Cartomancy Reading: The Aspiring Bartender

I originally posted this reading on my Art of Cartomancy Facebook page as a group exercise. I decided to also post the reading on the blog with a very detailed break down because this particular spread provides an outstanding example of how the cards when read in context go to the very heart of an issue or problem.

The reading was done on June the 2nd of this year, 2016. The querent is a young woman who has been applying at various bars and restaurants for a position as bartender. She is currently working as a server in a hotel restaurant. The querent asks, “Will I be successful in procuring a job as a bartender in the next three months?”

I shuffled the cards while focusing on her question. Then I spread the deck face-down on the table, and randomly drew the following five cards…



The first thing I notice about the spread is the predominance of black cards. The three black and two red cards suggest a probable “no” in answer to the question, but the querent may have the power to positively influence the final outcome.

Next my attention is drawn to the middle card in the spread which I call the “hinge,” and on which the rest of the reading hangs. I’m pleased to see the 10 of Clubs because it confirms the theme of the reading: business, career and work experience.

The pillars of the reading stand out for me. The pillars are first, middle and final cards which are read in combination, and provide a brief summary of the reading. The 9 of Hearts is the wish card, and it reveals the querent’s desire. The 10 of Clubs and 7 of Spades is the classic combination that represents a bar or nightclub. The querent desires a career tending bar, and these cards suggest that she has the potential to achieve her wish, although perhaps not within the desired time frame. Now we need to look deeper into the cards to discover why.

I’m drawn next to the 9 of Hearts to investigate the influences affecting the querent’s desire to become a bartender. The combination of the 2 of Diamonds and 10 of Clubs represents a restaurant. We know the current has restaurant experience which is confirmed by the 2 of Diamonds with the 10 of Clubs. The querent confirmed that she would prefer to tend bar in a restaurant rather than in a bar or nightclub.

Unfortunately the 2 of Diamonds is not in harmony (does not reflect or mirror) with the 7 of Spades. If these cards were in harmony they could be combined with the 9 of Hearts to show that the querent would get her wish. Also notice that the 2 of Diamonds is in harmony with the 3 of Spades which suggests a block or obstacle. The wish card is in harmony the bar/nightclub card, showing that the querent will have better luck finding a bartending job in a bar or nightclub.

So then why will the querent fail to find work as a bartender within the next three months? When the cards tell us “no,” they should also tell us “why,” and offer one or more possible solutions. Let’s take a look at the middle three cards which usually carry the most significance.

We know that the 10 of Clubs represents the querent’s career. The action in the spread moves from left to right so we can confirm with the 2 of Diamonds that she has past experience working as a server in a restaurant. The cards following the 10 of Clubs will show future career portions. The 7 of Spades follows to indicate that a bartending job is in the future, but it is blocked by that inauspicious 3 of Spades.

The 3 of Spades represents confusion or a lack of understanding (among other things), so we can infer that it is a lack of knowledge or skill or experience that has prevented the querent from being hired for her dream job. We can further infer that if the girl can acquire some knowledge or experience in bartending, she can remove the block and manifest her wish.

I’m intrigued by the 7 of Spades as the outcome card because it is generally a very negative influence, and can show setbacks and frustrations. But the 7 of Spades is also the drinking or alcohol card, and based on the context of the reading, it perfectly represents and confirms the querent’s desired outcome of a position tending bar and mixing drinks.

I advised the querent that she needs to set her sights on acquiring more knowledge and experience in bartending in order to make herself more attractive to potential employers. I suggested that she offer to volunteer on her days off at the bar in the restaurant where she currently works. Her manager may be grateful for the extra help. I also suggested that she look into attending a bartending class. Such classes may be offered inexpensively through an adult education programs in her local area, or she could investigate an actual bartending school. The querent promised to follow up on my suggestions, and then let me know what happens.



The Cartomancy Career Spread

My Career Spread is a variation of the Overview Spread that I created for quickly revealing the heart of any situation.  The Career Spread can pinpoint the consultant’s employment strengths and weaknesses, and will suggest career areas where the consultant will be happy and fulfilled.

The Significator

First the 8 of Clubs is removed from the deck and placed on the table. The 8 of Clubs will serve as the significator to represent the consultants job and career prospects.  The remaining cards are shuffled and then deal out in the following pattern:


Card Positions

The Card Above

The card above the significator is the most important card of the spread. It will reveal what is on the querent’s mind in terms of job and career.

The Card Below

The card below is also very important for deciphering the current situation. It will reveal what the querent dreads or wishes to avoid in relation to his future job prospects.

The Cards to the Left of the Significator

The cards to the left represent past influences leading up to the current situation, prior job experience,  innate talents, education, etc.

The Cards to the Right of the Significator

The cards to the right represent future job prospects, or may describe the ideal job situation.

