The Wise & Subtle Arte of Reading Cards
…as examined by a Witch who practices said Arte
Cartomancy is the practice of reading playing cards to discern the
future and interpret various life events and personal questions.
Reading cards to answer such questions has been a practice of
witches, gypsies, and fortune tellers for several hundred years. It
is true, of course, that the regular playing card pack is not so
charming or erudite as her mother, the Tarot. Nonetheless, we have
often found ourselves willing to trade the mother's unvoiced,
wisdom-filled glances for the child's forthright and honest speech.
Thus, it is well worth bearing in mind that finery and age are not
inevitably marks of wisdom and knowledge, nor plainness and youth
marks of foolishness and ignorance. It all depends on what you want
to know. If you wish to discuss philosophy, approach the front door and ask for the philosopher. But should
you wish to know what transpires in the philosopher's house,
approach the back door and ask for the scullery maid.
The reading of playing cards has another advantage… because they are
so common, most people seeing them in your desk, on your table, or
in your possession will not suspect the use to which you put them.
Thus you shall follow a long-held tradition of witches: hiding in plain sight.
Many systems of card reading, both of regular playing cards and
Tarot cards, are generally too rigid in their meanings and methods.
This does not allow the reader to give full play to intuition, and
consequently, detailed predictions, such as come only through the
use of intuition, are lacking.
The following method is presented in three parts. A person studying
it may stop at any part, although the Witch of exceptional memory
will have more predictive material at her fingertips than the Witch
of poor or middling memory.
To begin, we shall present the bare bones of the method for the Witch of Poor Memory. Those with middling or exceptional memories must also study this
material and practice it before moving on to greater tasks and
A standard deck of playing cards should be procured for this study. Please note that there are no “reversals”
in the system. A card has the same meaning upright as reversed.
Admittedly, the above represents a great deal of information to
absorb. If you feel overwhelmed, you need not go on. Card reading for the Witch of Poor Memory gives you a serviceable oracle at your disposal and you can stop your
study there. If you wish to continue, you will be able to predict much
more specific things, but it will take some effort to learn the speech
of the cards.
It need not be an onerous learning. Do not sit down and memorize the
card meanings by rote. Instead, try the following suggestions:
- Take 10 to 15 minutes a day to simply review one group of four
cards — the Kings, the Queens, the Sevens, the Twos, etc. Have that
group of cards before you, and simply read over the material three
or four times times, letting it sink in.
- Keep a pack of cards with you as often as you can. If you have a few private moments, simply take them out and draw
off the top three cards. See if you can come up with an interpretation
or two for them. Remember a trio of cards does not necessarily mean
just one thing. It can mean several things, and all of those several
interpretations will be correct. When you are done with those three
cards, go on to the next three until you are through the deck.
- Do practice readings for an imaginary Seeker, as if you were
telling a story from the cards. Lay out a Square of Nine and interpret it. Even though imaginary,
it is still excellent practice. Almost every Witch learns to read cards
this way. It is said that a card reader is a storyteller, only different
from a fiction-teller in that her stories come true. So practice by
laying out an imaginary throw and telling an imaginary story. But know
that when a true Seeker comes, your story will be true. It's as simple
- Keep a notebook. If you read cards frequently, you will see combinations recurring,
and you should note those down. Focus primarily on the card meanings
at first; when you know them well, start focusing on combinations.
Mastering the Arte of Reading Cards is an achievable goal for any
aspiring Witch. By integrating the study of cards into your daily
routine, and keeping them close at hand for spontaneous practice,
you can gradually and effectively deepen your understanding and
fluency in their language. This approach will not only enhance your
skills but also make the learning process enjoyable and fulfilling.
Remember, Cartomancy is as much an art of storytelling as it is a
divinatory practice, and like any good story, it unfolds and reveals
itself over time with patience, practice, and a touch of intuition.
Whether you stop at the basics or delve deeper into specific
predictions, the journey through the world of cards promises to be a
fascinating and rewarding one.