Everyone knows the great influence that is exerted by the voice of a friend who gives candid advice, assists by his counsel, corrects, encourages and leads one away from error. Blessed is the man who has found a true friend; he that has found him has found a treasure. We should, then, count pious books among our true friends. They solemnly remind us of our duties and of the prescriptions of legitimate discipline; they arouse the heavenly voices that were stifled in our souls; they rid our resolutions of listlessness; they disturb our deceitful complacency; they show the true nature of less worthy affections to which we have sought to close our eyes; they bring to light the many dangers which beset the path of the imprudent. They render all these services with such kindly discretion that they prove themselves to be not only our friends, but the very best of friends. They are always at hand, constantly beside us to assist us in the needs of our souls; their voice is never harsh, their advice is never self-seeking, their words are never timid or deceitful.
The Medium definition or the Medium meaning, is a person who is psychic and has the added ability to communicate with spirits, also known as a Spiritual Medium. Spirits are our loved ones, friends or people who have passed over and are in the spirit world, or the afterlife. A Psychic Medium can connect with spirits in different ways, some may ‘hear’ their voices and the messages they put forward, those with Clairvoyance abilities may be able to ‘see’ usually in their mind’s eye – spirit often give descriptive evidence to the Medium of what they physically look like or a sense of who they were physically and emotionally.
Some tarot readers believe that your first deck should be gifted to you. While everyone loves presents, there is nothing more valuable rewarding yourself with the magic of divination, so I say you should relish the opportunity to choose your first deck. With so many enchanting options available, the most important variable is your unique connection to the cards.
According to James Randi, a skeptic who has debunked many claims of psychic ability and uncovered fraudulent practices,[202] mediums who do cold readings "fish, suggest possibilities, make educated guesses and give options." Randi has a standing offer of $1 million US dollars for anyone who can demonstrate psychic ability under controlled conditions. Most prominent psychics and mediums have not taken up his offer.[203]
When you are looking for spiritual or psychic help, you will usually have trouble in your life. This could be emotional, existential as well as practical. Although a psychic and a spiritual guide will both help you in figuring out what you need, it is a good idea to do your homework: be as clear on your purpose of seeking the reading as you can manage. That will help you determine what type of professional you could best ask for help.
Psychic love readings can help heal relationship wounds to start fresh, within your existing relationship and when you’re single. A great psychic love reading will give you the vision and encouragement to walk the true path to love and happiness. It will help you turn the obstacles on your path into stepping-stones and reach your destination sooner.
Associated with the element of fire, the suit of wands represents passion, inspiration and willpower. The wands imbue their users with primal energy, for it is through them that the cycle of creation can begin. Because of their ability to bring energy into any situation, they are also associated with action, ambition and making plans. At their worst, they can refer to situations that are filled with recklessness and lack of direction. As you follow the journey within the wands, you'll come across these themes again and again.
The major arcana (trump cards) represent your journey through life, starting out as the innocent and carefree card representing The Fool (at number 0), and going through all your stages of life until you get to The World (at number 21). Each of the trump cards represents an important issue in your life and asks that you pay particular attention to this situation.
The most popular trance lecturer prior to the American Civil War was Cora L. V. Scott (1840–1923). Young and beautiful, her appearance on stage fascinated men. Her audiences were struck by the contrast between her physical girlishness and the eloquence with which she spoke of spiritual matters, and found in that contrast support for the notion that spirits were speaking through her. Cora married four times, and on each occasion adopted her husband's last name. During her period of greatest activity, she was known as Cora Hatch.[2]
There are many ways of working with the deck. You should choose your own deck by being drawn to it intuitively. There are layers upon layers of systems to learn, including Kabbalah, the tree of life, colour scales, Hebrew letters, numerology, pathways, symbolism, alchemy, astrology, mythology and learning to meditate with each card directly. The more layers you learn the deeper your knowledge and insight into the cards.

Another important distinction is that while psychic readings often focus on predicting future events, mediums primarily tune into past and present issues. It's my opinion that predicting the future, while sometimes helpful, runs the risk of disempowering people. Always remember that you do have a say in how your future unfolds. Despite what any psychic or medium may "see" in your future, it is important to remember you were given the gift of free will when you came into this world, and at any moment in time you can absolutely redirect your course and create the life you want by changing your thoughts and actions. Psychic information is often just insight into what potentially could happen based on the road you are currently traveling—and it should be used only as a guideline to help you make the best choices for yourself.


