7 of Spades

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The 7 of Spades in Modern Cartomancy can warn of a challenging situation. It is not a card we hope to see, particularly in a love reading. Generally the 7 of Spades represents a setback or a reversal of fortune, and in relationship readings it invariably shows a cooling off of affections.

For example, the 4 of Hearts with the 7 of Spades would show a marriage or partnership on the rocks. There is a cooling of affections, and one or both parties feel frustrated and unfulfilled. This combination can also suggest that the partner drinks too much.

The 7 is Spades is the “drinking” card. It can denote imbibing alcohol or partaking of any kind of intoxicating substance including both prescription medications and illegal drugs. The combination 7 of Spades and Ace of Spades (the mind) can show intoxication. If the 4 of Spades is nearby, it can denote a hangover.

When surrounded by positive or neutral cards, the 7 of Spades can refer to social drinking or recreational drug use. With cards indicating a party or social interaction, the 7 of Spades will usually indicate that liquor will be a part of the celebration. The combination 7 of Spades with the 3 of Hearts can denote a cocktail party.

When the 7 of Spades falls between two Face Cards it shows the two people going out for drinks. If the 7 of Spades appears  surrounded by multiple Face Cards, it shows a night out on the town with a group of people. A predominance of Clubs would indicate celebrating with co-workers. A predominance of hearts would show a night out with friends.

When falling with cards from the Club suit, denoting career or profession, the 7 of Spades can describe someone who works as a bartender, a barback, or a cocktail server. If the 2 of Diamonds is nearby, it would indicate that they work in a restaurant where liquor is also served.

The 7 of Spades is also the Card of addiction. Alcoholism or drug addiction is commonly represented by the combination 7 of Spades and 9 of Spades. The 9 of Spades shows something harmful (although this combination can also indicate that your prescription medication is causing you harm). If the 5 of Spades is nearby, it will show that others (family members, friends, etc.) can be hurt as well by the substance abuse.

The 7 of Spades is also a “water” card, but usually only in a negative sense.* It can predict anything from a faucet drip to a leaky pipe to an inconvenient rainstorm.

If you’re looking to purchase a home, and the cards show the 7 of Spades near the Ace of Hearts along with a money card, you can be sure that you’ll find a problem with the plumbing that will be costly to repair.

The absence of a big money card may simply indicate that the water heater needs replacement, especially if the 7 of Hearts is also present.

With Diamonds, the 7 of Spades will show financial setbacks. The surrounding cards will usually indicate the cause. If the 3 of Spades (loss) is nearby with a money card, it would show a gambling or trading losses.

In a general sense, the 7 of Spades is a card of stagnation and frustration.

When this card begins a line of cards, it indicates a long delay before the events outlined by the following cards can play out.

When the 7 of Spades ends a line of cards, it can show a lack of progress, or a stalled situation. It will usually indicate that events  will not play out as you hoped.

When it appears in the middle of a line of cards, the 7 of Spades indicates that the preceding cards are blocked, and the following cards are delayed. If the subsequent cards are positive, the situation will require patience and perseverance to achieve the predicted outcome.

Whenever and wherever it appears, the 7 of Spades is rarely a welcomed sight. You can bet that patience and perseverance will be required to overcome a difficult period of setbacks and frustrations.

* The card that represents water in a positive sense, such as swimming or boating, is the 10 of Clubs.

Cartomancy Technique for Answering Yes-or-No Questions

When I was a fledgling card reader in that long-ago age before the invention of the internet and psychic phone lines, most psychic readings were done locally and in person. The dynamics of the psychic reading were different in those days. There was  little interaction between reader and client prior to spreading the cards. Once the cards were on the table, and the cassette recorder was flipped on, the reader would begin to describe important events in the client’s life. The client might grunt approval or groan in surprise, but for the most part questions and comments were saved for the last few minutes of the session. Today, in our modern world of chat readings and per minute charges, psychic readings have become much more focused, and the guiding force behind the modern reading is the question.

Perhaps the most common type of inquiry heard from clients today is the yes-or-no question…

  • Will I get married soon?
  • Is my spouse cheating?
  • Does he love me?
  • Will the business deal go through?
  • Will I get the job I just interviewed for?

