The illustrations of French-suited tarot trumps depart considerably from the older Italian-suited design, abandoning the Renaissance allegorical motifs. With the exception of novelty decks, French-suited tarot cards are almost exclusively used for card games. The first generation of French-suited tarots depicted scenes of animals on the trumps and were thus called "Tiertarock" ('Tier' being German for 'animal') appeared around 1740. Around 1800, a greater variety of decks were produced, mostly with genre art or veduta. Current French-suited tarot decks come in these patterns:
“I also enjoy reading with the Lenormand deck made by Daveluy, which has been beautifully reworked by Lauren Forestell, who specializes in restoring facsimile decks—cleaning up 200 years’ worth of card shuffling and human grief. The coloring on the Daveluy is very beautiful. Chromolithography gave an incredibly clear color to everything, and I think it was probably as revolutionary as Technicolor was in the days of the movies.”
However, using cards for playful divination probably goes back even further, to the 14th century, likely originating with Mamluk game cards brought to Western Europe from Turkey. By the 1500s, the Italian aristocracy was enjoying a game known as “tarocchi appropriati,” in which players were dealt random cards and used thematic associations with these cards to write poetic verses about one another—somewhat like the popular childhood game “MASH.” These predictive cards were referred to as “sortes,” meaning destinies or lots.
Mediums can bring messages from your loved ones (humans and beloved pets) who have passed over and also offer evidence that there is life after death. If there is a specific person who you would like to connect with, via a medium, that is often possible but even if a particular spirit is not ready to come through a medium should be able to give you information that will be of comfort because there will almost certainly be a spirit connected to the medium who will be able to give the evidence you need for reassurance.

Today "demonstration of mediumship" is part of the church service at all churches affiliated with the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) and the Spiritualists' National Union (SNU). Demonstration links to NSAC's Declaration of Principal #9. "We affirm that the precepts of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship."


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.
In old-line Spiritualism, a portion of the services, generally toward the end, is given over to demonstrations of mediumship through contact with the spirits of the dead. A typical example of this way of describing a mediumistic church service is found in the 1958 autobiography of C. Dorreen Phillips. She writes of the worship services at the Spiritualist Camp Chesterfield in Chesterfield, Indiana: "Services are held each afternoon, consisting of hymns, a lecture on philosophy, and demonstrations of mediumship."[20]
Keep your options open: If you have the answer before the reading, then you're not allowing the cards to guide your overall decision. Bunning offers this example: Asking how you could encourage your mother-in-law to move out, as opposed to asking how you can get along better with her, is narrowing the scope of the true question by answering it before you even get started.
After giving me short and pretty generic readings, she would allude to more specific stuff that she'd be happy to tell me if I paid more. I obliged one time to this "upgrade" and yeah, it got slightly more specific. She mentioned an issue with an aunt, which could apply to anyone, but definitely applies to me. She mentioned some incorrect stuff about my parents. Then she tried to bait me one more time into paying more for more information and an energy healing. I declined, paid via credit card, and left.
Why? You may well ask. Simple: it’s because I have a life here, and I need to be able to enjoy it without feeling as if I’m constantly on duty. In my workshops, I teach that we’re spiritual beings as well as physical beings, and it’s so important that we honor all of ourselves. It takes a really strong spirit to get my attention when I’m not working, as it needs to literally break through my shield, my “off switch,” but on those rare occasions when one does, I’ve now learned that I still must act on it every time.
They can’t interfere with the lessons you need to learn while you’re here. I remember a woman who was thrilled that her mother came through during our session. She wanted her mom to tell her if she should divorce her husband. Of course, the mother couldn’t make that decision for her because it wasn’t her job. The woman needed to take responsibility for her own life.

In contrast, the meanings in other decks are particularly difficult to decipher, like the infamous Thoth tarot developed by Aleister Crowley, notorious for his involvement with various cults and experimentation with recreational drugs and so-called “sex magick.” Completed in 1943, the Thoth deck was illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris and incorporated a range of occult and scientific symbols, inspiring many modern decks. As Wolf explains, “with the rise of the divination market in the 20th century, more liberties were taken, and the imagery evolved into increasingly personal artistic statements, both in content and style of execution.”


