Tuesday, November 6, 2012
DIVINING WITH PLAYING CARDS
DIVINING WITH PLAYING CARDS
Card reading or cartomancy as it is known, has been a popular pastime for
centuries. Most people associate this practice with Tarot cards, yet ordinary
playing cards can be used just as easily. All forms of card reading are based on
symbolism, the cards are used to represent archetypes, actual people, events or
various aspects of life. A full deck of playing cards consists of 52 cards, and
there are the same number of weeks in a year. The pack is divided into four
suits, just as there are four seasons, four quarters and four elements. The
suits are of two colors, red or black, reflecting the essential duality of life
itself, male and female, light and dark, positive and negative etc.
Their meanings ; Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades. Or go straight to the
The Club Suite
Clubs represent people with rich brown or red hair, a high color and brown or
hazel eyes. An active, energetic personality. Enterprise and fresh activity.
Ace - An unexpected gift, financial windfall or good news concerning money.
Two - Long term plans could meet with opposition or delay as a result of
another's interference. Beware of idle chat or malicious gossip.
Three - Successful marriage, remarriage or a declaration of intent is possible
for those who have experienced a long term relationship.
Four - Fortunes could take a turn for the worse due to another's deceit or
treachery, so do not take everything on trust. Keep plans flexible.
Five - A time of change for the better, with the accent on partnership.
Business ventures will be financially rewarding, the prospects are equally rosy
for marriage plans.
Six - A good omen for those seeking commercial success, established businesses
should flourish and new projects obtain necessary financial backing.
Seven - A small gift or money gain, perhaps a debt will be repaid. A new
friendship may bring much pleasure. Seek legal advice if signing a contract.
Eight - A time of uncertainty when minor problems could be blown out of all
proportion. Avoid get rich quick schemes.
Nine - This card warns against obstinacy, as friction could arise if you ignore
the wishes of others. However, there is a possibility of monetary or other gain
due to an unforeseen business offer or marriage proposal.
Ten - Sudden financial gain, perhaps through a legacy, insurance payment or tax
rebate. Travel, probably abroad, could prove surprisingly profitable and may
lead to a romantic encounter.
Jack - A clever, enterprising young person who is well disposed towards the
questioner. In the case of a female enquirer, probably an admirer or lover, or
a good, reliable friend of a male enquirer.
Queen - A warm hearted, charming, quick witted and trustworthy woman of middle
years, perhaps the wife of a male questioner or a close friend of a female in
either case, she is very supportive and wise.
King - A mature professional man, honest and straightforward in his dealings who
can be of great assistance. Probably a relative of a female enquirer or a
The Diamond Suite
Diamonds represent very pale people with fair or white hair and light blue or
grey eyes. Assured, sophisticated types. Money and material possessions,
business, status and security.
Ace - A long awaited letter or important document will arrive shortly, bringing
welcome news. A financial offer or marriage proposal could be made.
Two - A love affair or close friendship should be developing steadily even if
attracting the disapproval of others. Business matters should be showing
Three - Partnerships com under scrutiny and tact may be required if disputes are
to be avoided. Litigation is possible, though the outcome could be beneficial.
The outlook is promising if cooperation can be maintained.
Four - Do not allow harsh words or rash actions to mar a relationship. Despite
petty squabbles, matters can be resolved with patience and understanding,
perhaps an old friend could help reconcile differences.
Five - News of a birth in the family or a child's achievement will bring much
joy. A small financial loss could be offset by an exciting business
opportunity, new ventures are especially favoured.
Six - Marital difficulties are a probability and in some instances could lead to
divorce or separation. Alternatively, there may be reconciliation.
Seven - There may be minor problems or disputes at work or home due to unkind
gossip, petty jealousy or misunderstandings. yet such upsets are likely to be
short lived and surprise news will lift everyone's spirits.
Eight - Romance and travel seem to be linked in some way, especially for the
very young or elderly. Fluctuations of fortune are indicated, either a small
financial loss or a windfall or lucky gamble.
Nine - A business deal or fresh undertaking bodes well, as does a change of
residence or occupation. For those with initiative, opportunities abound for
romance, increasing income or enjoying a super social round.
Ten - A planned journey brings unforeseen benefit, perhaps a job offer, an
opportunity to expand business interests or even a chance of new romance.
