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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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.

3 of Diamonds

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The 3 of Diamonds is the first of a trio of cards that represent restrictions and limitations in an otherwise very auspicious Diamond suit. The other two restrictive cards being the 6 of Diamonds and the 8 of Diamonds. The 3 of Diamonds combines the growth and expansiveness of the number three with the restlessness and changeability of the Diamond suit. The result is a card of unsustainable efforts and restrictive growth.

Some readers see positive financial growth in this card; in fact, I used to read it this way myself. But over the years I have found that for me the 3 of Diamonds is always challenging. At best it will show success only through blood, sweat and tears. When this card does represent money, it always indicates a tiny amount, or less money than you expect or hope to receive.

In a general sense, the 3 of Diamonds indicates reoccurring patterns or sporadic energies and actions. It can denote an event or behavior that is repeated at intervals, or describe an arrangement that is temporary in nature. As the outcome card, the 3 of Diamonds can show partial success, or a small victory that is won at great cost.

In love readings the 3 of Diamonds will often indicate a lack of commitment to the relationship. It can describe a lover who runs hot and cold, or someone who comes and goes in and out of your life. It can also describe a partner who will not or cannot put forth the required effort to sustain the relationship. With a Facecard, the 3 of Diamonds describes a person who is fickle and changeable and unreliable. 

I once did a reading for a young lady who was distraught over her boyfriend who had stopped responding to her phone calls and text messages. Her cards included the 4 of Hearts, which promised reconciliation, but the outcome card was the 3 of Diamonds. I told her that her boyfriend would be back in touch, but warned that it wouldn’t be long before he would be off again with no word of his whereabouts. As predicted, the boyfriend re-established contact within the week, but was out of touch again the following month.

The 3 of Diamonds can also show a relationship on the side. Look for the 3 of Spades nearby to show deception, or the Queen or King of Spades to indicate the other woman/man. I also look for a Heart card in the mix to confirm the love affair.

The 3 of Diamonds is not all bad news. In work readings this card can indicate a part-time job or temporary work position. When falling with the 8 of Clubs, which represents full-time employment, the combination can refer to temporary or part-time work that will develop into a full-time job. This card can also represent moonlighting. If you already have steady employment, and the 3 of Diamonds appears in your work reading, it can point to putting in extra hours on your regular job, or picking up a temporary side job. The 3 of Diamonds is also the card that represents freelance work as opposed to regular employment.

In financial readings the 3 of Diamonds is a card of small or erratic growth. It reflects the ups and downs of the stock market, and is an important card in readings about stock investments and speculation. In a negative sense, this card can also talk about pyramid schemes, and with the 3 of Spade it can reveal a ponzi scheme or other fraudulent financial activities.

I always divine the 3 of Diamonds with a wary eye.  I know it will reveal a source of instability in the situation in question. Often the card preceding the three will show the source of the instability, and the card following the three will indicate the consequences of the erratic actions. Here’s a quick sample three card reading illustrating the 3 of Diamonds in action…

The reading was done by a young lady who asked if the guy she recently started dating was falling in love with her.  She drew the following cards…

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The predominance of red cards suggests an immediate “yes” answer. Let’s see if we can back it up with the card meanings. The Jack of Hearts is a man in love, and I always look for him in response to this type of question. He faces toward the left, which is always the position of the querent, so I can be certain that the emotions he is feeling are directed toward her. But what about that Queen of Spades at his back?

First we should ask ourselves why the Queen of Spades in particular rather than any one of the other three Queens? What are the cards trying to tell us here? Well, we know that the Queen of Spades can represent the other woman, or an ex-partner. We have just discussed how the 3 of Diamonds can denote a side relationship. Could there be another woman involved in the equation?

I can’t help but notice that the Jack and Queen look away from each other. I get the impression that their relationship is currently off, but the 3 of Diamonds warns that there is an on-again off-again relationship between these two that is not completely ended. Does this mean there is hanky panky going on?

Probably not. Without more information, we can’t assume deception. In fact, it turned out that this man had a child with his ex-girlfriend that he had not yet disclosed to the querent. The child  was the reason for maintaining a relationship with the ex.

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.