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.

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The Diamond Suit in Relationship Readings

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I get a lot of questions about how to read the Diamond suit in relationship readings. This article is an expansion of comments I posted on the Art of Cartomancy Facebook page in answer to some of these questions.

I find that in most cases when Diamonds appear in a relationship reading, they will still talk about money and power and energy. Money and power are often at the root of relationship troubles– marital problems in particular, so I always take the Diamond cards at face value first, before I consider alternate meanings.

It’s important to keep in mind that Diamonds do not represent sentimental feelings. Even the most positive of the Diamond cards cannot assure you that you’re going to meet the man of your dreams, or tell you if your crush loves you, or confirm that your lover will return to you.

For the most part the Diamond suit represents energy– all types of energy including electricity, magnetism, nuclear fission , solar power, light, fire, heat, money (which is energy in motion), consciousness, mental energy, physical energy, sexual energy, and the body’s nervous system which controls everything we do.

Diamonds also rule how we perceive energy through our sensory apparatus: eyes, ears, nose, the senses of touch and taste, and of course the extra-sensory abilities such as intuition and psychic awareness. Diamonds represent how we communicate, and how we process information. Diamonds represent information itself.

In general, the Diamonds represent all of the activities associated with left-brain thinking such as analysis, computation, numbers, mathematics, science, logic, speech, language, information technology, computer technology, etc.  In other words…

Diamonds are emotionally detached.

Despite this emotional detachment, the Diamond cards play an important role in defining relationships. They show us how we communicate with each other. They can highlight physical and sexual attraction. They can offer clues about the true motives of a prospective partner. They can show us a relationship based solely on financial interests, or one that is based on sex alone. What the Diamonds cannot do is tell us whether or not we will fall in love.

The Ace of Diamonds is a card of communication. It represents a message or an invitation. This Ace can also relate to  a new beginning, or to the renewal of an existing situation. In relationship readings, the Ace of Diamonds can also represent a ring. With the right combination of cards from the suit of Hearts, it can represent an engagement ring specifically, and indicate that an engagement is taking place. But unless surrounded by Hearts, this Ace says nothing about love.

Generally, the 2 of Diamonds is a card of self-sufficiency, and the desire for independence. It can define a relationship based on financial interests. It is also the card that represents the imagination. If you are asking about the strong vibes you’re picking up from your new office crush, the 2 of Diamonds can warn that it’s all in your mind. If you suspect your lover of cheating, the 2 of Diamonds can assure you that you’re imagining things.

The 3 of Diamonds talks about stalled growth. It describes relationships that run hot and cold. It can show a lack of commitment in love.  One or both parties is unwilling or unable to invest the necessary effort for the relationship to succeed. This card will often show up when the relationship has been on again/off again for a long period of time.

In relationship readings, the 4 of Diamonds represents an energy connection, or good chemistry, which is the foundation for any strong relationship. It is not necessarily sexual, although with love cards the 4 can indeed denote sexual chemistry.  This card also shows an intellectual connection. It’s a great card for friendship as well.

The 5 of Diamonds is more about sexual attraction, but not necessarily reciprocal. This card reminds us that sex is not love.  The 5 is also the energy that surrounds charismatic people and draws others to them. When it falls with a Face Card, the 5 of Diamonds can reveal someone who is attracted to you. Surrounding cards will usually show the nature and degree of the attraction.

The 6 of Diamonds is another card of communication. With spades it shows stubbornness, a lack of communication, withdrawal or holding back. With Hearts it may indicate shyness and timidity. With other Diamonds it usually shows nervousness or an unsettled situation. When it falls in a combination with Hearts and Spades it will highlight feelings of jealousy and possessiveness. The possessive husband or lover will usually show up as the King of Spades with the 6 of Diamonds.

