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!



24 thoughts on “Split Combinations in Cartomancy

  1. Hi Kapherus,

    Welcome back – I missed reading your monthly informative posts. Regarding the 10 of Clubs in the cards above, based upon your reading, it sounds like its meaning relates strictly to the health issue rather the traditional meaning of business, career, and travel? Assuming that being able to recognize this interpretation comes from experience over time? I am still learning Cartomancy and missed it. Anyway to quickly recognize these situations?

    As always, thanks for the great information. All the best.


    1. Hi Inigo,
      The 8 of Spades is a powerful card that will bear a strong influence on surrounding cards. When I see the 8 of Spades, I immediately think of “health issue,” and automatically think of the surrounding cards in this context. There are alternate interpretations for the above cards based on other valid card meanings and combinations, but the health interpretation hit my gut when I looked at these cards. Alternately you could say that a woman (QS) is making plans (AC) to investigate a new business (10C + 8S) opportunity (JH). This secondary interpretation is just as valid, though not as strong based on classic card combinations. I hope his helps.

      1. Thanks for the reply. Apologies for my similar posts. For whatever reason, this first post was not showing for me after a couple of days, so assumed it wasn’t received by the server, so I re-posted my question. Anyway, thank you for the .additional insight.

  2. Hi, I have a question that is not related to this thread but have nowhere else to post it here. You once said somewhere that readings go out to few months, what if I have a “will I ever” type of question such as will I ever have a family/see my ex bf again, can the cards go out that far? Also, if the cards are close to each other & of opposite sex but different suits, does that mean the connection is less significant? For example, I often draw out my ex bf (KD) next to QC in a future position. I’m assuming she’s the new gf. Sometimes, she comes out as the outcome or the middle card when I ask will I ever see him again. Even though QC could represent a friend, I am assuming here she is my rival not helping me. And in outcome position, I read this that he will choose her over me, even though they are not of the same suit. If you could, I’d appreciate to hear your perspective. Anna

  3. I wonder how to interpret gallbladder from 10♣️, as opposed to the ailment occurring while on a journey (driving/vacation)

    1. Hi Stella, this is a great question. The card falling before the 8♠️, in this case the 10♣️, will describe the illness or injury. The 10♣️ + 8♠️ can describe travel sickness, but this condition would probably not necessite a hospital visit. If there had appeared some other card to represent an accident or mishap, then an injury or ailment during travel would have been more likely.

      It’s not that your interpretation is wrong, it’s just that based on the context it is a less likely possibility. If in the reading it had already been determined that he querent is planning a trip, then your interpretation would certainly be the most obvious prediction.

      Everything depends on context. But if when looking at this spread your gut tells you the sickness occurred during travel, then that is the way to go. Always go with your gut.

  4. I had a similar situation yesterday in a daily read. I had QH + 4H + QC. I thought there’d be some interaction with another woman, tho that didn’t quite make sense. By the end of the day the only thing I could conclude was that I heard on FB about a female acquaintance (the QC) who recently became a married woman (QH + 4H)

    1. Hi Erin, I’m happy to see that you are practicing daily cards! Daily reads are a wonderful way to learn how the cards speak to you in a personal way. Thank you for sharing your experience with the two queen. I neglected to mention in the article that multiple face cards can represent the same person when showing some kind of major change or progression. Excellent!

  5. I am glad we have brought up the court cards, because I know we have had discussion about how the direction a given court card faces affects how a reading should be interpreted. Since different decks have different designs for the court cards, this means that the particular deck used will affect a reading with court cards.

    That in mind, a couple of unusual decks and how to interpret the court cards in a reading.

    First, there is this design: http://www.four52.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=10 Here, we see that Q♥ and Q♣ have the woman’s face looking to the right, while the eyes are pointed to the left; Q♦ is the reverse (face left, eyes right). Presumably, if I were to use cards like this in a reading, any reading with those queens in it would indicate a possible duplicity on part of the women.

    Sometimes, instead of images of people, abstract designs are used for court cards: http://bit.ly/2FKvPar Here, if using a card like this in a reading, I would rely more on context and intuition than I would on the facing direction in the court cards.

    1. Hi Sam, you bring up an excellent point. I also take into account the dynamics of the court cards in whichever specific deck I utilize. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  6. Hi Kapherus, It’s nice to see you posting again – missed your articles. Thanks for another informative piece. As a beginner to reading cards, this one tripped me up – specifically the 10 of Clubs / Eight of Spades, as I wasn’t looking for a ‘health’ definition. Any suggestions, other than practice, on how to spot these types of situations/readings where the cards could have alternate meanings based upon the context of the adjacent cards. Thanks!

