The Wise & Subtle Arte of Reading Cards

For the Witch of Exceptional Memory

The Wise & Subtle Arte of Reading Cards

For the Witch of Exceptional Memory

An Arteful Anonymous Witch

As we noted at the end of the second essay, for the Witch of Middling Memory, only a few, albeit extensive, interpretive points remain. Those interpretive points concern special interpretations of the cards in terms of matters of the home, magical matters, and health matters.

We have touched on all three of those areas in the section on combinations, but here they are grouped together for convenience and further instruction. In general, these are areas of interpretation for the would-be adept card reader, and although impressive to incorporate into your readings, they are not strictly necessary to know.

One caveat: the practicing witch, be she solitary, or a member of a coven or witch family, should have, at the least, a passing familiarity with the combinations of cards indicating magical activity, particularly if card reading is her sole method of divination.

To end this lesson, we will examine four additional spreads – The Coven, the Wheel, the Temple of Fortune, and finally, the Great Throw. Before doing so, however, we will examine the quaint, old-time topic of Judging the Wish.

Judging the Wish

Many gypsy and old-time card readers often instructed the Seeker to make a wish while shuffling the cards. Some modern card readers adhere to this practice, and judging by the fall of cards, interpret whether the Seeker’s wish will be fulfilled or denied (or achieve some status in between those two) during the time covered by the card reading. If you would like to adhere to this practice, this is how it is done:

  1. In shuffling, have the Seeker think of a single wish.
  2. If the 9♥ does not appear in the spread, the wish will not be granted during the timeframe covered by the reading.
  3. If the 9♥ appears, it will be granted, as long as it is not followed by a 9♠; if followed by a 9♠ or surrounded by 9♠s, the wish may be denied.
  4. From the cards combined or near the 9♥, you can judge the nature of the wish.

Here are some examples, which you should think through:

Seeker wishing for money in general.
The Seeker’s wish is for a raise; because a Diamond follows, he will get his wish.
Compare to the above; here, the Seeker has many wishes, and because he is scattered and cannot focus on one, none of them come true.
The Seeker wants a new car, but will not get one.
The Seeker wishes to hear from a distant friend.
The Seeker wants to own his own company (the King here represents financial power, not necessarily the gender of the Seeker).
The Seeker wishes to go back to school or study something; if with the King of Diamonds, wants to go back to a school for a Master’s degree, etc. (see combinations for the Six of Clubs in Middling Memory).
The Seeker wishes to develop psychic ability.
The Seeker wants to be in a relationship or be married, but it is not time for it to happen.
The Seeker’s wish for an emotionally stable marriage or relationship will come true.
The Seeker’s wish to have a child will come true.
The Seeker wants to renovate his kitchen, but it will not happen.
The Seeker wishes for improved health.
The Seeker wishes to take a vacation after completing a huge amount of work.
The Seeker wishes to make amends with someone with whom he has had a conflict; wishes to “bury the hatchet”.
The Seeker wishes to move to a new home.
The Seeker wishes to be freed from some duty or responsibility.
A giveaway that the Seeker could not decide between two wishes! (the Two of Clubs indicates the doubling).
With a little extra effort, the Seeker’s wish will be fulfilled.
The Seeker wants to win big at gambling.
The Seeker wants to leave his job, but it will not come to pass (Spades ending the trio).
The Seeker does not know what to wish for (the wish has been “lost”).
The wish will be denied.
The Seeker seeks to be a prentice in a Witch coven.
The Seeker succeeds in keeping a deceitful secret hidden.
The Seeker wants revenge on a third party for that party’s interference with something (here, the K indicates the power to “teach someone a lesson”).

In some of the old-time card spreads in which every card in the deck is used – and this includes The Great Throw, which you will learn below – the 9♥ will obviously appear. In such spreads, therefore, you cannot judge the fulfillment of the wish from its appearance, but must make your judgment from surrounding cards.

