Cartomancy Corner

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01 November 2017

The Seven of Spades = Five + Two (Instagram)

A post shared by Judy K (@weirdeye) on

"The Seven... shows a group of five 'arrows' on one side... and two on another... an image of being stuck between the Mortal Injury of Five and the conflict of Two - it is an image of being delayed or stuck, unable to move without harm..." - pg. 25, Hands of Fate, Robin Artisson.

I read that passage and suddenly thought of Pamela's Seven of Swords. I'm not suggesting the playing card meaning relates to the RWS meaning - but it is a curious visual coincidence.

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30 October 2017

Don't worry, be happy

In an effort to get my card reading mojo back I've dropped my Three Deck Rule and I'm back to grabbing whichever deck catches my attention. 

I saw or read something somewhere today (can't remember where now, argh) that reminded me of my Connected and Free Oracle and how, for me, it's THE deck that cuts through all the bullshit and gets right to the issue. So...

I'm clearly being told to lighten up.

I've been putting all my emphasis on Progress and Purpose. I needed to go deeper, work harder, get somewhere with my practice. I needed to Focus!

Wrong tack.

In reality, I need to recapture the joy of playing with my cards, change my perspective, and open myself back up to the flow of the Universe.

If it's not fun, why do it?

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23 October 2017

I've been thinking, and having thunk...

(This relates back to my previous post, where I began to look at why I don't read with my cards more...)

... One thing that struck me is that I love my cards. Really love them. All of them.

I love to touch them, look at them, aimlessly shuffle them. I've arranged my personal space so that I am virtually surrounded by all of them. They make me feel happy and cosy and safe. Sacred space.

They all have individual voices, and one or another calls to me from time to time. And then I want to take it from its resting place and sit with it, talk to it, look into its "eyes". Do I want to do a reading with it? Not necessarily. Sometimes my hands will pull a few cards without my conscious direction. Other times I'll just commune with its essence for a while.

I'm trying make sense of this by relating it to relationships I might have with other inanimate objects. The only thing that's similar is my connection with crystals and stones.

Sometime I'll deliberately work with a specific crystal, applying its particular energies to a situation. But very often I'll just get the seemingly random urge to put one somewhere in my space or wear one or hold one in my hand for a while. They also sit near me, and are dotted here and there on the decks I have out, not to enhance or protect them, although I'm sure they do, but simply because they called to each other.

Maybe I don't read as much as I think I "should" because my connection with cards is less about divination and more about magick. My decks are sacred objects, talismans, spiritual companions.

And I think that's where I need to start...

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22 October 2017

What am I afraid of?

I had big plans for October.

I was going to do some deep soul work with my Wild Kuan Yin Oracle, finally introduce myself to the Vision Quest Tarot, and show my rune-stones some much overdue love (Decks for October).

I put all my other decks away (which basically means I took them off my desk, because the decks I tend to use live within grabbing distance anyway), and put these three front and centre.

And then I did nothing.

There they sat, looking at me, day after day. And I just looked back. Okay, I pulled a random card or two, but I never made the time to actually dive in. And because I'd made a commitment to only use these three this month, I suppressed the urge work with any others. And so I worked with none.


One habit I have been able to maintain is that of "talking" with my mother each morning, using my Sibilla cards (they have special dispensation from the Three Deck Rule). So I asked her, "Why don't I work with my cards more?" And she said -

I avoid spending time working with my cards because I might discover deep and personal insights, so instead I fill that time getting public recognition and satisfaction from sharing my card related interests and ideas with others. I'm talking the talk rather than walking the walk.

Hmmm, guilty as charged. There are some shadow areas I'm still not sure I'm ready to look at. And if I were to really immerse myself in my practice, where would it take me?

I'm already trying to ween myself off Facebook. Instagram is okay because it doesn't required that much interaction. I can post and look and not have to spend ages reading and responding to discussions. YouTube is a bit more of a problem because I could easily spend several hours a day watching all my favourite channels.