    1. Hi Inigo, thanks for your kind words.

      It really is about learning the core meanings of the cards, and lots of practice. For example, I know from practice that in my readings the 8 of Spades will refer to a health matter about 80% of the time. So whenever I see this card I immediately think of “health,” and I subsequently view the surrounding cards also in terms of their health meanings.

      In the case of the above reading, the 8 triggered health, and then I immediately noticed the Ace of Clubs which suggests a hospital in combination with the 8 of Spades. This led me to logically consider the 10 of Clubs in a health context.

      As you continue to work with the cards, certain cards will automatically trigger particular themes in your mind, which will influence how you interpret the surrounding cards.

      1. Thanks, Kapherus. I know you mentioned that you were taking some off from doing readings. Is that still accurate or have you started offering readings again thru your site?

  7. Looking at the court cards more closely I wonder why are there are no one-eyed queens? In some older decks the queen of hearts is sometimes depicted as a one-eyed queen, but not the other suits. What insight can one gather by this observation? Perhaps nothing? Like I said, just curious.

    1. Interesting question. I honestly don’t know why there are no one-eyed queens in modern, standard American playing card decks. I have never read anything about one-eyed queens in playing card folklore. My guess is that it’s based on tradition.

      I do see queens depicted in profile often in artistic decks, and I have an Austrian Skat deck that features a one-eyed Queen of Spades, which I really like because it emphasizes her duplicitous nature. She only shows you one Side of her two faces.

      It’s interesting about the one-eyed Queen of Hearts in some older decks since the Jack of Hearts is a one-eyed Jack. A straying eye is not an uncommon problem in love readings.

  8. hi Kapherus happy to se you posting again you have being missed.
    I hope if you can post the meaning of the clubs regarding relationship as you did with the diamond and also the topic of low and higher number in cartomancy when you have time 🙂 but now I have question about if you can give some advice about the topic that a spread and/or a simle card can difference interpretation to the same question and mirroring with playing cards- do you “only” use experience and intuition if we FX take 8S in this spread it can both mean a hospital but also the gallbladder but the 8S dont mirror the QS ? or can you “mirror” FX the first card with the other 4 cards one by on- or 6 cards(7 cards spread) with some do with lenormand. hope you understand my question and it make sense event it may not is so precisely but the reason is how to not over read a spread or to fool myself. Thanks Flemming.

    1. Thank you Flemming! Yes, the Clubs in relationship readings is on my list of future posts for the blog. I like the idea of writing about the differences in high and low value cards too. It has been added to my list.

      I think I understand your question. Please let me know if I have missed your point. Yes, I do utilize the mirroring technique in my playing card readings, but I do not mirror every card. In the Line of Five Spread I consider card #3 (the middle card) to carry the most weight in the reading. Then I mirror cards 1 & 5, and cards 2 & 4. So in the above reading I mirror the Queen of Spades with the Jack of Hearts to confirm the combination, “queen and a jack is an old friend come back.” Then I mirror the Ace of Clubs with the 8 of Spades which emphasizes the combination meaning “hospital.” In retrospect, I have the impression that the reason for the appearance of the 10 of Clubs is to emphasize the 8 of Spade’s alternate meaning as the gallbladder. In health readings the 10 Clubs refers to bodily fluids, and nearby cards will usually help pinpoint the specific issue. Here are a couple of examples:

      10 of Clubs + 10 Diamonds (lungs) = fluid in the lungs, pneumonia
      10 of Clubs + 2 of Diamonds = stomach acid, reflux

      Also, the cards will usually indicate more than just one meaning in a card spread. For example,, the 8 of Spades above can represent both a doctor and the patient’s gallbladder. This is very common in a reading, and mirroring can indeed help you see the various possibilities. Intuition will play a part in help you to determine the most significant meaning or combination of meanings, but I usually mention everything I see in a reading because things that may seem insignificant or unlikely at the time often turn out to be important later on.

  9. Thanks for you fast and very full reply. I can se you use mirroring as I do and not mirroring every card as I had seen some card reader do, I the beginning I only use mirroring with lenormand but fast by I also use it with playing cards event In the start I think it was a most useful with lenormand card. The topic about that a card or spread can have more than one meaning to a question is fascinating- sometime I had experienced that a spread not only answer the question but want to tell or give you a answer about another difference topic in the same spread.

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