Cartomancy 101.10 – Reversals

When a card falls in reverse, one of four things may happen.

  1. The significance of the card may receive a boost. This is what happens when the 10 of Clubs’ upright meaning of travel abroad becomes travel to far-off places for the card in reverse. For a British person, travel abroad would indicate a trip to the continent; travel to far-off places suggests something more exotic – Africa, Asia, Australasia. A citizen of the US could expect travel abroad to signify a visit to Mexico or Canada. The far-off places forecast by the reversed card would then encompass Europe as well as India, Africa, Australia and so forth.
  2. Secondly, the card’s significance when upright may be depleted. It may be depleted only slightly as it is with the 9 of Hearts. The success and fulfillment of desires promised by the upright card are not obliterated but only delayed if this card is reversed. Note, however, that when the significance of a negatively oriented card is depleted, it becomes a fortunate omen. See how the 4 of Spades, which when upright presages worries and broken promises, in reverse signals a turn of the wheel of fortune in the inquirer’s favor. On the other hand, on reversal a card may have its significance drained to the extent of turning the upright meaning on its head completely. A case in point is the 6 of Clubs, where the upright significance of ‘success of ambitions’ is replaced by ‘ambition thwarted’ when the card is reversed.
  3. The third alternative is that the significance of the card may remain unchanged when it falls reversed in a spread. This is what happens to the 8 of Clubs and the Ace of Diamonds both of which carry the same meaning whichever way up they are.
  4. Some cards have special meanings associated with them when they are reversed. The10 of Hearts reversed can forecast a birth, the reversed 9 of Diamonds is associated with difficulties encountered during travel and the 3 of Spades upside down describes either a bewildering situation or a confused state of mind. Similarly, the Ace Heartsdecorative-ace of hearts Reversed in reverse can indicate a removal. Yet this in only another example of a card’s upright meaning being turned upside down. For, right-way up, the Ace of Hearts is a symbol of a well-ordered, settled home life. The opposite of this is disordered and unsettled domestic conditions, such as hold sway during the brief but chaotic period when the family is moving house.

The meanings to be found on the list I have supplied you with are, however, not to taken as fixed. They represent suggestions only. They can be altered, even counteracted, by the influence of other cards in the reading. This is particularly true of reversed cards. Take, for instance, the combination: 4 Diamonds, 9 Clubs reversed, 10 Clubs. Ordinarily, the 9 of Clubs reversed would promote lack of success and signal that assistance the inquirer had been counting would fail to manifest. But as it lies between the 4 of Diamonds and the 10 of Clubs, these are unlikely to be its meaning on this occasion. The 4 of Diamonds presages financial gain or growth while the 10 of Clubs is associated with money luck and successes in business. In such blessed company, the 9 of Clubs almost certainly reverts to its upright meaning of professional advancement and/or success with money.

At other times a card’s reversed meaning is backed up by the cards associated with it. That is what normally happens. The 5 of Spades reversed sandwiched between the 3 of Diamonds and the 2 of Clubs has its meaning of “eventual success is not guaranteed” confirmed. Upright it signifies “reverses and anxieties, but eventual success”. Sadly, in the company of the 3 of Diamonds and the 2 of Clubs, the promise of eventual success will not be fulfilled. The 3 of Diamonds relates to disputes, with the possibility of a lawsuit hovering in the background. The 2 of Clubs signifies obstacles to the achievement of some goal, opposition to one’s plans and a disappointing outcome. In fact, in this combination, the 5 of Spades’ “eventual success is not guaranteed” is transformed into “no eventual success.”

A good many of the cards on the list of divinatory meanings do not have specific reversed meanings assigned them. Should one of these appear reversed in a reading, seek to apply the first three rules given above. By taking account of the other cards in the spread, you will be able to identify which of the rules is operating in any given instance.

Cartomancy 101.9 – Another Actual Reading

I’m using a reading from my files to illustrate two further situations which those starting to learn cartomancy will run up against sooner or later. I was consulted by a woman who wanted to know about her business prospects. She had recently been part of team that had lost a prestigious client. The company she worked for was understandably not-best-pleased with this turn of events. The team had lost out on a big bonus, and the woman was concerned that she might even lose her job.

