No doubt a great importance in the paranormal field is the problem of fraud. The field of psychic research and spiritualism has been so notoriously full of charlatans, such as the Fox sisters and Eusapia Palladino–individuals who claim to have special power and gifts but who are actually conjurers who have hoodwinked scientists and the public as well–that we have to be especially cautious about claims made on their behalf.[58]
Though each card has classic associations, the most powerful resource available is your intuition. Note your immediate emotional reaction: Your instincts will inform your study and strengthen your pictorial memory. Eventually, you'll develop your own systems and patterns, and individual cards will carry meanings specific to you. Perhaps the Devil card will come to represent an ex-lover, while the Two of Wands will symbolize a new job. Your distinctive lexicon will inform your readings, allowing you to create specific narratives that can be applied to any circumstance or situation.
Here's what happened: The experienced psychographers showed lower levels of activity in the left hippocampus (limbic system), right superior temporal gyrus, and the frontal lobe regions of the brain during psychography compared to their normal (non-trance) writing. The frontal lobe areas are associated with reasoning, planning, generating language, movement, and problem solving, which means that the mediums were experiencing reduced focus, lessened self-awareness and fuzzy consciousness during psychography.
If what the psychic medium says doesn’t make sense to you, just say you don’t know or don’t understand what they are talking about. Don’t try to make it fit! If the psychic medium asks if you had a dog named Freckles, don’t say, “I had a cat named Mittens!” Don’t try to make the message fit if it doesn’t. The psychic medium will figure out what the message means without you interpreting it yourself.
The exposures of fraudulent activity led to a rapid decline in ectoplasm and materialization séances.[199] 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.[200]
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