Veronica Verai





Ordinary playing cards are one of the most expressive and reliable divination tools, while at the same time they are easy to use.  For a successful card reading the psychic abilities of the reader are very  important.  Here, we will assume that anybody who is already interested in divination has enough of this elusive quality to be able to perform a basic reading.


Let us first see how we can help the cards to better understand the present and foretell the future.  
* Good concentration is essential, particularly when shuffling and cutting the cards.

* Divination may be influenced by the state of mind of the querent and the reader- strong emotions will tend to manifest themselves as events in the reading. For a successful reading, both the querent and the reader should be reasonably calm and relaxed.  

* It is important that the links between the the cards and their meaning are well established in your subconscious. The more imbued with the symbolic meaning the cards are for the reader, the better they will work to convey the message.
* Successful card divination is helped by the good energy flow from the hands of the reader. Make sure that your hands are clean, warm and free of
 If you are giving reading to more then one person, wash your hands with cold water in between or  do some other kind of energy cleansing to avoid mixing the energies.  Otherwise, you may find false elements from the previous reading in the next. 
* The room where divination is done should be kept free from negative influences and strong emotions, and it should be space cleared regularly.  Lighting a candle and burning some incense during reading will lift the energy in the room and facilitate the reading.  Apart from you and the querent, no other people should be present in the room during the reading.
* Rainy days and evening time make divination easier.
Relax, clear your mind and concentrate on the reading and the person in front of you.  Know that the cards will tell you the truth.  Your job will be only to deliver their message correctly.






The Cards


The cards you use for divination should be used solely for this purpose and by you only.  You should be the only person who touches, shuffles and lays them out.  The querent may cut the cards using a significator.  When not in use, the cards should be kept covered, in a special bag or a box.

Start with buying a new deck of cards.  Choose carefully a design that appeals to you.  I find that beautiful, fancy pictures trigger better the imagination and work better, but avoid designs that are overdone or not clear enough.  Also avoid designs that bear no relation to the symbolic meaning of the cards, e. g. with horses, flowers etc.  Bear in mind that brand new decks generally do not speak well, so be prepared to cast a few test reading for yourself first to acquaint yourself with your cards, using always the same system.

There are many variations and systems regarding the meaning of the individual cards.  You may also  define this yourself.  Think carefully at the beginning about the basic meaning of each card, or a card combination, as changing it may result in a mixed message for quite a long time afterwards. When you become more experienced, feel free to add new undertones to the meaning of a card but avoid changing it completely.  With practice, you may also decide to give significance to previously meaningless card combinations. 


It is generally accepted that hearts represent relationships and benevolence, diamonds - success and money matters, clubs - work, study, travel, and spades stand for dangers, challenges and trials. Here is one suggestion for interpreting the meaning of individual cards and card combinations. 




Ace         Love, Affection

Two        Compliments

Three      An Affair

Four        Partnership, Marriage

Five        An Invitation, a Party

Six          Children, Pets

Seven      Friendship, Friends

Eight       Relatives, Family

Nine        Wishes fulfilled

Ten         New Love




Ace        Wealth, Money

Two        A Present, or Some Money

Three      Pleasing Results, an Award

Four        Property, a House

Five        Trading or Small Business

Six          Helpful people, Shared Money

Seven      Good Luck

Eight        Financial Security

Nine        Unexpected Money

Ten         Health or Recovering 






Ace         Success, Promotion

Two        A Letter, Communication

Three      News, or something New

Four        A Task, a Job, a Test

Five        A Change

Six          Colleagues

Seven      An Opportunity

Eight       A Journey

Nine        Study, Lessons

Ten         Business, Employment





Ace        Solution to a Problem

Two        Loneliness

Three      Obstacles

Four        Separation

Five        Delays and Postponements

Six          Unreliable or Unhelpful People

Seven      Overcoming difficulties

Eight       Effort, Hard Work

Nine        Losses, Disappointments

Ten         Illness





Two Tens

Two Jacks

Two Queens

Two Kings

Two Aces

Two Aces with a card in between

Ten of Spades with any Ace

Four Aces (anywhere in the layout, not necessarily next to each other)


Legal affairs, Trials

Jealousy, Arguments

Talks or Gossip

Documents, Papers, Results

A Proposal, or a Marriage

Separation, Divorce

A Dangerous Situation

Many changes ahead that will turn out good at the end



Meaningful combinations apply only when the cards in the combination are immediately next to each other in the layout, apart from the four Aces.  Their full interpretation, positive or negative, will depend on the suits of the cards in the combination.  

Reversed cards usually denote some obstacles or delays in the way.  Reversing may also slightly diminish the overall importance of the card. To fully interpret such cards correctly, you need to pay attention to the neighbouring cards and to the general feel regarding the situation.