She shuffled the pack. I made the cut and laid out the spread. As I dealt off the third card, two cards came out, as if stuck together. When this happens, allow both cards to be part of the reading. Place them side by side. In a positional spread, have them both occupy the same position – the first house, say, in a horoscope spread. When I had laid out all the cards, the pattern on the table before us looked like this:-

Queen Diamonds reversed:     4 Spades, King Diamonds/6 Hearts, 8 Diamonds, 4 Hearts, 3 Clubs

Diamonds predominate. If you recall, the Diamonds suit indicates: “Life outside the home – the practical, material side of life, especially that part concerning money.” That sums up well the area the lady consulting the cards was most interesting in having news of.

Her state of mind at the time of the reading is represented by the Queen of Diamonds. This describes her as active, outward-looking and enterprising. The card is reversed. The meaning on the list for the Queen of Diamonds reversed is, “This woman is flirtatious.” Now I’m immediately going to reject that interpretation. Reversed cards can be viewed in several ways; the meaning on the list is merely a guideline. This applies to all reversed meanings.

Sometimes reversed cards represent the opposite of what they signify when upright. Check what is said on the list about the 6 of Clubs. When upright it predicts financial aid or success. Upside down, it symbolizes the reverse: Ambitions thwarted. At other times, the upright meaning is only tweaked when the card is in reverse. Among other things, the 10 of Clubs upright can signify travel. When reversed, it can point to more exotic “distant travel”, thus extending or expanding the upright meaning. Another example of an upright meaning being extended in one direction or another is the 8 of Swords. Upright the card describes a situation where plans don’t work out and/or friends let one down. Reversed it indicates “a more serious state of affairs still”: plans fail so disastrously that one suffers financially or the indiscretion of a friend damages one’s reputation.

With court cards, the cartomancer has a further alternative to consider. The upright card can represent a person in her (or his) element, someone for whom all’s right with the world. The other side of the coin is that the reversed card can be telling us that the individual signified by the card is downcast, anxious or feeling like a fish out of water. That is how I interpreted the Queen of Diamonds reversed in this reading. The inquirer retains the enterprising and vivacious personality predicted of her by the upright card, but now, because the card is reversed, she is shown as worried and disheartened.

The next card in the line tells us why she feels this way. Although it confirms what we already know, take note of the configuration. If we were unaware that the inquirer had lost out on a bonus and in addition had fears of being fired, this card – the 4 of Spades – would have been a big clue as to the kind of thing she was worried about. It indicates business or money worries, and in this instance, both meanings apply.

As the King of Diamonds and the 6 of Hearts were drawn at the same time, they should be read together. One of two things will happen. Either the cards will back one another up, or the second card will flesh out the meaning of the first. The latter of these alternatives applies here. The King of Diamonds indicates a person – a man with a degree of authority or influence. Most probably he holds this status within the firm for which the inquirer works because he is represented by a Diamond card, and the suit of Diamonds points, as we have just seen, to the area of life outside the home that is connected to how a person earns their living. The card is upright so this man seems more a friend than an enemy to our inquirer.

This is confirmed by the 6 of Hearts, the card with which the King is conjoined. Its meaning is, “someone takes care of you, or takes a warm interest in you”, indicating that this man is looking out for the inquirer’s best interests. One of the other meanings for this card – “unexpected good luck” – may also come into play seeing as it stands next to the 8 of Diamonds.

diamonds 8-keyThe 8 of Diamonds forecasts either a new job or a change in business prospects. The problem of which meaning to choose is solved as soon as we look to the card following the 8 of Diamonds. It is the 4 of Hearts and it too signifies a change in business prospects. Linking the meanings of all three cards together, as any cartomancer must learn to do in order give effective readings, we can say:-

Someone in authority at the inquirer’s place of work is going to take her under his wing. Very likely he will move her to another department or place her in a new team. Either way she will be given the opportunity to show her mettle. What she makes of this opportunity will be up to her, but as Diamond-types are go-getters we can assume she will do her level best to succeed in her new post.

The final card in the reading is the 3 of Clubs, which has two meanings, both of which are applicable here. It can signify a favorable long-term proposition (which answers the question ‘Will I be fired?’ No you’ll be with the firm for quite a while), and it can show a person being given a second chance. Having been part of a project that went belly up, she will, by the good offices of her benefactor, be presented with the opportunity to redeem her reputation. At which point the reading ends. How the story continues is entirely in the inquirer’s own hands.

