Cartomancy is defined as Fortune Telling by use of Playing Cards. This form of divination began shortly after the first deck of cards was printed in the 14th century. Since then, cartomancers have been reading cards to tell fortunes and divine the future.
I was in my mid-twenties when I experienced my first “card reading”. I found a local psychic that read fortunes and I was expecting to see an old woman sitting in front of a crystal ball with the mysterious Tarot cards spread before her. Much to my surprise, I was led to an ordinary kitchen table where she proceeded to read me using a deck of playing cards. I was amazed at the information she drew from something so ordinary. Just imagine all this time I was playing poker and rummy I could have been learning to read the cards instead! My interest in card reading was sparked, and it was not long after that I happened upon a book that touched on the topic of Cartomancy. The book, listed in my references, is somewhat of a novelty and outdated but gave me some vital information and a good place to start developing my own method of reading. In my next blog I'll explain how to develope your own method of reading cards. Until then, let’s take a quick look at some of the time honored traditions that were followed by Cartomancers over the centuries.
Did you know that there were certain “rules” one should follow if you planned on making Cartomancy a serious study? The following may sound like old world superstitions, but I feel they were put into place for a reason. Any tool of divination should be treated with respect and reverence and these rules probably made sense at the time. Here are some of the traditions Cartomancers would follow:
As a reader in today’s world, I do not adhere to the above rules simply because they seem a bit constraining. How could I learn to read the cards if I was only allowed to look at them once a week! And how could I get through my day without consulting the cards by myself as I sip coffee each morning lol! I am not that concerned with how my client handles the cards, but I will ask them to shuffle, this helps in getting their own energy on the cards and I'm constantly amazed at how uniquely the cards are manipulated by the individual, often times their behavior can reveal some important information about themselves.
Now just because I don’t follow the old ways doesn’t mean I haven’t implemented my own “rules” when it comes to the cards. I will ask the questioner to cut the cards in three piles, they can use whatever hand they want to! Having them do this just feels right for me and it gives me another moment to settle into the proper mindset. When I read my own cards, I like to say a short “verse” which helps prepare my thoughts and works energy into the cards. I do respect my cards as a tool and will not allow them to be handled randomly. They are kept in nice cloth bags and I will often cleanse them with incense or charge them with the light of the moon or sun. The most important rule I follow is “Take good care of your cards and they will take good care of you!”
Next week we’ll take a look at the meaning of cards, how you can develop your own meanings and various card layouts. Until then, happy shuffling!
Fortune Telling for Fun and Popularity, Paul Showers – Permabooks, New York , copyright 1942, by Garden City Publishing.