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All About Cartomancy

When considering which psychic reading to undertake, your mind may not go to the average deck of playing cards. What comes to most people’s minds, when asked about psychic readings, might be crystal balls, astrology or fortune telling. You may, if considering divination through cards, think of the infamous Tarot. However, did you know that it is possible to perform a reading for a seeker using simply a standard deck of playing cards? This style of psychic reading is called cartomancy.


Card readers, also known as cartomancers, attempt to use the standard deck of cards in order to provide guidance from the spirits in the form of a reading. This guidance may help to answer specific queries, give insights and truths into aspects of your life, or determine some actions future outcomes. They can also be used, as with most spiritual readings, to expose positive and negative trends in your past or present, which can be altered for the seeker’s benefit.


Cartomancy may well be the most ancient form of fortune-telling, dating back as it does all the way to the 14th century. Introduced in 1360, the standard 52-card deck that we all know today is suspected to have originally been used for cartomancy readings, and only later for playing games.


How Does it Work?

The basics of cartomancy states that each suit, number, and face card have their own specific meaning, which can be used to answer questions and reveal knowledge that relates to your specific situation. A reader will use a variety of spreads, with a range of cards drawn, depending on the type of reading the seeker wants.


For example, the four of hearts represents indecision and comes with advice to be cautious, and the suit of hearts indicates, as you may expect, love, relationships, and feelings.


The Spreads

One Card Spread

If you were hoping to gain the answer to a specific question or a simple message from your reader, they may offer you a single card spread. So, if your question was, ‘is the new guy at work a right fit for me?’, the four of hearts would offer the resounding guidance to exercise caution. However, it is not always a negative meaning, as drawing a four of hearts in reply to the question ‘Should I break up with my girlfriend?’ would mean the cards are advising against it.


If, however, you were hoping to gain a more detailed answer or a comprehensive overview of your current situation, and simply want open-ended helpful advice and guidance, your reader may offer you a three or nine card spread.


Three Card Spread

A three-card spread represents past, present, and future, and so the four of heart’s position here would indicate whether the romantic indecision and caution was something that had happened or something that had not yet come to pass.


Nine Card Spread

The nine-card spread signifies a much more comprehensive answer. The nine cards drawn are laid out in a three by three grid, with the vertical columns still used to understand the past, present, and future. The horizontal rows represent respectively our conscious, such as dreams and aspirations, our reality, such as our current state and daily lives, and our unconscious, that is the thing within us that we are not aware of. The central card represents the seeker or the core of their question. The four corners are paired and used to determine the context of a situation. Finally, the cards are examined diagonally, with diagonals representing influences and possibilities.

A four of hearts in the middle of a nine card spread that was drawn to determine a question would still be providing the answer of advising caution, however, the other cards would be able to discuss this further, such as offering context for the advice, or guidance on when the advice should be actioned.


This card falling into another position would make up a part of the answer. For example, if the four of hearts were placed in the second position of the top row, this would indicate, in the context of the greater answer, that your current romantic aspirations are to be cautioned against.


The Bottom Line

Due to the absolutely huge variety of spreads possible, a cartomancer has to be very learned and skilled. The small distinctions and nuances of each new spread, and the cards physical relationship with each other, means that a reader must be an excellent interpreter of the basic meanings of each card, as well as total knowledge of what the cards may be suggesting through their interactions. Expert readers will even pay special attention to how the subject shuffles the deck.


So, if you are looking for a new avenue of psychic readings, or indeed have never taken a reading of any kind, cartomancy is a great option. Criminally underappreciated, the use of standard cards to offer guidance and divine your fortune can be a hugely beneficial and eye-opening experience.


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