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Posted on Thursday, December 06 - 2007


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Astrology may usually be dismissed as harmless superstition, but scientists are discovering that the date we are born can affect our later lives. Research has revealed the time of year a person is born can influence his or her personality, health and even whether they are male or female. But rather than being written in the stars, studies are showing that it is the season of birth that predisposes individuals to different traits.In the northern hemisphere, women born in May will display more impulsive behaviour whilethose whose birthday falls in November will be more reflective.

Men born in the spring will show greater persistence than those born in winter.Other research has shown that people born in the autumn will tend to be physically active and excel in football while those born in the spring will be more cerebral and may be better suited to chess. Those born between September and December are more prone to panic attacks while there is growing evidence that schizophrenia is higher among those born in the late winter and early spring. "It is exactly what you would expect if it were temperature related," said Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, who has examined the linkbetween luck and the season of birth. "Many of the effects reverse in the two hemispheres." Professor John Eagle, a psychiatrist at Aberdeen University who has studied the relationships between season of birth and mental health, added: "The two main culprits are diet and the seasonal fluctuations in nutrition, and the increase in infections during the winter." Astrologers have seized on the findings as evidence that the stars influence personality. But scientists insist there are biological reasons behind the effects.


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Posted on Monday, December 03 - 2007

Jim Wickson: Tarot (also known as Tarock, Tarokk, Taroky, Taroc, Tarok, Tarocchi and similar names) is a family of trick taking card games played with an enlarged deck of 78 cards which include an extra court card for each of the four regular suits, a permanent trump suit of 21 cards, and a kind of "wild card" called "the Fool" or "Excuse." Although seen primarily by many as a means of fortune telling or divination, the Tarot deck was created in northern Italy during the 15th century for playing card games. The notion of a trump suit which survives in such popular card games as Spades and Bridge originated with the game of Tarot. The myth of Egyptian origins of Tarot, while once common, has long been debunked by later scholars. There is also norecord of Tarot cards being used for the occult or divination prior to the 18th century.

The Tarot card readings popular at Renaissance Fairs are a creative license taken with historical fact and should not be viewed as authentic. Contrary to popular belief, conventional playing cards were not derived from Tarot decks and the Fool is unrelated to the Joker of conventional playing cards. The Joker was created in the USA during the 19th century originally for the card game Euchre. Tarot cards: There are two types of Tarot deck. The Italian suited Tarot: The traditional Italian suited deck of coins, cups, swords, and batons is currently favored by those using Tarot for divination, although in some countries such as Italy and Switzerland such decks are still used for game playing. Those practicing Tarot divination often call the coins "pentacles" and the batons"wands." With few exceptions, the trump scenes of Italian suited Tarots differ little from deck to deck and are often seen by Tarot readers as containing symbolic meaning. The depictions of a Popess (II) and Pope (V) on Italian suited Tarots have been controversial in some areas. In Switzerland, these images were replaced by depictions of Juno (II) and Jupiter (V). In Bologna Italy, the papal figures along with the Empress (III) and the Emperor (IV) were replaced by four Moorish figures which are unnumbered and act as trumps of equal rank in the Bolognese variety of Tarocchi.

View: Full Article | Source: American Chronicle

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Posted on Tuesday, November 27 - 2007

A fortune-teller sets tarot cards for her customer in Tehran November 7, 2007.

Copyright © Yahoo! News

Clerics in the Islamic Republic of Iran frown on the practice, but Nazanin says she has more customers than ever wanting their fortunes told.Sitting behind a computer in her Tehran apartment, she predicts the future based on her knowledge of "jyotish" -- the science of light -- a practice related to astrology which she said is thought to have originated in ancient Persia.Some analysts say Iranians are turning to fortune-telling because of worries over their country's growing isolation in the world and surging prices at home. The fortune-tellers say their clients --many of them women -- are seeking security. "Happiness is the gap between two miseries," said Nazanin, who asked not to be identified by her real name to avoid problems with religious authorities.

"People from all walks of life come here to find that ray of light and find more hope for the future."
She often switches off her mobile during sessions to avoid being interrupted by calls for appointments. Each session costs 200,000 rials ($21) and lasts two hours or more. Time -- not demand -- restricts her to two or three customers a day. It is not only Nazanin who says business is booming. Readers of tarot cards and coffee grounds say customers are queuing up. Street vendors selling prophetic poems from the revered Iranian poet Hafez say they can always find buyers seeking guidancein their everyday lives. Iran's clerics, who have ruled the Islamic Republic for the past three decades, say such practices can be misleading so should be avoided. But many in Iran, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim country, are not deterred. "The age of my customers ranges from 12 years to 70. I have very religious customers and those who are not religious at all but they are mostly affluent," said Nazanin. "From young girls to old women, it seems everybody is looking for a good husband," she said with a laugh.

Peering into Coffee Rima, a fortune-teller from Iran's Armenian Christian community, said her client numbers were rising by the month. Many turn to her when they have financial or social problems, shesaid. ......

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Posted on Monday, November 26 - 2007

Tarot Cards

Copyright © American Chronicle

In the late 1700’s Eliphas Levi, Who is better known today for his involvement in The Golden Dawn along with Aleister Crowley, but that’s not the case. Levi was a Catholic priest, writer, teacher who created the basis for today’s most popular tarot deck. Levi studied many other religions, including Jewish, Hindu, Polish, Masonic and Cabalism.He used his background in these and astrology, astronomy and metaphysics to design the first tarot deck and incorporated his religious knowledge into them as a way for his students to learn the elements of nature as the cards represent fire, water, earth and air, spiritual enlightenment and self improvement, there are even references to thebible in some cards.

Even Levi’s partner in The Golden Dawn created his own tarot cards, The Thoth Deck and they are as with most tarot decks beautiful works of art.In the 1800’s a man named A.E. Waite created the Rider-Waite deck. The Rider-Waite deck is based on the Eliphas Levi deck and was published in 1896. It was widely used in Europe as a card game and the Rider-Waite deck is the most widely used version throughout the world and were extremely popular during World War 1 when introduced to western culture. The 1990’s saw an upturn in the use of tarot cards with the opening of reading rooms with Astrologers, Psychics and Mediums yet still there are those who believe that these cards are the devil’s cards, that they are used by soothsayers and therefore evil. I myself own the Thoth tarot deck, carry it with me and waseven once fired from a job for just having them in my purse, being called a witch, My first thought was “Where is the stake” literally. I learned how to read tarot while living in Italy in the 90’s from some gypsies and I do pretty good at it, for myself and a small handful of friends/family I read for and if that makes me a witch in some people’s eyes so be it, they fear what they do not understand. The tarot are not evil nor used for an evil purpose, tarot are for learning about oneself or helping others on their journey, to assist in making decisions or helping others see that what they thought might be what they needed is being told by the energy they surround the cards with during a reading. Having tarot cards or having them read shouldn’t be feared but the old saying, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself” . If having atarot ......

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