On a cold Sunday afternoon, I walked the streets of New Hope, PA with my wife and a close friend. Along with browsing the many shops, my wife enjoys visiting one of the local psychics, to sit for a tarot card reading. The Yellow Pages lists three psychic shops, and her choice for today was Readings by Edith. I agreed not only to accompany her, but to sit for my own reading.
I’m not a fan of psychics, but I’m not going to discount someone’s claim without allowing them to demonstrate what they believe they can do. Maybe they really can do what they say they can do.
We arrived for our 1:30 appointment and were greeted by Robert, the son of Edith. He explained that he comes from four generations of psychics, and they run the longest running psychic shop in the area (34 years). He has been a medium for 27 years. In addition to the $30 fee for a tarot card reading, we could ask additional questions at $5 each.
…the first Tarot decks were created as a game. There were four suits with cards numbered one through ten and also court cards that included a queen, king, knight and page. The deck also included 22 symbolic picture cards that did not belong to any suit. The decks were used to play a game called triumph that was similar to bridge. In triumph, 21 of the 22 special picture cards were permanent trump cards. The game spread quickly to all parts of Europe. People began referring to as tarocchi, which is an Italian version of the French word tarot, around 1530.
In 1781, in France and England, followers of the occult discovered Tarot cards. They saw the symbolic pictures of the cards as having more meaning than the simple trump cards they were used for at the time. They used the cards as a divination tool, and occult writers wrote about "the Tarot." After this, the Tarot became a part of occult philosophy. 
At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. There are times you are extroverted and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. 
I recorded my reading, so it could be reviewed later. I’m glad I did, since Robert ran through the reading at a pace that didn’t allow you to think too much or you’d miss half of what was being said. Some of examples of what I was told included -
“When you get recognition for work of a job well done, it’s like watering a plant…it makes you stronger. It makes you anxious to do more good work.”
This easily applies to anyone. Positive reinforcement from superiors or those you look up to is a popular management practice used to motivate employees , as well as a boost from friends.
“At some point…some kind of a business property. When it comes to a business property, of course it’s all about the location…whether it’s big or small, modern or old fashion…if it’s a spectacular location; you’ll always do very, very well.”
This covers all the bases; a big or small, old or new. And if I pick a “spectacular” location, I’ll do “very, very well”. This means if I don’t pick the right location, I won’t do well. There are no specifics whatsoever; it’s just a general blanket statement that incorporates good business sense (why would anyone pick a horrible location?), not mystical messages from a deck of cards. 
“Now there’s an important purchase for you to make in the near future that you don’t make easily or take lightly. You’re the kind of guy who knows how to seek out a good deal when it comes to a high ticket item especially. The next high ticket item being overly conservative and holding back gives you inferior product and a feeling of wasted money. The next high ticket item you may have to go all out.”
Important purchases/big ticket items are never taken “lightly”. Most people will consider themselves someone who can find a good deal, especially in this modern day of Ebay, Amazon, Consumer Reports, and Google. Being “overly” conservative will most likely give you an inferior product, this is common sense, not wisdom from mystics – “you get what you pay for”.
After my reading concluded, I researched Readings by Edith. On their Facebook Page, I read two of the five reviews (the remaining three were just five star ratings). "Dawn C." writes, “He is so accurate it is uncanny.” " Jacqueline G." wrote, “Very detailed and accurate I was impressed…”
My experience was neither accurate nor detailed. In fact, there were no details at all. He spoke for approximately nine minutes, yet every statement Robert made successfully avoided being detailed or accurate. Instead, he spoke in general terms and suggestions that gave me no more information than a standard newspaper horoscope. Even when he included mention of a romantic relationship, Robert used the term “significant other”. He skillfully avoided placing a time frame (current or future), title (spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend), or even gender.
There was absolutely no “psychic” or “medium” abilities demonstrated by Robert (who claimed to be both) during my reading. He gave the reading without questioning if he was right or wrong, ending it with “I hope you understand the reading and hope you enjoyed it” – which effectively puts the obligation on me to make the connections, to fill in the details.
I could have saved $30, and instead picked up a local newspaper for a dollar and read the astrology section.
1. Obringer, Lee Ann. “How Tarot Cards Work” http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/extrasensory-perceptions/tarot-card6.htm
2. Esoteric Online – Social Networks for Sacred Science http://www.esotericonline.net/group/the-tarot/page/lesson-1-the-pyramid-spread
3. The Skeptics Dictionary. “Barnum effect”. http://skepdic.com/barnum.html
4. “The Barnum Effect” http://psych.fullerton.edu/mbirnbaum/psych101/barnum_demo.htm
5. Sims Jr., Bill. 2014. “Want Your Team to Perform Better? Try Positive Reinforcement”. Entrepreneur.com. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231289
6. Griffin, Dana. “The Effect of Business Location to the Business Success”. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effect-business-location-business-success-596.html