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.

The Star Spread: Will I Find True Love?

I wanted to share the following reading because it provides a good example of how I approach a small spread that is dominated by Court Cards. I recently posted two articles on how to read the Court Cards: The Court Cards As People and When Court Cards Do Not Represent People. I hope the following example reading will help further showcase these ideas in action.

For this reading I used the Star Spread. I have encountered several versions of the Star Spread from various sources. The version I prefer comes from the book, The Way of Cartouche by Murry Hope.

This example Star Spread was part of an actual reading done on 4/21/06 for the daughter of a good friend.  You’ll notice that 4 of the 5 cards pulled for this layout were Court Cards which provide psychological insight into the interactions between the people involved in the situation.  

Question: Will I find true love?

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Cards In the Order They Were Drawn:

King of Hearts
Queen of Spades
King of Spades
5 of Diamonds
King of Clubs

The King of Hearts at the first point of the star represents the nature of the question.  As a member of the suit of hearts, this card confirms that the question deals with an emotional matter.  The King would specifically represent the ideal partner the querent is wishing for– family man, good provider, protector, faithful husband, etc., which are all of the characteristics associated with this card.

The Queen of Spades at the 2nd point of the star represents the cause or basis of the question, the reason for the wish, or the cause of the problem.  The suit of Spades represents sadness and loneliness, which are obvious reasons for searching for true love. Specifically, the queen represents the querent in her current aspect of sadness and loneliness.  The Queen of Spades can also represent a divorced woman, and the querent was in fact divorced.

The King of Spades falling at the 3rd point of the star represents a contributing factor, or additional information to be considered in the situation. It’s easy to see that he represents the querent’s ex-husband, as the King of Spades would denote a divorced or widowed man. As a spade falling in this position, he represents an obstacle to the successful outcome of the situation.

If we look at the dynamics of the cards in this layout, we see that the Queen of Spades (the querent) is looking away from the King of Spades (the ex-husband), but the ex-husband is looking directly at the querent.  These interactions suggest that although she is finished with the relationship, and is ready to move on, he is still holding on.  The querent confirmed that this was the case.  The ex-husband had continued to pursue her even after she made it clear to him that she was not interested in a reconciliation.

Despite her desire to move on, the queen’s stance also suggests that the querent still harbors anger and hurt feelings from the past relationship.  These negative emotions as represented by the Queen of Spades may be holding her back from finding new love.  Interestingly, the Queen of Spades is  turned away from all of the men in the layout, including her ideal man, the King of Hearts.  This further suggests that she has closed herself off emotionally.

At the 4th point of the star we find the only pip in the layout.  This position answers the question, or provides advice for finding a solution to the problem or concern.  The 5 of Diamonds is the card of “physical and mental attraction,” and it reminds us that we create our experiences based on the energy we project out into the the world.  This card can be a warning to be more aware of how we present ourselves to those around us.

The 5 of Diamonds in this position advises that a change is needed in the way the querent is perceiving herself, and presenting this image to the world–and in particular to potential partners.  This card suggests that in order to move forward, the querent must release her anger, forgive the ex, and drop the Queen of Spades persona as the sad, lonely, hurt, angry, wronged woman.

The card in the final position at the 5th point of the star represents the final outcome if the advice of the card in position 4 is heeded.  Here we find the King of Clubs.  He is the actual man, as opposed to the ideal (King of Hearts), that the querent can potentially attract (5 of Diamonds) into her life.  The King of Clubs is friendly, reliable, trustworthy and stable, the very qualities the querent needs.  It is interesting to note that the King of Clubs also looks away from the Queen, which suggests disinterest in her current aspect as the hurt, angry woman.

For this yes-or-no question I set the intention that the answer could be derived by the ratio of red to black cards in the spread. The predominance of black cards would suggest a “no” answer.  It’s important to keep in mind that the “no” does not mean “never.”  It simply means “no” for the duration of the whatever time frame is set by the reading.  In the case of the Star Spread, the time frame is usually between 3 to 6 months.

The King of Clubs represents a new man coming into the querent’s life, but the encounter could be delayed by her inability to release the negative emotion from her past relationship with the ex.  It’s also possible she may meet the new man within the time frame of the reading, but the relationship may not develop right away.

Feedback:

The querent took the advice to heart, and worked at forgiving and releasing the baggage from her failed marriage.  She did meet someone new about year after the reading, and eventually remarried.