Matters of the Household

In addition to occupations and livelihoods, seekers are usually quite interested in matters of the home. Movings, departures, appliances, repairs, etc. can consume the time, money, and energy of seekers, and the exceptional witch may serve well to arm them with future knowledge of such occurrences. The forewarning may allow the seeker to better cope with the change. For instance, one seeker was told that she would have a problem with the water in her house, and that she should be prepared for the fact that her pipes may not work within the next couple of weeks by stockpiling bottled water and other necessaries. She commented, in disbelief, that the house was nearly brand new, had been inspected in the last six months, and surely there could be no problem. A week later, she telephoned the witch to say that the water main on her street had burst, and that her house was without water for two days. Unfortunately, she had not set aside a store of water…which just goes to prove, as every Witch learns in time, that we may point seekers to water, but we cannot make them drink.

The first task is to learn the meanings of the cards in relation to the house, its rooms, and its adjuncts. The meanings given here are generally logical extensions of the card meanings in the second essay, but we will elaborate on the rationale for each card so that you are certain to understand the connections.

We know that the A♥ is the house or home, in general. When interpreting a certain card as a household matter, generally the A♥ must be in combination with the card or at least nearby. The A♥ appears in readings quite frequently, but it will not always point to a room in a house signified by an adjoining card. You must follow your intuition here and let the cards lead you. Thus, for the card meanings given below, we will simply assume that the A♥ is in combination with them or is nearby. As you study each card, refer back to the general meanings you know for each, and you will easily begin to remember them.

  • 5♦ = the kitchen. A place of food preparation and eating, also containing many appliances.
  • 6♦ = the garage. Where the car is housed.
  • 8♦ = the computer room or media room. A place where electronics are kept and used. In times past, the 8♦ was associated with the pantry because it is the same suit as the 5♦ (eating, food), but is also associated with budgeting. You know from the earlier Combinations section that the 6♣ 9♦ may also represent a computer (expensive, educational finery), so with the A♥, that combination could also represent a computer room.
  • T♦ = the hearth or fireplace. The main place in the house associated with fire.
  • 3♥ = the nursery. The living quarters of a child. The 3♥ also means decorating or beautifying in general, and you will find that you will more often use that meaning than nursery.
  • 5♥ = the master bedroom. The marital bedroom, where sexual relations take place.
  • 6♥ = the living room. A place to retreat to and relax. If there were two 10s connected with the combination A♥ 6♥, then the interpretation would probably be a motor home or large recreational vehicle.
  • 8♥ = the dining room. A place for larger groups to celebrate and eat.
  • T♥ = the pool. A large body of water associated with the house.
  • 2♣ = the duplex or two family house. The 2♣ shows a doubling here.
  • 3♣ = the garden. This is already a general meaning that you know. Another meaning is a hallway – a place of moving forward in a temporary way – but you will not likely use that meaning very often, if at all.
  • 4♣ = the den. A place in the home where a work desk is kept. The 4♦ may also appear in combination, particularly if the den is also a place where important official or financial documents are kept.
  • 6♣ = the stairs. Like the 3♣ as a hallway, but progress is made upward.
  • 8♣ = the home office. Where the seeker’s business is carried on.
  • T♣ = the roof or attic. The highest airy point of the house.
  • A♠ = the foundation of the house or cellar. The most earthen point of the house.
  • 4♠ = the bedroom. A place to retreat to when exhausted.
  • 6♠ = the bathroom. A place where dirt is washed away and waste is eliminated.
  • T♠ = the floor. Still connected to earth and stability, but not so foundational as the A♠, the very roots of the home.

Other meanings will present themselves to you on occasion, and reviewing the above meanings, you may come to those other meanings on your own. For instance, we have not mentioned the 5♣. If a seeker consulted you about a lost object and you saw this trio — 3♠, 5♣, A♥ — you would tell her that it will be found (a red card ends the trio) in her sewing, crafts, or work room.

A Note on Renovations: The 3♠ and the T♠ both indicate force, in smaller amounts (the 3♠) and greater amounts (the T♠). They do not themselves indicate rooms in the house, but can indicate renovations of rooms, little or great, depending on the card. For instance, the trio 3♠, A♥, 5♦ may indicate minor renovations to a kitchen. The trio A♥, T♣, T♠ may indicate that the home needs a whole new roof. Examine these two examples by the first rule. In the first example, with two red cards ending, there will be steady improvement, a problem solved; the second trio, ending in two black cards, shows more of a headache for the homeowner.