Improved finances could enable the questioner to secure his or her future.
Jack - A personable young friend or relative of the enquirer, probably male, who
brings news. This may be unwelcome if the enquirer is female, thought not
disastrous. Alternatively, a warning to guard against dishonesty.
Queen - This card represents a woman who may pose a threat to a female
questioner's love life or who could interfere in a male enquirer's business
affairs. In either case, this lady needs careful handling, so tact is advised.
King - An ambitious and influential man who has it in his power to help or
hinder the enquirer's interests. Any proposition should therefore be considered
The Heart Suite
Hearts represent light brown or auburn haired people with pinkish complexions
and blue, grey or hazel eyes. A friendly, sympathetic nature. Emotional
matters, love and marriage, children and artistic pursuits.
Ace - A card promising affection and domestic happiness. It could refer to a
birth, marriage proposal, new friendship or reunion.
Two - Good fortune, perhaps greater than anticipated. The consolidation of a
current partnership or new romantic liaison. All friendships and close personal
ties should flourish.
Three - An engagement or news of a wedding. A difficult choice may have to be
made, if so, try to defer a decision until you can consider all the
Four - A time of change, either of employment or residence, or perhaps both.
Marriage or remarriage is a possibility for a mature enquirer.
Five - Not a time to make important decisions or to contemplate dramatic changes
in your way of life. The best advice is to take a short break, relax and get
your thoughts in order before tackling any business or domestic worries.
Six - Pleasing family news, perhaps of an engagement or a child's achievement.
However, others may try to take advantage of your good nature, so avoid taking
on too much.
Seven - Keep plans flexible, a friend or colleague could let you down at the
last moment or an anticipated event be cancelled without warning. Romance is
Eight - Social life is highlighted and will bring much pleasure. A journey or
outing could lead to a romantic encounter which develops into an enduring
Nine - Often known as the wish card, this good omen promises success in whatever
is closest to the enquirer's heart at the time of the reading. Any existing
misunderstandings will soon be resolved.
Ten - A fortunate card promising happiness in love, a fulfilling domestic
situation and business success. An opportunity to secure the future may arise
unexpectedly, if so, do not hesitate to take it up.
Jack - An amiable, sincere young person, probably a friend of long standing or
near relative of the enquirer. He or she could be instrumental in introducing
the enquirer to someone who is to become very important emotionally.
Queen - A warm hearted, mature woman who has the enquirer's best interests at
heart. Kind, affectionate and sensible, she offers sound advice, practical help
King - A good natured man, well disposed towards the enquirer. Sociable,
generous and enthusiastic, he may lack discretion, so is not always a wise
judge. Alternatively, an indication that any minor money problems will be short
The Spade Suite
Spades represent sallow complexioned people with dark brown or black hair and
eyes. Powerful or influential people, strong characters. Power or position,
conflict, mental activities, law and order, foreign affairs.
Ace - A card of challenge, signifying the end oof one cycle and the start of the
next. Underlying tensions or problems, whether at home or work, are about to
erupt, this may be distressing but will clear the way ahead.
Two - Change is imminent, this may mean a new hhome or job, or possibly the end
of a relationship. Whatever the case, despite a feeling of loss, the new
situation leads to improved circumstances long term.
Three - Caution and prudence are advised, especiaally in any form of
partnership. In business or emotional life, conflict can arise if you allow a
third party to interfere or let outside interests intrude.
Four - Disappointment is the key work. Plaans may be delayed or disrupted,
promises could be broken and, on the home front, much needed support may be
lacking. Do not worry, there will be fresh opportunities.
Five - Do not despair if things fail to go accorrding to plan, financial or
business problems are only temporary and can be resolved in time. All will be
well if you have patience, reschedule your program and persevere.
Six - Progress may seem irritatingly slow, espeecially if you are hoping to
complete a deal. Despite setbacks, plans will come to fruition eventually, with
hard work and persistence, so do not give up.
Seven - You may have to cope with an unexpected bburden or onerous task. Try to
keep a sense of proportion, foolish anxiety over minor issues could cause
tension and lead to unnecessary conflicts.
Eight - Difficulties all round, a testing time whhen close relationships could
be under sever strain, business and travel plans go awry or a friend lets you
down. Resist harsh words or hasty actions and guard health.