Four, some psychic mediums get feelings or sensations in their body and mind, both physical and emotional. A spirit can make the psychic medium feel sad if they are trying to convey the message of depression. Or they can make the psychic medium’s lungs feel tight if they are trying to convey the message that someone had pneumonia or lung cancer. It is not uncommon that a psychic medium will feel a painful sensation in the head if the spirit is trying to relay the message that there was a head trauma that caused death. This could be due to an auto accident or suicide (or any number of causes), so the spirit will also send another message—perhaps a telepathic picture of a smashed car—to complete the story for the psychic medium.
There are many Psychic websites offering readings with a Psychic Medium and Spiritualist Medium, so it can be difficult to choose who to speak to and to know which is the best for a high quality reading. At TheCircle we carefully choose our Psychic Mediums and unless they give outstanding readings during the test process, they will not be a part of our team. We ensure that our Psychic Medium readings are a cut above the rest, offering excellent evidence from our compassionate and gifted Readers, to make sure that you have an amazing experience that leaves you feeling empowered and inspired with peace of mind for your loved ones, and your future.
And here’s the thing – you may already consciously know the message or insight you receive in a Tarot reading, in which case, the reading can be a heartening confirmation of what you already know. Or, you might be completely unaware of the message until you see it reflected in the cards, in which case you are now empowered to take action based on your new awareness. 
Since the psychic industry is unregulated, it is difficult to report scams and get your money back. It’s really up to the client (you) to determine the validity of a particular medium before plunking down your cash. In addition to visiting the website and screening by telephone, you can ask for referrals (keep in mind these could be the so-called psychic’s friends and relatives) or request the answer to a test question, such as the city where you were born or your maiden name. If the answer doesn’t satisfy you, don’t bother to schedule a reading. There are plenty of other psychics to check out.
Many 19th century mediums were discovered to be engaged in fraud.[61] 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."[62]
No matter how you try to spin it, some readings indicate that bad luck or a dark period is on its way. When that happens, all you can do is make the best of the situation. Hopefully, it won’t happen to you anytime soon. You’ll likely know if it does, however, because your gloomy reading will probably include one of these doomsday cards. Here are 6 cards that are terrifying in Tarot readings. 

