The Overview Card Spread

Most of my work these days is by phone, and phone clients require fast and accurate information even when they are unable to clearly formulate a question. I’ve created the following spread, which I call the Overview Spread, for clients who want specific information in return for a vague or general inquiry.

For example, the client says, “I want to know about my love life.” Instead of trying to get the client to refine the question, I’ve found that the Overview Spread provides enough specific information to break the ice, and get the client involved in the reading.

The cards are laid out based on the following diagram:

Overview Spread2

Interpreting the Card Positions:

The Significator

This spread requires a significator. If the client wants to know about a specific area of live, such as romance or work, I will choose a significator to represent the situation. Otherwise, I’ll use a court card to represent the client or some other person the client wishes to know about. The significator is placed on the table, and the remaining cards are shuffled and then dealt according to the following diagram:

The Card Above

The card above the significator is the most important card of the spread. If the significator represents the querent, it reveals what is on the querent’s mind. If the significator represents some other person, the card reveals what is on that person’s mind. If the significator represents a theme such as ‘work’ or ‘love,’ the card above will reveal the influences currently ruling the situation.

The Card Below

The card below is also very important for deciphering the current situation. It will reveal what the querent dreads or fears in relation to the question or situation. If the significator represents a situation, this card will reveal what is harming the situation.

The Cards to the Left of the Significator

The cards to the left represent past influences leading up to the current situation.

The Cards to the Right of the Significator

The cards to the right represent future influences and the outcome of the situation.


Analyzing a Line of Five Cards

I used to work a monthly psychic fair, and I came to rely on the simple Line of 5 Cards in place of a more ambitious card spreads. Readings at a fair are usually only 15 minutes long. Most clients are looking for fast answers, and are not tolerant of the extra time it takes to lay out an elaborate spread. It took me a few seconds to shuffle the cards while I tuned into the clients energy, then I cut the deck and drew off five cards. Nine times out of ten, the cards would highlight the exact reason for the client’s visit without my having to ask the client any questions.

Here’s an example of how I interpret the Cartomancy Line of 5 Cards…


First I look for trends and patterns in the cards. I make note of the ratio of red cards to black. I notice how many cards of each suit appear, and which suits do not appear in the spread. I consider the sequence of numbers, and any interactions between the face cards. Most importantly I take special note of the suit of the card that ends the line because that card will represent the outcome of the situation.

The first thing I notice in the above reading is that the red cards dominate the reading giving it a positive spin. The problematic black cards are surrounded by red cards showing that the problems or challenges are minor or temporary in nature.

Next I notice that only hearts and spades appear in the spread indicating an emotional or relationship matter. I surmise that the client wants to know about a relationship, and that proved to be the case.

Finally I interpret the individual cards. The flow of action in the spread moves from left to right, and the timing also moves from left to right. The Cartomancy Line of 5 Cards is immediate. The first card describes an ongoing situation or the recent past– usually no more than two weeks ago up to the present. The final card reveals the outcome of the situation usually no more than a month into the future.

The 4 of hearts is a relationship card, but it’s still a relatively low number, so the relationship described by this card is not usually serious. The 4 of hearts can denote a sexual relationship, and of course not all sexual relationships can be considered “serious.” Because the 4 of hearts is the first card of the spread, we know that this is an existing sexual relationship, and not something in the future.

The 7 of spades is a change for the worse that usually indicates stagnation and frustration. The sexual relationship is experiencing setbacks. We’re still at the beginning of the line, so we know that this reflects the current situation. The client is feeling frustrated by an existing sexual relationship.

The Jack of Spades is a young person of either sex. The client is a heterosexual female, so we can assume the Jack is male, and that he represents her lover. I call the middle card of the Line of Five “the linchpin” because it anchors the reading. In other words, the middle card will provide a focus for the events depicted in the previous and following cards. It’s not surprising that in a reading about an unhappy sexual alliance the partner would appear as the middle card.

Notice that the Jack is looking toward the right– toward the future, and away from the problems and frustrations in his past. We can determine from the interaction of the face card that the partner is not interested in the problems and setbacks represented by the 7 of spades. The Jack is looking toward the 6 of hearts, and that is where his interests lie.

The 6 of hearts is another love card, but because it’s a higher number than the 4, it represents a more serious alliance. The Jack of spades is interested in taking the relationship to the next level, and that may be what is causing the difficulties in the current arrangement. The Jack of Spades is usually a sexy guy with a tendency toward jealousy and possessiveness. If the client is only interested in a casual sexual relationship, the Jack’s possessiveness could be what’s creating the problems.

The 8 of hearts is the couple card. It represents compatibility and sharing. As the outcome card it shows that the couple will reach an agreement. Because that 6 of hearts is followed by another heart, the positive influence suggests that the lovers will take the relationship to the next level and become an official couple.

As a side note, if the 2 of hearts had ended the line of cards instead of the 8 of hearts, it would still show an agreement and a positive outcome, but the 2 is a smaller number than even the 4, so the indication would be that they resolve their differences and agree to be friends.

If the 10 of hearts, the highest relationship card of the deck, had ended the line of cards, the indication would be taking the relationship to the ultimate level of commitment– marriage.