We should still consider the 8 of Diamonds to be the central card of the group of five cards that stands apart from the first card. Even though in this case there are six cards to take account of, we treat the King of Diamonds and the 6 of Hearts as if they filled just one space. The change in career prospects predicted by the 8 of Diamonds is pivotal in this reading. In specially produced packs of playing cards with designs oriented towards fortune-telling, this 8 is sometimes depicted with a key on it. (See illustration.) It is the key to opportunity, and this is what the inquirer’s mentor will be offering her when he has her relocated to a new department or a different team.

When can she expect this opportunity to present itself? Well, the predominant suit is Diamonds and the card representing the change is also a Diamond. This suit favors quickness, rapidity, and so I told my inquirer she should expect good news sooner rather than later. My intuition said it would occur in under two weeks and I went with my intuition. In fact, it took seven working days. My inquirer was given a position working directly under one of the head honchos in the firm, whom she learned later had personally requested her secondment. With my predictions in mind, she pulled out all the stops and through her drive, ability and good spirits, her stock rose in everyone’s estimation. As far as I am aware, she continues to work for the same firm.

Cartomancy 101.8 – An Actual Example

hearts_10Walt is a young man who reads this blog and my other blog on the Tarot. I asked him whether he would mind if I made a playing card reading for him and posted it on the blog. I knew he was hoping the Fates would present him with the opportunity for new relationship in the New Year, so I proposed asking a question about his love prospects. Walt has graciously agreed that I should make the reading and that it should be presented here as an actual, real, example of tarot divination. Here are the cards that came out:-

10 Hearts:   3 Hearts, Ace Diamonds, 6 Spades reversed, 2 Hearts, 9 Clubs

Straightaway, we can see that there is a majority of Heart cards. This is a good omen in any question relating to romance, close relationships, etc. The 10 of Hearts leads the reading, and this tells us that the foremost thing in Walt’s mind at the moment the question was asked was Affection.

The 3 of Hearts forecasts love and happiness in cases where the rest of the spread is basically favorable, which in this instance it is.

The Ace of Diamonds has several meanings. It can indicate a change or a message, usually one containing good news. It is in situations like this that it is wise to scan the other cards in the spread; for one card will frequently back up the significance of another, making crystal clear which of the various meanings allotted to both is applicable in the reading. My own practice is to assess each card briefly, in my head, before I begin to explain the layout to the inquirer. Here, the 6 of Spades reversed falling after the Ace of Diamonds reinforces the idea of a change coming into Walt’s love-life. In fact, the 6 of Spades marks out the change as a most significant one.

What comprises that change is indicated by the next card, the 2 of Hearts. This bespeaks success in love and possibly an engagement or partnership.

Finally, the 9 of Clubs confirms all we have described so far, for it represents achievement and partnership. On the list of meanings I’ve supplied you with, another meaning of the card is: ‘sometimes, a wealthy marriage’. Although this does occasionally apply today (which is why I haven’t excised it from the list), it applies only rarely. In Victorian and Edwardian times, when marriages among members of the middle and upper classes were as often alliances, family mergers, as they were love matches, this meaning had greater relevance than it does today.

The central card of the set of five cards acts, as we have seen before, as a pivot for the reading. Walt can expect a very important change in his emotional life in the not too distant future. More detail is added to the picture by the cards on either side of the 6 of Spades. The Ace of Diamonds on its left emphasizes how big the coming change is. The 2 of Hearts on the right describes the kind of change – a new relationship that is as much a meeting of minds as of hearts. By which I mean that the couple’s thinking on important subjects like where to live and how to live is very similar, things as important as physical attraction, and probably more so in a long-term relationship.

For Walt, the emotional future looks rosy. I wish him well with his search for a girl-friend and trust it won’t be too long before he finds her.

Cartomancy 101.7 – More on the Simple Spread

The simple spread we learnt in the last post can be used to answer questions such as: ‘In what direction is my love affair going?’, ‘What are my career prospects?’ or ‘What can I expect of the holiday in Sweden I’ve booked for myself?’

Here is an example of the spread used in this way. It comes from the notebook of a student of cartomancy, male, heterosexual. You need to know these facts as, had the inquirer been female or homosexual, the reading might well have suggested a romance rather than, as was the case, a friendship. From the account below, you will learn that the fourth card and the final card can each have an additional meaning. Recourse to these additional meanings can deepen your reading. The example demonstrates very well ways in which this can be done. Note it well.