The 7 of Diamonds is a card of earned success. It is about being rewarded for investing time, energy or money. In a love reading, this card can show that a motive other than love is driving romantic interest. It can show what you expect to get out of a relationship. It can show whether or not you are getting what you deserve. With other Diamonds, it can describe a financially convenient arrangement. With Clubs it can be about companionship or the services the partner provides. With Spades it can show co-dependency and the fear of being alone. With Hearts it will indicate investing emotion. The thing to remember is that some kind of a payoff is almost always assumed or expected.

The 8 of Diamonds will describe someone who is guarded and wary. It can represent the need to take things slowly. In relationship readings it can indicate making careful plans for the future. This card is cautious, and lacks any kind of spontaneity.

The 9 of Diamonds is often a person card in relationship readings. It is a card of strong attraction, and will usually represent someone who is attracted to you. This can be your husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend, or it can be someone with a secret crush on you. This is also the card of thoughts, and it’s an important card to look for if you’re asking about what someone thinks of you. Pay close attention to surrounding cards. This person wants something from you.

The 10 of Diamonds can be tricky because it is such a great card. It’s big money and security and success and victory. But it is not about sentimental feelings.  In relationship readings it can show a union based on financial security. It often shows up as the reason a couple stays together despite serious problems in the relationship.

The Diamond Face Cards can represent people you are attracted to, whereas the Heart Face Cards are people you love. Remember, if you use the suits to describe the Face Cards, they will reflect your (the querent’s) perception of them, and not their true state or character. With other Diamonds they are attractive and intelligent and optimistic, restless, nervous and chatty. With Clubs they are helpful, and may offer both advice and financial assistance. With Hearts they can be thoughtful, quiet and shy. With Spades they can be taciturn and stubborn and jealous.

Just because a super positive card appears in a reading, it does not automatically mean that you get your wish. You have to read the card. When in doubt I always ask myself, why did this particular card fall in this position instead of any one of the other 51? There is always a good reason. If you have to fudge or stretch, chances are the cards are not saying what you think (or hope) they are saying.

 

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 Five Cards: College Admission

I was asked to post an example reading where the answer based on the ratio of red to black cards contradicts the answer based on card meanings. This can happen when the querent has the power and ability to influence the situation. The cards have taught me that we all come into this life with a blueprint of our destiny, but along the way we have the freewill to influence how we fulfill that cosmic contract. The following reading illustrates this idea nicely.

The reading is for Marcella, a high school senior who has applied to a prestigious college across the country where she hopes to continue her education. The school in question is her primary choice, and she is anxious about getting accepted. Marcella asks, “Will I be accepted to the College?”

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Sophia’s Fortunetelling Playing Cards

My first impression is of the predominance of black cards in the spread, immediately suggesting that acceptance is unlikely. I quickly peruse the cards to determine why. The 10 of Spades shows insecurity and fear. I also take note of the self-sabotaging Queen of Spades in the center of the spread. I see the queen as Marcella, and determine that it is her own fears creating a block in the situation.  What does Marcella fear?

If we keep in mind that the main columns holding the reading together are the first, middle and final cards (1, 3, and 5), the source of the fear becomes clear.  The 9 of Clubs reflects the fear indicated by the 10 of Spades, and the nine represents travel and movement and distance. Marcella has never been away on her own for any length of time, and the thought of leaving home makes her feel uncomfortable and insecure. This trio of cards will usually provide a concise answer to the question. With the 9 of Clubs as the outcome card, the reading suggests to me that if Marcellla can overcome the block (10 of Spades) by resolving her fears, there is potential for her to move forward (9 of Clubs) with her desire to attend the College.

This outcome is confirmed for me by the red cards in the spread. I always look for the cards to reflect the theme of the reading. The King of Diamonds is one of the cards that represents school and education for me, so I know that the cards are tuned into my question. So I take the King to represent the College, and the King reflects the 5 of Hearts which is an offer or opportunity. This five is one of the best cards in the deck because it can denote a dream come true. Unless it is accompanied by very unfavorable cards, it almost always gives a yes answer in a spread. In this case, surrounded by Spades, I read it as a strong maybe.

