ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Astrology & Metaphysics

Cartomacy Divination With A Deck of Playing Cards

Updated on March 20, 2013


That deck of playing cards in your junk drawer in you kitchen can be used for more than playing "Go Fish". For centuries, this simple deck of 52 cards have revealed secrets and predicted the future for many questoners. This form of divination is known as cartomancy.

Cartomancy essentially is fortune telling. Playing cards have been used in fortune telling since they were introduced in Europe during the 14th century. At some point, towards the middle of the century, such use of the playing cards were banned. The cards were considered witchcraft, therefore, outlawed. Of course, that ban was lifted several centuries later.


Playing Cards Compaired To Tarot

The two card systems have very similar characteristics. Both are broken down into suits. In addition, the suits in both are broken down by numbers and have a court family for each suit.

The differences between the two are: the Tarot has a fifth suit known as the Major Arcana. Also, the Tarot has an additional court card for each suit called the Page. The playing cards and Tarot both contain the knight, queen and king. The biggest difference would be the design.

Most modern Tarot decks depict pictures or scenes on each numbered card in the suit and the Major Arcana. However, your every day playing card set does not. Some new readers find the pictures on the Tarot easier to understand and remember the meanings while others feel the pictures are distracting.

Example of Tarot Cards

Fortuntelling With Playing Cards

The Suits and Correspondences

Emotions, Relationships, Intuition
Money, Earth, Physical
Creativity, Action, Spiritual
Thought, Communication, Conflicts

The Four Suits

Hearts: This suit is all about the emotional aspects of humanity. It governs relationships. whether personal, romantic or friendships, etc. It is also related to intuition and the psychic realm. This would be the Cups Suit in the Tarot

Diamonds: When you think of diamonds in the real world, what do you think of? Money and wealth comes to mind. This suit, just like the name, is about physical possessions, money matters, and the general material world. The Tarot suit would be Coins or Disks.

Clubs: This suit talks about taking action. It is a swift moving suit, everything in motion. It is also associated with spiritual things. The corresponding Tarot suit is Wands or Staves.

Spades: Many think of this suit as the "dark" suit. It represents the mental realm, intellect, communications of various kinds. It also deals with conflict. This is not the easiest suit to deal with. Remember, the cards are not "bad" cards, but shows conflicts and ways to resolve the issue. This suit is the same as the Swords in the Tarot.

The Cards & Numerology

The meanings of the individual cards are generated by combining the suit with the number of the card. The rules of numerlogy are implemented. Below, you will find a table outlining each number with its numerological meaning.

New Beginnings, Birth
Balance, Duality, Union
Communication, Creativity, Expression
Stability, Order, Foundation
Struggle, Conflict, Inconvience
Harmony, Return of Balance, Healing, Victory
Hidden, Illusions, Mysterious
Movement, Swift, Travel
Ending a cycle, Growth, Conflicts, Fulfillment
Completeness, The end. End of cycle

What you do from here is take the meaning of the suit and try to combine with the numerological meaning. For example, the 2 of hearts... two is combining, partnerships, and hearts deal with emotions, relationships. I would conclude that the card is talking about an emotional bond between two people.

Face Cards

Face cards, sometimes called Court Cards
Face cards, sometimes called Court Cards

The People of the Deck

The people of the deck are known as the face or court cards. The playing card deck has the Jack, Queen and King in each suit. This is how I decide who is who. Other readers may have a different way, which is ok.

Their personalities are based on their suit. The rank they hold tells me their age. I see Jacks as children to young adult could be either male or female, the Queen is a mature female energy and the King a mature male energy.. Notice, I said energy because you can have a mature male but he has a more femine side to his personality.

Here is an example. Lets take the Queen of Spades. She is a mature female energy who thinks more with her head than her heart. She can be cold since the spades suit lacks emotion. She is a no-nonsense kind of queen.

Cards layed out in a gypsy spread
Cards layed out in a gypsy spread | Source

Learning To Read the Cards

Lastly, now is the time to put it all together. The card meaning can change according to the question asked and the position in the spread where it falls. Positional meanings goes beyond the scope of this article.

I suggest that you start with a simple 3 card spread. You can read them as past, present, future or mind, body, spirit. The possibilities are endless. You can even make up your own positions.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

      Loved this as I am ever-interested in cartomancy and tarot! Blessings. :)