Jacks, Queens and Kings represent people bearing the symbolic qualities of their suit.  So, the Queen of Hearts may stand for a female friend, a lover, an affectionate woman or a woman in love, depending on the adjoining cards.  King of Spades may indicate an enemy, a rival, a bitter or ill person, and so on.  

At the beginning of the reading, you will need to pick up the significator card, representing the querent, which will then be used by him or her to cut the cards before you spread them out.   This card is best chosen according to the appearance of the querent, not according their qualities or character, as this is the most neutral way to represent a person and so it will not affect the completeness of the reading.  
The four suits  roughly represent in appearance:

                       Hearts         Brown eyes and hair

                       Diamonds    Blond hair and blue eyes

                       Clubs          Dark hair, blue or green eyes

                       Spades        Dark eyes and hair  

However, if after the general reading is done, you wish to find out more details about a particular area of the querent's life, such as their love life or business, for example, you can use the same general spread, but this time picking the significator among the Hearts or Clubs respectively, in order to give the reading the desired direction.







 The Spread


In your mind, decide which card is going to be the significator, but do not take it out from the deck.  Ask the querent to relax, then take the cards in your hands and shuffle them slowly, concentrating on the reading until the significator appears at the beginning of the deck. This happens quite soon, if you are well tuned, usually after several shuffles, but however long it takes, try not to hurry this important step.  After the significator has appeared, take it out from the deck and lay it on the table.  Hold the deck in your hand, face side down, then ask the querent to concentrate and to cut the deck, using the card on the table, face side up. When this is done, place the cards above the significator underneath the deck, so that in your hands you now have the significator (face up), covering the rest of the cards (which are face down).  You can now arrange the cards in your chosen spread.  

Here is one suggestion how to spread the cards.  Start by leaving the immediate four cards under the significator. They are interpreted before the other cards are laid out and show a situation in the present or in very near future.  These four cards do not speak about important, longterm events but rather about the state of mind of the querent or short lived, albeit leaving an impression, events.  After these cards are interpreted, lay the significator with the four cards underneath it on the table and then
lay the next 26 cards around.  In this spread, the cards are arranged in three rows, always beginning with the front or upper side of the first card.  The numbers on the diagram correspond to the order of placing.


             26   20   14   8   4   6   12   18   24



             23   17   11   3   1   2   10   16   22



             25   19   13   7   5   9   15   21   27


After the whole spread has been laid out, you will be left with 21 additional cards in your hand. They will be needed later to clarify the important points in the layout.  

The card above the head of the subject will tell you about his or her aspirations, fears or emotions, the one underneath - where their strength, basis or background is to be found.  

The inner columns (cards 6-2- 9 ;  12-10-15 ;  8-3-7 ; 14-11-13) tend to represent already existing  situations, whether  acknowledged or not, while the outer columns will speak about the probable unfolding of these situations in the future, as well as about unexpected future events.  

The direction which the significator faces defines the front part of the layout.  Generally, the cards in the front have more importance and tend to represent more of the inevitable future.  The cards behind the significator tend to show possibilities or less significant events. 



 The Interpretation


First look at the cards in the spread as a whole and try to get a general feeling regarding the layout - it may be exhilarating, tense or even one of emptiness.  It may be a feeling of fast moving events or of a quiet life.  This first impression will tell you a lot about the course of events in the querent's life.  

It is difficult to give advice on how to connect  the cards meaningfully in an interpretation, as this is mostly a matter of feeling.  However, it is important to look around for several key cards, which have a strong meaning and provide a centre for a group of cards.  For example, all Aces usually make centres, as often do Queens and Kings. You should be able to identify the groups in meaning by the coherence among the cards.  Not all groups are equally important, depending on their position, the meaning of the cards in them and the size of the group.

Cartomancy is not an exact science.  Symbolic meaning of the cards and their positions in the spread is merely to provide support for your imagination and intuition.  Cards themselves are a vehicle for your psychic abilities.  That is why just reciting the meanings of the cards one by one will not give a good reading.

After interpreting the cards in the layout, use the 21 cards left in your hand, three at a time, to clarify the important points.  Usually, the first three of the 21 are placed on the significator, then in the centre of each group, but which points need clarification is a matter of choice of the querent.  These cards will provide additional information about the events or people in the layout, or will speak about further away in the future.  

At the end, summarise your reading.  Speak honestly and carefully about what you see in the cards, but still try to represent negative events as a warning or a challenge, not inevitability.  As we know, the future is liable to change and the purpose of  divination is just to help us to mould our own future.






(C) 2003-2007, Veronica Verai