Playing Cards Are Multidimensional

One of my favorite characteristics of working with the playing cards is that the cards rarely mean only one thing. I learned with other oracles that the cards should stick to answering the question, and only the question. I was taught that any divergent interpretation will invariably lead to an inaccurate reading. I don’t know if that is true of Tarot, but it is the way I was taught to read Lenormand.

The playing cards are multidimensional. They always provide a straightforward answer to any question, but with their diverse meanings they will almost always provide additional information not at all related to that question. In my experience this additional information is unfailingly valid and accurate. I find the same thing can happen when I read the Italian Sibilla, which is one reason why I love the Sibilla so much.

Poker Faces by Zach Abel

The advantage of using a multidimensional oracle is that you can get a lot of general information from just a few cards. In the 1990’s I worked the monthly psychic fair at a metaphysical bookstore. Client expectations were somewhat different from today. Back then people expected me to dive in immediately and tell them about their lives. Questions would come later, based on the initial reading. Now clients tend to be much more focused on a specific question or area of life they want to explore. Anyway, back in the day I could give a life reading in 20 minutes with only eight or ten cards on the table. Each card would function two or three different ways in the layout and cover a lot of detailed information– most of which was immediately meaningful and valid for the client.

The following reading is an interesting example of a multidimensional spread that I did for a female client recently. Let’s call her Jan, and thank her for allowing me to post her reading publicly for educational purposes. Jan is a 42 year old female who has taken the first steps toward creating her own business. She contacted me for a 5-Card email reading to ask how I see the new business developing in the next few months. Here are the cards that appeared in her reading…

The Fortune Teller’s Deck by Jane Lyle

I first review the number of cards from each suit, and their interactions, to get a general feeling for the energy surrounding the question. The Spade jumps out immediately. It’s a small value Spade so I know it’s not a big obstacle, but it can definitely show delays or slow progress. The Spade is surrounded by Diamonds, which represent spirit, energy and optimism. The Diamonds show me the energy and enthusiasm invested in the business, and help to mollify that nasty Spade. The remaining cards are Clubs which represent progress and growth and good luck. I already have a good impression of how the business will develop just by analyzing the card suits.

In a Line of Five I next look to the center card, which I like to call the pivot card, or hinge pin of the reading. This one card alone will often answer the question, and the surrounding cards will help fill in the details surrounding the matter. The Jack of Diamonds is a good card in financial readings. It can be about profits and cash flow. But the Jack is the face card with the least value in a suit of cards. It indicates the start of something, or a small increase. The Jack of Diamonds confirms the answer. It shows a good financial start, and some small but solid progress over the next few months.

Now let’s dig into the surrounding cards to get more information…

The 4 of Spades is a card of restrictions and slow movement. It confirms a slow start for the business. The 9 of Clubs is a great card for business. It shows forward movement, and gives a sense of heading in the right direction. There can be no doubt that progress will be slow at first, but the client is definitely on the right track with her new business, and on the right road to eventual success.

Finally let’s look at the first and last cards in the spread. The first card represents the premise of the situation in question. The Ace of Diamonds shows a new beginning. It confirms the theme of the reading, and let’s me know that the cards are responding accurately to the question. The final card represents the outcome, and it shows change– all of the fives represent change in one form or another. The 5 of Clubs is a change in a social or work/business situation. It’s always a change for the better, unless followed by an unfavorable card. In this case, the 5 of Clubs ends the row of cards, showing the continued progress and growth of the business into the future.

The cards have satisfactorily answered the question. But something else jumped out at me about this reading. The Jack of Diamonds with the 4 of Spades suggests a young person who is not feeling well. The 4 of Spades can be a card of illness, and it always grabs my attention when it falls in a spread. The surrounding Diamonds suggest a nervous problem, stress, or low energy. That felt right to me. I saw a young person, probably male, who was feeling depressed or exhausted. I saw this person taking a trip (9 of Clubs) to the country (5 of Clubs)– perhaps a camping trip. This person needs to get away, and recharge (Ace of Diamonds). The 5 of Clubs promises that the trip will bring a positive change to both his social and work life.

I always share the alternative interpretations I see in a reading. I’ve learned that this additional information can be important to the client. In this case the client confirmed that her son was feeling burned out from school and his job, and had developed some health issues related to stress. He had not mentioned any plans to travel, so I advised the mom to suggest a trip for the son to spend some time in nature. I assured her that the cards suggested that the trip would be beneficial for her son, and that the young man would be fine.

When the cards show a problem, they invariably also indicate one or more solutions. The client was grateful for the alternate interpretation because she was worried about her son. The cards, in their multidimensional and helpful ways, answered the client’s question, and also addressed a matter that had been stewing in the back of her mind.