Again, with these more specialized interpretations, you must be circumspect and careful. Do not automatically think of a household interpretation when you see the A♥. Let the household interpretation “seize you” if you will – raise immediately and forcefully in your consciousness – before you follow its lead. For instance, the trio A♥, 6♣, 8♣ will more likely indicate that the seeker plans to reenter the workforce after spending a period of time at home, as opposed to having some practical plans for a staircase in her home. When a household interpretation indeed seizes you, then use it. One time a seeker and her friend came to the witch for a general reading. The witch saw this trio – A♥, 5♦, 3♥ — appear 6 months in the future and commented that the seeker would then be redecorating her kitchen, but nothing structural, just paint and wallpaper and new cabinet handles, most likely. Both seeker and friend gasped, for the seeker had told her friend of such plans just the day before. It was hardly an earth-shattering prediction, but impressive to them all the same.

A Note on the Tens: Just as the Tens may signify the Four Elements in terms of travel (by air, etc.), so do they signify the Four Elements in terms of the household. The Aces are the true roots of the Four Elements in the deck of cards, but Tens are also connected with them by virtue of the fact that 1 + 0 = 1, signifying the Ace. The Tens are practical extensions of the roots symbolized by the Aces. For example, note how the A♠ (earth) signifies the very foundations of the home, while the T♠ signifies the floors therein.

A Further Note on Appliances: One hesitates to devolve into the minutiae of household matters, but for the sake of thoroughness, we briefly highlight the 5♦, which is a key card for identifying appliances. When combined with one of the 10s, the 5♦ may indicate an appliance. As noted above, the 10s indicate one of the four elements in a mundane sense. There are only a few such combinations to be aware of:

  • T♦ 5♦ = a furnace. The fiery Diamond is the key here.
  • T♥ 5♦ = a washing machine. The Heart indicates water.
  • T♣ 5♦ = an air circulation system. The Club indicates air.
  • T♠ 5♦ = a refrigerator or freezer. The Spade is the coldest suit.
  • T♥ 5♦ = a hot water heater. The water of the Heart is heated up by the Diamond.
  • T♣ 5♦ = an air conditioner. The air of the Spade is cooled by the Spade.

It is doubtful that you will use these interpretations very much. If you are of a mind to, be on the lookout for a Spade following an appliance combination. For instance, T♦ 5♦ 3♠ would indicate a small problem arising with the furnace. The combination T♠ 5♦ 9♠ is very bad news for one’s refrigerator. T♣ 5♦ 5♠ may indicate that the air ducts of the house need to be cleaned because they are filled with dust and making the residents wheezy or ill. Also be on the lookout for the 2♣ in connection with an appliance, as it may indicate needing to get a replacement. For instance, T♦ 5♦ 2♣ shows the Seeker getting another furnace. Sometimes the A♦ will function similarly, indicating a “brand new” something. Thus, T♥ A♦ 5♦ is a brand new hot water heater. It is more likely, however, that you would interpret that trio as an anniversary dinner during which the Seeker receives a present. So, as before, an appliance interpretation must seize you forthwith for it to be of any use to you.

A Final Note on Motor Vehicles: By this time, you will have studied the section on Combinations in the essay for the witch of middling memory and will have noted various combinations therein indicating interpretations concerning cars and other vehicles. Knowing that the 6♦ is the key indicator here, you will have no trouble seeing if the Seeker will experience trouble with his or her car, for instance if followed by a Spade. Oftentimes, you will be able to pinpoint the problem with the car by the third card in a trio. Sometimes it will be specific. For instance: 6♦, 3♠, A♦: a minor problem with the ignition (Fire = A♦). Other times it will be more general, such as 6♦, 8♣, 5♠, in which the car is “sick” and needs to be taken to a mechanic. 6♦, 5♠, any 3♣ (air) might indicate a general problem with the fan or other air system, while 6♦, 5♠, any 2♥ (water) might indicate a general problem with a fluid system. Sometimes you will see that the problem will be inexpensive (6♦, 5♠, 3♦), and sometimes you may see a greater problem requiring a greater cost to repair (6♦, 7♠, T♦).

Matters Magical

Matters magical in the cards are invariably governed by the Sevens, as you will have noted from the Combinations section. We have little new information to add here, but it will be helpful if we summarize the nature of each 7 and repeat its combinations below so that you can study them with greater ease.