Nine - Physical and mental energy may be at a loow ebb due to anxiety, so do not
take on extra burdens until this trying period is over. Offset depression by
taking stock of assets and make realistic plans and goals for the future.
Ten - Unwelcome news or worry over a loved one adds to an already tricky
situation. It may be difficult to summon up enthusiasm, yet this phase will
soon be over and the prospect for the future looks considerably rosier.
Jack - An acquaintance or relative of the enquirrer who, despite good
intentions, may well cause problems. Friendly and witty, this young person may
be good company but is also immature, irresponsible and unreliable.
Queen - An independent, capable and efficient womman, possibly a widow or
divorcee, who can be ruthlessly ambitious. She makes a strong ally but a
formidable foe, and may be too forthright to have many close friends.
King - A successful man of some standing, perhapps a lawyer or other
professional, who is in a position to help the enquirer. Influential and
authoritative, he will demand respect and his advice is to be trusted.
There are a few spreads you can use for reading playing cards. Magic Square,
The Romany Spread, The Celestial Circle, The Bohemian Spread and The Mystic
Some spreads require a significator ; a card to represent either the person for
who the reading is being done or the matter under consideration. So the first
thing to decide is which suit accords best with the characteristics of the
enquirer or the nature of the particular enquiry. Once you have decided on the
appropriate suit, choose the relevant court card for the age and sex of the
enquirer , a King for a mature man, a Queen for a mature woman, a Jack for a
young person of either sex. Or, if selecting an impersonal card, use the Ace of
the designated suit.
THE CELESTIAL CIRCLE
Also known as the Wheel of the Year. 13 cards are selected, the first 12 are
laid out in order like a clock face, beginning at the 1 o'clock position and
moving clockwise. The 13th is place in the centre of the circle. This card is
interpreted first because it signifies the overall flavour of the coming 12
months. The other 12 cards, each representing on calendar month, are then read
in clockwise sequence. The first card dealt, in the 1 o'clock position, relates
to the month in which the reading is taking place, and is indicative of the
overriding influence in the enquirer's life at that time. Card 2 represents the
following month, and Card 3 the following etc.
THE BOHEMIAN SPREAD
The bohemian spread is a very simple layout, consisting of 7 cards, and is ideal
for answering a specific query but is less suitable for a general reading.
After shuffling and cutting in the usual way, the first 7 cards are laid out in
an open pyramid or inverted "V", from left to right. They are then interpreted
according to the positions in which they fall, as follows:
1. The enquirer's home environment and domestic issues, household goods,
renovations and removals.
2. Current influences, factors that related directly to present circumstances,
such as hopes or worries.
3. Relationships of all kinds, love, friendship, business or romantic
partnerships, rivals or enemies.
4. The enquirer's wishes in the matter under consideration, what he or she hopes
or wants to achieve.
5. Unexpected assistance or obstacles that are likely to help or hinder the aim
signified by the preceding card.
6. Those events that are likely to affect the enquirer's immediate future, both
the possibilities and probabilities.
7. Any helpful influences or fortunate circumstances that the enquirer can use
to advantage, lucky opportunities.
A significator is required for this spread, and this card should be taken from
the pack and looked at before the remaining cards are shuffled and cut. 12
cards should then be selected and laid face down in a pile on the table. Once
this is done, the enquirer is asked to place the significator anywhere he or she
likes among the other 12 cards chosen, and the interpreter then lays out all 13
in 2 rows, one vertical and one horizontal, to form an equal armed cross. The
vertical row is read from top to bottom and refers to the enquirer's present
situation, the horizontal row is read from left to right, relates to influences
affecting current events. If the significator falls in the vertical row, it
indicates that the enquirer is in the grip of circumstances beyond his or her
control, but if it falls in the horizontal row, he or she has the matter in
hand. The fourth card laid, at the centre of the cross, represents the factor
around which the entire situation revolves. This card will, therefore, provide
the key to the matter.
THE MAGIC SQUARE
For this spread, the questioner should start by selecting a significator from
the pack. Place this card on the table, then shuffle and cut cards. Deal 8
cards around the centre card in order clockwise, then deal a 9th card over the
significator card which is centre. The cards are interpreted according to their
position as follows.
