There are two schools of thought regarding the origin of the playing card Joker. Some scholars believe that the playing cards were derived from the Tarot, and that the Joker was the only trump to… More
Early Sunday morning I received a frantic telephone call from my good friend Heidi. She was devastated by a dusting disaster. While tidying her altar in the early hours she had accidently smashed her treasured porcelain angel figurine. She immediately took the mishap as a sign that the angels were displeased with her, or that someone had cast the evil eye against her spiritual work.
Heidi begged me to throw down a few cards to see why the angels are angry with her. In my experience these kinds of mishaps are rarely the work of dark forces, so I agreed to draw a few cards to help ease her mind– despite not yet having my first cup of coffee…
I asked the cards, “What caused Heidi to drop and break her porcelain angel figurine?”
My immediate impression of the cards was that there were no dark forces or celestial anger afflicting Heidi or her porcelain figurine.
I always look first to the center card of the Line of Five Spread. I call this card the linchpin because it will usually provide a succinct answer to the question. The 3 of Diamonds points to carelessness and a lack of focus. The next cards to catch my eye were the first and last, which reflect each other and will usually provide supporting information about the answer. The combination Ace of Hearts and 5 of Clubs can indicate housework— in other words, cleaning and sweeping and dusting, etc.
It never fails to impress me how the playing cards will reflect back to us the theme of the question to confirm that the spread is focused on the correct issue. The answer seems clear: Heidi was careless with her dusting of the figurine, and that was what caused it to slip from her fingers and crash to the floor.
“So then who’s the Queen of Spades?” Heidi wanted to know. Well, we could interpret her in several different ways– none of which are truly sinister since she is surrounded by relatively good cards. My first impression is that the Queen represents the broken angel figurine. She appears as a spade to represent her damaged condition.
I found myself drawn to that pair of fives in the spread. A pair of fives will often represent “the hands” in a reading. We see the angel (Queen of Spades) in the hands (between the two fives) along with the card of carelessness (3 of Diamonds). The symbolism is hard to ignore. Alternately, we might see the Queen as Heidi in her role as the unlucky or clumsy woman. More likely Heidi would be represented by the 5 of Hearts, which when next to the Ace of Hearts shows the woman of the house. The 5 of Hearts mirrors the Queen indicating the connection between Heidi and the damaged statue. The 3 of Diamonds in between would represent the scattered energy that caused the mishap. Or in a general sense the Queen as a spade may simply refer to the misfortunate accident. Whatever the case, what I don’t see are any malevolent outside influences to blame.
I asked Heidi if the damaged figurine could be repaired. I wondered because that 5 of Clubs ending the row is a work card that can indicate fixing or repairing something. Also, the 5 of Hearts is one of the best cards in the deck. It reveals opportunity and truth and wishes fulfilled. When the cards reveal trouble, they invariably also show a possible remedy or solution. Perhaps the hands that had unintentionally caused the damage to the statue might also be able to repair it.
“Maybe,” Heidi tells me, “there’s a clean break at the torso, but one wing is shattered, and the halo is chipped.” Heidi had already recovered the larger pieces, but she was not sure she could successfully glue them back together. I advised her to carefully collect all of the broken pieces, and that I would do my best to help.
In the end, there were splintered pieces which could not be restored, but the repaired angel does not look half bad. Heidi and I both agreed that since the piece has so much sentimental value for her, it was worth restoring. I suggested that she display the angel with her damaged wing hidden. I took a picture from an advantageous angle, and from a distance you can’t even tell that the angel was broken.
The querent, let’s call her Rebecca, is a 46 year old female who was shocked when her husband asked her for a divorce. The request seemed to come out of nowhere, and Rebecca wracked her brains to determine why. Sure, there had not been much action in the bedroom lately, but the marriage seemed happy. Perhaps the bedroom was the key. Could there be another woman?
Rebecca confronted her husband. He denied having an affair, and would only say that he no longer wanted to be married. In desperation Rebecca came for a reading. She wanted to learn her husband’s real reason for wanting to end their 18 year marriage.
Rebecca asks, “Is my husband leaving me for another woman?”
These cards can mean many things based on the context of Rebecca’s situation, but to ensure the highest level of accuracy, I have learned to follow two important rules…
- Keep my focus on the question.
