In our modern day, just like King Saul of old, people seek counsel from psychic mediums. Several fortune-telling channelers have become wealthy celebrities as a result of predictions published in supermarket tabloids and through counseling well-paying clientele such as Hollywood movie stars, politicians and industrialists. The psychics sometimes claim to be channeling 'Jesus Christ', 'Jehovah God', and 'the Virgin Mary'. But what is the real source of the messages uttered by these spiritists?
In the 1860s and 1870s, trance mediums were very popular. Spiritualism generally attracted female adherents, many who had strong interests in social justice. Many trance mediums delivered passionate speeches on abolitionism, temperance, and women's suffrage. Scholars have described Leonora Piper as one of the most famous trance mediums in the history of Spiritualism.
You don't have to be a professional medium to sense the presence of Spirit, anyone can get this ability. And there are two types of onset - one onset later in life, and one early on. Think: like Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. One has to do more with heredity and genetics (we think), and the other has more to do more with certain weatherings of life experience that make you more susceptible to it.
Tarot card readings have long surpassed the chintzy, neon “Fortune Teller” sign store front stereotype, which gives tarot a bad name and should be avoided. Scholarly research indicates that the cards originated in Italy in the 1500s where they were used as a game, called Tarocchi, by the very wealthy. They weren’t interpreted for spiritual divination until the 18th century. There are tarot schools where you can study and huge communities with thousands of Tarosophists who meet online and at conventions around the world.
And here’s the thing – you may already consciously know the message or insight you receive in a Tarot reading, in which case, the reading can be a heartening confirmation of what you already know. Or, you might be completely unaware of the message until you see it reflected in the cards, in which case you are now empowered to take action based on your new awareness.
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."
“You either have these very shallow ones or these rampantly esoteric ones with so many signs and symbols on them you can barely make them out,” says Matthews. “I bought my first tarot pack, which was the Tarot de Marseille published by Grimaud in 1969, and I recently came right around back to it after not using it for a while.” Presumably originating in the 17th century, the Tarot de Marseille is one of the most common types of tarot deck ever produced. Marseille decks were generally printed with woodblocks and later colored by hand using basic stencils.
A widely known channeler of this variety is J. Z. Knight, who claims to channel the spirit of Ramtha, a 30 thousand-year-old man. Others purport to channel spirits from "future dimensions", ascended masters, or, in the case of the trance mediums of the Brahma Kumaris, God. Other notable channels are Jane Roberts for Seth, Esther Hicks for Abraham, and Carla L. Rueckert for Ra.
The Danish medium Einer Nielsen was investigated by a committee from the Kristiania University in Norway, 1922 and discovered in a séance that his ectoplasm was fake. In 1923 the Polish medium Jan Guzyk was exposed as a fraud in a series of séances in Sorbonne in Paris. Guzyk would use his elbows and legs to move objects around the room and touch the sitters. According to Max Dessoir the trick of Guzyk was to use his "foot for psychic touches and sounds".
The "passage" here is made by an older Englishwoman, Mrs. Moore, traveling to India to see her son, a British civil servant. She heads East in search of a larger view, but initially she encounters fragmentation. Hindu, Muslim, and British India are not merely different worldviews but virtually parallel worlds. Most of the English keep to themselves, but Mrs. Moore ventures out into a teeming world in which the natural is always deeply infused with the supernatural, where "to realize what God is seems more important than to do what God wants." Forster portrays her spiritual journey so authoritatively that we find ourselves, like Mrs. Moore, enlightened and overwhelmed by her new world, as she tentatively feels her way toward a comprehensive nonattachment which is finally more Hindu than British.
Likewise, the entire audience can affect the clarity of the spirit communication at a psychic medium demonstration. If the audience as a whole is very open, accepting and light-hearted, this helps the psychic medium, as it would help any speaker on stage. If the audience as a whole is skeptical, apathetic or angry, this can negatively affect the psychic medium, as it might affect any speaker in front of such a group. Spirit communication is about energy. If the energy in the room is low, it makes it more difficult for the psychic medium to raise his or her energy to connect with spirit. If the energy is high, it can assist the psychic medium to raise his or her energy.
It’s not something that can be picked up and put down on a whim. If you find out that you do have the ability and want to eventually practice as a working medium, it will take dedication, patience, and time, as it can be a physically demanding job. Mediumship has to develop and grow; you’ll find that most mediums spend their entire lives developing their abilities. One final point: you must also be ready to live a life of service.
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A fake medium is likely to consider money first and foremost. Because a mediumistic reading is un-provable it's hard to get your money back. You know when something is wrong when nothing makes sense or the medium asks many probing questions. Remember however that even the best mediums have off days, but primarily things should make sense. Some pieces of information don't make sense for days, sometimes weeks after the reading. Realization comes though a family member or finding an old photograph or letter. A medium can never make promises about which spirits with come through or on what information they can gather from spirit. Contact doesn't work that way, and you tend to get what you're given!
No one truly knows when playing cards began to be used for divination, although as early as the fifteenth century, additional picture cards (trumps) were being added to decks of playing cards. These cards depicted images of gods, heroes, or motifs to express philosophical, social, astronomical, or other ideals. The earliest known mention of the practice of tarot-style cartomancy appears in literature in the 16th century. By the 18th century, simple divination methods using cards appeared in several manuscripts.
It’s simple — because they can! People on the Other-Side want to share our lives with us. Over the years I’ve been practicing as a medium, I must have done thousands of sittings where spirits have come through to acknowledge that they were around their loved ones during difficult times, and by doing so, they were able to lend their support and strength.
