If you’re looking for a cool party trick, why not impress your friends and tell their fortune with a simple deck of playing cards? It’s quite easy to learn, and is also a great way to get further insight into a particular situation or relationship for the person you’re doing the reading for. All it takes is a little time to get to know the meaning behind the cards, and you can fast discover the story behind what’s going on. This course is great for learning the meaning behind the cards and the history of tarot reading.
The actual name for telling someone’s fortune with playing cards is called cartomancy. The most important part of this is understanding the meanings behind all of the numbers and suits, and developing a system that works for you as you’re doing readings. Typically jokers are not used, but the following is a general overview of what each card means. It may seem like a lot to learn at first, but you can really make it as complicated or as simple as you like. This course is great at understanding the meaning behind all of the different cards in the tarot, which will help your storytelling ability even using normal playing cards.
In tarot reading it should be noted that reversals often come up. Usually this is associated with a negative meaning, but in using regular playing cards you won’t be able to determine which cards are reversed, because all of the images are mirrored. If you want to include this in your readings simply take a pen and mark a star at the top left corner of every card in the deck. When the star is drawn out on top, this means the card is reversed.
The Meanings of the Cards
- Spades. In tarot this is Swords and represents thinking and communication. The element is Air
- Hearts: In tarot this is Cups and represents emotions and feelings. The element is Water.
- Diamonds: In tarot this is Pentacles, and represents the material world. The element is Earth.
- Clubs: In tarot this is Wants, and represents action and creativity. The element is Fire.
In reading playing cards there are associations with both the numbers and the suits. In general, Hearts is very emotional, and can symbolize pain and suffering. Clubs represents your friends and relationships, while Diamonds can indicate difficulties and money problems. Spades are usually taken to be a warning.
Once you start practicing a bit more, here are the meanings of every card in the deck:
- Ace: Is related to your home or environment, and can represent a visit or a change of address
- King: Is related to someone influential, who has the ability to do something good for you
- Queen: Represents someone trusted, knowledgeable and faithful and who always plays fair
- Jack: Indicates a good friend, someone close that has been known for a very long time
- 10: Is a good luck card, and can counter the bad cards that may be surrounding it
- 9: Harmony, and is also known as the wish card. If surrounded by bad cards it can represent obstacles that need to be dealt with in order to fulfill your wish
- 8. An event or celebration that is being planned
- 7: Disappointment, as it indicates a partner or close friend is failing to keep a promise
- 6: Warning, as someone is taking advantage of you, and you’re being used
- 5: Indecisiveness, and your inability to make up your mind on a particular subject
- 4: The bachelor (or old maid) card, which means you’re too fussy in your selection of a partner
- 3: Reflects an unwise decision that has been made without all of the relevant information
- 2: Success, that exceeds your expectations. If surrounded by bad cards, there may be delays in getting to the outcome
- Ace: Represents fame and wealth, being well known and getting certain perks from lots of friends
- King: Indicates a very good friend, someone you can count on in times of need
- Queen: For a man, it represents a long term wife or partner, and a woman it represents a good friend who shares lots of information with you
- Jack: Represents a good friend that can cheer you up with lots of flattery
- 10: Happiness and good fortune, and can also represent a long and fun journey
- 9: Trouble, indicates arguments, an unresolved dispute or the loss of a relationship
- 8: Desperation, and an urgent need for money
- 7: Good luck, if surrounded by other favorable cards, and success if there is no interference
- 6: Partnership, where you’ll reach success based on friendship and mutual goals
- 5: Marriage, and the beginning of a long relationship
- 4: Danger, and represents failure and misfortune, as supposed friends turn against you
- 3: Indicates a second or even a third marriage, perhaps after an engagement
- 2: Bad luck, and being let down by all of the people around you. You can’t rely on others
- Ace: Indicates an important message, or a gift/package that is arriving with important contents
- King: Your bitter rival, or a competitor. For women it can mean an abusive and deceitful lover
- Queen: A flirtatious woman who will interfere with all of your plans and get away with it all
- Jack: Someone who brings bad news, and is selfish. Less dangerous to men, but problems for women
- 10: Money and greed show themselves to be the driving force behind your actions
- 9: Adventure, and a new change that will advance you
- 8: Country life, travel, and a late marriage. Your life is too hectic, you need to settle down but can’t yet
- 7: Bad luck for your latest enterprise, or a man who cannot be relied upon
- 6: An early marriage, that is unhappy and destined to fail. A second marriage would also be unhappy
- 5: Pride in your family and prosperity through long enduring friendships and success with children
- 4: Forgotten and neglected family comes to a head, on situations that have been brewing a long time
- 3: Disputes and quarrels, lawsuits, legal actions and an indicator of divorce
- 2: A major love affair that will result in a marriage, or interfere with one (depends on the surrounding cards)
- Ace: Bad news is coming, perhaps the loss of someone close, an illness or a miscarriage
- King: A man who causes problems in your marriage or relationship who divides you both
- Queen: A cruel woman who interferes by betraying or using you for their own gain
- Jack: Someone who’s hanging around and getting in the way, by being lazy
- 10: A very unlucky card, that cancels out other good cards its next to, or makes other bad cards twice as bad
- 9: The worst card of all. It represents illness, loss of money, defeat and a lack of success
- 8: Someone who will betray you because they’re a false friend or traitor. Look at your friends closely, because you can avoid much of the trouble if you find it fast enough
- 7: Quarrels with a friend, so be calm and let them “win” for now
- 6: Discouragement, as you work hard with little results
- 5: Success in business or love after a lot of hard work, and time invested
- 4: Minor misfortune, through an illness or a temporary setback
- 3: Unhappiness as you have misfortune in love or marriage
- 2: A massive change, in location, relationships or a death, which will have a big difference in the upcoming months
As you begin to learn all of the meanings behind each card, you’ll develop your own understanding of them. The key is to practice doing readings for yourself, and you’ll soon build a trust in your own intuition, and learn more about the particular style of reading that works best for you. You’ll have the best results when you’re doing what feels right to you. This course is fantastic at taking you from a beginner to a professional tarot reader, no matter how much experience you have.
The most common spread is the three card spread. Here you can give the cards any association that you like, just be sure to clarify with yourself what each position will be as your shuffling the cards. Simply put, the cards are laid out from left to right, in three positions. Here are some ideas that you can use:
- Past / Present / Possible future (that will come from the present as it currently stands)
- Current situation / Obstacle / Advice
- What you can change / What you can’t change / What you’re not yet aware of
- The nature of your problem / The cause / The solution
- Option one / Option two / Option three
- Option one / Option two / What you need to understand to make the decision
- Yourself / The current path you’re on / Your potential
- You / The other person / The relationship you share
As you start getting better, try to avoid definitive yes/no questions. You want to keep it simple, but ask open ended questions that allow you to fully understand the topic, without being vague. Make sure you relax as you do every reading, and your mind is clear and focused. Have your subject shuffle the cards so that they transfer their energy into the deck, and have them cut it so you can start the reading. All you need to do is what comes naturally to us, and once they’re laid out look at the cards, understand what they mean, the associations between them and find the story the cards are trying to tell. If you’re struggling at first, check out this post and learn how to boost your energy in all aspects of your life and you’ll find tarot reading comes much more naturally.
Start simple, with reading cards you can always make it as basic or as complex as you like. Don’t try to make it too serious until you feel confident in your abilities and above all, enjoy the learning experience as you master tarot reading with playing cards! Once you’re ready to take it to the next level, check out this course and discover how you can start making money from your new skills as a tarot reader. Happy fortune telling!