The poet Robert Browning and his wife Elizabeth attended a séance on 23, July 1855 in Ealing with the Rymers. During the séance a spirit face materialized which Home claimed was the son of Browning who had died in infancy. Browning seized the "materialization" and discovered it to be the bare foot of Home. To make the deception worse, Browning had never lost a son in infancy. Browning's son Robert in a letter to The Times, December 5, 1902 referred to the incident "Home was detected in a vulgar fraud." The researchers Joseph McCabe and Trevor H. Hall exposed the "levitation" of Home as nothing more than his moving across a connecting ledge between two iron balconies.
“When we used to send telegrams, each word costs money,” Matthews explains, “so you’d have to send very few words like, ‘Big baby. Mother well. Come to hospital.’ And you’d get the gist of it. I read cards in a very similar way—starting from a few general keywords and making sense of them by filling in the words that are missing. This isn’t the tarot style of reading where you project things, like, ‘I can see that you’ve recently had a great disappointment. Mercury is in retrograde and da da da.’ A cartomantic reading is much more straightforward and pragmatic, for example, ‘Your wife will eat tomatoes and fall off the roof and die horribly.’ It’s a direct way of reading, a pre-New Age way of reading.”
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.
If you are looking to connect with someone who has passed, then you are requesting a mediumistic reading. I will raise my vibration, as those in the spirit world will lower their vibration on a frequency level to make the connection possible. It is my spirit in my body connecting with a spirit that no longer has a physical body. I will be connecting to those who have passed and who are able to connect with you at the time of the reading. As an evidential medium, I will ask those in the spirit world to communicate evidential facts that will validate the continuity of life after the physical world. Besides describing what the person may have looked like here on the earth plane, I will also sense their individual personality, and ask them for as many details as possible such as birthday and anniversary dates, dates of passing, names, and maybe what kind of work they did here on the earth plane, objects they owned or where they lived, etc.. Sometimes one person will be connecting at the time of the reading, and sometimes many people from spirit will connect with you during the reading. My intention as an evidential medium is to work with those in the spirit world, asking for as much validation as possible so that it will leave no doubt in your mind that your loved one, or loved ones, have communicated with you from the spirit world.
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.”
Now, over a hundred years since the release of the Rider-Waite deck, Tarot cards are available in a practically endless selection of designs. In general, many of these follow the format and style of Rider-Waite, although each adapts the cards to suit their own motif. No longer just the domain of the wealthy and upper class, Tarot is available for anyone who wishes to take the time to learn it.
The British direct-voice medium Frederick Tansley Munnings was exposed as a fraud when one of his séance sitters turned the lights on which revealed him to be holding a trumpet by means of a telescopic extension piece and using an angle piece to change the auditory effect of his voice. Richard Hodgson held six sittings with the medium Rosina Thompson and came to the conclusion she was a fraud as he discovered Thompson had access to documents and information about her séance sitters.
In my eBook, The Medium Toolkit, we go over the most common ways all the different types of mediums sense, see and hear those in Spirit, if you're interested in learning more. Also, this whole blog is dedicated to new mediumship and processing all the feelings surrounding new and old gifts, alike. So it's Ok. You're here, among peers - take some time to look around.
This is an organized event that can take place in an auditorium, church or even a TV studio. Participants are picked out from the audience randomly, and the spiritualist or medium passes messages, either directly from the spiritual realm or via his or her personal spirit guide. It’s a good way to see how it all works, but you are playing a numbers game as the chances of you receiving a message are remote.
The Empress. The Hanged Man. The Chariot. Judgment. With their centuries-old iconography blending a mix of ancient symbols, religious allegories, and historic events, tarot cards can seem purposefully opaque. To outsiders and skeptics, occult practices like card reading have little relevance in our modern world. But a closer look at these miniature masterpieces reveals that the power of these cards isn’t endowed from some mystical source—it comes from the ability of their small, static images to illuminate our most complex dilemmas and desires.
Most card readers recognize that the associations and preconceptions of the person being read for are just as important as the actual drawings on the cards: Divination cards offer a way to project certain ideas, whether subconscious or not, and to toy with potential outcomes for important decisions. Thus, like scenes from a picture book, the best illustrations typically offer clear visions of their subjects with an open-ended quality, as though the action is unfolding before you.
St. John Paul II opens up Fides et Ratio extolling the complementarity of faith and reason; they are “like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”[v] Every Catholic isn’t expected to get an advanced degree in theology, but each one of us has to understand what we believe. St. Peter reminds us to “always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
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.
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.
Mediumship became quite popular in the 19th-century United States and the United Kingdom after the rise of Spiritualism as a religious movement. Modern Spiritualism is said to date from practices and lectures of the Fox sisters in New York State in 1848. The trance mediums Paschal Beverly Randolph and Emma Hardinge Britten were among the most celebrated lecturers and authors on the subject in the mid-19th century. Allan Kardec coined the term Spiritism around 1860. Kardec claimed that conversations with spirits by selected mediums were the basis of his The Spirits' Book and later, his five-book collection, Spiritist Codification.