My first reading was via phone call—the ad said the psychic was offering free mini-readings. She asked for my full name and birthday and Emily's. I gave her the details and almost instantly, she told me Emily wanted me to know that she's in a good place and that she's watching over the family. She also wanted me to be happy too, but my happiness only seems to last temporarily (note: aren't all emotions temporary though?).
Additional Tarot Definitions are still available. For those of you who have studied tarot yourself or are simply after further detailed analysis of each card. The wonderful soul Avia Venefica from Tarot Teachings has graciously donated her interpretations. All brought to life by the exquisite tarot cards provided by Aquatic Tarot and Ciro Marchetti
The Danish medium Einer Nielsen was investigated by a committee from the Kristiania University in Norway, 1922 and discovered in a séance that his ectoplasm was fake.[130] In 1923 the Polish medium Jan Guzyk was exposed as a fraud in a series of séances in Sorbonne in Paris. Guzyk would use his elbows and legs to move objects around the room and touch the sitters. According to Max Dessoir the trick of Guzyk was to use his "foot for psychic touches and sounds".[131]
I was 13 when my mom dragged my brother and me to a "psychic." We were visiting family in Malaysia and somewhere amongst a few palm oil plantations was the house of an old woman who claimed to be able to channel Buddha. My mother was enthralled during the hour-long ordeal, during which the woman basically rolled her eyes often so the whites were showing, dropped her voice a few octaves, and made astonishingly mundane statements that could've applied to anyone (examples: our house had ants out front; my grandma was old and having some health problems). Combined with my love of Harry Houdini (who spent the last few years of his life debunking psychics and mediums) and teen angst that made me hate everything my parents liked, the experience left me convinced that psychics were con artists who separated vulnerable and desperate people from their cash in exchange for poor acting.
Spiritualists often set March 31, 1848, as the beginning of their movement. On that date, Kate and Margaret Fox, of Hydesville, New York, reported that they had made contact with a spirit that was later claimed to be the spirit of a murdered peddler whose body was found in the house, though no record of such a person was ever found. The spirit was said to have communicated through rapping noises, audible to onlookers. The evidence of the senses appealed to practically-minded Americans, and the Fox sisters became a sensation. As the first celebrity mediums, the sisters quickly became famous for their public séances in New York.[13] However, in 1888 the Fox sisters admitted that this "contact" with the spirit was a hoax, though shortly afterward they recanted that admission.[1][2]
In 1891 at a public séance with twenty sitters the medium Cecil Husk was caught leaning over a table pretending to be a spirit by covering his face with phosphor material.[87] The magician Will Goldston also exposed the fraud mediumship of Husk. In a séance Goldston attended a pale face materialization appeared in the room. Goldston wrote "I saw at once that it was a gauze mask, and that the moustache attached to it was loose at one side through lack of gum. I pulled at the mask. It came away, revealing the face of Husk."[88] The British materialization medium Annie Fairlamb Mellon was exposed as a fraud on October 12, 1894. During the séance a sitter seized the materialized spirit, and found it to be the Mellon on her knees with white muslin on her head and shoulders.[89]
A very large part is played by fraud in spiritualistic practices, both in the physical and psychical, or automatic, phenomena, but especially in the former. The frequency with which mediums have been convicted of fraud has, indeed, induced many people to abandon the study of psychical research, judging the whole bulk of the phenomena to be fraudulently produced.[55]
In the late 19th century, the fraudulent methods of spirit photographers such as David Duguid and Edward Wyllie were revealed by psychical researchers.[92] Hereward Carrington documented various methods (with diagrams) how the medium would manipulate the plates before, during, and after the séance to produce spirit forms.[93] The ectoplasm materializations of the French medium Eva Carrière were exposed as fraudulent. The fake ectoplasm of Carrière was made of cut-out paper faces from newspapers and magazines on which fold marks could sometimes be seen from the photographs.[94] Cut out faces that she used included Woodrow Wilson, King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, French president Raymond Poincaré and the actress Mona Delza.[95]
"Trance mediumship" is often seen as a form of mental mediumship. Most trance mediums remain conscious during a communication period, wherein a spirit uses the medium's mind to communicate. The spirit or spirits using the medium's mind influences the mind with the thoughts being conveyed. The medium allows the ego to step aside for the message to be delivered. At the same time, one has awareness of the thoughts coming through and may even influence the message with one's own bias. Such a trance is not to be confused with sleepwalking, as the patterns are entirely different. Castillo (1995) states,
Emily wanted me to be happy and wanted to get some rest too. It's important to remember her and even talk to her but it isn't healthy to dwell on her death, Psychic Four said, and for the first time that day, I began to understand how some people can find going to a psychic comforting. She hugged me a few times as I was getting ready to leave and the last thing she said as I stepped out the door was, "Life is a gift."
Lithomancy readings usually involve especially suitable gems or stones that are immersed in water, or tossed as a set and read by mutual proximity.[17] Its origins are unknown, and there are numerous different methodologies used by various cultures throughout the world. A recently more common variant is crystallomancy also known as crystal gazing.[18] Using quartz as a crystal ball[19] it is stereotypically depicted as gypsy fortune telling.
Psychic Four was very motherly, constantly calling me "darling" and telling me how sorry she was for my loss. Her method of Emily-contact was a mix of prayer and coffee-dregs reading. She made me a small cup of Turkish coffee and when I finished the liquid, she placed the saucer on top of the cup, had me hold it with both hands while moving my arms in a circle three times and then flip the cup and saucer over and put it on the table. She put a blue glass cube with white circles on all six sides on top of the overturned cup and had me to put my finger on the cube and make a wish. I did, and she asked me for the photo. I handed her my phone. She put a small statue of a Turkish philosopher and an angel snow globe in front of me and told me to hold on to both and praying while she turned on her laptop and started playing weird reverb-heavy New Age music featuring a man and woman speaking about being intoxicated on love (not Beyonce style, unfortunately). She was going to ask Emily to make herself known to me.
After her death in the 1980s the medium Doris Stokes was accused of fraud, by author and investigator Ian Wilson. Wilson stated that Mrs Stokes planted specific people in her audience and did prior research into her sitters.[174] Rita Goold a physical medium during the 1980s was accused of fraud, by the psychical researcher Tony Cornell. He claimed she would dress up as the spirits in her séances and would play music during them which provided cover for her to change clothes.[175]