I suppose it is not surprising. Today’s clients come to a reader with specific questions, and expect definite answers.

Questions that are phrased in this way can be challenging for the reader because yes or no answers are not always so clear-cut in the cards. The reader is forced to make a judgement call based on the combined influence of all of the cards in the spread, in conjunction with intuition  Not all readers are comfortable with this process, and many choose to avoid answering predictive questions that require a definite yes or no response.

The yes or no questions have always been popular with my querents, and over the years I have experimented with various spreads designed to answer these specific type questions. I have tried spreads that include techniques for divining yes or no by way of card number combination, or card suit designation or suit color predominance.

I’ve discovered that, for me, the most successful technique is to draw an odd number of cards, and base the answer on the predominance of red or black cards. The red cards are considered affirmative, and the black cards are negative. I find that drawing five cards work best for me. I think three cards are too few, and seven are too many.

I use the following guidelines for interpreting the answer based on predominance of card color:

  • 5 red and 0 black = definitely yes, the outcome is predetermined
  • 4 red and 1 black = most likely yes, there could be free will involved, or the querent may be able to influence the matter
  • 3 red and 2 black = probably yes, there is definitely free will involved, or the querent may be able to influence the matter
  • 2 red and 3 black = probably no, but the querent may be able to influence the situation for a more positive outcome
  • 1 red and 4 black = most likely no, there is small room for change, but the situation is not hopeless
  • 0 red and 5 black = definitely no, it is not meant to be

Once I determine the answer based on card coloring, I then interpret the line of cards to provide more information about why the answer is affirmative or negative.

On the subject of the predictive reading, I think it’s important to note that the cards can foretell the most likely outcome of a situation based on the current influences surrounding the matter. I believe that it is a mistake to ignore the influence of free will in a reading. In the end we create our experiences with our expectations and our choices and decisions. I believe very little is preordained, and that  for the most part, we write our own destiny.

Example Yes or No Spread

In order to provide an example of this type of reading, I just drew five cards off the cuff as I’m writing this post. I asked the question: Will Barack Obama be re-elected president of the United States?

This example was originally posted on September 19, 2012, on my old blog, prior to the election.

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The three red cards, and two black, tell me “probably yes.” The outcome may not yet be determined, but the situation looks hopeful. Obama has more work to do to convince the American public to award him with another presidential term.

Now we can look at the specific meanings of the cards to glean more information from this spread. The 9 of Hearts and 5 of Hearts show that Obama was the hope for a bright future. The 10 of Diamonds and 10 Spades show that his financial plan for the country fell short, and the 8 of Spades shows that this caused a general sense of disappointment for the American people.

We could delve even deeper into this spread say that there is dissatisfaction (10 of Spades) with both the financial (10 of Diamonds) and the Health care (8 of Spades) agendas. I also have the impression from the predominance of red cards at the start of the line that expectations were high when Obama was first elected president. It may have been nearly impossible to meet those exaggerated expectations. The 8 of Spades as the outcome shows that his accomplishments and failures are being carefully analyzed, and a final decision is pending.

I have had tremendous success using this yes-or-no method. I suppose you could say it’s because in most cases the answer could go either way, and in a sense this allows me to hedge all of my bets. But in practice this spread has been very rewarding because it can show where the querent may have the power to influence the outcome of a situation, and the cards will usually offer advice on how to turn the tide for a more favorable outcome. I find this to be infinitely more practical and useful than simply telling a querent “yes or no.”

How I Shuffle the Cards For a Reading

In response to several questions from readers of my blog about how I shuffle and draw the cards for my readings, I decided to write an article about my process…

I think it’s important to point out that my method works for me, but it may not work for everyone. Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what process works best for you. I also want to mention that what follows is my approach for handling the playing cards specifically. My process varies with other oracle cards.

Which Hand?

When I first learned to read the cards I was taught to always cut the deck from left to right using my left hand. I was also instructed to draw cards with my left hand. The rationale is that the left side of the body is the receptive or spiritual side, and that the left hand is closest to the heart. Because I am right-handed, this feels unnatural to me. So before long I switched to using my right hand exclusively for the cut and draw. That was many years ago, and my readings have only improved over time. For this reason, I’m convinced that it’s best to use whichever hand feels most natural to you.

