Would you like to tell fortunes with cards? Don't have a tarot deck at hand? There is a long tradition of using playing cards to do readings. The 52-card deck originally came from the 78 card tarot deck, and it can be used for many of the same things. There's a lot of information, but you can tackle it a little bit at a time. Learning to read cards is an ongoing process, and you don't need to be in a hurry about it.

Getting started

Separate the deck so that you end up with a deck of thirty-two cards, sevens, eights, nines, tens, jacks, queens, kings and aces.

Think about the question or situation you're asking about. Shuffle the deck, place it face down, and cut it into three piles. Turn each pile face up. The left card is the history or background of your situation. The center card is the current situation. The right card is the future of the situation if things continue as they are now. You can turn more cards over to get additional information, three above and three below, for a total of nine. You can also use traditional tarot layouts, like the Celtic cross. Or, you can make up your own!

Think of the cards as a road map showing the direction you are headed right now. The important thing to remember is that you have free will, and you can always make changes.

The Suits

Hearts are cards that represent feelings and emotions, and emotional situations.

Diamonds are the symbols of money and prosperity. They also represent security and freedom from financial worries.

Clubs are cards of communication and paperwork. Clubs can mean everything from a conversation to an email.

Spades are cards of gravity and location. They are NOT negative cards, but they may be advising you that you need to pay attention to a developing problem.

The Denominations

Sevens are time cards. Each seven represents one period of time, a day, a week, a month, or a year. The suit tells you what area of your life is being affected.

Multiple eights are cards of movement and change, the more eights, the more change. Again, the suits will tell you what part of your life is involved. Individually, the eight of hearts represents love, the eight of diamonds is money, the eight of clubs is a letter or phone call, the eight of spades is a situation at a different location from where you are.

Multiple nines are changes of mind. If there are more red than black, the change of mind will be easier to handle. The nine of diamonds is the card of surprise, the nine of spades can be an argument or disagreement, the nine of clubs is communication with new information, and the nine of hearts is your heart's desire or your wish. The nine of hearts is considered the best card in the deck!

Multiple tens are cards of travel. The ten of hearts means a party or entertainment, the ten of clubs represents an official building or a hospital, the ten of spades means that something will happen in the afternoon or evening, and the ten of diamonds represents a large amount of money.

Multiple jacks speak of someone you haven't seen for a while. The more jacks, the longer it's been. The jack of hearts represents either a stranger or a lover (or both!), the jack of diamonds is an untrustworthy person, the jack of spades is an unmarried person, and the jack of clubs is a friend.

Multiple queens are the cards of gossip or spreading information. The queen of hearts is a blonde woman, the queen of clubs is a brown haired woman, the queen of spades is a dark woman, and the queen of diamonds is a very fair, red haired, or gray haired woman.

Multiple kings represent legal papers or documents, anything from a deed or will to a traffic ticket. The king of hearts is a blonde man, the king of clubs is a brown haired man, the king of spades is a dark man, and the king of diamonds is a very fair, red haired or gray haired man.

Multiple aces are the cards of decisions. More red cards signify an easy decision, more black cards mean a hard decision. The ace of hearts right side up means something at home, upside down means away from home. The ace of diamonds usually means a gift or a card, the ace of clubs is communication, and the ace of spades indicates a large town or city. The ace of spades is NOT a bad card!

Items you will need

  • The 32 cards you've just separated from the deck, in the layout you've chosen.

  • The 32 cards you've just separated from the deck, in the layout you've chosen

  • Your own intuition

Tip

  • A card that represents the person being read for is called a significator. If you need a signifactor for your layout, choose the queen or king that fits the person's coloring. A simple layout doesn't necessarily mean less information. You can do a full reading from one card! Everyone wants to get red cards and not black cards, but there is no bad card! This is a lot of information to absorb at once! Take it one card at a time, feel your way through. It will quickly get easier and make more sense. Any interpretation can be either positive or negative. Every coin has two sides, and it usually makes more sense to see the positive side of the situation, while being aware that there are areas where caution may be needed. Everyone feels things that they usually ignore. Call it intuition, hunches, whatever. The cards are a tool to help focus that awareness. You may start feeling things that aren't in the cards. Pay attention to those feelings, and don't discount them. You may be wrong, but you may be right, or at least gain some insight.

Tip

  • Take your time and don't expect too much. The simplest layouts are the best to start with. Don't assume negative outcomes from spades or other black cards. Some people will tell you that telling fortunes in any way is a bad thing. If you believe that's true, then don't do it. I look at it more like consulting a road map. The map only tells me where I'm headed, but I'm free to change directions or turn in a different place than I originally planned. The cards are just a tool, in the same way a map is.