Sample Cartomancy Career Spread

This cartomancy reading is for a 37 year old man who is unhappy in his present career path, and is asking for help in determining the best course of action for making a change.



Ace of Diamonds = new beginning, something totally new

2 of Diamonds = account billing, insurance, talents, imagination, writing ability

2 of Spades = resentment, removal

8 of Diamonds = account management, credit, bookkeeping, financial forecasting, cost management

K of Clubs = authority, management, organization

4 of Clubs = customer service, sales, phone work, cold calling

The first thing I look at is the Card Above because it will provide a glimpse into where the querent’s head is at regarding career matters. The Ace of Diamonds indicates that the querent is looking for a complete change in career direction, and not simply a new position within the same general field of interest.

Next I look at the Card Below because it shows what the querent hopes to avoid regarding his future job prospects. The 4 of Clubs reveals that the querent is not interested in dealing directly with consumers.  He confirmed that he currently holds a sales position in a large call center, and he hates both the sales and phone work.

The two cards on the left will provide some clues regarding the querent’s talents, education and prior experience. The 2 of Diamonds indicates that he is very talented, but the 2 of Spades shows that his talents have not been utilized in the past, and he is unfulfilled in his current job.  The cards show that the querent is intelligent and imaginative. He has good writing skills, and he has prior experience with account billing.  He would thrive in a position where these talents and abilities are utilized.

Finally, the two cards on the right show future prospects, and the type of work that would be ideal for the querent.  The 8 of Diamonds indicates math skills, and the querent confirmed that he always enjoyed math in school.  The King of Clubs represents authority and management, and indicates that the querent would be most fulfilled in a position where he can take charge and exercise responsibility, working on his own rather than as part of a team.  Based on the cards, the querent would excel in a behind-the-scenes position in money management or finance such as credit reporting, account management, cost management, accounts payable clerk, etc.

The querent agreed that this line of work would be more rewarding, and shared with me that he had seriously considered a career in accounting when he was in high school, but ended up foregoing college to help support his family after his dad passed away.  I encouraged him to investigate the business schools in his area where he could earn a degree in his spare time to prepare for a career in accounting.  In the mean time, I advised him to keep his eyes peeled for any entry-level finance jobs that open up in his current place of employment, and also to check the newspapers regularly for this type of position.

How to Interpret the Three Card Draw

The 3 Card Layout:

The 3 Card Layout is the perfect spread to use for daily guidance, or to answer a question quickly.   This layout provides a good amount of information regarding a specific question, topic or situation.  I like to use the 3 Card Layout at the end of a longer reading to address any questions the querent may still have, or to provide more information on a topic the querent wants to know more about.

For this layout I choose 3 cards at random and lay them out in the order in which I chose them.


The cards are then read from left to right like reading a sentence on a page: 

  • The first card can be read as “the premise” of the situation, or it may
    indicate the past influences on the matter.

  • The second card represents the actual question, problem or situation, and
    often reflects the current influences on the matter.

  • The third card indicates the outcome or result, and has the strongest
    effect on the final interpretation of the layout.

The interpretation of each card in the layout is influenced and modified by the card falling on top of it to the right.  The final card bears the most influence, and if a “good” card falls last, it can nullify the negative effects of any “bad” cards falling under it.  If the issue at hand is a specific question, the final card will provide the answer.

The action in the layout also moves from left to right:

  • The first card indicates what action the seeker takes.

  • The second card indicates what action the seeker shares.

  • The third card indicates what action the seeker receives.

For yes/no questions, 2 red cards indicate a “yes,” and two black cards indicate a “no.”

Sample 3-Card Layout:

Here is an example of an actual 3-Card Layout I did this morning, May 16, 2007.  I asked the cards a specific question about a female friend from college that I have not heard from in a couple of years.  My question was: “Will this friend contact me?”  Here are the  playing cards I pulled:


  • 4 of Clubs
  • 3 of Clubs
  • Queen of Diamonds

I was surprise at first by the Queen of Diamonds because I wouldn’t have immediately associated my friend with this particular card.  I did expect a queen to show up, but I guess I thought she would be more in line with my friend’s physical coloring.  But then I realized that the Queen of Diamonds is the best card to represent her energy and intelligence.

The 4 of Clubs can indicate a form of electronic communication such as a telephone call or an email.  So I can see right away that the cards are on track with answering my question.  Because the 4 of Clubs falls first, in the spot that would indicate me taking action, it looks like I’m going to be the one to initiate the contact and reconnect with my friend.

The 3 of Clubs indicates good luck and success, so if I make the effort to track her down, I should not have a problem finding her.  All Clubs indicate activity, thinking and talking, so it may be that I can reach my friend through other mutual acquaintances.  Also in the number 2 spot of “shared action,”  the 3 of Clubs would indicate that she’s been thinking about contacting me a well.

