Accuracy in a Cartomancy Reading

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?”

Other 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…

  1. Keep my focus on the question.
  2. 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.



Who Is That Jack?


Who Is That Jack?†

The most pressing question I still hear from fellow cartomancers is, “How do I interpret a Court Card when it makes absolutely no sense to read the card as an actual person in the questioner’s life?”

I have found in my own readings that a court card will almost always represent an actual person in a general card spread. Our lives are influenced daily by the many people we interact with both personally and professionally, as well as by the people we may never actually meet. The court cards play a very important role in helping to identify these people and the influences they have on the events in our lives.

Conversely, I’ve learned that in a short spread designed to answer a specific question, the court cards will sometimes appear as qualities rather than as actual people. How to tell the difference?

If you find yourself struggling to make sense of the court card as a person within the context of the reading, chances are that the Court Card serves another purpose in the spread. For a general overview on how the Court Cards can function in a reading when they don’t represent people, please see my article,”When the Court Cards Do Not Represent People.”

In this article, I want to talk about the Cartomancy Jacks, and suggest ways to interpret them when they don’t represent people in your reading.

In the old cartomancy books you’ll find that a common meaning for the Jack is “the thoughts of the King or Queen.” In my own readings I’ve found that the Jack will sometimes represent the thoughts of the questioner, or of the person who is the focus of the reading. For example, it you choose the Queen of Diamonds to represent your female questioner, then the Jack of Diamonds would represent her thoughts, and the cards surrounding the Jack of Diamonds would describe what is on her mind, or what she thinks about the matter in question.

The Jacks as Thoughts and Intentions

The old method works well for a general reading, but the modern questioner is interested in specific answers, which can be provided best with a short spread. A more modern approach that I find works well in my own readings is to consider all of the Jacks as possible thoughts or intentions of the questioner, and to define those thoughts based on the color and suit of the Jack.

Jack of Hearts:
Loving thoughts and intentions. He is Cupid the Bringer of Love, and in combination with other cards of the Hearts suit, the jack can indicate an offer of love. He also denotes thoughts of pleasure, healing, and fun intentions. He brings the creative thoughts that are expressed through the arts.

Jack of Clubs:
Enterprising thoughts and practical intentions. He is Hermes the Messenger, and he represents knowledge and learning, communication and business ideas, and active participation.

Jack of Diamonds:
Thoughts of power and success, and intentions for profitable gain. He is Apollo the Bringer of Light. He represents the intellect, the imagination, talent, prophetic thoughts and psychic ability.

Jack of Spades:
Stagnant thoughts and frustrated intentions. He is Seth the bringer of storms and conflict. He represents fear and worry and anxiety. In combination with other cards of the Spades suit, the jack can indicate anger and resentful thoughts, and malicious intentions.

Sample Reading Where the Jacks Can Be Read as Thoughts and Intentions

The following Answer Spread illustrates a reading where, based on the context of the question, it does not make sense to read the Court Cards as actual people. This reading is for a female client who reads cards for friends and family, but is afraid to take the step toward reading professionally. She complains that when she tries to read for someone she does not know, the information does not flow. She asks…

Will I ever be successful as a professional card reader?


I begin every reading with a quick overview of the cards. I notice a predominance of red cards, which is always a favorable sign. There is also a predominance of the Diamond suit, which represents success, money, intellect, power, and psychic ability– definitely a good sign in reference to the question. Only one card of the Spades suit appears in the spread, and it is not in a key position (neither in the answer column nor in the pivot position). There don’t appear to be any major challenges or obstacles to face in the situation. I notice the pair of black jacks. I’ll address those later in the discussion.

The first column represents the premise of the situation, and shows that the questioner is being stingy with her talents. Reading professionally is a wonderful opportunity to share her gifts with the world, but she is holding herself back. The 5 of Hearts covered by the 8 of Diamonds suggests that the questioner does not place enough value on her own talents and abilities.

The middle column answers the question. In a general sense we could say that a young person will bring a message or invitation, but that doesn’t make much sense within the context of the question. More likely, the Jack of Clubs represents the questioner’s enterprising thoughts of going professional with her readings, and the Ace of Diamonds indicates the successful start of a money-making venture.

The final column provides additional factors to be considered in the matter. We might say that a young person with dark features is attracted to the questioner, or will offer financial help. But based on the context of the question, it makes more sense to read the Jack of Spades as the questioner’s fear, and the 9 of Diamonds as her psychic ability. A more in depth interpretation indicates that what is holding her back (8 of Diamonds) from making that successful start (Ace of Diamonds) is that she feels uncomfortable (Jack of Spades) accepting payment (9 of Diamonds) for her readings, and her fears (Jack of Spades) are blocking her psychic ability (9 of Diamonds).

What do we tell the questioner? Well, the only black cards in the spread are the two Jacks. That suggests to me that the problems are all in her mind. If she can work past the fear, she can make a very successful start as a professional reader. The 9 of Diamonds in the pivot position shows that not only will it open up her psychic abilities, it will also bring in some extra cash.

