A practice that can be traced back centuries to Europe, as early as the 14th century, has gained circulation in the current psychic world. Cartomancy is the act of reading playing cards to tell fortunes. If you are a seasoned tarot reader, oracle card reader, or angel card reader, you may know that playing cards can also be used as an effective tool for divination. The 52 cards can be pulled and interpreted to give answers to questions and shine a light on areas the querent needs to focus on.
What is Cartomancy?
Cartomancy is fortune-telling using a deck of playing cards in a similar fashion to tarot. It dates back to royals in Europe who would pull the cards as a fun pastime and read for one another. And they weren’t the only ones. Street vendors, who became known as cartomancers would offer their skills to passers-by.
While tarot has 78 cards in the deck that are rich in imagery, the 52 playing cards are typically focused on symbols of the four suits and are red and black. Because of this, cartomancy relies heavily on intuition to interpret the cards. Some may struggle with the simplicity, while other readers rejoice as the cards rely so much on feeling the message trying to come through.
How to Read Playing Cards
As with all divination, setting the mood and creating a sacred space is the first step to getting the most out of your readings. Below is a step-by-step guide to the cards. Be sure to remove the joker before you begin shuffling.
Create a Sacred Space
You should start by finding somewhere quiet and soothing to do your reading. Smudging the space with palo santo or sage can help neutralize the energy. Light a candle to help you focus. You may want to also include some crystals on your table or cloth to lay your cards on.
Prepare for a Card Reading
Once you have created your space, meditate before your reading. This allows you to center your energy and activate your third eye for divination. Visualize a white light in your mind’s eye and try to silence any chatter. Once you feel completely centered, you can begin pulling the cards using any traditional tarot spread such as a simple three-card pull or a more elaborate Celtic Cross spread.
Playing Cards as Tarot Suits
If you read tarot cards, you have a huge advantage in understanding the playing cards. This is because the four suits of the playing cards mirror the four suits of the tarot.
Clubs – the suit of Wands representing action and inspiration
Spades – the suit of Swords concerning communication and thoughts
Hearts – the suit of Cups symbolizing emotions, love, and feelings
Diamonds – the suit of Pentacles corresponding to the material world, money, business, and manifestation
- Cartomancy Yes or No
Got a burning question you need an answer to? You can use playing cards to tell you yes or no.
- Start by formulating your question and keep it relatively simple. Make sure it is a clear yes/no question.
- Shuffle the cards and focus on the question.
- Pull one card and note any initial thoughts or feelings that crop up.
Cartomancy Yes or No with Clubs
The suit of clubs represents the suit of wands in tarot.
Ace of Clubs: Yes! This is a green light! Take advantage of this new energy sweeping in.
Two of Clubs: No, not yet.
Three of Clubs: Yes, but you must be patient.
Four of Clubs: Yes, keep going.
Five of Clubs: No, not at this time.
Six of Clubs: Yes!
Seven of Clubs: Maybe. It will take work.
Eight of Clubs: Yes, do it now.
Nine of Clubs: Yes, but approach it slowly.
Ten of Clubs: No. Focus on yourself and things will improve.
Jack/Knave of Clubs: Yes, but only if it’s safe.
Queen of Clubs: Yes, it is secure.
King of Clubs: Yes, but look at the bigger picture.
Cartomancy Yes or No with Spades
The suit of spades corresponds to the suit of swords in tarot.
Ace of Spades: Yes, you know this is the truth.
Two of Spades: No, you can’t see the bigger picture yet.
Three of Spades: No, you are not in an emotional space right now.
Four of Spades: Possibly, but you need to take some time to yourself first.
Five of Spades: Maybe. It depends on your approach.
Six of Spades: Yes, but surrender to the journey.
Seven of Spades: Yes, if your intentions are pure.
Eight of Spades: No. You are playing the victim.
Nine of Spades: No, you need to focus on yourself first.
Ten of Spades: No, not right now. You need to heal.
Jack/Knave of Spades: Yes, but you must be focused.
Queen of Spades: Yes, but make sure you are checking your intentions.
King of Spades: Yes, but observe your boundaries and intentions.
Cartomancy Yes or No with Hearts
The suit of hearts corresponds to the suit of cups in tarot.
Ace of Hearts: Yes, let your heart guide the way.
Two of Hearts: Yes, embrace this journey.
Three of Hearts: Yes. You deserve to have fun.
Four of Hearts: No, you are not in the right emotional state to allow this.
Five of Hearts: No, you are hurting.
Six of Hearts: Yes. The decision might bring up nostalgia from the past. You should also evaluate how this decision mirrors the past.
Seven of Hearts: Maybe, you have more options.
Eight of Hearts: No, it’s time to walk away.
Nine of Hearts: Yes, it will lead to wish fulfillment.
Ten of Hearts: Yes, the decision will lead to emotional fulfillment.
Jack/Knave of Hearts: Yes, but be mindful of your expectations.
Queen of Hearts: Yes, but only if your intuition tells you it’s a good idea.
King of Hearts: Yes, if you feel it will add value to your life spiritually, emotionally, or physically.
Cartomancy Yes or No with Diamonds
The suit of diamonds represents the suit of pentacles in tarot.
Ace of Diamonds: Yes, things will work out in your favor.
Two of Diamonds: Maybe, you are juggling a lot right now.
Three of Diamonds: Yes, especially if it involves work or working with a team.
Four of Diamonds: Yes, but check your incomings and outgoings if it is related to business.
Five of Diamonds: No, you are not in a place to take risks.
Six of Diamonds: Yes or no, depending on whether you are giving (yes) or receiving (not a good idea).
Seven of Diamonds: Maybe. You will have to work hard.
Eight of Diamonds: Yes, but pay attention to the details.
Nine of Diamonds: Yes, it could lead to abundance and success.
Ten of Diamonds: Yes, if you are supported. This decision could lead to material success.
Jack/Knave of Diamonds: Yes, but it will involve hard work.
Queen of Diamonds: Yes, you have the resources to thrive.
King of Diamonds: Yes, your hard work will ensure security.
If you are looking for some answers, KEEN is here to help you. We have a team of expert psychic advisors available over the phone or chat to guide you in any situation you are facing. Browse our readers and reach out today.