Taking a step back, we should be thankful that we live in an unprecedented time in the history of the Church. Literacy is taken for granted, but it was not so in earlier times. Access to books used to be far more limited; in Marsh’s Library in Dublin, for example, books were so rare and expensive that they were chained to desks inside of cages. Compare that to modern times, where we have some of the greatest works of literature and theology available online at our fingertips. How blessed we are! The tradition of the Catholic Church and all the writings of her saints are priceless aids that we need to utilize. Yes, need!
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.
The process is known as synchronicity, a term coined by psychologist Carl Jung to describe the temporally coincident occurrence of events. In synchronicity, there is no distinction between inner and outer. The choice of a card is exactly what your higher self already knows. This is what tarot occultists call the conversation with your higher self. The cards always work. It’s not magic—tarot cards are a sacred mirror.
The illustration on some decks did double duty, providing divinatory tools and scientific knowledge, like the Geografia Tarocchi deck from around 1725. “The Geografia are extraordinary cards, almost like a little encyclopedia of the world with the oracle imagery peeking out at the top,” Matthews says. “The actual bit that you read from is just a cigarette-card length. So for example, the hanged man just shows his legs at the top of the card, while the rest of the card has information about Africa or Asia or other places on it.”
Mina Crandon claimed to materialize a "spirit hand", but when examined by biologists the hand was discovered to be made from a piece of carved animal liver. The German apport medium Heinrich Melzer was discovered to be a fraud in 1926. In a séance psychical researchers found that Melzer had small stones attached to the back of his ears by flesh coloured tape. Psychical researchers who investigated the mediumship of Maria Silbert revealed that she used her feet and toes to move objects in the séance room.
In the 1920s the British medium Charles Albert Beare duped the Spiritualist organization the Temple of Light into believing he had genuine mediumship powers. In 1931 Beare published a confession in the newspaper Daily Express. In the confession he stated "I have deceived hundreds of people…. I have been guilty of fraud and deception in spiritualistic practices by pretending that I was controlled by a spirit guide…. I am frankly and whole-heartedly sorry that I have allowed myself to deceive people." Due to the exposure of William Hope and other fraudulent spiritualists, Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1920s led a mass resignation of eighty-four members of the Society for Psychical Research, as they believed the Society was opposed to spiritualism.
'Experienced Spirit Mediums'. Experienced? What is there to demonstrate the experience? 'Medium'? I was 'painting' with morality - as I always do. Not also true for mediums - is it? 'Spirit'? What sort of 'spirit' is common to all 'mediums'? Is there a 'spirit' common to all 'mediums'? If so, what is it? For example, I'm not sure the 'spirit' of a 'medium' in Bristol would be identical to the 'spirit' of a 'medium' in, say, Liverpool. Is that, for example, what presents the controversy? But I welcome the research into 'spirit' brains. Indeed, they were psychographed.
"Mental mediumship" is communication of spirits with a medium by telepathy. The medium mentally "hears" (clairaudience), "sees" (clairvoyance), and/or feels (clairsentience) messages from spirits. Directly or with the help of a spirit guide, the medium passes the information on to the message's recipient(s). When a medium is doing a "reading" for a particular person, that person is known as the "sitter".
6) Try to relax and put your mind at ease before a reading, and try to remain positive. Please discuss with me any concerns or apprehensions you may have prior to the reading. Please don’t be afraid to ask questions, whether it be about the process, or about the information given during a reading. Try not to have any expectations. Have an open mind, and look forward to an enlightening experience.
In 1936, the psychical researcher Nandor Fodor tested the Hungarian apport medium Lajos Pap in London and during the séance a dead snake appeared. Pap was searched and was found to be wearing a device under his robe, where he had hidden the snake. A photograph taken at a séance in 1937 in London shows the medium Colin Evans "levitating" in mid air. He claimed that spirits had lifted him. Evans was later discovered to be a fraud as a cord leading from a device in his hand has indicated that it was himself who triggered the flash-photograph and that all he had done was jump from his chair into the air and pretend he had levitated.
“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.
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.”
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.
Ray Hyman discovered many methodological errors with Schwartz's research including; "Inappropriate control comparisons", "Failure to use double-blind procedures", "Creating non-falsifiable outcomes by reinterpreting failures as successes" and "Failure to independently check on facts the sitters endorsed as true". Hyman wrote "Even if the research program were not compromised by these defects, the claims being made would require replication by independent investigators." Hyman criticizes Schwartz's decision to publish his results without gathering "evidence for their hypothesis that would meet generally accepted scientific criteria... they have lost credibility."
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."