According to the magician John Booth the stage mentalist David Devant managed to fool a number of people into believing he had genuine psychic ability who did not realize that his feats were magic tricks. At St. George's Hall, London he performed a fake "clairvoyant" act where he would read a message sealed inside an envelope. The spiritualist Oliver Lodge who was present in the audience was duped by the trick and claimed that Devant had used psychic powers. In 1936 Devant in his book Secrets of My Magic revealed the trick method he had used.[159]


She continued to flip cards, and I continued to get more royal and major arcana cards. "The major arcana cards is all of the above. So those are weightier. I can't say they're more important, but they affect more of your being than just one card or another." The card meant to symbolize my "past" was the Sun, which was meant to show I've previously had to learn the lesson that I need to accept love and find happiness in even the darkest of times. Mama Donna then brought the reading back to my current situation cards, telling me that they're the new lessons I need to tackle.
This is a free tarot reading, yet it has significant value. Many of us are confronted with questions like "Does he love me?" or "Does she love me?" or "What'll be the future of my relationship?" and it is difficult to approach such questions of love and sentiment. The pattern of the present love tarot provides you with guidance, touching upon all relevant aspects.

The fraudulent medium Ronald Edwin confessed he had duped his séance sitters and revealed the fraudulent methods he had used in his book Clock Without Hands (1955).[164] The psychical researcher Tony Cornell investigated the mediumship of Alec Harris in 1955. During the séance "spirit" materializations emerged from a cabinet and walked around the room. Cornell wrote that a stomach rumble, nicotine smelling breath and a pulse gave it away that all the spirit figures were in fact Harris and that he had dressed up as each one behind the cabinet.[165]


Three, some psychic mediums receive messages telepathically, as an inner knowing or inner sensing. Messages are sent from the spirit’s mind to the psychic medium’s mind, and vice versa. Here, the spirit might flash a picture or a word in the psychic medium’s mind. Spirits have the ability to use the psychic medium’s brain as a file cabinet, and they will search through that psychic medium’s knowledge and experiences for ways to best communicate what they want to convey.
A psychic medium is someone who claims to have or is believed to have extrasensory capabilities that enable the person to perceive and interpret paranormal forces. Some experts believe that everyone has a certain amount of psychic power, sometimes called a “sixth sense,” that is really an intensive form of intuitive observation, according to psychics.co.uk. A psychic medium reading is a session during which the medium, or “reader,” analyzes a person’s “aura” (electric and magnetic energy surrounding each person) to explain a set of circumstances or offer a reasonable prognosis of events that may occur in the future. Many people claim to be an accurate psychic medium, but not all have paranormal abilities. The following information can help you avoid being taken advantage of by an imposter and perhaps lead you to someone who is an authentic psychic medium.
Another well-known medium was the Scottish materialization medium Helen Duncan (1897–1956). In 1928 photographer Harvey Metcalfe attended a series of séances at Duncan's house and took flash photographs of Duncan and her alleged "materialization" spirits, including her spirit guide "Peggy".[57] The photographs revealed the "spirits" to have been fraudulently produced, using dolls made from painted papier-mâché masks, draped in old sheets.[58] Duncan was later tested by Harry Price at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research; photographs revealed Duncan's ectoplasm to be made from cheesecloth, rubber gloves, and cut-out heads from magazine covers.[59][60]
Mesmer did not contribute religious beliefs, but he brought a technique, later known as hypnotism, that it was claimed could induce trances and cause subjects to report contact with supernatural beings. There was a great deal of professional showmanship inherent to demonstrations of Mesmerism, and the practitioners who lectured in mid-19th-century North America sought to entertain their audiences as well as to demonstrate methods for personal contact with the divine.[1]

A psychic reading is a specific attempt to discern information through the use of heightened perceptive abilities; or natural extensions of the basic human senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and instinct. These natural extensions are claimed to be clairvoyance (vision), clairsentience (feeling), claircognisance (factual knowing) and clairaudience (hearing) and the resulting statements made during such an attempt.[1] The term is commonly associated with paranormal-based consultation given for a fee in such settings as over the phone, in a home, or at psychic fairs.[2] Though psychic readings are controversial and a focus of skeptical inquiry,[3][4] a popular interest in them persists.[5] Extensive experimentation to replicate psychic results in laboratory conditions have failed to find any precognitive phenomena in humans.[6] Psychic reading is pseudoscience.[7] A cold reading technique allows psychics to produce seemingly specific information about an individual from social cues and broad statements.[8]
In 1785 C.E., the French occultist Eteilla (Jean-Baptiste Alliette) became the first professional tarot diviner. He popularized the use of the tarot as a divinatory tool to a wide audience, and was the first to develop and publish a set of correspondences, linking the cards to astrology, the four classical elements (earth, fire, water, air), and the four humors (black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm). These correspondences are still useful today.