- Keep it simple
I have to remind myself that the question does not deal with Rebecca herself, her thoughts or intentions. The question does not deal with the current status of her marriage, or any past influences affecting the marriage. The question does not deal with whether or not the divorce will take place. All of these questions are valid, but they would each require a different focus in a separate spread. The focus of the question for this spread is the husband’s thoughts and intentions behind asking for a divorce, and more specifically whether he is leaving Rebecca for another woman.
I have to remind myself to keep it simple. It’s too easy to read into these cards, and wander from the focus of the question. I first notice what does not appear in the spread. If the husband is leaving for another woman, I would expect to see her represented in the cards since she is a major factor in the focus of the question. I might expect to see a Queen, or perhaps the 5 of Hearts to denote that a younger woman is leading the man astray. No lady appears in the cards. There must be some other reason for the divorce request.
Let’s look at what does show up in the cards. The first column represents the premise of the question. What is behind the husband’s decision to ask for a divorce? The King of Spades is a separated or divorced man, or perhaps a man who wishes to separate himself. This interpretation plays very nicely into the focus of our question since we know that the husband wants a divorce. The 4 of Hearts is the partnership card, and it also carries several other meanings relevant to the question: marriage, sex, the spouse, sharing, emotional stability, etc. These are the things that the man wants to separate himself from. He is not interested in being married, nor is he interested in having an affair, and probably has not been interested in these things for a long while.
The middle column answers the question, why is the husband asking for a divorce? The 5 of Spades shows the man’s intentions. The Ace of Spades says he has already made up his mind. He wants the divorce. The Ace of Spades also provides us with a clue why. It is the card of death and rebirth. It signifies lost causes and irreparable decisions leading to total upheaval, and a new situation. The husband wants to end his current conditions, and to be reborn to a new life. The Ace also corresponds to the number 1, and is symbolic of standing alone. He wants to leave his wife so he can be alone to pursue this new life.
We can look to the final column for more information about why the man seeks a new life. The 10 of Hearts tells us where his heart is, what or whom he wants to marry. The 10 of Clubs is the business card. Perhaps the man is married to his business?
No. Rebecca informs me that her husband does not own a business, and he is not particularly dedicated to his job. The other primary meaning for the 10 of Clubs is “travel by or near water,” and with the pair of 10’s, a combination signaling long-distant travel, this meaning suddenly seems very clear to me.
I ask Rebecca, “Does your husband own a boat?” The 10 of Clubs in the pivot position, the most significant card in the spread, is the clue. It can sometimes represent a boat.
She responds, “Yes he does. It’s his baby. He’s always loved that thing more than me.” Rebecca goes on to say that it has always been her husband’s dream to live in the islands and offer fishing and sight-seeing tours to tourists. She further adds that she had not been supportive of what she considered to be a silly, irresponsible pipe dream.
Bingo! The man is not leaving his wife for another woman. In the simplest terms, having a wife (4H) is an impediment (KS) to realizing his life’s dream (10H) of sailing away to the islands (10C). His motivation for asking for the divorce (5S) is to break free and start a new life (AS). This man is married (10H) to his boat (10C). He has zero interest (KS) in an attachment with a wife or lover (4H).
It would have been too easy to see intrigues and underlying drama in these cards based on what seems at first glance to be a potentially scandalous situation. But the husband was being truthful about his motivations. By keeping the reading simple and focused on the question, I was able to give Rebecca accurate and meaningful information to help ease her fears, and uncover the true reason her husband is leaving her.
I originally posted this reading on my Art of Cartomancy Facebook page as a group exercise. I decided to also post the reading on the blog with a very detailed break down because this particular spread provides an outstanding example of how the cards when read in context go to the very heart of an issue or problem.
The reading was done on June the 2nd of this year, 2016. The querent is a young woman who has been applying at various bars and restaurants for a position as bartender. She is currently working as a server in a hotel restaurant. The querent asks, “Will I be successful in procuring a job as a bartender in the next three months?”
I shuffled the cards while focusing on her question. Then I spread the deck face-down on the table, and randomly drew the following five cards…
The first thing I notice about the spread is the predominance of black cards. The three black and two red cards suggest a probable “no” in answer to the question, but the querent may have the power to positively influence the final outcome.
Next my attention is drawn to the middle card in the spread which I call the “hinge,” and on which the rest of the reading hangs. I’m pleased to see the 10 of Clubs because it confirms the theme of the reading: business, career and work experience.
The pillars of the reading stand out for me. The pillars are first, middle and final cards which are read in combination, and provide a brief summary of the reading. The 9 of Hearts is the wish card, and it reveals the querent’s desire. The 10 of Clubs and 7 of Spades is the classic combination that represents a bar or nightclub. The querent desires a career tending bar, and these cards suggest that she has the potential to achieve her wish, although perhaps not within the desired time frame. Now we need to look deeper into the cards to discover why.
