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We’ve all heard of fortune telling and normally we think of a Tarot deck of cards and a crystal ball on the table. Hogwash. I love the Tarot deck and the mysticism behind the cards. Their meanings, their symbolism and a connection to another world, a more spiritual world are what draw the attraction.
There are dozens of different types of Tarot cards, all themed to the reader’s liking. I love that about this subject, that the reader of the cards can be drawn to themes of Gothic, Angelic or even Steampunk. It’s a great feature and lure for these decks to still be used today.
What you may not realize is that the normal playing card deck has mysticism built into it as well. I found this out at a young age when a family member was revealed to me that they could “read” the cards. It was a family secret and I’ll hold onto that secret. I will tell you that when this family member passed away, I felt compelled to learn more about the ability to read playing cards.
There are books on the subject and plenty of websites on cartomancy: the ability to read playing cards as fortune telling cards. All these websites use different spreads and methods in order to determine the “when” of the fortune, but it is up to the cards to tell the “what”.
Of course, like in Tarot, there are many books and interpretations of the cards, and again, like the Tarot, the interpretations are relatively similar in nature. If you research both types of cards, Playing and Tarot, you’ll find that the playing card deck has much simpler meanings.
It should also be of note that the playing card deck of 52 cards also represents the calendar’s 52 weeks. The four suits, the four seasons, and of course, the thirteen cards to each suit represents the weeks in that particular season.
Aside from the broad deck interpretations, the cards are relatively simple in meaning individually. From my research, here are the individual card meanings:
Please keep in mind these are common meanings that I found through research.
When reading these cards, there are a numerous spreads to choose from. I’ve found a three card spread for past, present, and future and I’ve seen YouTube videos that show months or even years in advancement based on the question that is asked of the cards.
This isn’t the only interpretation I’ve found based on playing cards. In more research, I found that each card has birthdays attached to it as well. The book, Cards of Destiny by Sharon Jeffers is a great resource when researching your daily divination. I found this book perfect when I was researching for my book, Book Two: Book of Joel. In my book, Joel has the ability to read playing cards and realizes that he is the reincarnation of an ancient prophet which allows him to join the ranks of the new Underworld rulership. You can read more about it here: Book of Joel
There’s another study that shows that our destinies are already written and the cards can help you see which years of your life will be more eventful than others. The book, Cards of Your Destiny by Robert Lee Camp is absolutely fascinating!
As for the overall mystique of playing cards, I can’t say enough how fascinating the history and symbolism is for me. When researching a new paranormal/supernatural element for Book of Joel, this element was perfect for the personality I wanted to mix into Joel.
Whether or not you believe in oracle actions like cartomancy or even spirit boards, playing cards can be a fun way to learn about the nobilities and beliefs throughout time. I won’t go into the full history of the cards here, just know that the history is long and will take you down a deep rabbit hole of information like how the suits changed, the taxes on the Ace of Spades, et cetera.
Let me know your thoughts on cartomancy and if you believe in their mystical abilities. I will openly admit that I do believe and have used these cards for divination in different aspects of my life. They’ve helped, they’ve been a guide, and it was fun either receiving another’s interpretation or while studying and doing spreads for myself.
I’m a writer and things like this mesmerize my attention until I can figure out how to work it into a story. Now you know see some of my methodology when piecing a plot together and why I write. Feel free to check out all my works on amazon, otherwise, you can flip through the pages of my website to read more.
Thanks for reading,
More than just a Blog
To hear more about cartomancy, check out episode 3 and episode 34 of the Stories in the Cemetery podcast.
E38: The Jennie Wade House, Gettysburg, PA – Stories in the Cemetery
Camp, Robert Lee. Cards of Your Destiny: What your birthday reveals about you and your past, present and future. Naperville: SourceBooks, 2004. Print book.
Jeffers, Sharon. Cards of Destiny: A Birthday Book and Daily Divination Guide. Berkeley: Crossing Press, 2006. Print Book.