Matthews has authored several books on divinatory cards, and her latest is The Complete Lenormand Oracle Cards Handbook. This 36-card deck was named after the celebrity card-reader Mademoiselle Marie Anne Lenormand, who was popular around the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, though the decks bearing her name weren’t actually produced until after her death. The oldest packs in Matthews’ collection are two Lenormand-style decks, the French Daveluy of the 1860s and the Viennese Zauberkarten deck from 1864, which were some of the first decks to be illustrated using the technique of chromolithography.
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.
In 1992, Richard Wiseman analyzed the Feilding report of Eusapia Palladino and argued that she employed a secret accomplice that could enter the room by a fake door panel positioned near the séance cabinet. Wiseman discovered this trick was already mentioned in a book from 1851, he also visited a carpenter and skilled magician who constructed a door within an hour with a false panel. The accomplice was suspected to be her second husband, who insisted on bringing Palladino to the hotel where the séances took place. Massimo Polidoro and Gian Marco Rinaldi also analyzed the Feilding report but came to the conclusion no secret accomplice was needed as Palladino during the 1908 Naples séances could have produced the phenomena by using her foot.
Over time, many great thinkers have added to the deeper understanding of the Tarot cards. Carl Jung connected the symbology of the trumps to archetypes, concluding that the tarot might play an important role in psychoanalysis. The Hero’s Journey discussed by Joseph Campbell laid the foundation for the Journey of the Fool, who jumps heedlessly off a cliff only to come full circle into the position of magician. The archetypal symbols in each card tell a story, and therefore clue the reader into what influences are appearing in the querent’s own life.
“Etteilla was one of the people who actually made divination so esoteric,” says Matthews. “He created a deck that incorporated all the things from Court de Gébelin and his book ‘Le Monde Primitif’ [‘The Primitive World’], which suggested an Egyptian origin for the tarot and all sorts of arcane things.” Matthews makes a distinction between the tarot’s abstract interpretations and the straightforward “cartomantic” reading style that thrived during the 16th and 17th centuries, prior to Etteilla.
It is most likely connected to a previous life in which there is a lesson that must be learned and overcome. Are you ever drawn to something that you can’t explain? A country? A profession? A life mission? These may be connected to a past life. We can help you understand your past so you can move forward with a renewed passion and understanding of your life’s purpose.
The game’s original instructions said it could be used for divining because the illustration on each card included both a symbolic image, like the anchor, and a specific playing card, like the nine of spades. “Hechtel must have seen that there were overlaps between divining with playing cards, which, of course, everyone did, and his game,” says Matthews. “Many other oracle decks appeared around the same time at the end of the 18th century and into the early 19th century. They became really popular after the Napoleonic Wars when everyone settled down and became terribly bourgeois.
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).
"Trance mediumship" is often seen as a form of mental mediumship. Most trance mediums remain conscious during a communication period, wherein a spirit uses the medium's mind to communicate. The spirit or spirits using the medium's mind influences the mind with the thoughts being conveyed. The medium allows the ego to step aside for the message to be delivered. At the same time, one has awareness of the thoughts coming through and may even influence the message with one's own bias. Such a trance is not to be confused with sleepwalking, as the patterns are entirely different. Castillo (1995) states,
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:
The VERITAS Research Program of the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health in the Department of Psychology at the University of Arizona, run by the parapsychologist Gary Schwartz, was created primarily to test the hypothesis that the consciousness (or identity) of a person survives physical death. Schwartz claimed his experiments were indicative of survival, but do not yet provide conclusive proof. The experiments described by Schwartz have received criticism from the scientific community for being inadequately designed and using poor controls.
The illustration on some decks did double duty, providing divinatory tools and scientific knowledge, like the Geografia Tarocchi deck from around 1725. “The Geografia are extraordinary cards, almost like a little encyclopedia of the world with the oracle imagery peeking out at the top,” Matthews says. “The actual bit that you read from is just a cigarette-card length. So for example, the hanged man just shows his legs at the top of the card, while the rest of the card has information about Africa or Asia or other places on it.”
Before setting a consultation appointment, it is important my client understands I work with prayers of protection and thanks to God. My intention is to help my clients achieve their greater good. If there is information the client is not “supposed” to have, then the information will not be revealed to me. I do share everything that IS revealed to me, with no judgments or holding back.
When deciding whether to consult with a local medium in person, check for a couple of things before scheduling. Does the person live in a decent or nice neighborhood? If not, that ought to raise questions about her ability to accurately advise clients. While it is common knowledge that mediums, like doctors, do not “treat” themselves due to the subjective nature of self-study, they should be able to boast a reasonable success rate with clients, which means the clients would want to return periodically as well as refer friends and associates. This would lead to significant income for an accurate psychic medium, so that she would be able to afford a comfortable home or office in a pretty good neighborhood. If the home or office appears run-down or quite modest, this may mean the reader is not as accurate as she claims. Not all psychics live in mansions, of course, but successful ones probably reflect an element of status.
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'. 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.