I’m drawn next to the 9 of Hearts to investigate the influences affecting the querent’s desire to become a bartender. The combination of the 2 of Diamonds and 10 of Clubs represents a restaurant. We know the current has restaurant experience which is confirmed by the 2 of Diamonds with the 10 of Clubs. The querent confirmed that she would prefer to tend bar in a restaurant rather than in a bar or nightclub.
Unfortunately the 2 of Diamonds is not in harmony (does not reflect or mirror) with the 7 of Spades. If these cards were in harmony they could be combined with the 9 of Hearts to show that the querent would get her wish. Also notice that the 2 of Diamonds is in harmony with the 3 of Spades which suggests a block or obstacle. The wish card is in harmony the bar/nightclub card, showing that the querent will have better luck finding a bartending job in a bar or nightclub.
So then why will the querent fail to find work as a bartender within the next three months? When the cards tell us “no,” they should also tell us “why,” and offer one or more possible solutions. Let’s take a look at the middle three cards which usually carry the most significance.
We know that the 10 of Clubs represents the querent’s career. The action in the spread moves from left to right so we can confirm with the 2 of Diamonds that she has past experience working as a server in a restaurant. The cards following the 10 of Clubs will show future career portions. The 7 of Spades follows to indicate that a bartending job is in the future, but it is blocked by that inauspicious 3 of Spades.
The 3 of Spades represents confusion or a lack of understanding (among other things), so we can infer that it is a lack of knowledge or skill or experience that has prevented the querent from being hired for her dream job. We can further infer that if the girl can acquire some knowledge or experience in bartending, she can remove the block and manifest her wish.
I’m intrigued by the 7 of Spades as the outcome card because it is generally a very negative influence, and can show setbacks and frustrations. But the 7 of Spades is also the drinking or alcohol card, and based on the context of the reading, it perfectly represents and confirms the querent’s desired outcome of a position tending bar and mixing drinks.
I advised the querent that she needs to set her sights on acquiring more knowledge and experience in bartending in order to make herself more attractive to potential employers. I suggested that she offer to volunteer on her days off at the bar in the restaurant where she currently works. Her manager may be grateful for the extra help. I also suggested that she look into attending a bartending class. Such classes may be offered inexpensively through an adult education programs in her local area, or she could investigate an actual bartending school. The querent promised to follow up on my suggestions, and then let me know what happens.
The consultant is a 40 year old woman who asks, “Will I get pregnant in the next three months?” She provides no additional information.
For the yes/no question I draw five cards with the intention that the ratio of black cards to red will provide a simple answer. It is also my intention that the individual cards will provide details to further explain the answer. For specific information on how I read the suit colors to answer a yes-or-no question, please see my article: Cartomancy Technique for Answering Yes-or-No Questions.
I received permission from the consultant to share this reading because it’s short and sweet and to the point, and I think it provides an excellent example of how I read the classic Line of Five cards in cartomancy. I analyze the cards step by step using the following process…
Step 1: I take note of the center card (heart card) which serves as a hinge on which the rest of the reading turns.
Step 2: I read the middle three cards in combination.
Step 3: I read the first three cards in combination.
Step 4: I read the last three cards in combination, taking special note of the final card which serves as the outcome card.
Step 5: I take not of the cards that mirror or reflect each other in the reading.
Step 6: I read the first, middle and last cards in combination as a summary of the reading.
When I first glance at the cards, I immediately notice the predominance of black cards which gives a most likely NO answer to the question. The consultant will not succeed in getting pregnant within the next three months.
My attention is next drawn to the heart card of the reading, the Ace of Diamonds. I always look for the theme of the question to be reflected in the reading, and the Ace of Diamonds is the spark of life, and would represent the desired conception. The Ace is hemmed in by spades on either side indicating a serious problem, and confirming that conception will not happen within the specified time frame.
Next I ask myself, who is the King of Spades? Perhaps he is the consultant’s husband? No. The adjacent card (8 of Spades) is the doctor card, and it describes the King. My impression is that the King of Spades represents a doctor. The card following the 8 of Spades shows what kind of doctor– Ace of Diamonds shows one who deals with conception issues, or a fertility specialist. This idea is confirmed for me by the classic combination of the 8 of Spades with the 9 of Spades which mirror each other in the center of the spread, and denote a medical procedure. These cards surround the Ace of Diamonds suggesting that medical intervention may be necessary to facilitate conception. When the cards indicate a problem or obstacle, they invariably also provide one or more possible solutions.