One question I asked using this spread concerned attendance at a party. I had an uneasy feeling but was unsure whether this was due to a genuine intuition or a false one. The cards fell like this:-

5 Clubs       2 Hearts, Jack Clubs, 6 Diamonds, 5 Diamonds, Queen Hearts

No suit predominates but there are no Spade cards in the spread to darken its prevailing mood. Moreover, there are no reversals either. Taking account of all these factors, I felt that the party would, on the whole, be a pleasant experience for me.

Taking the cards one by one, they can read as follows:-

The meaning given to the 5 of Clubs is ‘A new friend or a successful marriage; alternatively, help from friends.’ Whichever card falls in the first place tends to denote the querent. We must, therefore, interpret this card in relation to the way I was feeling when I asked the question. I was unsure how well the party would go from a personal perspective. The 5 of Clubs indicates a friendly atmosphere and suggests that, if I did start to feel uncomfortable in the course of the evening, someone would intervene amiably and smooth things over. In addition, if other cards in the reading agree, I could make a new friend.

The 2 of Hearts has the significance: ‘Success and prosperity. Success in love or in business.’ Obviously, neither of these options apply in this instance, as the question is not about business or romance. In such a case, it is wise to fall back on the general meaning of the suit. Hearts signify, among other things, sociability and conviviality, all of which bodes well for a party atmosphere. Thus I assumed that, by and large, the evening would go off well.

The Jack of Clubs represents ‘a reliable friend or an admirer.’ The latter meaning does not apply in my case but I did make a new friend at this party (as hinted at also by the 5 of Clubs – see above).

The 6 of Diamonds falls at the heart of the subgroup of five cards, in position number four. The card in this position can indicate an anomaly, or some issue that needs to be cleared up before an equitable solution can be found to some problem or other. The meaning associated with the 6 of Diamonds is: ‘Relationship problems, arguments. Separation.’ A quarrel did break out at the party but it was quickly and deftly smoothed over by the hostess – as predicted by the remaining two cards.

The 5 of Diamonds denotes: ‘Happiness and success. A change for the better. A birth or good news concerning a child. A good time to start new projects.’ Most of these meanings do not apply. The one that does is: ‘A change for the better.’ A truce was arranged and happiness and amiability reigned at the party once more.

The Queen of Hearts is ‘a woman with a good nature; a kindly, trustworthy, affectionate female.’ This card represents the hostess, who was charming and urbane, and who separated the quarrelers, indicating firmly that she would not have her party disrupted.

We could also read the Queen of Hearts as a comment on the reading as a whole. As a Hearts card she is a good omen for a party going off well, with much good feeling or contentment and jolly socializing. Which, the single disturbance excepted, it did.

Cartomancy 101.6 – A Simple Spread

A hundred years ago, most spreads used by card fortune-tellers involved either complicated layouts or a large number of cards. For beginners, however, a simple spread is best to practice on. The illustration below is of just such a spread.

simple spread 1
Laying the Spread

Shuffle and cut the deck. Then deal off cards one at time, laying them out from left to right. Place the first card in the position marked 1 in the illustration. Leave a gap and then lay the next five cards in positions 2 to 6.

This is a general spread. It can be used to answer the basic question, “What can the cards tell me of my future?” It can be used equally well to answer more specific questions such as, “What do the cards have to say about my career prospects?” For now we will use it to answer the first type of question – “What of my future in general?”

Interpreting the Spread
Let us imagine that the inquirer is an unattached young woman. She asks for a reading of her future prospects and after the cards have been shuffled, cut and laid out, the spread contains the following cards.

Jack Clubs – 10 Hearts, 9 Hearts, 5 Spades, 4 Clubs, 8 Diamonds

The first card stands separate from the rest because it tends to represent the inquirer’s thoughts or feelings at the time of the reading. A court card will tell us something about the inquirer’s personality. It is no matter in this case that the card is a Jack and the inquirer female; the card will still indicate her personality. It may represent only her personality at this time in her life; she may as a rule be reserved, shy and not notably sociable (a Swords-type temperament), but for the time-being, the Clubs’ side of her nature will be very much to the fore. For the purposes of this example, I will assume that she is naturally of a Clubs’ disposition. She is therefore described as reliable, good with words and in possession of an inquiring mind.

