as specific as the direction gets.
There are now thousands of types of tarot decks to choose from, Hello Kitty to zombies. A traditional deck has 22 Major Arcana (or trumps) which are the archetypal images. There are 56 Minor Arcana cards, sixteen Court or Personality cards; the Kings, Queens, Princes and Pages, just like modern playing cards. There are four elements or suits: Fire, Earth, Air and Water, with 10 cards in each. There are no inherently negative cards.
Often, I will do a Skype call with my best friend in the evening, when she is off work. She lays the cards out for me on her Turkish scarves then - ta-da! - the fortune-telling happens. Because she knows me so well, since we were pip-squeaks, it is helpful to have her insight on what each card forebodes. After the reading, I get to process it all with my pal then take it with me into my dreams.
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