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The Jack of Spades

The Jack of Spades (JS) is a skillful, clever young man. In some of the older cartomancy meanings he represents an unsettled, erratic, emotionally inconsistent young man; or simply the thoughts of the Queen or King of Spades. Although Jacks can represent young people of either sex, the Jack of Spades is most often read as a young male.

In coloring, the Suit of Spades is considered the darkest of the deck, and represents people with dark brown to black hair, and dark brown eyes.

Traditional meanings associated with the Jack of Spades:

Positive Aspects:

  • A dark-haired, dark-complected youth
  • A youth from a foreign country
  • A youth in uniform; soldier or cadet
  • Skillful, clever youth 
  • An intellectual youth; math whiz
  • Young leader; knows how to take charge

Negative Aspects:

  • A youth in trouble
  • A gang leader
  • Juvenile delinquent; the bad kid at school
  • Cold and calculating youth
  • Gossiping, spying youth
  • Inconsistent, erratic, emotionally immature youth
  • Emotionally controlled and detached

Of course the meaning you choose for this card will depend on the surrounding cards as well as a good dose of your own intuition. 

Some combinations with the JS:

JH/JS: The querent’s son or brother or boyfriend is in the military or is a rookie police officer.

Two Jacks:
Quarrel or court case pending (especially with 5D)

Three Jacks:
Boys night out

Four Jacks:
Boys school, boy scouts, organization consisting of all young men

Modern Meanings for the Jack of Spades:

In modern Cartomancy, the Jack of Spades can represent watching and surveillance, in all of its many forms. This is based on the card’s traditional meaning as The Spiteful Spy.

JS + 8D = watching something or someone carefully

JS + 8D +6C = watching TV

JS + 8S = a private investigator 

JS + 10S = a stalker

JS + 8C = a security officer

JS + AH = a home security/surveillance system

AC + JS + 8S = the FBI

AC + JS + 10S = the CIA

Fate, Destiny and Free Will in Cartomancy

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Today’s article was inspired by a comment that was left by a reader of the blog. The reader’s question is both insightful and multi-layered. Because my answer is rather long winded, I decided to respond in a blog post rather than in the comment section. Here is the reader’s question:

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.

This brings up an interesting subject regarding fate vs free will in Cartomancy. Based on my own experiences, both in life and through card reading, I have come to believe that we are each born with a cosmic blueprint that can help us to navigate our lives. This spiritual road map is comprised of events that we are destined to experience. These events are what I speak of when I refer to fate.

Free will is the influence we can exert on these fateful events— how we choose to respond to the challenges, how we attempt to avoid the pitfalls, and how we make use of the opportunities placed in our path. The cards can provide guidance to help us make the best of these karmic influences.

I do find that the cards tend to be more reliable when predicting short-term events that can be influenced by free will. For this reason I set the intention when I read that a card spread will cover 3 to 6 months on average, and 8 months to a year on the outside. Beyond that time frame there are so many factors— actions and events and decisions— that may influence a future event. The cards tend to read the potential for a long-term event to occur based on the current energies only.  A future action could change the course of events leading to an alternate potential outcome. This may result in less reliable accuracy in a long-range card reading.

On the other hand, the cards can be very reliable when predicting long-term events that are destined to be— or not to be. These tend to be major life experiences based on our soul contract with the universal energies. Despite the long time frame, the cards can show us how best to navigate these challenges— or blessings, and make the most of the lessons contained in these fateful events.

So questions such as “will I ever marry?” or “will I ever have children?” tend to deal with destiny, and can often be answered reliably even with an unrestricted outside time frame.  Sometimes the cards will provide suggestions to help facilitate a desired outcome. For example, a pregnancy may only be possible with medical intervention, and the cards would highlight this fact in answer to the question of future children.

Regarding your readings on a possible reconciliation with your ex-boyfriend, it is difficult to make clear judgements without knowing all of the cards influencing these readings. The cards I look for to confirm a reconciliation are the 4 of Hearts (reunion) and/or the 7 of Hearts (second chances). Also the 6 of Hearts (karma) is an important card in relationship readings because it can show a past-life or karmic connection. Another important card to look for is the 9 of Spades (fate) which can also represent karma, and events that are destined to happen. The 9 of Clubs can confirm the correct spiritual path.

Based on your feedback, and assuming that you are generally represented by a different Queen in your readings,  I would tend to agree with your assessment that the Queen of Clubs represents a current or future girlfriend. The fact that she appears in key positions in your spreads suggests to me that she is an impediment to a reconciliation.