Immediately after the Jack of Clubs comes the 10 of Hearts, signifying great affection. This is followed by the 9 of Hearts, often described as the Wish Card. Since it is next to the 10 of Hearts, we may assume that the inquirer’s wish concerns romance. There may have been a failed love affair in the not too distant past, because the 10 of Hearts can also intimate previous problems. Look back at the list of meanings and you will find the 10 of Hearts having as one of its significances “good fortune after difficulty”.

The 5 of Spades speaks of reversals and anxiety but also of eventual success for the affair. This prediction is echoed by the final two cards. The 4 of Clubs points to a setback while the 8 of Diamonds promises an upturn in the inquirer’s fortunes. In order to find out what form the setback will take, it is possible to draw another card from the pack and lay it on the 4 of Clubs. The card can be drawn from anywhere in the deck or dealt off from the top of the pack. Place the extra card on top of the card whose meaning it is going to clarify so that the suit sign and card number of the original card remain visible, in much the way cards are laid on top of one another in the course of a game of patience (solitaire, for American readers).

We will imagine that the card drawn is the 5 of Hearts. This indicates that the inquirer will encounter opposition to her new liaison from within her circle of friends. The opposition may well be the result of jealousy, as that is also one of the meanings of the 5 of Hearts. Fortunately, the 8 of Diamonds forecasts a change for the better, so that either the jealousy will die away or her friends will come round to her way of thinking and recognize the match as a good one for her.


The layout of this spread is straightforward enough. However, much can be learnt by its use concerning an inquirer’s future trends. Take note of the order of the cards and their relationships to one another. In the example reading above, the 9 of Hearts coming next to the 10 of Hearts revealed the nature of the inquirer’s wish. With time, the novice reader learns to pick up clues from the way the cards are disposed in a layout. But one cannot acquire this skill unless one practices the art of cartomancy assiduously, accepting that, as a beginner, one is bound to go wrong from time to time. Resolve not to be put off by your mistakes but to learn from them – for a lesson can always be extracted from any error.

The reading above focuses on one aspect of the inquirer’s life, but that is to be expected from a spread composed of relatively few cards. There are layouts that reveal the coming trends of several areas of interest – career, love, domestic arrangements, finances and so forth. We will learn those spreads once we have mastered the simpler kind.

Cartomancy 101.5 – Court Cards & Significators

Court Cards
The court card meanings I have supplied you with are traditional. The coloring assigned to individual cards – a medium-fair woman, a dark-haired youth, and so on – were useful once. When I started to learn how to read the cards, these descriptions helped distinguish one person in the inquirer’s life from another. This was in a Britain where almost everyone was Caucasian and few women dyed their hair. Things are different today. I would suggest you discard the parts of the descriptions relating to coloring and concentrate on the descriptions of personality and other indicators given. The Jack of Clubs, for instance, can indicate an admirer for a female inquirer. If upright, his intentions will be honorable but if reversed he may play the lady false. The King of Diamonds is a man of influence, which he may use to aid the inquirer’s interests should the card be upright or to block their progress should it be reversed.

Familiarize yourself with the temperaments or personality types associated with the suits as this will stand you in good stead when you come to interpreting the court cards in a reading.

Temperaments of the Suits
Hearts denote persons of affectionate disposition, home-loving and genial, fond of entertaining, given to hospitality, sympathetic, but sometimes weak and pliable.

Clubs denote persons of constancy, reliability, integrity. They are generally intellectual, or follow pursuits that are mental. Even when not an out-and-out intellectual, a Club person will be a good speaker, clever with words, often blessed with the power of persuasion.

Diamonds indicate persons bright and breezy in their approach to life, with buoyant, optimistic outlooks, but easily distracted. They incline to inconstancy, following one fad after another. They are hardly to be depended upon, yet are often inspiring to others.

Spades show persons with melancholy minds, reserved, introverted, self-contained. Some Spades subjects are quietly persevering; others are easily discouraged and give up on projects or ambitions at the first sign of serious opposition.

Interpreting the Court Cards
The courts can be interpreted in a variety of ways. On our list, the Queen of Spades has the meaning: “A very dark-haired woman. A widowed or divorced woman. An unscrupulous woman.” For reasons already discussed, we can set aside the first of these. In its place, we can rely on the Spades temperament as a basis for the Queen’s description. That would make her reserved, self-contained, possibly hard to fathom. The second meaning of the card makes the Queen a widow or divorcee. This may help identify her to the inquirer. Where the card is upright, the woman denoted by the Queen of Spades will further the inquirer’s aims or be supportive of them. The third meaning, “an unscrupulous woman”, may point to an individual who will damage the inquirer’s cause; as such she is not to be trusted. At times, the card-reader’s intuition will indicate when the third meaning comes into play. For those lacking in intuition, the best way of assessing the card is through the signification of other cards in its vicinity. Trapped between the 5 of Hearts (Jealousy) and the 2 of Clubs (Malicious gossip), we see the Queen of Spades functioning as a deceitful woman whose envy prompts her to spread untruths intended to harm the inquirer’s prospects.