Shuffling the Deck

When I started reading professionally, almost all of my readings were done face-to-face in person. For an in-person reading I always allowed my querent to do the shuffling in whichever way felt most comfortable. I have watched clients riffle the deck like a practiced card shark. Others clumsily mash the cards together, bending  the corners, and leaving me thankful that good quality playing cards are reasonably inexpensive. Most clients prefer a smooth over-hand shuffle. A few like to slide and scramble the cards on the table like they’re tossing a big salad. And on more than one occasion I have witnessed a client merely cut the cards once or twice in hand before returning the deck for the reading without shuffling at all. In every case, the quality of the reading did not seem to be affected by the technique used or the time spent on the shuffle. I decided over time that the shuffle is spirit-guided, and always perfect.

Over the last few years my readings have shifted almost exclusively to phone or email, requiring me to do the shuffling for my clients. Prior to beginning a new reading I riffle shuffle the deck because I believe this breaks up any residual energy from the previous reading. If I utilize multiple layouts during a session, I prefer the smooth overhand shuffle between laying out the cards in order to avoid scattering the energies.

Drawing the Cards

I have discovered through trial and error that I get a higher rate of accuracy when I draw the cards randomly for a reading. For this reason, I almost never deal a reading off the top of the shuffled deck. I will spread the cards out face-down on the table, and as I draw each card I focus on the querent’s question. I have the impression that my hand is divinely guided to choose the appropriate cards. This is what works best for me. You might find you get better results drawing from the top of the deck. I suggest you practice both techniques to see which gives you the most reliable results, or “feels right” for you.

Card Spreads

I prefer smaller card spreads. In fact, other than the Answer Spread, I rarely use structured spreads any more. Most often, I will draw no more than three or five cards to answer a specific question. For a general reading I use a process for drawing the cards that  my grandmother taught me whereby I deal every third card looking for the Aces and other meaningful cards which serve as significators in the reading.  This process allows me to fall back on a structure if I need to answer specific questions from the cards already on the table.

I have discovered that I am able to keep focus, and provide a more accurate reading with fewer cards. I never draw more than 12 or 15 cards for a general reading. In my experience, more cards do not necessarily mean more relevant information. So much of the meaning in a card reading is derived from how the cards influence each other.  It’s easy to become muddled when having to account for too many cards in a spread– especially when answering a simple question.

Clarification Cards

When I do use a structured spread, such as the Answer Spread for specific questions, I am not a fan of drawing additional cards for clarification. I find that if I’m not able to piece together the meaning of a small grouping of cards, drawing one or two additional cards is not likely to help, and only serves to further muddy the interpretation.  The one instance when I may employ a single clarification card is when a spread or group of cards end in a court card. I sometimes use an additional card to clarify the influence this person will have on the matter in question.

How to Interpret Multiple Court Cards in a Reading

A common question I get from students is, “How do I handle multiple court cards in a reading. I derive meaning based on how the cards interact with each other, so I prefer to use a structured layout. But that’s just my personal preference. It’s perfectly fine to deal out seven or ten cards in a row and read them in sequence. In fact, I know some very successful readers who don’t ever use a structured layout.

Second, I’ve learned through experience that court cards almost always represent people in the querent’s life. But of course there are exceptions.

The following Line of 7 was submitted by a student:

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When a group of court cards fall together, it usually means a party, a get together, or a group outing with friends is coming up. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I look at your grouping of cards because the Ace of Diamonds can represent an invitation.

Your interpretation also makes perfect sense. It could be an engagement party coming up that you’ll either hear about, or be invited to (Ace of Diamonds could indicate all three possibilities).

There’s another possibility if we pair off the court cards. Two Kings can represent a policeman or judge, and the Queen + Jack combination can represent a old female friend from the past. You have two such combinations in your spread. So another possible interpretations is that you’ll run into a female friend you haven’t seen in a while (Queen of Diamonds + Jack of Clubs) who will bring news (Ace of Diamonds) about another old female friend you’ve not seen in a while (Queen of Hearts + Jack of Spades) who has been in trouble with the police (King of Spades + King of Diamonds). The Queen of Hearts shows it was probably a close friend or even a family member and the Jack of Spades shows trouble.

