Don't forget, cosmic warriors, tarot provides a rich vocabulary, but it is ultimately no more powerful than a coin toss: We can energetically charge any item or action through the strength of our own spirit. Though tarot requires time, practice, and patience, we intrinsically possess all the skills necessary to produce honest and accurate divinations. At the core of tarot is passion, logic, curiosity, and intuition — characteristics that define both the illuminated cards and their mystical readers.
Many 19th century mediums were discovered to be engaged in fraud. While advocates of mediumship claim that their experiences are genuine, the Encyclopædia Britannica article on spiritualism notes in reference to a case in the 19th century that "...one by one, the Spiritualist mediums were discovered to be engaged in fraud, sometimes employing the techniques of stage magicians in their attempts to convince people of their clairvoyant powers." The article also notes that "the exposure of widespread fraud within the spiritualist movement severely damaged its reputation and pushed it to the fringes of society in the United States."
The Major Arcana (greater secrets), or trump cards, consists of 22 cards without suits: The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World, and The Fool. Cards from The Magician to The World are numbered in Roman numerals from I to XXI, while The Fool is the only unnumbered card, sometimes placed at the beginning of the deck as 0, or at the end as XXII.
The magician Samri Baldwin exposed the tricks of the Davenport brothers in his book The Secrets of Mahatma Land Explained (1895). The medium Swami Laura Horos was convicted of fraud several times and was tried for rape and fraud in London in 1901. She was described by the magician Harry Houdini as "one of the most extraordinary fake mediums and mystery swindlers the world has ever known".
Being a Spiritualist Medium is a gift often inherited or sometimes experienced from a very young age, so it is not easy to learn and develop your skills to be a Spiritual Medium, as you have to have a natural ability. However, many people do experience signs that their loved ones are around but many do not know what to look out for. Online Mediums say that one of the easiest ways to connect with your loved ones who have passed over, is through your dreams. Before you go to sleep, ask your loved ones to come through in your dreams. It may not happen the first time you ask, but keep trying as often they will appear in your dreams. The dreams can be quite vivid and can be a replay of a memory or a place you liked to visit together. Other signs of loved ones being around us can be a sudden memory out of the blue, a strong but fleeting smell of perfume or a scent related to them, or just a convincing sense that they are around you. Some people have even found that when the lose something important, they can ask their loved ones to help them find it and it suddenly appears.
Humans have been fascinated with contacting the dead since the beginning of human existence. Cave paintings by indigenous Australians date back 28,000 years, some depicting skulls, bones, spirits and the afterlife. Other cave paintings in Indonesia date back a further 10,000 years. Mediumship gained popularity during the nineteenth century, when ouija boards were used by the upper classes as a source of entertainment. Investigations during this period revealed widespread fraud—with some practitioners employing techniques used by stage magicians—and the practice began to lose credibility. Fraud is still rife in the medium/psychic industry, with cases of deception and trickery being discovered to this day.
The exposures of fraudulent activity led to a rapid decline in ectoplasm and materialization séances. Investigator Joe Nickell has written that modern self-proclaimed mediums like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, Rosemary Altea and James Van Praagh are avoiding the Victorian tradition of dark rooms, spirit handwriting and flying tambourines as these methods risk exposure. They instead use "mental mediumship" tactics like cold reading or gleaning information from sitters before hand (hot reading). Group readings also improve hits by making general statements with conviction, which will fit at least one person in the audience. Shows are carefully edited before airing to show only what appears to be hits and removing anything that does not reflect well on the medium.