Apply this principle to the interpretation of all court cards. As a further example, I will treat the Jack of Diamonds in the same manner as the Queen of Spades has been treated above. The card has three distinct meanings: “A medium-fair youth. A person who brings news, possibly negative, but if so of relatively minor importance. Alternatively, a jealous person who may be unreliable.” Which of these meaning should we choose when the card comes out in a reading? At times it can simply represent a person in a neutral sense. When this is the case, the cards around it will signify events happening to, or concerning, that person. We can ignore the “medium-fair” part of the description but the card will stand for a young person, a child or a teenager, who may be male or female. Sandwiched between the 8 and 7 of Hearts, the Jack of Diamonds might indicate that a young person with a Diamonds-type personality will be coming to stay with the inquirer. (8 Hearts: an unexpected visitor.) The young guest’s attitude toward the inquirer may fluctuate – 7 Hearts: someone with fickle affections. This may be due to any number of reasons, including, with an adolescent, hormonal changes.

(In practice, the cards would be read in order: 8 of Hearts, an unexpected visitor; Jack of Diamonds, the visitor will be a child or young adult who is naturally of a hopeful disposition but finds it hard to concentrate; 7 of Hearts, the visitor is likely to prove something of a handful. However, she (or he) is essentially good-natured (as the Jack has Heart cards either side of him) and so any playing-up will be due to outside factors, such as the young person finding themselves in unfamiliar surroundings or being separated from their customary playmates/associates.)

Put the Jack of Diamonds between a reversed Ace of Clubs and the 3 of Diamonds and the cards tell another story entirely. Now the Jack is a messenger (see above) and he brings disturbing news. (Ace of Clubs reversed: unsettling communications.) His message may start, or exacerbate, a dispute or it may concern threatened legal proceedings. (3 Diamonds: contention, quarrels, and potential lawsuits.)

The third possible meaning the Jack of Diamonds can bear is: “a jealous person who may be unreliable.” This aspect would be accentuated were the Jack to stand between the 8 of Clubs and the 8 of Spades. The former underlines the “jealousy” aspect while also encompassing “opposition” and “disappointment”. That is to say: the Jack’s jealousy prompts him to oppose the inquirer’s aims in some way. This leads to disappointment for the inquirer. All of which is backed up by the testimony of the 8 of Spades, forecasting trouble and disappointment, plans going awry and being let down by a supposèd friend. (Note the recurring themes. Where two cards agree, as they do here on “jealousy”, the likelihood of this meaning being relevant is increased.)

Keep these illustrations in mind when we come to try our hands at reading an actual spread.

The Significator
In the parlance of cartomancy, the card that stands for the inquirer is called the Significator. A male inquirer will be represented by a King, a female inquirer by a Queen. Adolescents and the very young are indicated by one or other of the Jacks.

Choose as significator the card that best describes the person wanting to have their cards read. If the inquirer is a genial woman with an attractive personality who is fond of socializing, her significator will be the Queen of Hearts. In which case her spouse or partner will be represented by the King of Hearts no matter what his personality-type is. The King of Diamonds appearing in this lady’s spread denotes a man other than her husband/partner. The same for the other two Kings.

By the same token, a male inquirer who is reliable and something of an intellectual will take the King of Clubs as his significator. His wife/fiancée/whatever will be represented by the Queen of Clubs, again no matter what type of personality the lady actually possesses. Should the Queen of Spades be part of this man’s reading, the card denotes a woman who is not his wife or partner. The implied connection does not have to be romantic, of course. The Queen of Spades could stand for a business associate. Everything depends on the question asked and the tone of the other cards making up the reading. Thus when the Queen of Spades stands between the 3 and 5 of Clubs, a clear scenario emerges. This Queen is likely to be a firm friend (5 of Clubs); the more so because the cards either side of her are from the suit of Clubs. There is no more reliable or honest individual than the Club person. The card on the Queen’s other flank is the 3 of Clubs whose meanings are wholly positive, even when the card is reversed. The picture we are presented with is of an amiable, reliable woman who may help with business dealings (being as the 3 of Clubs is associated with “a favorable long-term proposition” or “a second chance” where financial matters are concerned).