I do read significance in the fact that she appears repeatedly as a Club. Whereas the Queen of Hearts would suggest commitment, the Queen of Clubs suggests more of a social relationship such as dating. Also, the Queen of Clubs could possibly represent social relationships in general with women. In other words, casual dating. Again, it is hard to say for sure based on the information you provided. The other thing to note is that the cards falling between your Ex and the Queen will provide a insight into the dynamics of their relationship.

If this situation were part of a reading for a client, I would suggest asking the cards how you might facilitate a reconciliation with your ex. The cards should provide good suggestions if the reconciliation is possible. Otherwise the reading will clearly show that the reconnection is not destined to be.

It is my sincere hope that you find my comments helpful, and that fate will bring the fulfillment of your desire.

 

 

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….

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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!

 

Who Is Who in My Love Reading?

I thought it might be helpful to take another look at my thought process for evaluating the court cards in a cartomancy reading. I have already posted several articles on how to read the face cards when they don’t represent people, but what about when they do?

Almost every question is influenced by one or more people other than the querent. In fact, I find that nine times out of ten the appearance of a face card in a reading will represent a specific person who is somehow involved in the situation.

I did not always interpret the interactions of the people in a reading based on the directions of the court cards in the spread. But over the last 10 years, I have found this practice to be strikingly accurate in determining the subtle dynamics of the players in any given situation.

The following relationship reading provides a nice example of how multiple face cards that represent real people can be highly revealing in a card spread.

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Jack of Spades, 7 of Spades, King of Hearts, Jack of Diamonds, 3 of Spades.

The querent is a 24 year old woman who is in a long-term relationship. She is worried because her man has begun to act distant and casual. She asks if he has lost interest in her.

I immediately register the three black cards which suggest that the answer is “probably no.” The specific card meanings should tell me why. Then I note that three of the five cards in the spread are face cards. In order to understand the specific message in the cards, I need to determine who is who in the reading.

My eye is drawn at once to the King of Hearts situated in the important center position of the spread. He is a man who is loved. I instantly identify him as the querent’s boyfriend because he is the primary focus of the inquiry.

So who are represented by the two Jacks? How do two young men play into this picture? Like the Pages in Tarot, the mustachioed Jacks are gender fluid. They can sometimes represent young females (particularly when they are powerless in a situation), and in the context of this reading it makes more sense that they do.

This idea immediate suggests to me that one of them is likely the querent. But which? And more importantly who is the second woman? The 3 of Spades suggests deceit and a possible love triangle… best try to get clarification from the querent.

“I see another woman around your guy, ” I say.
The querent responds, “Oh, yeah. That’s probably his wife.”

Ah huh! I neglect to mention how this piece of information might have been helpful to know up front. Anyway, now the cards begin to make sense to me.

The Jack of Spades is often a rival in love readings, but who plays the rival? The wife is a rival for the affections of the querent’s lover, but the querent is also rival to the wife’s marriage.

Let’s take a look at the other jack, the Jack of Diamonds. The suit suggests a financial influence– someone who is tied financially to the King of Hearts. The 3 of Spades reveals deception around her. My impression is that the Jack of Diamonds represents the wife.

As I already mentioned, the focus of the reading is the man’s interests, so it also makes perfect sense to me that he would see the querent as a rival to re-establishing a connection with his wife (the wife falls directly next to him in his future).

Now that we have determined who is who in the reading, it is easy to see the dynamics of the situation. The 7 of Spades falling between the querent and her man shows a reversal in their relationship. The cards confirm the querent’s sense that the romance is cooling down.

The 7 of Spades is also the Card of addiction and dependence. This card falls between the querent and her man indicating an unhealthy codependent relationship between them. Notice the direction that the King faces. Despite trying to re-establish a connection with his wife, he is looking back toward the querent and his codependent connection with her. She stares longingly back at him.

So what to tell the querent? I prefer to give the unfavorable news first because once the querent hears what she hopes to hear, she is unlikely to register anything else I say.

I warn the querent that the relationship with this man is unhealthy– never mind the fact that he’s married! She admits that they are bound together by a sexual addiction from which neither can break free.

I suggest that she seek counseling to help her detach from this difficult situation. I also recommend the outstanding books by Melody Beattie that deal with breaking the bonds of codependency.

Now to answer the specific question… I advise the querent that the cards confirm this man is attempting to pull away in order to salvage his marriage which is in deep trouble. The 3 of Spades shows problems and deceptions in the future.

The wife looks away from the 3 of Spades. Her focus is on the man. She is either ignorant of the deceptions, or she chooses to ignore the marital problems.

Whatever the case, the man is motivated by financial concerns, and the wife is motivated by her love for her husband.

Despite these motivations, the cards confirm that the man is unable to break free from the affair with the querent. The simple answer is: no, he has not lost interest in her.

Oddly, the news lifts the querent’s mood considerably.