Prominent investigators who exposed cases of fraud came from a variety of backgrounds, including professional researchers such as Frank Podmore of the Society for Psychical Research and Harry Price of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, and professional conjurers such as John Nevil Maskelyne. Maskelyne exposed the Davenport brothers by appearing in the audience during their shows and explaining how the trick was done.
In 1988, the magician Bob Couttie criticized the paranormal author Brian Inglis for deliberately ignoring evidence of fraud in mediumship. Couttie wrote Inglis had not familiarized himself with magician techniques. In 1990 the researcher Gordon Stein discovered that the levitation photograph of the medium Carmine Mirabelli was fraudulent. The photograph was a trick as there were signs of chemical retouching under Mirabelli's feet. The retouching showed that Mirabelli was not levitating but was standing on a ladder which was erased from the photograph.
Not all spiritual mediums are the carnival barker variety — many people are happy to enjoy the “gift” of mediumship without exploiting it for money. These people, who seldom give “readings” and prefer instead to use their gift for personal reasons, come in every walk of life, work every profession, and may be working right next to you in your office.
She then turned over another two cards that were meant to be situations I was currently dealing with. They both ended up being cups ("You've got three of the four. I've never seen that!") with one being the Sage and the other being the Child. If I came for a reading that focused on my emotions and relationships, I got way more than I could've expected. The Sage card is about feeling confident about your knowledge and beliefs. "If there's some dry place in your emotional spectrum, water it. Give yourself what you need and don't necessarily expect someone else to do that." She explained the child card, saying that it's meant to tell me to allow myself to acknowledge my emotions and truly let myself feel them, even if they're not always the most pleasant.
"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".
The first documented tarot packs were recorded between 1440 and 1450 in Milan, Ferrara, Florence and Bologna when additional trump cards with allegorical illustrations were added to the common four-suit pack. These new decks were called carte da trionfi, triumph cards, and the additional cards known simply as trionfi, which became "trumps" in English. The earliest documentation of trionfi is found in a written statement in the court records of Florence, in 1440, regarding the transfer of two decks to Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta.
"The picture reading shows me what goes on in the past life and in this life ... So if it shows me she was your guardian angel at one point, she was a guardian angel," she said. She added that the reading wasn't accurate because I had come in with the intention to trick, that the energy I came in with was one about my sister which is what she picked up on, that the whole thing wasn't very "civilized" of me and that she'd be calling other psychics and warning them about me. She told me she's been tested by people who declared their intentions and passed their tests, and offered to give me a reading that would reveal secrets about me that not even my closest friends know. I declined.
Theosophy is in opposition to the spiritualist interpretation of evolution. Theosophy teaches a metaphysical theory of evolution mixed with human devolution. Spiritualists do not accept the devolution of the theosophists. To theosophy humanity starts in a state of perfection (see Golden age) and falls into a process of progressive materialization (devolution), developing the mind and losing the spiritual consciousness. After the gathering of experience and growth through repeated reincarnations humanity will regain the original spiritual state, which is now one of self-conscious perfection. Theosophy and spiritualism were both very popular metaphysical schools of thought especially in the early 20th century and thus were always clashing in their different beliefs. Madame Blavatsky was critical of spiritualism; she distanced theosophy from spiritualism as far as she could and allied herself with eastern occultism.