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.
In this, his last novel, Huxley uses a lifetime of thinking about human possibilities to create an island utopia that illustrates his hopes for the future of humankind. The Indian Ocean island of Pala is a kind of paradise, created with the inherited wisdom of its two founders, a Buddhist Raja and a commonsensical Scottish physician. The goal of life on Pala is to merge with the clear light, not to accumulate possessions; the island’s philosophy is a mix of Eastern thought (particularly tantric Buddhism, which does not retreat from the world, but uses it for higher purposes), Western science (but with limited technology), unrepressed sexuality, and constant mindfulness. (The island’s fauna include mynah birds trained to say, “Attention! Attention!”) Huxley’s ideas about childrearing, psychedelic visions, and tending to the dying were far ahead of his time, and his portrait of a utopia in which those ideas are implemented will intrigue anyone who is interested in a more spiritually directed society.
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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. These tarot cards, without occult symbology, are still used throughout much of Europe to play card games.
“The Rider-Waite deck was designed for divination and included a book written by Waite in which he explained much of the esoteric meaning behind the imagery,” says Wolf. “People say its revolutionary point of genius is that the pip cards are ‘illustrated,’ meaning that Colman Smith incorporated the number of suit signs into little scenes, and when taken together, they tell a story in pictures. This strong narrative element gives readers something to latch onto, in that it is relatively intuitive to look at a combination of cards and derive your own story from them.
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.
Second, when the spirit speaks to Saul and gives a prediction, the spirit says, "tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.” Again we have to ask, if Samuel is a good man and prophet of the Lord, isn't he supposed to be in heaven? If we assume that the spirit of Samuel is in heaven, then, how can Saul, who is in rebellion against the Lord, also end up where Samuel is the next day? It seems the spirit is a lying spirit!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Even if you aren’t familiar with tarot-card reading, you’ve likely seen one of the common decks, like the famous Rider-Waite, which has been continually printed since 1909. Named for publisher William Rider and popular mystic A.E. Waite, who commissioned Pamela Colman Smith to illustrate the deck, the Rider-Waite helped bring about the rise of 20th-century occult tarot used by mystical readers.
Many people come through asking for forgiveness or they let me know they are taking responsibility for their actions for the hurt they may have caused here. I feel there is free will on the Other-Side and you can be with whomever you want to be. You are not forced to meet anyone that you do not want to have contact with. In all my years of experience people come through with people that they have loved in this life. Never has a spirit ever said to me that they were with someone that caused them any hurt or pain while they were here.
The British medium Francis Ward Monck was investigated by psychical researchers and discovered to be a fraud. On November 3, 1876 during the séance a sitter demanded that Monck be searched. Monck ran from the room, locked himself in another room and escaped out of a window. A pair of stuffed gloves was found in his room, as well as cheesecloth, reaching rods and other fraudulent devices in his luggage. After a trial Monck was convicted for his fraudulent mediumship and was sentenced to three months in prison.
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Many spiritual works exhort us to form the “human”; that is, to become the best version of ourselves. To form the spiritual side of us is to draw us deeper into communion with Our Lord. The intellectual aspect is important; we have to know what we believe. It is not opposed to the spiritual side; why would God have given humans such a remarkable intellect if He didn’t intend for us to use it? Lastly, I’d change “pastoral” to “vocational” for those of us among the laity. Vocational books on being a parent, spouse, father, mother, etc. have been coming up more and more.
The most powerful way to read the Tarot is to use the cards to access your intuition and your inner wisdom. The imagery in the cards give you instant access to your subconscious mind and your intuition. And from this place of inner power and wisdom, you can discover how to make positive changes now so you can manifest your goals and your dreams in the future.
I arrived, and she put me in her mother’s room, sat me in her chair, and even made sure her mom’s photos were all around me. Did she get her mother? You guessed it — no. However, a woman did come through for Vivian — a friend of hers. As I started to describe her to Vivian, she screamed, “What do you want?!” while looking up at the ceiling. It turned out that ever since Vivian had lost her mom, she’d been a bit of a recluse. In the reading, her friend had come through to say that she was with her and wished she’d visit her other friends.
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 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.