The ancestors of what we today know as Tarot cards can be traced back to around the late fourteenth century. Artists in Europe created the first playing cards, which were used for games, and featured four different suits. These suits were similar to what we still use today – staves or wands, discs or coins, cups, and swords. After a decade or two of using these, in the mid-1400s, Italian artists began painting additional cards, heavily illustrated, to add into the existing suits.
Likewise, the entire audience can affect the clarity of the spirit communication at a psychic medium demonstration. If the audience as a whole is very open, accepting and light-hearted, this helps the psychic medium, as it would help any speaker on stage. If the audience as a whole is skeptical, apathetic or angry, this can negatively affect the psychic medium, as it might affect any speaker in front of such a group. Spirit communication is about energy. If the energy in the room is low, it makes it more difficult for the psychic medium to raise his or her energy to connect with spirit. If the energy is high, it can assist the psychic medium to raise his or her energy.
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Welcome, cosmic warriors. I'm Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure's resident astrologer, and this is Aliza's Allure Astrology, a column dedicated to astrology, esotericism, and all things magick. (That's not to be confused with magic, which has more to do with entertainment — think pulling rabbits out of hats — than inner growth.) In each installation, I'm taking a closer look at an otherworldly subject, exploring both important celestial events and time-honored traditions of the occult. Today, we're getting acquainted with the ancient art of taromancy, or divination through the use of tarot cards.
Besides reaffirming my belief that I'm a great liar and should do it more, my test also gave me some insight on how psychics work. They're talented when it comes to finding ways squeeze emotions out of you and make general statements that allow you to fill in the blanks yourself—you're contributing to your own deception (example: They say they sense a female presence watching over you, at which point you say, "Oh shit, my aunt/grandma/mom/friend/cousin/sister/teacher died a little while ago—it MUST be her!"). I think so many people turn to psychics because they help ease the fear of the great unknown that is death and give meaning and purpose to seemingly unfair and random events in our chaotic universe. To me, that's a form of preying on the weak and exploiting people at their most emotionally vulnerable, but if you believe in the afterlife and psychic powers, I can understand how the experience would be comforting - after all, who doesn't want to know that a loved family member, living or dead, is doing okay?
In March 1902 in Berlin, police officers interrupted a séance of the German apport medium Frau Anna Rothe. Her hands were grabbed and she was wrestled to the ground. A female police assistant physically examined Rothe and discovered 157 flowers as well as oranges and lemons hidden in her petticoat. She was arrested and charged with fraud. Another apport medium Hilda Lewis known as the "flower medium" confessed to fraud.
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:
She invited me to her apartment in Brooklyn. When I got to the brownstone-lined street, I found my final destination: a beautiful old converted hospital building that was positively witchy. After I was buzzed in and made my way to the correct floor, I was greeted by a small dog in the hallway that led me exactly to where I needed to be. Mama Donna was waiting by the door, and invited me to sit on her pink floral couch in front of a wicker table. Her pup, Poppy, hopped onto my lap and we began the reading.
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."
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What makes a session with Barb extraordinary is her wit, honesty and compassion Barb Mather is a psychic & medium from Western Canada, who reads via phone, in person or skype video worldwide. She's the illegitimate love-child of Reality and Straightforwardness who gets incredibly irritated by those who have a need to claim to be better than another. She chose this career because it allowed her to provide for her family and still be able to mo
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Now, over a hundred years since the release of the Rider-Waite deck, Tarot cards are available in a practically endless selection of designs. In general, many of these follow the format and style of Rider-Waite, although each adapts the cards to suit their own motif. No longer just the domain of the wealthy and upper class, Tarot is available for anyone who wishes to take the time to learn it.