In 1909, Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith designed and published a tarot deck loosely based on the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This timeless deck is commonly known as the Rider-Waite deck and is still the most popular tarot variant for both beginner and professional card readers. In 1943, occultist Aleister Crowley (the self-declared nemesis of Arthur Edward Waite) and Lady Frieda Harris published their own interpretation of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn's tarot. Their Thoth deck, named after the Egyptian god of alphabets, incorporates specific astrological symbolism into each card, linking the divination practice to the cosmos.
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.
The spiritual guidance you receive during a reading with a psychic, medium or clairvoyant helps you to identify inner truths. This insight can be a valuable tool you can use to move your life forward. The type of spiritual reading, and the level of information and insight you receive, will depend on the intuitive awareness of the spiritual reader you are consulting.
^ God's World: A Treatise on Spiritualism Founded on Transcripts of Shorthand Notes Taken Down, Over a Period of Five Years, in the Seance-Room of the William T. Stead Memorial Center (a Religious Body Incorporated Under the Statutes of the State of Illinois), Mrs. Cecil M. Cook, Medium and Pastor. Compiled and Written by Lloyd Kenyon Jones. Chicago, Ill.: The William T. Stead Memorial Center, 1919.
From its earliest beginnings to contemporary times, mediumship practices have had many instances of fraud and trickery. Séances take place in darkness so the poor lighting conditions can become an easy opportunity for fraud. Physical mediumship that has been investigated by scientists has been discovered to be the result of deception and trickery. Ectoplasm, a supposed paranormal substance, was revealed to have been made from cheesecloth, butter, muslin, and cloth. Mediums would also stick cut-out faces from magazines and newspapers onto cloth or on other props and use plastic dolls in their séances to pretend to their audiences spirits were contacting them. Lewis Spence in his book An Encyclopaedia of Occultism (1960) wrote:
One day I travelled to a witch village in Sedona, Arizona. Once I entered a psychic boutique, the woman told me I was a gifted light bearer and that I would help people that would require my gifts. So I started from there, getting seriously into it and learning to understand what I could do with my gifts. My biggest rewards were knowing that I could help people understand their situation.
The British direct-voice medium Frederick Tansley Munnings was exposed as a fraud when one of his séance sitters turned the lights on which revealed him to be holding a trumpet by means of a telescopic extension piece and using an angle piece to change the auditory effect of his voice. Richard Hodgson held six sittings with the medium Rosina Thompson and came to the conclusion she was a fraud as he discovered Thompson had access to documents and information about her séance sitters.
You need to work with the cards to become familiar with them but none of us can be totally objective as we all have blind spots. Consult with an experienced professional who can be trusted. Modern serious authentic and ethical tarot readers are not “fortune tellers” or mind readers. Real tarot readings become a therapeutic process for gaining valuable insights. A good tarot reading will affirm your own intuition and opens up more questions and options as part of a process, so be discerning when it comes to choosing a reader.
In 1954, the psychical researcher Rudolf Lambert published a report revealing details about a case of fraud that was covered up by many early members of the Institute Metapsychique International (IMI). Lambert who had studied Gustav Geley's files on the medium Eva Carrière discovered photographs depicting fraudulent ectoplasm taken by her companion Juliette Bisson. Various "materializations" were artificially attached to Eva's hair by wires. The discovery was never published by Geley. Eugéne Osty (the director of the institute) and members Jean Meyer, Albert von Schrenck-Notzing and Charles Richet all knew about the fraudulent photographs but were firm believers in mediumship phenomena so demanded the scandal be kept secret.
At Waite's suggestion, Smith used the Sola Busca artwork for inspiration, and there are many similarities in the symbolism between Sola Busca and Smith's final result. Smith was the first artist to use characters as representative images in the lower cards. Instead of showing merely a cluster of cups, coins, wands or swords, Smith incorporated human figures into the artwork, and the result is the iconic deck that every reader knows today.
The "three-card spread" is one of the most simple and effective tarot spreads. You can adjust the categories to accommodate any situation (past, present, future; yourself, the other person, the relationship; opportunities, challenges, outcomes; mind, body, spirit). The cards and their corresponding positions will effortlessly expose bonds and dynamics. But before reading the straightforward explanation of each card, take a moment to create your own story based on observation. How do the cards you drew make you feel? What are the colors and symbols? If there are characters, are they facing towards or away from each other? Do the illustrations seem cohesive or disjointed?
This is an organized event that can take place in an auditorium, church or even a TV studio. Participants are picked out from the audience randomly, and the spiritualist or medium passes messages, either directly from the spiritual realm or via his or her personal spirit guide. It’s a good way to see how it all works, but you are playing a numbers game as the chances of you receiving a message are remote.
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.
A spiritual reading is more interactive than a psychic reading because it provides more guidance and insight than the psychic reader’s interpretation of particular tarot cards or messages from spirit and guides. A good spiritual reader will encourage you to ask questions and to question yourself, so that you experience the reading on a more personal level.