1. The Individual - the state of mind of the questioner.
2. External influences and unexpected factors.
3. Surroundings - friends, family, colleagues and home.
4. Hopes and fears.
5. Alternatives - possible opportunities and challenges.
6. Aspirations and beliefs.
7. Negative factors - those which limit or oppose the questioner.
8. Positive factors - constructive or helpful influences.
9. Potential - initiative and natural abilities.
The rows of cards should be interpreted both horizontally and vertically.
Horizontally - the top row shows the prevailing atmospheere, the middle section
conveys the basis of the issue, and the bottom row indicates future
Vertically - the first column expresses three aspects of the questioner's
character, the centre column denotes important factors which must be considered
before any decisions are made, and the final column indicates the opportunities
which are possible if the correct decision is made.
The most important card is the one covering the significator. This relates to
every other card and indicates the questioner's potential in relation to the
message conveyed by the spread as a whole. Do not forget to take account of the
significator when interpreting the card's meaning..
THE ROMANY SPREAD
This simple and popular spread relies on the interpreter's ability to blend the
meanings of cards within the same row to convert a single message, It is best
used when the questioner has a specific question. After shuffling and cutting,
the questioner deals 21 cards in three rows of seven running from left to right.
Read the rows separately, but with a single theme at the back of your mind.
The top row - refers to past influences and recent events that have contributed
to the present situation.
The middle row - reflects current circumstances, hopes and fears regarding the
issue in question.
The bottom row - denotes the likely outcome
A Quick Guide to Reading Ordinary Playing Cards
by Cheryl Lynne Bradley
Divining from regular playing cards is an old practice and I am sure many of us know at least one fortune-telling game done with this tool. Reading regular cards is called cartomancy or metasymbology. Playing cards have been called "The Devil's Picture Book" and have a few superstitions associated with them. Miners and fishermen viewed it as bad luck to have a deck with them while working or on a voyage. Thieves will rarely steal a deck as they have a belief that this will turn luck against them . Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades - King David; Clubs - Alexander the Great; Hearts -Charlemagne; and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.
Other omens and superstitions about playing cards involve their use in gambling. It is generally believed that you will never get a good hand if you are dealt the four of clubs. "The Dead Man's Hand", Aces over eights, that Wild Bill Hickock was holding when he was killed, is considered very unlucky. The nine of diamonds is sometimes referred to as "The Curse of Scotland" as it was used to give instructions for the beginning of the Glencoe Massacre in 1692. On a cheerier note, we have to remember the old saying "unlucky at cards, lucky in love."
Gong Hee Fot Choy, "Greeting of Riches," is a divination system utilizing regular playing cards which Margarete Ward, a mystic and world traveler, introduced in her 1935 book. It draws heavily on Chinese and Eastern mysticism for its wisdom. This system uses a board, a book and 32 cards. Jokers, 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's and 6's were discarded and only 7's through to the Ace were utilized. The board and book are divided into 32 houses. Each card has a different meaning depending upon which house it lands, and are detailed in the book. There are 1,024 combinations. The Houses are Compasses, Marriage, Happiness, Enjoyment, Messages, Relatives, Health, Money, Seasons, Friends, Gifts, Moons, Sun, Luck, Wishes, Success, Surprises, Popularity, Abode, Journey, Papers, Vocation, Letters, Trouble, Disappointments, Death, Undertaking, Achievement, Inheritance, Callers, Gratitude and Inquiries. The hearts represent love and friendship; anything of a personal nature. The
diamonds represent fortune and riches; papers of any kind. The clubs represent luck wisdom and business. The spades represent the unpleasant things of life.
Tarot reading layouts readily adapt over to regular card reading as do divinatory meanings. Hearts equate to Cups, Diamonds to Coins, Spades to Swords and Clubs to Wands. To proceed with a reading, shuffle and cut in your usual method, and deal out the layout of your choice or try the following reading.
Relationship Potential ReadingA fun reading to ascertain the future of potential suitors involves separating the Kings or the Queens from the deck. You then proceed to lay these Trump cards out side by side in this order: Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades. Assign a name of someone you are involved with or interested in to each card, you can choose Unknown for one of them. Shuffle the cards and ask a question. ie: Who do I have the best chance of having a successful relationship? ; Who will I marry?; Who will I date next?; Who will call me first?.
