Cartomancy 101.13 – Contra-Indications in a Story

joker_museumInterpreting a run of cards all predicting good (or ill) fortune is hardly taxing. It is the mixture of significances, where blithely beneficent and darkly threatening omens alternate, that test the cartomancer’s powers. To illustrate the way such alternations may be approached, I have invented a spread out of my imagination that is full of contradictory implications. I have assembled the cards into a format one hardly ever sees in practice, where the meanings alternate throughout, a card of positive signification followed by one of negative signification, another that is positive, another negative and so on to the end. This gives me the opportunity to demonstrate the technique of interpreting contra-indications from several angles.

I am using the seven card storybook spread and I have invented an inquirer and assigned to her a question. As it is a question cartomancers are asked over and over again, study of this spread will be advantageous to students from that standpoint too. The preamble behind us, let us begin.

A female inquirer has met someone she describes as ‘the man of her dreams’. The relationship is in its early stages and the inquirer wants to know if matters will proceed along the lines she hopes they will. We will imagine that her spread reads thus:-

2 Hearts, Jack Diamonds, 7 Clubs, 5 Hearts, 10 Clubs, 7 Spades, 8 Diamonds

The 2 of Hearts right at the beginning of the spread describes the relationship as it stands at the time of the reading. It symbolizes success in love but, as it is a card of low number, it most often signifies small success.

The second card in the line points to a disruption of the status quo. The Jack of Diamonds has two possible meanings. It can represent a jealous young man who is not to be relied on, or it can indicate the bearer of distressing or discouraging news, though the news is unlikely to affect the inquirer’s situation significantly. It is up to the cartomancer to decide which of these alternatives pertains for any given reading. Let us assume that, for this spread, the cartomancer reads the Jack as the significator of a man whom the inquirer will find unreliable, and whose motivation is jealousy. A thumbnail sketch of the young man’s personality – a Diamonds-type – may allow the inquirer to identify him among her acquaintances.

Card number three is the 7 of Clubs, and according to the list of meanings, it is associated with some material success in business, possibly a raise or promotion. When the question is specifically about romance, one must adjust the given meaning so as to have it apply to matters of the heart. In this instance, then, the 7 of Clubs will forecast a much anticipated change taking place in the relationship. In other words the relationship will deepen.

The 7 of Clubs also speaks of problems initiated by a member of the opposite sex. Falling next to the Jack of Diamonds, it reinforces the Jack’s message that a young man from among the inquirer’s circle of friends will attempt to cause trouble for the lovebirds.

Nor does the step-change indicated by the 7 of Clubs (which probably coincides with the couple deciding to start dating seriously) see the inquirer onto a straight and obstacle-free path. The 5 of Hearts, the next card in the reading, stands not only for the kind of jealousy that is animating the Jack of Diamonds but also for a frosty and inharmonious atmosphere within which the inquirer will be forced to function.

Thankfully, this condition is short-lived. The next card is the 10 of Clubs, representing a much brighter phase in the inquirer’s life. We must modify the meaning of this card as we did that of the 7 of Clubs. On the list of meanings, the card is said to indicate success in business or good luck with money, but nothing is said about romance. Basically, the 10 of Clubs signifies success and/or good luck whatever type of question is asked. As we are dealing with a love query, the card represents success in a relationship, with the promise of a touch of good luck also.

Sadly, there is a downside. The 7 of Spades tells of the loss of a friendship. The young man denoted by the Jack of Diamonds, his nose well and truly out of joint, will decamp in search of fresh fields and pastures new.

The 8 of Diamonds is the last card in the lineup. Once again, we must adjust the meaning as given on the list. There it is said to signify a new job or a change of employment. In terms of romance, it can signify that momentous change from the single state to that of marital harmony, a fitting note on which to end the reading.

Essentially, we have been reading a story with two threads to it. The main thread told of the growing affection between the inquirer and the gentleman she is inquiring about. The subsidiary thread concerned a disaffected young man with a Diamonds-type personality who tried to stir up trouble for the couple, particularly for the inquirer. His machinations come to nothing and the lovers marry or start co-habiting. Out of the apparent jumble of meanings, the spread, when correctly interpreted, makes perfect sense.

About auntietarot
Born in Britain just before the outbreak of the second world war, I was taught basic tarot skills by my maternal grandmother. In the sixties, I joined a Golden Dawn-type esoteric school, passing through the curriculum and becoming an instructor in ritual etiquette and the making and consecration of talismans. At the beginning of the eighties, I left the school to plow my own furrow in areas such as tarot and astrology. Since my retirement I have spent time researching the occult history of the tarot and the various ways the tarot has been used for divination in the past.

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