General Suit Significance
Before we make a start on some actual readings, it is worth bearing the following in mind. A preponderance of one particular suit in a spread carries a message of its own. Diamonds accelerate the fulfillment of events signified in the reading. Spades invariably delay it. Clubs, with their special reference to ability and merit, intimate that the fulfillment of events signified in the reading is dependent on the inquirer’s innate talents and the extent to which they are directed by will-power. Hearts are associated with affection and favor. When this suit is in the majority, events are most often fulfilled due to the inquirer receiving assistance from those who love them – friends and family – or from a superior or person of influence who has taken a shine to them.

In an earlier post, it was stated that the suit of Clubs signified success with money or in business. This is not at odds with what is written above because success of that sort will be rooted in competence, proficiency and merit. A preponderance of Clubs in a spread points to one who ‘makes their own luck’. A preponderance of Hearts indicates the person to whom luck happens, sometimes providentially but usually through the medium of other people.

Cartomancy 101.4 – Suit of Spades


Ace of Spades: Misfortune. The card is sometimes associated with death or, more often, a difficult ending. Reversed: Serious misfortune, loss of something or someone dear to the inquirer.

King of Spades: A very dark-haired man. An ambitious man, perhaps self-serving. Reversed: He is the inquirer’s enemy or rival.

Queen of Spades: A very dark-haired woman. A widowed or divorced woman. An unscrupulous woman. Reversed: Plots and scandal.

Jack of Spades: A very dark-haired youth. A spiteful and prying young person, who only pretends to be a friend.

10 of Spades: Misfortune and worry. Unwelcome news. Reversed: Sickness, mourning.

9 of Spades: Bad luck in all things. Destruction, ruined hopes; death. Depression and low energy. Extreme anxiety. The same when reversed.

8 of Spades: Trouble and disappointment ahead. Plans go awry. Friends let you down. Cancellations. Reversed: A still more serious state of affairs – deceit, plots, even immorality.

7 of Spades: Loss of friendship or loss of a friend. An unexpected burden. A warning of losses and sorrow. Reversed: Accident or upset.

6 of Spades: Small changes and improvements. Reversed: Bigger changes, significant improvements.

5 of Spades: Reverses and anxieties, but eventual success. Reversed: Eventual success is not guaranteed.

4 of Spades: Illness. Business or money worries. Broken promises. Reversed: A turn of events for the better.

3 of Spades: Severance or separation in love or marriage. Sometimes indicates a third person intruding on a relationship. Reversed: Confusion; a confused situation or confusion of mind.

2 of Spades: Separation, scandal, gossip and deceit. Difficult changes. Reversed: An uncongenial atmosphere.

Cartomancy 101.3 – Suit of Diamonds


Ace of Diamonds: Change; a message, often about money, and usually good news. Reversed: Unless between very unfortunate cards, the meaning remains the same.

King of Diamonds: A medium-fair man. A man of authority, status, or influence. Reversed: He is no friend to the inquirer.

Queen of Diamonds: A medium-fair woman. She is enterprising and vivacious. Reversed: She is flirtatious.

Jack of Diamonds: A medium-fair youth. A person who brings news, possibly negative, but if so of relatively minor importance. Alternatively, a jealous person who may be unreliable.

10 of Diamonds: A change in financial status, often for the better. Reversed: A journey.

9 of Diamonds: New business opportunities. Travel; restlessness; a change of residence. Reversed: Troubled journeys, delays.

8 of Diamonds: New job or change in job situation. Reversed: Spite, rebuff, insult.

7 of Diamonds: An argument concerning finances, or on the job. Generally expected to be resolved happily. Reversed: Financial worries.

6 of Diamonds: Relationship problems, arguments. Separation.

5 of Diamonds: Happiness and success. A change for the better. A birth or good news concerning a child. A good time to start new projects. Reversed: Profligacy, extravagance.

4 of Diamonds: An inheritance. Improvements in finances. Reversed: Socializing, happiness.

3 of Diamonds: Disputes, quarrels, and potential lawsuits.

2 of Diamonds: A happy card of good fortune in both love and business. Reversed: A surprise that may be welcomed or not according to the tenor of other cards in the vicinity.