When the cards indicate a potential obstacle or challenge, they will almost always provide a solution to the problem. How can the questioner overcome her fear of offering her readings for financial gain? I look to the pivot card, the 9 of Diamonds. It represents the powers of the mind. It covers her fears ( is on top of the Jack of Spades), so we know that she can overcome her anxiety with her mental powers. I advised her to visualize herself as a successful professional reader in her daily meditations, and she will soon achieve the success she desires.

†This is a repost of an article original published on my original Art of Cartomancy blog.

Cartomancy Health Reading

Health readings can be tricky, but if we trust the cards they will usually unravel the mystery of any health issue. I’d be remiss if I didn’t reiterate that it’s important to always keep in mind that unless you are a licensed health professional, you should never diagnose or prescribe. When presented with a health question, I always advise the client that I am not a health professional, and that I’m happy to relate what I see in the cards, and I encourage them to consult a physician for any health related concerns.

I recently received feedback on an interesting health reading that I thought I would share here on the blog. The client was a younger male– probably in his 20s, and although anxious for some information regarding his health concern, he was reluctant to elaborate on the problem. He asked what I saw in the cards regarding his ‘issue,’ but would not say more.

I was up for the challenge, and drew the following Answer Spread to address the vague question:


In the Answer Spread, the first column relates to the present or recent past in reference to the question. The two Jacks did not give me a lot of information, and I thought they may simply refer to client having been well (Jack of Clubs ♣ ) and then not so well (Jack of Spades ♠ ).

The center column holds the answer to the question. The 6 of Hearts ♥ refers to all things masculine, and based on the client’s reticence it immediately occurred to me that this must be a delicate masculine issue. In health readings the Ace of Diamonds ♦ can have several different meanings. It can represent a needle– and therefore, ‘a vaccination,’ or fire– and therefore, ‘a burning sensation.’

The third column will usually provide important information that should be considered. In health readings the 7 of Spades ♠ will usually refer to the need for some kind of medication, and as the pivot card it is a clear indication that medication will relieve the problem. The 10 of Diamonds ♦ should either describe the kind of medication, or it’s purpose. At first I was stumped by these cards. The 10 of Diamonds ♦ usually refers to the chest and lungs, and I’ve previously had this combination refer to cough medicine or an asthma inhaler. But the middle column seemed to point to some kind of infection, and so these ideas didn’t make a lot of sense. Then it hit me. The 10 of Diamonds ♦ refers to raw power– jet propulsion, atomic energy, nuclear fission– potentially destructive energies that are harnessed and used for good. Of course! The 10 ♦ and 7 ♠ refer to an antibiotic.

I asked the querent if he was experiencing pain while urinating, and he launched into a long diatribe about why he thinks he may have contracted an STD. At this point it occurred to me that the two jacks could be indicate the union which caused the problem.

I advised the that although I could not diagnose his problem, the cards do point to some kind of infection, and I urged him to see a doctor as soon as possible. The 7 of Spades ♠ as the pivot card indicates the need for medication, and also warns that the problem will worsen if it is not treated.

I had not heard back from the client, so I didn’t know what the medical diagnosis was, but this is one of those times when the cards seemed so clear in their message that I had no doubts that antibiotics were prescribed for some kind of infection.

Feedback: It was over a year before I heard back from this client. He thanked me for encouraging him to see a physician because he did in fact have a kidney infection. It turns out that it was not an STD. The infection was caused by a kidney stone that the client had no idea he had. The stone was too large to pass, and required surgery. I’m sharing this reading because it’s a perfect example of how important it is to encourage a client to see a doctor for any health concerns regardless of what may appear in the cards.

How to Recognize a Curse in a Modern Cartomancy Reading

voodoo_smallEvery so often I encounter a client who is experiencing a streak of bad luck, and is convinced that he or she is the victim of a curse. The client will ask for confirmation of the psychic attack in the cards. In most cases, the bad luck is the result of poor decision making or bad money management on the client’s part. But every now and again I do see sinister forces reflected in the cards.

The pivotal card I look for in a reading to suggest a curse is the Ten of Spades— particularly when it appears in a cluster with other spades, and especially with the 9 of Spades which will warn that the querent is being harmed by the black intentions. The surrounding cards will usually describe the source and effects of the psychic attack.