But the real issue is not how much time I spend avoiding working with my cards, but dealing with the reasons for the avoidance in the first place.

A lot of it is simply laziness - just difficulty making myself do it. I work, I come home, I do my chores, and then I just want to take it easy.

Some of it is a lack of focus. I don't like throwing cards for myself without some sort of need or question, and I haven't found a way of reading for others that I feel comfortable with. That's another of my shadows - the fear of what actually using my ability for others might look like and how it might impact my precious "quiet life".

And some of it is environmental. My space is not entirely my own - it hasn't been for several months, and I don't know how long that's going to last. Ha! I've just noticed that Belvedere + Stanza could show me waiting for my privacy. 😏

I'm not sure how I'm going to proceed from here. I keep hoping something will happen that will force my hand, because I can't seem to make any progress on my own. I think I've written all this as a kind of shadow work journaling (another thing I want to do but don't), to get it out where I can see it and hopefully begin to deal with it.

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15 October 2017

What is witchcraft? Who is a witch?

Benebell Wen introduced a topic that got my cogs turning...

I was moved to make the following comment -
From my perspective, witchcraft is anything that uses intention to influence or change reality, be that religious prayer, channelling reiki, visualisation, burning a candle...
For the person making the intention, however, it’s only witchcraft if they identify as a witch.
By the same token, if someone identifies as a witch, they are a witch. I don’t care if they don’t display any of the characteristics I personally would associate with witchiness.
It’s a mindset, a way of being. By consciously adopting a particular way of connecting with reality, however you perceive it, you become part of that reality.

I noted that these were just my very quick thoughts on the subject and that they'll need refinement. For instance, I think I'd drop the "consciously" from that last statement. But hey, it's a start.

I identify as a witch.

I was "witchy"as a child. But of course, I wasn't aware of it. I didn't even feel particularly different to other kids. It was just the way I interacted with my environment. It was only as I got older that I noticed that other people didn't always respond to things in quite the same way I did. And later still before I discovered labels to apply to my "responses".

As a young adult, looking for my place in society, I decided it would be best to steer my mysticism into something fairly mainstream so as not to be completely on my own. This was many years before the internet, with its easy access to more "fringe" communities.

I eventually settled on Liberal Quakerism, with its unprogrammed worship and emphasis on the Inner or Inward Light. And I was very happy there for quite a few years.

But over time, my focus shifted back to more solitary mystical practices. And now here I am today, practising witchcraft and calling myself a witch. And old enough to be quite comfortable with being "on my own".

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject, so if this has gotten your cogs turning, please comment.

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05 October 2017

Response to "Determining death with Playing Cards Cartomancy"

Angelo Dicostanzo is a playing card reading virtuoso. If you want to discover how reading playing cards works, watch any of his videos.

In his most recent video, he discusses a situation in which he was asked to determine how someone would die. Normally this is something he would not address (nor I!), but in this instance there were very special circumstances, and the resulting spread was too good an opportunity for learning not to share, on YouTube and in his group on Facebook - The Magic of Playing Cards.

And I want to share my "interpretive process" for this one, as well - as an example of how someone who comes from a different card reading background, with different meanings, and who doesn't even have a meaning for one of the cards, can pull it together. If I can, anyone can, is basically what I'm hoping to get across. 🙂

But I don't want to spoil the impact of Angelo's excellent video, so please watch it first before you read my scribblings...

Watched it? Brilliant, eh?

So, here's how it went for me. 😏 The first thing that jumped out at me was the 9 of Hearts. This is my "Great joy or Good event" card, but traditionally it's thought of as the Wish card - you will get what you've been wishing for. As death doesn't quite fit into the great joy/good event category, I decided this card was showing that the person will die they way they want to.

At this point my rational mind piped up and said "Most people want to die in their sleep". That seemed reasonable, so I looked to the other cards for confirmation... "Mmm, they're not saying that."  Let's pick them apart.