Well, those are some basic ideas without even considering the direction that each card faces. Court cards that face toward each other can indicate collusion or conflict, and those that face away indicate anger or indifference. Cards that face toward the left usually have the querent’s best interests in mind. Those that face to the right are more concerned with their own interests.

For example, the King of Spades and King of Diamonds are interested in each other. We could assume they know each other and are probably friends. The Queen of Hearts is interested in what’s going on with the King of Diamonds, she could have romance on her mind (Heart), but his focus is elsewhere. The Jack of Spades is engaging the Queen of Diamonds. The Jack of Clubs is focused on the invitation, so the invitation is most likely coming from him.

You can find more information about reading the court cards in groups in the Cartomancy Court Cards Category.

A student asks:

Kapherus, I would like to know if there is more to understand when reading court cards. I realize there are suit interactions here that will help the reading to make more sense. Another site states that kings are power/ ideal partners; queens are, truth and jacks are messages in addition to being people in our lives. When I draw court cards I see them so literally as people but perhaps I am missing their broader meanings. Could you write some about this.

Sure, here’s some more information on how I approach the court cards:

The Kings

In card combinations, a king will almost always represent a mature man either in age or behavior. For example, the King of Spades can represent a divorced or separated man who often appears as an ex-husband, ex-lover, or ex-friend in the cards. He can also be read according to his “Spade” nature. His positive traits are sexy, charming, intense, mysterious, determined, and powerful. On the negative side, he might be aggressive, secretive, demanding, etc.

Because the King of Spades is a natural born leader, he may often represent a man in your life who is in a position of power over you. This could be your father, employer, landlord, professor, or even husband. I know that all of these levels of meaning can seem overwhelming to the beginning card reader, but you’ll find that soon enough your intuition will kick in to help you choose the most appropriate interpretation. (Please see my article on The Court Cards As People for specific information on how to identify the other face cards in your reading, and suggestions on how to read the directions they face.)

In a card spread where the individual positions carry specific meaning, the King can sometimes be read as a quality. The King is top man on the totem pole. He represents influence and authority. The King can represents the querent’s authority in a reading regardless of whether the querent is male or female, or young or old. The specific suit will usually give a clue as to the area of influence. For example, the King of Spades can indicate that the querent is being overbearing in a situation. The King of Hearts can show protectiveness. The King of Clubs shows taking full responsibility for resolving a problem or issue. The King of Diamonds can denote taking financial or intellectual control of a situation.

In combination, the Kings can be read as men interacting with each other. Two Kings is symbolic of a handshake, and can indicate some kind of partnership or mutually beneficial deal. Two Kings can also represent a man in uniform–the first King would represent the man, and the 2nd his uniform. For example, the two Kings could represent a policeman, a fireman, a rescue worker, or a military officer. As a side note, two Jacks can also represent a man who wears a uniform for work, but not necessarily as a symbol of authority. Groups of Kings would indicate an event or organization consisting of mostly men.

The Queens

The Queen is ageless (meaning she can represent a female of any age) and the Jack is a young male or female, so this pairing is wide open to a multitude of possible interpretations. In other words, there is not a general meaning I can give you that will always apply to any Court Card pairing.

Here are some guidelines that work for me:

When two or more Face Cards of any matching suit appear together, they can represent a family connection. Therefore, the Queen + Jack could be mother and son, or sister and brother, or older sister and younger sister, or even a young married couple.

The combination of Queen + Jack can also be read as an old female friend coming back into your life. The Queen of Hearts might indicate old love interest returning. The Queen of Spades could be an old rival. The Queen of Clubs could be an old work associate, and the Queen of Diamonds could be a long lost relative returning.

Two Face Cards of the same suit can also denote compatibility. For example, the King and Queen with matching suit will usually indicate a married couple, or at the very least a compatible relationship. The Jack of the same suit often represents their offspring.

Sometimes the Queen + Jack can indicate a woman who is involved with a younger man.