  • 7♦ = clairvoyance, foretelling, psychism, astrology (the Seven Lights).
  • 6♣ 7♦ = studying psychism or a method of divination.
  • 7♦ + court = the person indicated has psychic ability.
  • 7♦ 5♥ + court = studying psychism or a method of divination.
  • 7♦ 7♦ = a psychic healer.
  • 7♦ 8♣ = a professional psychic.
  • 7♦ J♠ = spirit communication.
  • 7♦ 8♣ J♠ = a medium or necromancer.
  • 2♠ 7♦ T♦ (or 6♦) = astral projection in human form.
  • J♠ 7♦ T♦ (or 6♦) = sending forth the fetch.

Again, before using any of these specialized interpretations in a reading for a Seeker, you must be moved internally to do so. A 7♦ by a Court may just as easily indicate a totally unpsychic person beset with financial trouble. Of course, if you are specifically directing a question toward psychic matters, then these interpretations will be more relevant to the reading.

Also bear in mind that it is sometimes possible to gauge the strength of the ability indicated. A combination of 7♦, 8♣, T♦ may indicate a professional psychic that has great success in prediction; a lesser-skilled, fly-by-night psychic healer who is more hit-or-miss in results may be indicated by 7♦, 5♥, 3♦. The trio 7♦, Q♠, any Spade may indicate a wholly fraudulent psychic; here the Q♠ followed by another Spade does not indicate a female witch, but a lie or falsehood. The doubling of the spades (coldness) in this trio may be considered a metaphor for the “cold-reading” method of fraudulent psychics.

  • 7♥ = religion, in general.
  • 7♥ K♥ = God, or a male deity, in general.
  • 7♥ Q♥ = Goddess, or a female deity, in general.
  • 7♥ 8 = prayer, involving a subject shown by the Eight’s suit.

It is rarely necessary for a Witch to pinpoint the nature of a specific deity, although the need may arise once every several years. For instance, a Witch may wish to know the nature of the deity being invoked by a rival Witch or Coven. Or a Witch may wish to determine which deity is the divine patron of a specific person. Or perhaps a Seeker believes that his run of ill-luck is owing to the displeasure of a certain God or Goddess. The above combinations will hold you in good stead, if you look to the third card comprising the trio. Thus:

  • 7♥ K♥ A♦ = a God of Fire.
  • 7♥ Q♥ 2♥ = a Goddess of Love.
  • 7♥ Q♥ A♠ = a Goddess of Death.
  • 7♥ K♥ 3♥ = a God of Fertility.
  • 7♥ K♥ 2♠ = the Divine Twins.
  • 7♥ K♥ 4♥ = a God of Justice.
  • 7♥ K♥ 5♣ = the Craftsman God.
  • 7♥ K♥ 8♣ = the Horned Lord.
  • 7♥ Q♥ 8♠ = a Goddess of War.
  • 7♥ Q♥ T♥ = a Goddess of the Seas.
  • 7♥ Q♥ T♠ = Our Lady the Earth.
  • 7♥ Q♥ 7♦ = the Queen of the Stars.

And so on, as you please. Any of the trios above may be used in an invocation of the power represented. The easiest thing to do is lay the trio out on the altar. If the Witch seeks to use the power of the deity in some capacity in a spell, it will be found more effective for a large triangle to be drawn within the compasse, with each point of the triangle touching the edge of the compasse, and with one card of the trio at each point. One of the points of the triangle must be due north.

  • 7♣ = magic or occultism, in general. Practically speaking, a charm, talisman, spell, or other concrete form of magical work.
  • A♥ 7♣ = occult work in the home.
  • 8♠ A♥ 7♣ = the home needs spiritual purification.
  • 7♣ A♦ (or T♦) = a money spell.
  • 7♣ 2♥ = a love spell.

The main thing to remember here is that the 7♣ often indicates a practical problem, so do not jump right into a magical interpretation with it. If you see a card indicating a witch in the trio (see below for a review) or otherwise linked to the combination, you can more confidently use a magical interpretation. Thus, with 7♣ A♦, you may be moved to speak more often of practical troubles marring a new financial start or a practical problem being solved by the receipt of a letter; but if the Q♠ begins the trio, be certain that magic is afoot.