The Jack of Spades is my "False friend". Someone with negative intentions. Not aggressively malicious like the Queen of Clubs, but someone who's "not right", as my friend would say. And traditionally, the Jacks can represent thoughts, so here we have negative, misleading, perhaps sinister thoughts.

Then there's the 5 of Clubs. If you follow my blog you know that I read a with stripped deck of 32 cards, the lowest being the 7s, so I don't actually have a meaning for the 5 of Clubs. But I follow lots of readers who do use all 52 cards, and I've picked up a few things. When confronted with a card I don't "use", I consider its number, in this case 5, which for me is a number of Disruption, and the suit, Clubs being the suit of Actions. So this is disruptive action.

It began to dawn on me that this was heading in the "not natural causes" direction. I was hoping what I was looking at was assisted suicide.

But.... Why the dark presence of the Jack of Spades, when, ideally, assisted suicide is an act of love and respect? And the 5 of Clubs? True, even at best, such a death would be disruptive, but it seemed there was more to it...

The Jack is looking directly at the 5 of Clubs and on to the 9 of Hearts. And acknowledging tradition again, 5s can signify a hand. This was someone with negative thoughts, or thoughts perceived by others to be negative or misguided, taking direct, disruptive action - death by their own hand - to achieve their desired outcome.

God be with them.


In conclusion, I hope that demonstrating how I negotiated my wobbly way through this trying reading will encourage you to approach your readings with flexibility and creativity. Like I said - if I can do it, anyone can.

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01 October 2017

It's October! It's...

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YouTube - The Art of Lenormand Reading: The Context

"Lenormand Extraordinaire" Alexandre Musruck explains why context is everything in a reading, and how to apply context successfully.

Magnifique, Alexandre!

And this goes for all types cartomancy, not just Lenormand.

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27 August 2017

In praise of the Grand Tableau (again)

This is my favourite way to read playing cards.

Skatkarten, Französisches bild - ASS Altenburger

Ok, it's easier for me because I only use 32 cards, but you can count cards to get just 32 or 36* for a spread.

And I don't attempt to read every single card. I just home in on the interesting stuff. Laying all the cards out gives your deck the opportunity to hit you with some really juicy clusters and juxtapositions.

For instance, I've clearly left it too long to do a spread like this for myself because I'm sitting - Queen of Hearts - right at the bottom of the spread with all sorts of “stuff” going on over my head. And look at that line of three Aces with me staring intently at the bottom one. In fact, you could see that whole column as a situation “between” me and my Significant Other - King of Hearts – at the top of the spread. Who are those two Kings in the middle of the spread and what is their interest in the 8 of Spades? Perhaps the cards above can tell me more about them. And if you place a special significance on the first three cards of the spread, what might two 9s plus an 8 of Diamonds tell you?

There’s so much potential in a Grand Tableau – it’s entirely up to you how much time and energy you want to put into it.

*For 36 cards - take a 52-card deck and count by 3s through the deck, discarding cards 1 and 2, and placing #3 to the side. Repeat until the deck is exhausted (you'll have one card left over, discard it, and a pile of 17 cards). Take the discards and repeat the process - now you'll have two extras and 28 cards selected. Repeat one more time, so 3 times in all (the magickal 3 x 3 effect) and you'll end up with 36 cards and no leftovers - a nice symmetry.

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06 August 2017

YouTube - Dmitry Korolev: Les Fiancées (The Fortune-Telling Game of Patience)

Dmitry Korolev presents Les Fiancées - "The classic French fortune-telling game for probing the difficult relationships - along with some history chatter!"

I have a real soft spot for these "everyman" spreads. I think many of us, especially in the UK and North America, think we're somehow special, perhaps even spiritually advanced because we Consult The Cards™. But in other parts of the world, many people spread the cards for themselves quite ordinarily and unpretentiously. It does my heart good. 🙂

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