The Queen can also represent the subconscious. or something happening behind the scenes. In a reading she can reveal the subconscious motivations that are influencing the situation. For example, the Queen of Diamonds could denote someone subconsciously motivated by money and/or power.

Then on top of all of that, you can also figure in the specific personality traits associated with each suit. So as you can see, the possibilities are almost endless. Your intuition is always your best guide when interpreting the Court Card combinations.

The Jacks

I’ve found in my own readings that the Jacks almost always represents young men, although they can also represent young women or children of either sex. The specific suit can be used to determine interests or personality traits to help place the person in the querent’s life.

Jacks almost always represent people for me, but in layouts with individual spots that convey a specific meaning (such as the Celtic Cross or 5-Pointed Star) the Jacks do often represent thoughts or ideas. Of course a card almost never means only one thing, so it’s also possible to read a Jack first as a specific person in the querent’s life, and then again as an important thought or idea.

I use the Jacks in two ways to represent thoughts or ideas. First, if the King or Queen of the matching suit appears in a reading, the corresponding Jack could represent that person’s thoughts, and the surrounding cards would describe what was on this person’s mind.

Secondly, the Jacks can represent the querent’s thoughts, or an idea being contemplated, particularly if no other Face Cards appear in the spread. In this case, the Jack of Hearts could represent thoughts of love or family, the Jack of Diamonds = thoughts of money or power, the Jack of Clubs = thoughts of work, business or study,
and Jack of Spades would denote thoughts concerning a challenge or problem– often negative thinking. 
The Jacks can also be read as something new or something offered, but this has rarely been the case for me.

When the Jacks appear in pairs, I use the one falling on top (to the right) to convey the mood of the union or encounter. If a heart falls on top, it would show cooperation, and a friendly interaction such as two good friends sharing a mutual experience. If a Club falls on top, then the interaction is more practical, such as shaking hands on a business deal. If a diamond falls on top, there is probably money or scheming involved. A Spade on top almost always denotes a problem or challenge, and can indicate trouble or conflict between the two young persons.

I have had the pair of Jacks (most often the Jack of Diamonds + Jack of Spades ) indicate a lawsuit in my readings. Usually the 5 of Diamonds is also somewhere in the spread indicating a court case. The Jack of Hearts + Jack of Spades would clue me in to a disagreement. Of course the surrounding cards would also influence the final interpretation, and any pair could denote a quarrel with Spades.

Card Pairing in Cartomancy: Basic Lessons in Reading Playing Cards

In response to repeated requests for more introductory information on the best way to begin the study of Cartomancy, and also how to make sense of a group of random cards in spread, I thought I would post a detailed breakdown of how I approach the cards in a reading…

Step 1: Card Meanings

Naturally, the first step in learning to read the cards is choosing a core set of meanings. You want to choose a comprehensive system that will allow you to pick up on a wide range of events and experiences in your readings. The system should make logical sense to you, so that you will be able to build onto the core meanings and make them your own.

Look for consistency…

In other words, it helps if all of the cards of a particular suit convey a similar influence, and if all of the pips of the same number share a common theme. For example, in the system I use the suit of Spades represents challenges, delays, and obstacles. The 8′s all deal with balance. So in a general sense the 8 of Spades would indicate the need to overcome an obstacle (sickness) or a challenge (disappointment) in order to restore balance to mind, body or soul.

You will find this consistency helpful for memorizing card meanings, and to be immeasurably useful when you’re faced with a card that seems to make no sense in a reading. In most cases, if you fall back on the general card meanings based on suit and number, the purpose of the card in the spread will suddenly become clear.

Step 2: Card Pairings

Once you understand the suit influences and number meanings, and have memorized one or two keywords for each card, the next step is to learn how the cards relate to each other in a layout or card spread. The basic unit in card reading is the pair. Reading a card pair is much more than just combining the meanings of each individual card into a third conglomerate meaning. Card pairing is also about the flow of action between the cards that tells an important story.

The following examples are based on the particular set of meanings that I utilize, but the techniques should be applicable to any set of meanings of your choice.†

When pairing cards the card order is important because the first card (card A) acts as the premise of the situation, or the initiator of the action. The second card (card B) shows the result or outcome, or acts as the receiver of the action.