  • 7♠ = the Mysteries, in general, or a mystery school or mystery religion. Rarely, a curse or hex.
  • A♥ J♠ 7♠ = a spirit in the house causing problems. Here, the J♠ shows the deceased spirit, and the 7♠ the problems being caused; the 7♠ following the J♠ shows that the spirit is sad and restless.
  • 7♠ A♠ A♦ = initiation into a mystery school or religion. The A♠ shows the symbolic death, and the A♦ shows the symbolic rebirth and renewing of consciousness.
  • K♠ 7♠ 3♠ = a male witch casting a hex causes minor troubles.

Again, the 7♠ will more often be read as tears, something hidden, or an investigation. But the Mystery interpretations will still be valid on rare occasions.

We have previously indicated that the suit of Spades is the suit of the Craft, signifying as they do Fate, the Underworld, and the element Earth (which should not be confused with the Midworld or Greenfield). Thus, the K♠ may be a male witch, the Q♠ a female witch. The J♠ may indicate the witch’s familiar or fetch, or possibly a younger witch of either gender or a candidate for admission to a coven or family. The witch coven or family, itself, would be represented by the 8♠. The 4♣ 8♠ represents the outside meeting place or covenstead, while the A♥ 8♠ may indicate a witch household.

Finally, we highlight that herbs and herbalism are shown by the 3♣.

You should now be sufficiently versed in the symbolism of the cards that you can piece together their words into any magical sentence that you need. Should you wish to investigate the use of magic on crops, then you would be looking for a combination of the 3♣ and 7♣. The dark, poisonous witch herbs might be shown by 3♣ 9♠. An owlblink curse cast by a female witch may be shown by Q♠ 6♦ 7♠, with the 6♦ here indicating the eyes (see below). 4♣ 8♠ 7♥ shows the coven meeting at the covenstead at the full moon.

The clever witch, upon becoming skilled in the speech of the cards, will soon find other magical uses to which they can be put.

Matters of Health

Many of the cards have correspondences to the human body. The Aces, the roots of the suits, have the following generalized meanings, as you already know:

  • A♦ = the nervous system.
  • A♥ = the circulatory system.
  • A♣ = the muscular system.
  • A♠ = the skeletal system.

You will generally not use the Aces, however, in interpreting health matters, just the cards 2 through 10. The Courts will show the person or people who will be affected by the health matter, although a Knave may occasionally show the transmission or communication of an illness.

In health interpretations, it is important to have specific indicator cards present in the spread to begin considering the Seeker’s well-being. The primary indicator card is the 5♠ = tears, something hidden, or an investigation, followed by the 4♠ = mysteries, craft, Fate, the Underworld, and the element Earth. Below are the individual meanings of cards in health matters:

  • 2♦ = ears, in tune with the receptive nature of the number two.
  • 3♦ = energy levels, in general.
  • 4♦ = solar plexus, also associated with financial abundance.
  • 5♦ = stomach, with a connection to eating due to the 5♦‘s symbolism.
  • 6♦ = eyes, linked to distant images being processed by the brain.
  • 7♦ = trouble, indicating nervous trouble in this instance.
  • 8♦ = throat and speech, an extension of the Eights’ communication aspect.
  • 9♦ = nerves, representing nervous energy in flux due to the number nine’s associations.
  • T♦ = brain, the coordinator of the nervous system and head in general.
  • 2♥ = breasts, a straightforward meaning.
  • 3♥ = iron/vitamins/nutrition, related to the building blocks of the blood.
  • 4♥ = medication, stable harmony, improvement, recuperation, and good health.
  • 5♥ = genitals, extending from the 5♥‘s indication of sexual activity.
  • 6♥ = blood, symbolizing its role in the circulatory system.
  • 7♥ = trouble, signifying issues with the circulatory system, such as poor circulation.
  • 8♥ = arteries, which transport blood to various body areas.
  • 9♥ = heart, an extension meaning tied to the 9♥‘s association with the “heart’s desire.”
  • T♥ = body fluids, encompassing various bodily fluids.
  • 2♣ = hands, emphasizing their utility.
  • 3♣ = smaller muscles, linked to the “small” aspect of three.
  • 4♣ = feet, emphasizing stability and footing.
  • 5♣ = adrenals, providing the chemical foundation for actions.
  • 6♣ = legs, representing means of travel and progress.
  • 7♣ = trouble, pointing to muscle soreness or general issues.
  • 8♣ = lungs, related to oxygen and the designation “air” for Clubs.
  • 9♣ = glandular system, responsible for balancing body chemistry.
  • T♣ = larger muscles, using the “large” or “great” meaning of tens.