The power of the mind, when it is NOT controlled by the conscious awareness of the owner, receives suggestions every second of the day about how it should think, act or respond — impulse. The individual is nothing more than a puppet controlled and programmed by an out of control, chaotic mind. When a being develops awareness and becomes conscious about the events that are taking place around them, they can decide what information to allow in and what information to eliminate. Thus, they become responsible for their life and everything that takes place within it. They no longer require someone to tell them the answers to their questions about probable outcomes, they know that they have the power to create the outcome based on the thoughts and actions they project. They are now able to consciously manifest the life that is in alignment with their dreams, based on their sincere intent and the impeccability of their actions.
Spiritual reading is an instruction in prayer and virtue, according to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and thus he said that "spiritual reading and prayer are the arms by which hell is conquered and paradise won." St. Josemaría Escrivá explained that spiritual reading "builds up a store of fuel. — It looks like a lifeless heap, but I often find that my memory, of its own accord, will draw from it material which fills my prayer with life and inflames my thanksgiving after Communion." (The Way 117)

The swords is the suit of intelligence, logic, truth, ambition, conflict and communication. It is associated with the element of air. In readings, these cards focus on the faculty and power of intellect, which like the swords themselves, are double-edged. This can be used for both good or evil, to help and to harm, and our greatest conflicts usually come from this delicate balance. At their worst, the swords can be abusive, harsh, and lack empathy.
In English-speaking countries, where these games are not played, tarot cards are used primarily for divinatory purposes, usually using specially designed packs.[1] The cards are traced by some occult writers to ancient Egypt or the Kabbalah but there is no documented evidence of such origins or of the usage of tarot for divination before the 18th century.[1]
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.
Some people ask if I, much like a doctor, chose this specialty as my service. On a basic human level, the answer is no...it chose me. On a soul level, though, I am certain this is what I signed up to do in this lifetime. My responsibility lies in simply acknowledging my "gift" and what comes naturally for me, and embracing the calling to serve as a messenger for Spirit.
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.
One of my favorite sayings that I learned in England is: “Mediums are born — not made.” I really want to add that I firmly believe that everyone is born with a degree of psychic ability, and each and every one of us has the capability to improve and develop our awareness (psychically, intuitively, or on a deeper level of mediumship). We all have the ability to connect, through the power of thought and our dreams, with our loved ones who have passed.. Anyone who has seen me demonstrate will also know that another one of my favorite sayings, which has become part of my own brand, is: “Your loved ones are only a thought away.”

There are many ways to access and express your spirituality, including religious rituals, art, poetry, music, and nature appreciation, as well as yoga, meditation, and numerous other areas of spiritual pursuit. Spiritual readings are an essential part of this dynamic range of options because they provide a bridge to the spiritual realm that you do not have to cross alone. In fact, spiritual psychics can be seen as guides who can help you approach and understand aspects of spirituality that you may not know how to access on your own.

While the tarot is the most widely known, it’s just one type of deck used for divination; others include common playing cards and so-called oracle decks, a term encompassing all the other fortune-telling decks distinct from the traditional tarot. Etteilla eventually switched to using a traditional tarot deck, which he claimed held secret wisdom passed down from ancient Egypt. Etteilla’s premise echoed the writings of Court de Gébelin, who allegedly recognized Egyptian symbols in tarot-card illustrations. Though hieroglyphics had not yet been deciphered (the Rosetta Stone was rediscovered in 1799), many European intellectuals in the late 18th century believed the religion and writings of ancient Egypt held major insights into human existence. By linking tarot imagery to Egyptian mysticism, they gave the cards greater credibility.
Psychologists and researchers who studied Pearl Curran's automatic writings in the 1930s came to the conclusion Patience Worth was a fictitious creation of Curran.[152][153] In 1931 George Valiantine was exposed as a fraud in the séance room as it was discovered that he produced fraudulent "spirit" fingerprints in wax. The "spirit" thumbprint that Valiantine claimed belonged to Arthur Conan Doyle was revealed to be the print of his big toe on his right foot. It was also revealed that Valiantine made some of the prints with his elbow.[154]

