As the thirst for all things mystical, spiritual, occult and witchy expands into the mainstream, tarot cards are experiencing a huge, almost cultish following. Tarot cards are a form of divination, which literally means working with the divine, or your higher self, which is the ultimate purpose of tarot cards, just like yoga. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about them, from types of decks to what each card represents.
“The imagery was designed to reflect important aspects of the real world that the players lived in, and the prominent Christian symbolism in the cards is an obvious reflection of the Christian world in which they lived,” he adds. As divinatory usage became more popular, illustrations evolved to reflect a specific designer’s intention. “The subjects took on more and more esoteric meaning,” says Wolf, “but they generally maintained the traditional tarot structure of four suits of pip cards [similar to the numbered cards in a normal playing-card deck], corresponding court cards, and the additional trump cards, with a Fool.”
In 1960, psychic investigator Andrija Puharich and Tom O'Neill, publisher of the Spiritualist magazine Psychic Observer, arranged to film two seances at Camp Chesterfield, Indiana using infrared film, intending to procure scientific proof of spirit materializations. The medium was shown the camera beforehand, and was aware that she was being filmed. However, the film revealed obvious fraud on the part of the medium and her cabinet assistant. The expose was published in the 10 July 1960 issue of the Psychic Observer.:96–97
Teacher and publisher Jean-Baptiste Alliette wrote his first book on the tarot in 1791, called “Etteilla, ou L’art de lire dans les cartes,” meaning “Etteilla, or the Art of Reading Cards.” (Alliette created this mystical pseudonym “Etteilla” simply by reversing his surname.) According to Etteilla’s writings, he first learned divination with a deck of 32 cards designed for a game called Piquet, along with the addition of his special Etteilla card. This type of card is known as the significator and typically stands in for the individual having their fortune read.
The biblical basis of this practice is St. Paul's advice to his disciple Timothy whom he appointed bishop. St. Paul told him to "Attend to reading." The word "attend" an allusion to the many other concerns that a bishop has to attend to. By this, according to St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church on Moral theology, the Apostle Paul "wished him to apply to the reading of holy books, not in a passing way and for a short time, but regularly and for a considerable time."
“Quite recently, it was discovered by Mary Greer that there was a prior source to the Lenormand cards,” she continues. “There’s a deck in the British Museum called ‘Les Amusements des Allemands’ (‘The German Entertainment’). Basically, a British firm put together a pack of cards that has images and little epigrams on the bottom, which say things like, ‘Be aware, don’t spend your money unwisely,’ and that sort of thing. It’s quite trite. But it came with a book of text that’s almost identical to the instructions for later packs of Lenormand cards.”
In 1908 at a hotel in Naples, the psychical researchers W. W. Baggally, Hereward Carrington and Everard Feilding attended a series of séances with Eusapia Palladino. In a report they claimed that genuine supernatural activity had occurred in the séances, this report became known as the Feilding report. In 1910, Feilding returned to Naples, but this time accompanied with the magician William S. Marriott. Unlike the 1908 sittings, Feilding and Marriott detected her cheating, just as she had done in America. Her deceptions were obvious. Palladino evaded control and was caught moving objects with her foot, shaking the curtain with her hands, moving the cabinet table with her elbow and touching the séance sitters. Milbourne Christopher wrote regarding the exposure "when one knows how a feat can be done and what to look for, only the most skillful performer can maintain the illusion in the face of such informed scrutiny."
Because the spirits who respond to the channelers are satanic, channeling is abhorrent to God. There are few who have any true conception of the deceptive power of spiritualism and the danger of coming under its influence. Many tamper with it merely to gratify their curiosity. They have no real faith in it and would be filled with horror at the thought of yielding themselves to the spirits' control. But they venture upon the forbidden ground, and the mighty destroyer exercises his power upon them against their will. Let them once be induced to submit their minds to his direction, and he holds them captive. It is impossible, in their own strength, to break away from the bewitching, alluring spell. Nothing but the power of God, granted in answer to the earnest prayer of faith, can deliver these ensnared souls.
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.
If I had to choose one book to take to a desert island, this would be it. The ageless "Song of God" is, of course, a magnificent, sacred scripture and not technically a novel, but its narrative form makes it read like one. The Gita tells the story of Arjuna, who turns to the God Krishna, his friend, for explanations and advice on life. Krishna lays out an entire worldview, the philosophy of Vedanta, one of the great achievements of human thought. Christopher Isherwood, an English novelist, and Swami Prabhavananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and Isherwood's guru, translate the Gita in a simple, modern style, alternating between prose and poetry without sacrificing the majesty and wisdom of this ancient story. Krishna gives Arjuna simple advice which I have found so useful in my own life, such as not to do anything for results, but rather for God: "You can have the work," he tells Arjuna, "but not the products of the work."
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.
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.
Focus on yourself: If the reading is for you, make sure your question centers on you rather than on someone else who you think may be the root of your problem. For example, asking why your teenager is experimenting with drugs is focusing on them, not you. Asking what role you play in your teen's decision to experiment with drugs brings the question back to you.
These spirits always come through with forgiveness and ask for forgiveness themselves. Believe me when I say that they know just by your thoughts that you’ve forgiven them and you love them. It’s as though they have a higher view of things once they pass over and, as a result, they can see that they were in the wrong all along. Have no fear that your loved ones care for you, and that they’ve let go of any resentment or anger. Love is eternal, and the love you have for them as well as the love they have for you is equally eternal. That is what they take with them.
For those who prefer, a reading may be recorded and mailed or emailed to you free from making a lengthy phone call. This too, is also popular with my overseas friends. Taped readings are free from being interactive, but they are scheduled for a particular moment in earth dimensional time, and you are asked to direct energy to the session in your meditation on that gifted moment and any questions you may have for spirit as well. Recorded sessions and readings include e-mail follow-up.
The fifth, and final, thing you should know before going to a psychic medium demonstration or private reading is a piece of advice my friend John says best before every one of his demonstrations, “Don’t Feed The Medium!” If the psychic medium tells you that your Uncle Charlie is present. Don’t blurt out, “Oh, my goodness, my Uncle Charlie was a police officer who lost his leg in the war and died two years ago in a car accident!” Let the psychic medium tell you these things. If you offer that information yourself, then you miss out on the excitement and validation you could gain if the psychic medium was about to tell you those details.
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.
Disclaimer: All sessions are for adults 18 years old or older. Any information presented in a session is not meant to replace any psychological, legal, medical, or other professional advice or services. The guidance and insight provided through my services is intended to help clients to make better life choices toward their own happiness and fulfillment, and that a client is always free to make their own choices at will, regardless of the interpretation of the information. Joanne Gerber shall not be liable regarding any action or non-action taken by the client in reference to the information presented during the session. Services are non-refundable.
There is a wealth of writings that can enrich our souls in many ways. St. John Paul II teaches us about love, marriage, and sexuality in his writings on the Theology of the Body. Saints like Therese of Lisieux and Bernadette show us that holiness is possible for the “littlest” of us. Many saints had mystical experiences that can serve as great lessons to us: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John Bosco, Padre Pio, and the children of Fatima. Conversion stories, like St. Augustine’s or Bl. John Henry Newman’s, shine a light on the great value of our faith. The beauty of the Holy Spirit is that He continually blesses the Church with saints, century after century.
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.