Finally, on to the last trio of cards. The 9 of Spades follows the Ace of Diamonds, and shows disappointment, and represents the difficulty with conception. The 4 of Clubs is a service card, and indicates help with resolving issues. The 4 of Clubs ends the line, and suggests an eventual resolution to the fertility problem represented by the 9 of Spades. I notice that the 4 of Clubs mirrors the King of Spades. This shows a consultation, and suggests to me that the doctor will serve to help correct the problem.
My prediction is that the querent will not be able to conceive within the next three months, but if she consults with a fertility specialist, the doctor will help resolve the problem. The fact that the Ace of Diamonds appears in the heart position of the reading is a hopeful sign that conception will eventually be possible.
The querent confirmed that she has a history of problems with getting pregnant, and that she is already receiving treatments at a fertility clinic.
The Diamond suit is considered positive for the most part, but there are several Diamond cards that can show restriction and limitation. The 8 of Diamonds (8D) is one such card because it combines the balance of the number eight with the restless, unpredictable energy of the Diamond suit. The result is a card of caution that can reveal the need to strive for balance particularly in financial matters.
When the 8 of Diamonds falls with other cards of the Diamond suit, it most often warns of financial difficulties. This card can show a shortage of funds, or the need to curtail spending and balance the household budget. As an example, the AD + 8D can be a bank statement that shows deposits and withdrawals, or a credit card statement that shows credits and debits. The combination 4D + 8D would indicate a depleted bank account. With the 6D, the 8D would show putting aside money and saving for a rainy day.
The 8 of Diamonds falling with heart cards will still advise caution. It shows the need for careful planning in order to manifest your desires. In relationship readings the 8 of Diamonds will indicate an intellectual compatibility that relates more to friendship than to love or passion. When this card turns up, he’s probably more interested in your mind than your body. The 8 of Diamonds can also indicate an ungenerous spirit, both in the financial sense and the emotional sense. The King of hearts with the 8 of Diamonds is emotionally guarded. The King of Diamonds with the 8 of Diamonds is a cheapskate.
When the 8 of Diamonds falls with Clubs it will advise cautious actions, or reveal business budgetary concerns. My grandmother called this card “Money Coming and Going” because it highlights the financial flow– where money is earned and where money is spent. This card can be a warning that the money is going out as fast as it comes in. The AC + 8D refers to the tax office (IRS), which saps our earnings.
Spades intensify the restrictive and cautionary qualities of the 8 of Diamonds, and will show forced or imposed limitations. The classic combination for heavy debt is the 8D + 9S. The 9S shows a crushing obligation. The 2C (gifts) with the 8D can show disability or unemployment benefits– someone forced to live on a restricted income. The AC is usually nearby to confirm the government assistance.
In health readings the 8 of Diamonds represents the eyes and vision. For example, the 8D with the 8S (the doctor card) would show an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The 8D followed by the 4S would denote vision problems. If the 3S is nearby, you’re probably looking at eye disease.
In physical description readings the 8 of Diamonds will refer to something notable about the person’s eyes. Nine times out of ten this will simply indicate that the person wears eyeglasses.
The meaning eyes can extend to the idea of seeing, or looking, or watching. For example, the combination 8D + 3H shows watching something artistic, and will usually refer to viewing art or some kind of performance such as a play. The 8D + 6C is a television (viewing media), and the 8D + 2D is usually a movie (the 2D is the card of fiction and imagination). The 8D with the 4C can refer to the screen on your smartphone. In a general reading the cards surrounding the 8 of Diamonds can show what the person is looking for in life.
The 8 of Diamonds is the counting card. It counts what we have, and it counts what we don’t have. As such, it can represent numbers and mathematics. In a career reading the 8D + 4D would show someone who is certified with numbers, or works as an accountant (CPA). The 8D + 6C is someone who balances the books, or is a bookkeeper.
In a reading for locating a lost item the 8 of Diamonds represents the pantry where food is stored. It makes perfect sense when you consider that the pantry is similar to a financial account. Food is deposited (stored) to be spent and then replenished– coming and going.
Lastly, when looking at timing the 8 of Diamonds points toward the future, and will show delays for the present. It says, “Don’t push things. Now is not the time for rash action. Now is the time for caution and careful planning, and future success is possible.”