Deal out the remaining cards face up, laying them out one at a time on or below one of the Trumps, proceeding across all four and returning to the beginning if required. Your question is answered when you deal a matching suit on one of the Kings or Queens. Ask another question and start laying down cards from the beginning of the row again, stopping again when a suit matches a trump. After all of the cards have been dealt, pick up each stack and count the number of cards of each suit. Hearts denote love, clubs indicate level of happiness, diamonds predict money and spades augur sex. The more you have of one suit indicates the predominant influence or potential asset of that relationship. Look up the meanings of the cards on the reference chart for a deeper enhancement.
Hearts (Cups):Ace: love, friendship, the home and distinct happiness
King: fair haired man, affectionate, generous, impetuous, honest man, hasty in decisions, not to be relied upon for advice
Queen: fair haired woman, trustworthy, faithful loving woman, gentle & pleasing
Jack: fair haired young person, good friend, a close (or long lost) friend
10: good fortune, happiness, good news, happiness in family
9: the 'wish card', dreams and desires will come true
8: invitations, but also partings, parties or celebrations
7: someone is unreliable, broken promises by friends
6: unexpected good fortune, generosity, imposed upon by untrustworthy people
5: jealousy, inability to make a decision
4: changes, travel or postponements, marriage delayed, bachelor or spinster
3: be cautious an impulsive decision threatens good ones
2: success by careful thought, friendship
Spades (Swords):Ace: conflicts, a difficult love affair, misfortune, bad news, tidings of death
King: dark haired man, ambitious, usually successful, his ambition overrides everything else
Queen: dark haired woman, seductive or unscrupulous, treachery, betrayal, malice, widow
Jack: dark haired young man, well meaning but lazy person, hindrance in all work
10: worry, grief, imprisonment, negation of all good
9: bad luck, can mean delays or quarrels, all kinds of unhappiness in all things
8: disappointments and opposition, be cautious, friends might turn out to be rivals
7: a warning against loss of friendship, quarrels with friends, bad things
6: an improvement in the person's life, use perseverance to make your plans work
5: anxiety, setbacks, interferences, success in business, harmony in partners
4: jealousy, business troubles, sickness, minor misfortunes delay project
3: partings due to faithlessness, lourney, bad things in love or marriage
2: scandal, gossip, danger of deceit, change, removal, loss of home, division
Diamonds (Coins):Ace: money, a ring, important message, or a valuable gift
King: fair haired man, stubborn and powerful, vengeful, dangerous when crossed.
Queen: fair haired woman, flirt, sophisticated, witty, interferes in other's affairs
Jack: a relative, someone not really reliable, selfish or jealous, bad news
10: journey, changes usually bringing wealth, money as objective, maybe not result
9: opportunities and surprises, usually financial, taste for adventure, travel, changes
8: late marriage or new relationship, unexpected money, a journey
7: a gift, lies, rumours, unlucky gambler, criticism
6: a reconciliation, warning against a second marriage, early marriage; early end.
5: successful meetings, especially business, unexpected news; may be business success
4: an inheritance, changes for the better, unhappiness from bad friends, betrayal
3: legal or domestic battles, quarrels, domestic disagreements
2: a great love affair increases in importance, opposed by friends
Clubs (Wands):Ace: harmony, property, achievements, love, peace of mind, professional success
King: dark haired man, honest, open, generous and faithful
Queen: dark haired woman, strong, helpful, attractive, nice woman, inclined to be temperamental
Jack: a reliable friend, sincere but impatient
10: unexpected money, good luck or a gift, unexpected good fortune with bad loss
9: a new romance, disputes with friends, bad quarrels
8: opposition, chance of recklessness, someone will use money not his own
7: prosperity, chance of romantic interference, good fortune, beware of opposite sex
6: business success, profitable business in partnership
5: help from a friend or spouse, marriage with a wealthy woman
4: bad change of fortune, failure of project due to friends
3: good marriage or partnership, long engagement, and then a fast wedding
2: disappointment and opposition from friends or associates
Have a little fun with this, it is a very enjoyable method of divination and accessible to everyone. Someone who has trouble managing the size of the Tarot cards in shuffling and dealing or if you have problems with your hands, might find these easier to work with.