A Note on the Spades and Health Matters: As you will note below, only a few of the Spades have skeletal or bone meanings. The remainder of them have meanings indicating illness or medical matters in general.

  • 2♠ = teeth. Made of bone, and begins the process of separating or breaking down our food into component parts.
  • 3♠ = spine. An easy one to remember because the three Spades in a line will remind you of the spine.
  • 4♠ = exhaustion. This meaning you are already familiar with.
  • 5♠ = ill health. This is another meaning you are familiar with.
  • 6♠ = elimination system. This card’s health meaning comes from its general meaning of getting rid of things or walking away from them.
  • 7♠ = examination, investigation, diagnosis, doctor. You already know that the 7♠ indicates a mystery or something hidden or an investigation. In the context of health matters, it may indicate an examination or diagnosis by a doctor.
  • 8♠ = infection. An illness communicated to another.
  • 9♠ = surgery, improvement. The extended meaning of surgery comes from the meaning of injury, as surgery is simply controlled, purposeful injury. Because the 9s indicate change, this card may also indicate improvement from illness if followed by a Heart or Diamond.
  • T♠ = surgery, improvement. The extended meaning of surgery comes from the meaning of injury, as surgery is simply controlled, purposeful injury. Because the 9s indicate change, this card may also indicate improvement from illness if followed by a Heart or Diamond.

To help you grasp how to interpret health-related information from the cards, let’s explore additional example combinations. Keep in mind that the meanings you’re already acquainted with can also be applicable to health matters, and we’ll highlight such instances in the examples. As you examine each combination, try to deduce their logic independently. Additionally, recall that the 4♠ or 5♠ must either appear in combination with other cards or be in close proximity for you to employ a health interpretation.

  • A♦ 5♠ 2♣ = minor burn injury to the hand.
  • 2♦ 8♠ = ear infection.
  • 3♦ 4♠ 4♥ = low energy level, exhaustion; medication will assist.
  • 5♦ 5♠ = poor eating habits leading to ill-health.
  • 5♦ 5♠ T♠ = ulcer.
  • 2♦ 9♦ 4♠ = nervous stomach.
  • 6♦ 7♠ = eye examination. The color of the card following the combination will show the results of the exam – whether vision has worsened (black) or stayed the same or improved (red).
  • 6♦ 5♠ 4♥ = medication for the eyes.
  • 8♦ 5♠ = sore throat. If the 4♠, instead, probably laryngitis with loss of voice owing to nervous exhaustion. Sometimes 8♦, 3♠ also shows loss of voice.
  • T♦ 8♦ 4♠ = mental instability, probably a chemical imbalance in the brain.
  • 2♥ 5♦ 4♠ = trouble with breastfeeding.
  • 2♦ 7♠ Q♣ = breast examination by female doctor.
  • 4♥ 5♠ 9♦ = medication causing bad side effects, and needs to be changed or adjusted for better effects.
  • 4♥ 5♠ 7♠ = medication causing depression.
  • 4♥ 5♠ Q♠ = addicted to prescription medication. The Q♠ here indicates the wrong use of the medication, and does not necessarily indicate a woman.
  • 5♥ J♠ 5♠ = sexually transmitted disease.
  • 5♥ Q♥ 7♠ = gynecological examination.
  • 6♥ 4♠ 3♥ = the blood lacks iron or other nutrients; needs supplementation.
  • 6♥ 4♠ 4♥ = the same, but medication indicated.
  • 6♥ 8♠ 5♠ = blood infection.
  • 6♥ T♠ 4♠ = high blood pressure, causing exhaustion. Note that here the meaning of the T♠ has to do with “great force”, not bone.
  • 7♥ 4♠ 5♣ = poor blood circulation; exercise recommended.
  • 8♥ 5♠ 9♦ = drinking too much is causing fluctuations in nervous system.
  • 8♥ 5♠ T♠ = alcoholism.
  • 9♥ 5♠ T♠ = serious heart disease.
  • 4♣ T♥ 5♠ = water retention in the feet, edema, dropsy.
  • 8♣ T♥ 5♠ = pneumonia; fluid in the lungs.
  • 3♥ 5♣ 5♠ = hyperactive child.
  • 8♣ 4♠ = congestion in the lungs; coughing; not serious.
  • 2♠ 6♠ 4♥ = having a tooth pulled; harmony restored. Note here that the 6♠ indicates getting rid of the tooth, and does not indicate the eliminative system.
  • 3♠ 4♠ = spine out of alignment. If the 3♦, present it may be causing a nerve pinching. If the 3♣, perhaps causing muscle soreness.
  • Court + 4♠ = usually indicates the common cold.
  • 5♠ Q♠ 6♠ = drug addiction.
  • 9♠ 3♥ = a child born by Caesarean section.