The Queen of Diamonds represents my friend, and as the final card also represents the outcome, result or answer to my question.  The red suits of the playing cards are usually considered positive, so the basic answer to my question is “yes.”  My friend will contact me, but only after I make an effort to reach her first.

Now I understand why the cards chose to represent my friend as the Queen of Diamonds as opposed to the expected Queen of Spades based on her dark hair and eyes.  If the Queen of Spades had fallen last, it would have indicated a definite “no” to my answer.  And this layout would have indicated that although I would probably have been successful in reaching her, she would not have responded to my contact.

The Answer Spread

The Answer Spread is a 6-card expanded version of the three card draw. It is designed to answer one question in detail.  I have encountered this spread in several books on both tarot and playing cards, but my favorite version comes from Regina Russell’s book, The Card Reader’s Handbook.

The Answer Spread is my ‘go to’ spread for answering a specific questions. It provides a more detailed information that the simple three-card spread while maintain a sharp focus on the question.

How to Draw the Answer Spread

The querent shuffles the cards while focusing on the question. Then the cards are fanned out face down on the table. The querent is asked to randomly select 6 cards keeping them in the order in which they were chosen.  The cards are laid out as in the following diagram:


The cards are paired and read in vertical columns only. The cards are never combined or read across the horizontal rows.

The two cards in the first column on the left set the premise for the matter in question, and reveal how past influences affect the current circumstances surrounding the question.

The two cards in the middle column provide the answer to the question.

The two cards in the column on the far right provide additional information, or show contributing factors yet to be considered in the matter. The cards in this position do not show the final outcome, but they can indicate the results from following advice given in the middle column.

The bottom card of the final column (card 6 in the diagram) is known as the “pivot card” because the outcome of the question may turn on that single card. Sometimes the pivot card will provide the answer to the question.

The Answer Spread can work well for yes-or-no questions.  A predominance of red cards would indicate a positive answer, and a predominance of black cards would denote a negative response.  If an even number of red and black cards appear, the answer is not yet set and may be influenced current actions or future events.

Sample Reading – The Answer Spread

Here is an example of an actual reading done for a male client in June of 2012:

The querent was travelling south to spend a few days with his ex-wife. The couple had been divorced for less than a year, and the ex-wife had recently broken up with a new boyfriend.

When the querent and his wife separated, she took custody of their dog. They have no children together. The visit was ostensibly for the querent to spend time with the dog, but he was hopeful that the ex-wife was interested in a reconciliation.

His question: “Will my ex-wife and I get back together?”

Jane Lyle’s The Fortune Teller’s Deck © 1996 St. Martin’s Press

10 of Clubs = travel, business, promotion
2 of Diamonds = something definite, curiosity, exchanging ideas, searching for answers
Q of Clubs = a sincere, practical woman
7 of Spades = setbacks, frustration, stagnation
A of Diamonds = news, a message, a fresh start
3 of Diamonds = unsustained efforts,  a temporary situation

My first impression is that there are no Heart cards in the spread. That is usually not a hopeful sign for a relationship inquiry. There is a predominance of small Diamonds which represent restlessness, and only modest success. There are an equal number of red and black cards which suggests that the yes-or-no answer may go either way, and is dependent on future actions and events.

The first column represents the premise behind the question. The 10 of Clubs represents the man’s upcoming trip to visit his ex-wife, and the 2 of Diamonds shows his curiosity and desire to exchange ideas with his ex-wife. He is looking for answers regarding a possible future for the relationship. This search for answers is what has motivated the trip. The 2 of Diamonds can also represent something definite. It’s certain that the trip will happen.

The middle column almost always contains the answer to the question. The Queen of Clubs represents the ex-wife. The suit of Clubs describes her sincerity and friendly intentions toward the querent. The 7 of Spades represents setbacks and frustrations. The Queen of Clubs is not interested in moving forward and resuming the relationship. She frustrates the possibility of a reconciliation.  As a Club, her intentions are friendly, but not romantic.  Her invitation is honestly about allowing her ex-husband visitation with the dog. Therefore the answer to the question is “no, the couple will not get back together– at least not during this trip.”

The third column provides additional information, or factors contributing to the problem or situation. In most cases, the information in the final column will help clarify the answer. The Ace of Diamonds represents the new beginning that the querent hopes for, but the 3 of diamonds shows a temporary situation or a lack of commitment. Perhaps neither one of them is willing or able to put forth the effort necessary to begin anew.

The 3 of Diamonds in the pivot position is always hopeful because it shows that with the right amount of intelligent effort success is possible. but in most cases the card denotes a lack of follow-through. It’s clear from the middle column that the ex-wife is not interested in starting over. He desires a fresh start,  but he may not be able to supply the consistent effort necessary to earn that second chance. Intuitively I have the impression that he will need to prove himself to her. Otherwise, the new beginning represented by this trip will be temporary at best.