Cartomancy 101.2 – Suit of Clubs


Ace of Clubs: Wealth, prosperity, unexpected money or gain. Letters, papers, luck. However, in a difficult spread, any money coming in may disappear as quickly as it appears. Reversed: Delayed letters, unsettling communications.

King of Clubs: A dark-haired, kind-hearted man. An honest, generous and affectionate man. Reversed: He is worried or depressed.

Queen of Clubs: A dark-haired, self-confident woman. She is occasionally temperamental, but can always be relied upon to be loyal in love and in friendship. Reversed: She may be responsible for some setback or disappointment for the inquirer, sometimes in an oblique or accidental way.

Jack of Clubs: A dark-haired youth.  A reliable friend. Can also indicate an admirer.

10 of Clubs: Business success. Good luck with money. Travel abroad. Reversed: Distant travel.

9 of Clubs: Achievement; sometimes a wealthy marriage or a sudden windfall or legacy. Reversed: Financial assistance does not materialize.

8 of Clubs: Trouble in relationships, business and personal. Jealousy, opposition, disappointment. Same meaning either way up.

7 of Clubs: Business success, although there may be problems with the opposite sex. A change in business that may have been expected or earned, such as a promotion. Reversed: Work-related worries.

6 of Clubs: Financial aid or success. Reversed: Ambitions thwarted.

5 of Clubs: A new friend or a successful marriage. Help from friends. Reversed: The law, legal proceedings.

4 of Clubs: Fortunes changing for the worse. Danger, a sudden misfortune or failure. Reversed: Success after failure or discouragement.

3 of Clubs: Love and happiness; a successful marriage; a favorable long-term proposition. A second chance, particularly in an economic sense. Reversed: Elevation, going up in the world.

2 of Clubs: Obstacles to success; disappointments and opposition. Malicious gossip. Reversed: Obstacles surmounted.

Cartomancy 101.1 – Suit of Hearts

We must next look at the meanings of the individual cards. In coming posts I will set out the meanings of all 52 cards for use in divination.

These will be the meanings I use myself. I claim no primacy for them. There are umpteen sets of meanings in existence, a good many of them available through the Internet. As far as I can tell, one set of meanings is as good as any other. The point for beginners to grasp is this. Choose one set of meanings and stick to it. Do not chop and change as by doing so you risk confusing yourself. Do not bother your head about which set of meanings is right or will give more accurate results than the others. No ‘right’ set of meanings exist. If you have any talent for cartomancy, you will gain solid results even if you are using a list of meanings that has been put together in a ham-fisted way. The magic ingredient lies within you; it is not in the cards. They only act as a catalyst for your own inborn talent to divine future trends.


Ace of Hearts: The home, a love letter. Love and happiness. This card is a particularly favorable one, indicating the passing of troubles or problems. Reversed: A change of residence.

King of Hearts: A fair-haired man with a good nature. A just man, noted for his fair play and generosity. Reversed: He is fickle.

Queen of Hearts: A fair-haired woman with a good nature. A kindly, trustworthy, affectionate woman. Reversed: She is revengeful.

Jack of Hearts: A fair-haired youth. A close friend. Often points to a younger admirer.

10 of Hearts: Great affection; success. This is an important card that suggests good fortune after difficulty. Reversed: A birth or a change of direction that will ultimately benefit the inquirer.

9 of Hearts: A wish or dream fulfilled. Look to the card immediately preceding this one to determine what it is the inquirer desires. Success. Reversed: Success is to be expected but it is likely to be delayed.

8 of Hearts: An unexpected gift or visit (or you yourself receive visitors to your home); an invitation to a party or function.

7 of Hearts: Someone whose interest in you is unreliable; someone with fickle affections for you. This card can indicate lovesickness. In certain combinations, the card may signify a small success.

6 of Hearts: Unexpected good luck. Someone takes care of you, or takes warm interest in you.

5 of Hearts: Jealousy; some ill-will from people around you.

4 of Hearts: Travel; change of home or in business. Reversed: Discontent – a desire for change that cannot at this time be realized.

3 of Hearts: Love and happiness when the entire spread is generally favorable. In a difficult spread, this card can indicate emotional problems and an inability to decide where to place one’s affections.

2 of Hearts: Success and prosperity. Success in love or in business. An engagement or partnership. Reversed: Opposition. Either opposition to success in business or to a burgeoning relationship.