The questions floated around in my head for awhile, but it wasn't until last Sunday that I decided to act on them. Inspired by Houdini, I made up a basic pass/fail test that I could apply a few times to see if someone was actually in tune with all the truths in the universe: If I made up a dead sister and asked a bunch of psychics to connect with her, how many wouldn't be able to tell I was full of shit?
The major arcana (trump cards) represent your journey through life, starting out as the innocent and carefree card representing The Fool (at number 0), and going through all your stages of life until you get to The World (at number 21). Each of the trump cards represents an important issue in your life and asks that you pay particular attention to this situation.

A former skeptic & private investigator, Bob Olson has been an Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher since 1999. In his search for evidence of the afterlife, Bob has tested hundreds of psychics, mediums & other afterlife-related practitioners. Bob is the host of AFTERLIFE TV, founder of BEST PSYCHIC DIRECTORY and BEST PSYCHIC MEDIUMS, and offers his PSYCHIC MEDIUM WORKSHOP to help psychics and mediums improve their abilities and business. Visit Bob on AFTERLIFE TV's FACEBOOK page & on TWITTER. And don't miss Bob's new book titled ANSWERS ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE.
Two, some psychic mediums can hear spirits. In this method, the spirits actually talk to the psychic medium verbally. The psychic medium may hear the communication in their mind (like hearing thoughts), or they may hear the spirit the way they would hear you or I talking to them. Unfortunately, some spirits are not the greatest communicators and what the psychic medium actually hears may sound more like a faint radio station than a clear telephone signal. This is one reason why some readings are so detailed and accurate while others are sketchy. Just try talking to someone using a cheap set of walkie-talkies and you’ll experience what it’s like chatting with a weak communicator from the spirit world.

Mainstream newspapers treated stories of ghosts and haunting as they would any other news story. An account in the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1891, "sufficiently bloody to suit the most fastidious taste", tells of a house believed to be haunted by the ghosts of three murder victims seeking revenge against their killer's son, who was eventually driven insane. Many families, "having no faith in ghosts", thereafter moved into the house, but all soon moved out again.[46] In the 1920s many "psychic" books were published of varied quality. Such books were often based on excursions initiated by the use of Ouija boards. A few of these popular books displayed unorganized spiritualism, though most were less insightful.[47]
“Hi Catharine, just wanted to give you an update on my last reading with you back in June. I’m always amazed at how accurate you are with descriptions of people coming into my life. In our session you mentioned there is a man with a shaved head and dark eyes will be helping me out with my career in 3D. Well a couple months later. I did my internship with an owner with that description. A week ago (a month after my internship was finished) he gave me a job offer! I will be making an appointment you again very soon for another reading 🙂
The word tarot is derived from the Italian word tarocchi, which has no known etymology. There are many theories regarding its origin. It may be derived from the name of an Italian river, the Taro. Or perhaps it is of Arabic origin, as playing cards originated in the Middle East, becoming common in Europe by the year 1377 C.E. 18th century occultists claimed the name Tarot came from the conjunction of two Egyptian words meaning “royal road,” which indicated that the tarot was the path to wisdom.
In a talk at the London Spiritualist Alliance, John Page Hopps (1834–1911) supported both evolution and spiritualism. Hopps claimed humanity had started off imperfect "out of the animal's darkness" but would rise into the "angel's marvellous light". Hopps claimed humans were not fallen but rising creatures and that after death they would evolve on a number of spheres of existence to perfection.[62]
Initially following my reading, I felt as if I was surrounded by so much love. It was like I had confirmation that everyone important to me genuinely cares for me as well. I'm not sure I ever fully doubted that, but I tend to overanalyze my interactions with others and do sometimes worry that how I feel isn't actually being reciprocated. It's exactly what the diamond card said. I needed to stop focusing on any self-deprecating thoughts I might have and focus on the positivity that I know surrounds me.
Learn More about Love & Relationships Looking for more information about love and relationships? Keen has hundreds of love advice articles for relationship situations just like yours. Additionally, Keen offers daily horoscopes and astrological information about your sign. Get your free horoscope for your zodiac sign: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Each of these horoscopes is updated every day, as every day is different and holds a different fate! Check back often to see what your day holds.
Playing cards first entered Europe in the late 14th century, most likely from Mamluk Egypt, with suits of Batons or Polo sticks (commonly known as Wands by those practicing occult or divinatory tarot), Coins (commonly known as disks, or pentacles in occult or divinatory tarot), Swords, and Cups. These suits were very similar to modern tarot divination decks and are still used in traditional Italian, Spanish and Portuguese playing card decks.[5]
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)