Here are a few cartomancy meanings I associate with psychic and spiritual matters that can describe both white magick and black magick…†

10 of Spades = black magick, psychic attack, evil forces at work
9 of Spades = harm, injury, being coerced, graveyard
7 of Spades = oils, potions, washes, bath
3 of Spades = a ritual or spell, incense
King or Queen of Spades = an enemy or a rival, a deceased person
5 of Clubs = crossroads
3 of clubs = herbs, roots, powders
Ace of Hearts = the soul
3 of Hearts = prayer, affirmations
7 of Hearts = healing
8 of Hearts = a Saint, an angel, a spirit guide, protection, an ancestor
Ace of Diamonds = the spirit, the astral body, the spirit world, a candle flame
4 of Diamonds = altar
6 of Diamonds = divination
8 of Diamonds = a spirit being, rootwork, balancing spiritual energies
9 of Diamond = psychic ability, clairvoyance, mind power
10 of Diamonds = mediumship, contact with the spirit world, white magick
King or Queen of Diamonds = an energy worker/root worker

†This list is by no means exhaustive.

Sample Cartomancy Reading: How to recognize Psychic Attack

The querent had a confrontation with a woman he suspects is using magick against him. He has been experiencing a streak of bad luck, and suspects that he may be the victim of a curse.

Question: Is the woman using black magick against me?



The first column represents the premise of the question. It describes the current situation in reference to the question. The 10 of Spades is the key card I look for to indicate black magic, and the 4 of Clubs shows a sympathetic connection with the querent. These cards suggest that someone has tried to send evil intentions toward the querent. Specifically, the 4 of clubs suggests a form of sympathetic magic in which a prop is used, such as a candle or doll, to represent the querent. The negative intentions are put into the object (10S → 4C) that connects with the energy of the querent.

The middle column answers the question, and suggests that this attack has not been successful. The 8 of Hearts is a card of protection, and the Ace of Diamonds is spirit. These cards suggest that the querent is protected and watched over by spirit. Although the curse may be creating minor problems, the malevolent energy cannot do him serious harm.

The final column reveals additional information to be considered. The Queen of Diamonds is a female energy worker. The Jack of Spades describes her nefarious thoughts. This woman is angry and resentful, and she harbors malicious intentions toward the querent. She is projecting her negative thoughts (Jack of Spades).

I find this reading to be particularly interesting because the answer to the question is “yes,” the querent’s suspicions are affirmed. The woman is using black magic against him. This answer is confirmed by the Jack of Spades as the pivot card showing negative intentions. But the middle column shows that querent is protected from serious harm by his spirit guide, or perhaps by an ancestor (8 of Hearts) in spirit (Ace of Diamonds). Notice how the Jack turns away from the Ace. Spiritual protection is redirecting the negativity away from the querent. The Ace of Diamonds also suggests that a candle offering to the spirit being (8 of Hearts) will further strengthen the protection.

Cartomancy Answer Spread: Finding the Lost Cat

The Cat Is Returned Home!

On March the 6th I posted a reading that I threw for clues to help locate my brother’s lost cat. The cat had escaped the house a few days earlier while furniture was being moved in. The cards offered some hints about where the cat might be found, but after weeks of fruitless searching we lost hope of ever finding the missing kitty. Imagine our immense surprise when the lost cat returned home today!

Really, I should not have been so surprised. The original reading I drew to ask if the cat would be found had indicated “yes,” the cat would indeed return home.

Here is the original reading that I mentioned in the previous article about locating the lost cat…


6S 7S JD
2D 4H 2C

My first impression of the reading was that the ratio of black cards to red is balanced. The cat would not be found easily, but there’s a good chance for success. The spades in particular are worrisome. They suggest obstacles and delays. The two 2’s jumped out at me. The 2’s are time cards, giving me the impression that the cat could be found within two days. But with the delays predicted by the double spades, I knew it could be two weeks before the cat returned home. I did not want to think about the cat being gone for two months, but of course that was still better than the cat never returning at all.

The Middle Column

I always look to the middle column of this Spread to find the answer to the question. When asking about a reconciliation, such as the return of a lost lover or recovering a missing pet, the key card I look for is the 4 of Hearts. It’s the card that indicates a union or a reunion.

Immediately I felt hopeful to find the 4 of Hearts in the answer column. The 7 of Spades shows delay, and a need for patience. The answer was clear that the cat would eventually come home. As predicted, she did return home today, within days of the two-week time frame. She was spotted by an elderly neighbor who contacted my brother.

The First Column

The first column sets the premise for the matter in question. The cards show movement, curiosity and independence. The curious kitty escaped (6 of Spades) and was out on her own nosing about (2 of Diamonds). The 2 of Diamonds is the perfect card to describe the cat because it suggests curiosity, independence, imagination and playfulness.

The Final Column

The final column provides important additional information, and shows that a young person (Jack of Diamonds) would offer assistance (2 of Clubs). Interestingly, the Jack of Diamonds also appeared in the subsequent reading that I posted previously to help divine the location of the missing cat. I still do not know who is represented by the Jack, but I’m convinced that someone has cared for the cat while she was away. The 2 of Clubs as the pivot card suggests that the cat would recieve a helping hand in returning home. Perhaps the cat has a guardian angel. After being gone for two weeks, she is a bit thin but otherwise in good condition. She is on her way today to see the vet just to make sure that all is well.