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.
It is claimed that the telepathic communications come from highly evolved spirit beings existing in the normally invisible realms of the spirit dimension. Sometimes the medium will have a vision in which he or she sees the spirit in a visible form, manifested in the imagination faculties of the medium’s consciousness. The spirit guides are said to sometimes wear white robes and often radiate brilliant, golden-white light. Channelers claim that the messages received represent divine wisdom and truth, and have beneficial value for mankind.
Just because spirits can come to me doesn’t mean they are in control — I am. I wasn’t so disciplined at the beginning, but then I was more inexperienced and possibly a little naïve. As an example, I do remember one time when I was at a party where no one knew me. I was mingling with the guests when a young man walked in and pushed past me to get a drink.
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.
Though historians like Kaplan and Matthews publish new information on divination decks every year, there are still many holes in the larger story of fortune-telling cards. Wolf points out that those who use cards for divination are often at odds with academics researching their past. “There’s a lot of friction between tarot historians and card readers about the origins and purpose of tarot cards,” Wolf says. “The evidence suggests they were invented for gaming and evolved for use in divination at a much later date. Personally, I believe they were designed for game play, but that the design is a bit more sophisticated than many tarot historians seem to believe.”
Clairvoyance or "clear seeing", is the ability to see anything that is not physically present, such as objects, animals or people. This sight occurs "in the mind's eye". Some mediums say that this is their normal vision state. Others say that they must train their minds with such practices as meditation in order to achieve this ability, and that assistance from spiritual helpers is often necessary. Some clairvoyant mediums can see a spirit as though the spirit has a physical body. They see the bodily form as if it were physically present. Other mediums see the spirit in their mind's eye, or it appears as a movie or a television programme or a still picture like a photograph in their mind.
"Tarot cards do not tell the future; rather, tarot is a tool for spiritual guidance and enables the person receiving the reading to connect to his or her inner wisdom," she told INSIDER. "Tarot readings help a person understand what he or she needs to know about a particular situation. Decks are best used as a tool of inner wisdom and guidance, as readings give a person insight to past, current and future events based on the person's current path at the time of the reading. The cards do not necessarily reveal what will happen, but instead, allow a person to gain an understanding of a situation and determine the best course of action based on what is known and what the cards show."
Spiritual Guidance can confirm information that an individual may be receiving from their own Higher Self, but because they may not be totally connected or emotionally involved, they are unable to really allow that information to be perceived or understood as a clear truth. A spiritual guide that points toward the same information can then delve deeper into the situations that may be surrounding the issues of why a person may not be able to totally trust the guidance received. Even those who would consider themselves advanced on the spiritual path, still from time to time, need a little outside confirmation from another connected being to see if their information is coming through clearly. This added confirmation from an outside source can sometimes be just the encouragement someone needs in taking that next step. Spiritual readings are more interactive and encourages the person being read to participate in the learning process. It is not a process where you should try to test your reader by giving incorrect information or trying to be vague. It should be considered counseling or therapy which involves a two-way interaction. The other difference that may be experienced between these two types of guidance is that spiritual guidance can, at times, be harsh and more direct. The goal is to help the person evolve to a higher level and sometimes the person needs to take responsibility for the situations that are currently being experienced. It can awaken dormant emotions, which can be very painful or can also release waves of anger. These emotions, if processed appropriately, can be used to initiate a healing process in an area that was once considered a block. If one is sincerely following a spiritual path, then they must take responsibility for the good and the bad that is occurring in their life. Not to mention some of the negative scenarios that they may have committed in a past lifetime.
Many 19th century mediums were discovered to be engaged in fraud. While advocates of mediumship claim that their experiences are genuine, the Encyclopædia Britannica article on spiritualism notes in reference to a case in the 19th century that "...one by one, the Spiritualist mediums were discovered to be engaged in fraud, sometimes employing the techniques of stage magicians in their attempts to convince people of their clairvoyant powers." The article also notes that "the exposure of widespread fraud within the spiritualist movement severely damaged its reputation and pushed it to the fringes of society in the United States."
Magicians have a long history of exposing the fraudulent methods of mediumship. Early debunkers included Chung Ling Soo, Henry Evans and Julien Proskauer. Later magicians to reveal fraud were Joseph Dunninger, Harry Houdini and Joseph Rinn. Rose Mackenberg, a private investigator who worked with Houdini during the 1920s, was among the most prominent debunkers of psychic fraud during the mid-20th century.
Jump up ^ Leonard Zusne, Warren H. Jones. (1989). Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking. Psychology Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-8058-0508-6 "The spirits, controls, and guides of a medium are the products of the medium's own psychological dynamics. On the one hand, they personify the medium's hidden impulses and wish life. On the other, they are also shaped by the expectations of the medium's sitters, the medium's experience, the cultural background, and the spirit of the times."
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). Lambert who had studied Gustav Geley's files on the medium Eva Carrière discovered photographs depicting fraudulent ectoplasm taken by her companion Juliette Bisson. 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.
In the later half of the 20th century, Western mediumship developed in two different ways. One type involved clairaudience or sensitives who hear spirit, and then relay what they hear to their clients. The other incarnation of non-physical mediumship is a form of channeling in which the channeler goes into a trance, or "leaves their body", allowing a spirit entity to borrow their body, who then speaks through them. When in a trance the medium appears to come under the control of the spirit of a departed soul, sometimes entering into a cataleptic state, although modern channelers may not. Some channelers open the eyes when channeling, and remain able to walk and behave normally. The rhythm and the intonation of the voice may also change completely.