In 1991, Wendy Grossman in the New Scientist criticized the parapsychologist Stephen E. Braude for ignoring evidence of fraud in mediumship. According to Grossman "[Braude] accuses sceptics of ignoring the evidence he believes is solid, but himself ignores evidence that does not suit him. If a medium was caught cheating on some occasions, he says, the rest of that medium's phenomena were still genuine." Grossman came to the conclusion that Braude did not do proper research on the subject and should study "the art of conjuring."[180]

In 1891 at a public séance with twenty sitters the medium Cecil Husk was caught leaning over a table pretending to be a spirit by covering his face with phosphor material.[87] The magician Will Goldston also exposed the fraud mediumship of Husk. In a séance Goldston attended a pale face materialization appeared in the room. Goldston wrote "I saw at once that it was a gauze mask, and that the moustache attached to it was loose at one side through lack of gum. I pulled at the mask. It came away, revealing the face of Husk."[88] The British materialization medium Annie Fairlamb Mellon was exposed as a fraud on October 12, 1894. During the séance a sitter seized the materialized spirit, and found it to be the Mellon on her knees with white muslin on her head and shoulders.[89]


In 1876, William Eglinton was exposed as a fraud when the psychical researcher Thomas Colley seized a "spirit" materialization in his séance and cut off a portion of its cloak. It was discovered that the cut piece matched a cloth found in Eglinton's suitcase.[79] Colley also pulled the beard off the materialization and it was revealed to be a fake, the same as another one found in the suitcase of Eglinton.[80] In 1880 in a séance a spirit named "Yohlande" materialized, a sitter grabbed it and was revealed to be the medium Mme. d'Esperance herself.[81]
An experiment conducted by the British Psychological Society in 2005 suggests that under the controlled condition of the experiment, people who claimed to be professional mediums do not demonstrate the mediumistic ability. In the experiment, mediums were assigned to work the participants chosen to be "sitters." The mediums claimed to contact the deceased who were related to the sitters. The research gather the numbers of the statements made and have the sitters rate the accuracy of the statements. The readings that were considered to be somewhat accurate by the sitters were very generalized, and the ones that were considered inaccurate were the ones that were very specific.[193]
“I don’t usually get spirit messages. I just don’t. But one day I was sitting with a friend, and all of a sudden, clear as day, I knew I had to tell her that her grandmother wanted her to go home. I told her, and she said that all her grandparents were dead. She called home anyway, to make sure everything was okay, and found out that her sister had been hurt at work and was on her way to an emergency room. I have no idea why my friend’s grandmother chose me to pass this message along, and it’s never happened since.”
Cold reading also explains why psychics have consistently failed scientific tests of their powers. By isolating them from their clients, psychics are unable to pick up information from the way those clients dress or behave. By presenting all of the volunteers involved in the test with all of the readings, they are prevented from attributing meaning to their own reading, and therefore can't identify it from readings made for others. As a result, the type of highly successful hit rate that psychics enjoy on a daily basis comes crashing down and the truth emerges – their success depends on a fascinating application of psychology and not the existence of paranormal abilities.[50]
The fraudulent medium Ronald Edwin confessed he had duped his séance sitters and revealed the fraudulent methods he had used in his book Clock Without Hands (1955).[164] The psychical researcher Tony Cornell investigated the mediumship of Alec Harris in 1955. During the séance "spirit" materializations emerged from a cabinet and walked around the room. Cornell wrote that a stomach rumble, nicotine smelling breath and a pulse gave it away that all the spirit figures were in fact Harris and that he had dressed up as each one behind the cabinet.[165]
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.[3] Other cave paintings in Indonesia date back a further 10,000 years.[4] 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.[5][6] Fraud is still rife in the medium/psychic industry, with cases of deception and trickery being discovered to this day.[7]
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