Whether you’re strapped for cash or don’t want to learn how to read Tarot cards, you can discover simple methods of divination using playing cards, officially known as “Cartomancy” – right here!
Read on to learn about the fascinating history of Cartomancy and many other interesting facts about divination.
– Updated 6/13/2019
Table of Contents
What is Divination?
The word “Divination” is derived from the Latin “Divinare” which translates as “to foresee, to be inspired by a god.” It is the practice of discovering unknown knowledge about the future via supernatural methods.
Using a variety of methods – occult or otherwise – the diviner interprets signs or messages received during the process of divination, such as reading cards, signs perceived in dreams or magical meanings derived from oracles, runes and many other tools from various natural and supernatural devices.
Divination is usually performed with a ritual, from the simple to the highly stylized. In contrast, Fortune Telling is usually a more laid back way of practicing, for everyday questions about mundane events or other concerns related to things such as love, career and money.
What is the Most Accurate Divination Method?
The answer depends on who is performing the divination and what method you prefer. Other than using playing cards, some people prefer the Tarot, while others like using Runes (from Norse mythology) or the I Ching (Chinese mythology).
One of the simplest types of divination involves the use of a pendulum. You don’t even have to purchase an expensive crystal or pendulum, as any small, heavy object can be used – such as a key and a piece of string. The pendulum answers questions with basic yes, no or unknown responses.
You can use elaborate drawings on a piece of paper to symbolize the problem or answer you wish to receive – where the swing of the pendulum will indicate the response. An easier way to use the pendulum is to simply ask your question and see which way it swings.
Thread a 30 cm piece of string through a hole in the head of a key and then hold the thread between your thumb and middle finger, making sure to stop the initial swing by holding the key steady. Ask your question and watch the key. If it swings back and forth, the answer is yes.
If the key swings from side to side, the answer is no. If you see the key going in a circular motion, then the answer is unknown or yet to be revealed. Some say that this indicates confusion and that you need to be more specific. Otherwise – maybe you’re not meant to know at this point in time.
The History of Using Playing Cards for Divination.
Generally believed to have originated in China, the playing cards we know of today also spread throughout India and Persia. From there they spread to Egypt and Europe – particularly Italy in the late 14th Century. Their artwork was considered to have been influenced by Islamic design.
The use of playing cards for the purpose of divination is also linked with Tarot cards, where images of centuries old iconography is mixed with ancient symbolism and occult meaning. Tarot readings are wildly popular, especially among Pagan/Wiccan adherents, where mystical imagery is preferred.
With a standard deck of 52 cards, normal playing cards can be divided into sections for the purpose of divination. A popular method involves the use of only the court cards – meaning the Kings, Queens and Jacks as well as the Aces, Sevens, Eights, Nines and Tens.
Basically – the court cards symbolize people in your life while the numbered cards represent events and phases. It’s also important to take into consideration Numerology.
What Are Some Simple Methods of Divination Using Playing Cards?
First, we’ll take a look at the basic meanings of the cards.
- Diamonds symbolize financial prosperity.
- Clubs represent all types of communication.
- Hearts symbolize emotions and love.
- Spades denote important situations.
Refer to the Suits for further meaning. For example, King of Diamonds could be a man or authority dealing with financial issues. Nine of Hearts could be a new love and so on.
- Kings are usually men or important people of authority. Fathers, Husbands, Lovers etc.
- Queens are the women in our lives. Mothers, Wives, etc.
- Jacks represent various people of influence, for good or bad – maybe even our own personalities.
- Aces – are new beginnings or new events.
- Seven – Where time is of the essence.
- Eight – Movement and change.
- Nine – Surprises and new information.
- Ten – Travel.
Playing Card Meanings
The following video includes information about Playing Card Meanings and how to perform Cartomancy, which is – as you read above – the art of divination by reading and interpreting playing cards.
Make sure you have a quiet place to conduct your reading, including a clean and cleared table or surface. Shuffle the cards (whether using only a partial or full deck – choose what feels right for you.) Think about your question or the situation you want information about.
Then spread the cards out in an arc or fan them out. If you want a simple answer, choose one that stands out for you. Interpret the meaning, based on the suit and the number or court card. It stands to reason that a positive card equals a yes answer, or a person of influence, depending on the card.
For a more detailed reading, you could do a three card spread, where the first card represents the past, the second card represents the present and the third card symbolizes the future. Interpret their meanings according to the suit, etc.
A more detailed reading could include categories such as your family, friends or others; what you desire for the future, your career and the overall outcome. Research different spreads or keep it simple. You may eventually evolve into using Tarot cards for a more in-depth level of divination.
A fun way to use playing cards for divination is to simply shuffle them – saying out loud “Tell me something I don’t know” or “What’s coming for me, my family etc.”, cut them in half and read the card on the top of the revealed stack. Interpret the card as above.
Remember to have fun. When it comes to divination and tarot, you can create a simple spread or a complex one.