Split Combinations in Cartomancy

I received the following question about the King and Jack combination in reference to my recent post titled Who Is Who in My Love Reading? I think it’s an excellent question which can be applied to any set combination, so I decided to respond publicly as a blog post.

Hi Kapherus,

Thank you for continuing to educate students of playing card divination with your online  articles. They are great!

I hope you could shed some light on a reading technique you recently incorporated in an  article.

In your article entitled “who’s who in my love reading?” you interpreted the Jack of spades and King of Hearts (with 7 of spades between them) as two different people.  Regina Russell’s book explains that a king or Queen with the Jack of Spades can be a person from the past returning, but the book is silent (as far as i could tell) on whether the cards must be back to back in order for this interpretation to apply.  I mention Russell’s technique because I understand you incorporate some techniques from her reading method into your own.

In your reading system, are there situations where these two court cards – with one pip card between them – could represent one person?

I want to start off by stating that it is my strong belief there are no hard and fast rules in cartomancy. Given that, I do believe that there are important guidelines that have proved tried and true by many cartomancers over many years.

I also believe that intuition trumps any and all guidelines. When my gut tells me that a certain combination of cards means something totally different from its standard set meanings, I always go with my gut, and I’ve never regretted it.

In light of these basic beliefs, my simple answer to your question is… yes, there are situations where two court cards with one pip between them could still represent one person. But… in my experience, the intervening card will almost always describe a relationship between two people represented by the two court cards.

Another point to keep in mind is that distance bewteen card combinations can also indicate distance in the situation. For example, let us say that you got a King and a Jack, but they appear a distance apart in the spread. This can indicate that you will hear about someone from the past, although that person may not be physically returning to your life.

I will often see the combination Ace of Clubs and 8 of Spades appear in a spread. This is the classic combination for a hospital. When these two cards appear side by side, it is usually the querent or someone very close who will be hospitalized. When a Face Card touches either card in this combination, it will almost always represent the person hospitalized.

But when the Ace of Clubs and 8 of Spades appear at some distance apart in the spread, it often turns out that the querent will hear of someone going into the hospital– most often a distant acquaintance rather than family or a close friend.

As an example, let’s take a look at the following combination of cards which turned up in a real-life reading recently….


The Ace of Clubs and 8 of Spades fall nearby to indicate a hospital visit. The Queen touches the Ace of Clubs, suggesting that a woman will have the hospital visit.  But there is also the Jack of Hearts which touches the 8 of Spades, indicating a young loved one. Could there be two people who will be hospitalized? It is possible, but then it dawned on me…

The Queen and Jack are separated to give a sense of distance. These cards suggested to me that the querent would hear of a woman known from the past (perhaps an ex with the Jack being a Heart) who will be hospitalized. The 10 of Clubs suggests a problem with bodily fluids, perhaps edema. The heart card falling last is a good indicator that the problem is not too serious, and can be easily remedied with proper medical (8 of Spades) treatment.

And that is almost exactly what happened. The querent heard through the grapevine that an ex-girlfriend (Queen of Spades) from his college days was hospitalized for a severe gallbladder attack due to a blocked bile duct, the 10 of Clubs of course referring to the bile. In retrospect it struck me that the 8 of Spades actually represents the gallbladder. I was so focused on this card representing the doctor (which is its primary meaning) that I missed the opportunity for a truly spot on diagnosis!