After I had my own private conversation with him, remembering those gallery visits and happy times we’d shared, and how I was blessed to have him as a friend in my life, it was time to say my goodbyes, and I knew I would see him again. I went downstairs, and of course, I just had to ask Amanda, “While you were upstairs, did you ask Michael something about money?” I knew it sounded very personal. She looked at me with a look of surprise and said as she put her head down, “Well . . . yes, John, I guess I was being selfish. I asked Michael if there was anything he could do to help me out financially over there; and if there was any guidance he could send me, it would be of great help now.” I was amazed that he’d answered her so quickly.
Matthews’ favorite decks are those with straightforward illustrations, like the Tarocchino Bolognese by Giuseppe Maria Mitelli, an Italian deck created sometime around the 1660s. Matthews owns a facsimile of the Mitelli deck, rather than an original, which means she can use them without fear of damaging a priceless antique. “The deck that I enjoy most is the Mertz Lenormand deck because of its clarity,” she says. “The background on each card is a creamy, vellum color, so when you lay them out in tableau, you can see the illustrations very clearly. I frankly get so tired of all the new Photoshopped tarots and the slick art, with their complete lack of any framework or substance.

Modern tarot decks contain 78 cards, broken into two sections, the Major and Minor Arcana (modern terms, used only in relation to tarot used for divinatory purposes). The 56 Minor Arcana, or pips, are broken into four suits of fourteen cards each. These cards are numbered one (Ace) to ten, and there are four “court cards,” similar to a regular playing deck, only with one additional face card. The 22 Major Arcana, or trumps, are numbered 0 through 21, although some people exclude the Fool (0), considering this card to be outside the deck, a sort of “wild card,” rather like his descendant, the Joker.
Avoid consulting a psychic medium during a period of emotional turmoil. Some people get so scared by traumatic circumstances or turned off by doctors and counselors that they will grab at any lifeline of information fraudulent psychics offer. It is best to seek a psychic medium reading when things are relatively calm and you are able to practice good self-control. Otherwise, in desperation, you could leak facts that will let a scam artist con you into thinking she is really providing help.

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.

Even the greatest amount of spiritual reading would amount to a waste of time if it did not affect our souls.  How do we make it stick in our spiritual life?  First, we should keep Padre Pio’s advice: ask for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and what God wants to communicate to us in that particular book.  Another way to do this is by journaling.  Writing down thoughts or insights helps us process new information, as well as helping us remember it.  If it’s easier to type than write, one might try starting a blog.  Anyone can do it, and there are many free sites available.
At the same time, if the psychic medium says that Frances is here, and your mother’s name is Francine, don’t say you have no idea what they are talking about. Or if the psychic medium says that your father is wearing a police uniform but your father wore a security uniform, remember that you don’t have to be a psychic medium to mix that one up—anyone could make that mistake. Keep in mind that the clarity of communication may be more like an AM radio station than a telephone. Small inaccuracies are expected. Don’t hold the psychic medium to exact measurements.
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.

Just as in any profession, mediums have specialties and areas of expertise. Unlike Allison Dubois in Medium, I don't work with the police in solving crimes. Or, unlike Melinda Gordon in The Ghost Whisperer, I don't help tormented souls cross over. Over the years, it has become very clear that my job lies in working with souls who have happily crossed over to the other side and, for the most part, are at peace. Sure, they may have regrets or unresolved issues, but they're not haunted or lost. Oftentimes, it's the living that are not at peace. The main goal of your deceased loved ones and spirit guides is to assist you in moving on, free of grief and struggle, so you can fulfill your life lessons and enjoy your time here on earth.


When you ask the Tarot cards a question on behalf of someone else (who has given permission for the reading and whose energy is invested in the reading), you are tapping into this collective wisdom. You are picking up all sorts of intuitive messages through the Tarot cards and through your connection with the collective wisdom. And those insights are channeled through you to the person you’re reading for, often in a very powerful way. 

One frequent obstacle with spiritual reading is the question of where to start.  There are so many writings of saints, magisterial documents, and enough devotional books and pamphlets to fill a library.  Choosing what kind of books to read should have a multi-pronged approach, depending on each individual.  I think a great way to organize it is an adaptation of St. John Paul II’s recommendations in Pastores Dabo Vobis.  The encyclical was on the training of priests, and he called attention to four basic areas of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. Even though most of us aren’t ordained priests, we can still apply this to our spiritual reading habits.  Good spiritual reads will ideally aid us in all four of those elements—or at least focus on one or two. 
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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