Check out this podcast interview with me and Leisa Refalo at The Tarot Connection – Episode #93.
Here’s an excellent program: BBC – History of Magic – Mentalism.
and continued here (with additional links to the rest of the program).
Mentalism is great and astonishing entertainment except when used to defraud. The bigger problem arises from the assumption that all tarot and psychic experiences are nothing more than similar trickery. The program explains that magicians have “pirated” much of their effects from the spiritual, but then claims that mentalism goes back to the Delphic Oracle, suggesting that the Oracle was simply a scam. Admittedly, techniques associated with mentalism and stage magic have traditionally held a place in shamanism and tribal healing arts. What I am advocating is becoming aware of what we are doing as tarot readers and doing it in the most ethical way possible.
While there are lots of ways to read the cards, I believe that, consciously or not, most face-to-face tarot readers use at least a few skills that have been deemed ‘cold reading,’ in that many of these are simply normal human modes of communication that can hardly be avoided. If you want to totally avoid any such issue then readings by (e)mail should suffice.