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17 Dec 2018

Cartomancy: A Lot Can Happen Over Cards!

Cartomancy is a card reading similar to tarot cards, except for the fact that an ordinary deck of playing cards is used in this practice. The process has been seen as a method of divination from ancient times, as it helps people understand their lives in a better way, thus enabling them to alter their course according to the reading.

The predictions in Cartomancy are based on the interpretation of the card symbols, with each card in the deck holding a different meaning of its own. The cards that are used in Cartomancy vary in their number and style, according to region and culture. For instance, in English-speaking countries, a standard deck of 52 cards is used, which includes a four-set suit of Anglo-American bridge/poker playing cards. However, in France, a 32-card deck is used to administer the Cartomancy readings.

It’s been found that Cartomancers often augment the deck with jokers or blank cards, in order to do an effective Cartomancy reading.


Even though the exact origin of Cartomancy is unknown, it’s believed to have been introduced in Europe in the 14th century, and was probably derived from the ‘Naibi’ deck, popularized by the Spanish, which means ‘to foretell’. The practice became even more popular in the eighteenth century, as more and more people began to use it, to discover things about their present, past and future.

How it Works

Like Tarot, the readings in Cartomancy begin with a spread, which refers to how the cards are displayed before the subject. Different spreads are used for different types of readings and the kind of spread that is used during a reading depends entirely upon the user that wants their reading done. The most common spreads are the Gypsy Spread, single card spread, Destiny square spread, 15 cards spread, 3 card spread and the Kabalistic tree of life spread.

Whilst each spread involves a different arrangement of the cards, representing the past, present and future of the subject, there are various methods that are employed by Cartomancers to do the readings and to determine how the cards land, and how the symbols are interpreted.

Of all, the most common type of method is Wheel of Fortune. With this method, a standard playing deck is used, where the four suits are correlated to the four astronomical elements; for example, Clubs represent fire, Diamonds represent Earth, Spades represent Air, and Hearts represent water. The 13 cards in each suite represent 13 lunar cycles in each year, and the 12 court cards correspond to the 12 sun signs of the Zodiac. The Cartomancer or the reader picks a card at random and then assigns significance to them, based on the order they were chosen. Following that on further, interpretations or predictions are made by the Cartomancers, using their intuitive power or instinctive foresight.

Contrary to the popular belief that a card reading is a magical or supernatural system of predicting the future, it is only based on tapping into one’s intuitive power without which the reading would probably have little value. Each one of us is capable of doing it and is therefore able to make well informed decisions in life. However, the power to do so remains latent in most of us, and the Cartomancy reading helps us to activate the power within us to read our own future.

What do the Different Cards Signify?

King of hearts: A Fair Man
King of Clubs: A dark Man
King of Spades: Widower
Queen of hearts: An unmarried woman
Queen of hearts (alt) : A blonde woman
Queen of diamonds : A red or light-brown haired woman
Queen of diamonds (alt) : Young Married Woman
Queen of Clubs: Dark-brown or black haired woman
Queen of Clubs: Older Married woman
Queen of Spades : Widow