It looks to me that despite the predominance of black cards, there is excellent potential for Marcella to be offered a position by the school. This is one of those freewill situations that will depend on whether Marcella can resolve her fears. Otherwise she runs the risk of self-sabotaging this opportunity. Often when two red cards and three black show up in a spread, it will suggest that the querent has some power over the situation to affect the final outcome. That seems to be the case with this situation. The cards can indicate the current trends and probable outcome, but only Marcella can create her own future.

This reading was originally posted as an exercise on my Facebook page, Art of Cartomancy. Check out the post for additional insights into these cards. Most of the participants agree with my final answer, but also offer varied perspectives that are equally valid based on the card meanings and combinations.

The Devastating Dusting Disaster

Early Sunday morning I received a frantic telephone call from my good friend Heidi. She was devastated by a dusting disaster. While tidying her altar in the early hours she had accidently smashed her treasured porcelain angel figurine. She immediately took the mishap as a sign that the angels were displeased with her, or that someone had cast the evil eye against her spiritual work.

Heidi begged me to throw down a few cards to see why the angels are angry with her. In my experience these kinds of mishaps are rarely the work of dark forces, so I agreed to draw a few cards to help ease her mind– despite not yet having my first cup of coffee…

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I asked the cards, “What caused Heidi to drop and break her porcelain angel figurine?”

My immediate impression of the cards was that there were no dark forces or celestial anger afflicting Heidi or her porcelain figurine.

I always look first to the center card of the Line of Five Spread. I call this card the linchpin because it will usually provide a succinct answer to the question. The 3 of Diamonds points to carelessness and a lack of focus. The next cards to catch my eye were the first and last, which reflect each other and will usually provide supporting information about the answer. The combination Ace of Hearts and 5 of Clubs can indicate housework— in other words, cleaning and sweeping and dusting, etc.

It never fails to impress me how the playing cards will reflect back to us the theme of the question to confirm that the spread is focused on the correct issue.  The answer seems clear: Heidi was careless with her dusting of the figurine, and that was what caused it to slip from her fingers and crash to the floor.

“So then who’s the Queen of Spades?” Heidi wanted to know. Well, we could interpret her in several different ways– none of which are truly sinister since she is surrounded by relatively good cards. My first impression is that the Queen represents the broken angel figurine. She appears as a spade to represent her damaged condition.

I found myself drawn to that pair of fives in the spread. A pair of fives will often represent “the hands” in a reading. We see the angel (Queen of Spades) in the hands (between the two fives) along with the card of carelessness (3 of Diamonds). The symbolism is hard to ignore. Alternately, we might see the Queen as Heidi in her role as the unlucky or clumsy woman. More likely Heidi would be represented by the 5 of Hearts, which when next to the Ace of Hearts shows the woman of the house. The 5 of Hearts mirrors the Queen indicating the connection between Heidi and the damaged statue. The 3 of Diamonds in between would represent the scattered energy that caused the mishap. Or in a general sense the Queen as a spade may simply refer to the misfortunate accident. Whatever the case, what I don’t see are any malevolent outside influences to blame.

I asked Heidi if the damaged figurine could be fullsizerenderrepaired. I wondered because that 5 of Clubs ending the row is a work card that can indicate fixing or repairing something.  Also, the 5 of Hearts is one of the best cards in the deck. It reveals opportunity and truth and wishes fulfilled. When the cards reveal trouble, they invariably also show a possible remedy or solution. Perhaps the hands that had unintentionally caused the damage to the statue might also be able to repair it.

“Maybe,” Heidi tells me, “there’s a clean break at the torso, but one wing is shattered, and the halo is chipped.”  Heidi had already recovered the larger pieces, but she was not sure she could successfully glue them back together. I advised her to carefully collect all of the broken pieces, and that I would do my best to help.

In the end, there were splintered pieces which could not be restored, but the repaired angel does not look half bad.  Heidi and I both agreed that since the piece has so much sentimental value for her, it was worth restoring. I suggested that she display the angel with her damaged wing hidden. I took a picture from an advantageous angle, and from a distance you can’t even tell that the angel was broken.