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Another way to look at the pairing is by card sequence. The flow of action moves from left to right. We could say that Card A represents the past, and card B represents the future— but depending on the context of the situation any sequence is possible…

Card A Card B
Now Later
Distant Past Recent Past
Past Present
Present Future
Near Future Distant Future
Tomorrow Next Week

Now let’s take a look at a couple of examples to see the pairings in action…

For the following examples, I am utilizing the following card meanings:

2 of Diamonds = an exchange of money, a payment
4 of Diamonds = a bank account

In a general sense, the Diamond suit represents money and financial matters, the 2′s represent cooperation or exchange, and the 4′s represent stablilty or a solid foundation.

Please note that other meanings are possible for these cards, but for this exercise I am limiting the interpretation to combinations of the above listed core meanings.

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Example 1

In the first example, Card A (the 2 of Diamonds) indicates that an exchange of money is the premise of the matter. Card B shows the result or outcome or receiver of the money exchange, a bank account. So based on the card order in Ex. 1 the interpretation would be read as money is being deposited into a bank account, or a payment to the bank.

Example 2

In the second example, Card A (the 4 of Diamonds) indicates that a bank account is the premise of the matter. Card B shows the result or receiver of the action. In this case the money is received. So based on the card order in ex. 2, the interpretation would be that money is being withdrawn from a bank account (or a bank loan, dividend yield, etc).

Step 3: Incorporating Additional Cards

Now we can introduce an additional card (C) to the mix to see how the flow of action continues toward building a detailed interpretation of the cards. We have already paired cards A + B, and now we will pair the cards B + C for each example…

card_pairs2

In the above examples, Card C is the Ace of Hearts, and for me this card represents home and family. In a general sense the Aces represent the beginning or the source, and the suit of Hearts represent emotional matters. For most of us, home and family is the source of our emotional security.

Example 2.1

The 4 of Diamonds indicates that the bank account is the premise of the reading, and the 2 of Diamonds is a payment being received from the account. The Ace of Hearts tells us who or what receives the payment. Hence, this could be a bank withdrawal that is spent on the home, or money lent to a family member, or a bank loan for the home. Other interpretations are possible such as real estate earnings, a small loan on a house, etc.

I had this combination show up in a reading for a client who was applying for a home improvement loan to repair the roof on her house. The combination of red cards showed a positive outcome, and the client was approved for the loan.

Example 1.1

The 2 of Diamonds falling first shows a payment as the premise of the readings. The 4 of Diamonds tells us where the payment is received; it is deposited into an account. The Ace of Hearts describes the account as dealing with home or family. Hence, these cards show a payment made to account on a house mortgage, or home loan.

It’s important to note that each card is combined with the adjacent card to either side, but cards are not “reflected” as in Lenormand. In other words, I would not combine cards A + C because that would negate the flow of action which is important for an accurate interpretation of a card sequence in cartomancy. To maintain the flow of action, the cards are read (A+B) + (B + C) + (C + D)….

Practice

A very useful exercise for practicing card pairing is the three-card daily draw. While you’re enjoying your morning cup of coffee or tea, before starting your day, you can ask the cards, or your spirit friends through the cards, what you most need to be aware of this day. Then draw three cards, interpret the cards in pairs, and journal your impressions. That evening or the following morning you can review your journal entry to see how well the cards described the energy that played out in your day. This is an excellent exercise for bonding with your cards, and picking up new meanings or gaining a new perspective on old meanings.

The Next Step

Once you feel comfortable with your three-card draws, you can graduate to using more cards. In a row of more than three cards, you would continue to pair the cards in order to build your meaning. I look at the card suits for a general impression of the energy of the reading. The final card in the series will describe the outcome of the matter. Red cards reveal a positive outcome, Clubs suggest the need for effort, and Spades show delays, obstacles and challenges.

A row of cards with predominantly red cards that ends in a Spade will show obstacles and delays. A card row with predominantly black cards that ends with a red card shows overcoming challenges to achieve a positive outcome. You can find an example for how to read a row of 5 cards in my blog article: Cartomancy Skills: Linking a Row of Cards.

†You can find a copy of the card meanings I use in PDF format in the files section of the Art of Cartomancy Facebook group.