Some Important Notes on Reading Health Matters

Don’t Be Foolish

Unless you have a medical degree, you are not a physician. You may not diagnose. You may not treat. You may not prescribe. You may not do anything that a government legally empowers only a physician to do. Choose your words carefully. If you cannot follow this rule, forbear from mentioning health matters at all.

Be Cautious in Major Matters

This is a very sensitive area for Seekers, particularly if they and those around them are in fine health, for then you have the potential of scaring them senseless with the possibility of future malady. Therefore, if you are thinking of mentioning a serious health matter, it must be something that has absolutely seized you upon first notice – an intuition of such force that you have no choice but to serve as Fate’s mouthpiece for its announcement. Otherwise, forbear. This advice is particularly apt for those who have not read cards regularly for more than a year. After a year of steadily working with the cards, you will be able to judge rather easily whether a certain trio of cards indicates a major health problem, or whether the cards are indicating something else unrelated to health.

Specific Questions

Naturally, if a Seeker asks you a specific question about a health matter, major or minor, the presence or absence of the cards indicating that problem will enable you to answer the question. Thus, even if you do not plan on mentioning major health matters in your readings as a matter of course, it still behooves you to know how to see them in the event of specific questions.


We previously discussed this topic in a note within the interpretation of the A♠ in the essay for the Witch of Middling Memory. We recommend referring to that section to refresh your memory.


The 3♠ has an alternate health interpretation - cancer, which signifies the growth of injurious cell forms. To interpret this, the 5♠ should be present in combination with the 3♠, and the 7♠ (diagnosis, doctor) should be nearby in the spread. Additionally, either the 9♠ (change for the worse) or T♠ (worry, grief) should also be in proximity within the spread. If the 7♠ is absent, there will be no diagnosis of cancer; without the 5♠, there is no indication of cancer. In either case, however, the Seeker may still fear the presence of cancer. If you conclude from the cards that cancer is not relevant, you may be able to discern the actual health issue causing the Seeker’s concern. If you determine that cancer is a serious future possibility, look also for the A♠ and recall the rules concerning death.

For Whom?

When a health matter appears in the cards, your next task is to determine which person it affects - the Seeker or someone else in the Seeker’s life. Sometimes, the person indicated is close to the Seeker, such as a parent, sibling, or child. Other times, it may be someone in the Seeker’s life but not very close, like the sibling of a colleague at work or a neighbor’s child. Whoever it is will be indicated somewhere in the spread. However, a single card, such as the Q♥ may represent several people in the Seeker’s life - a mother, an older sister, a best friend, etc. Therefore, you must employ your powers of discernment to uncover the precise meaning of the card.

Continuing with the example of the Q♥, consider the cards near her. Is the 5♥ present? It may indicate a close friend. Does the A♥ appear? It could signify someone in the immediate household or a close family member. Is the 2♣ nearby? It may suggest a female business partner. Moreover, the cards revealing the proper meaning may not be directly adjacent to the Q♥, but somehow connected to her, such as being in a separate but linking line in the Square of Nine or the “card above” in a trio of the Three Steps, or in a projected card in The Great Throw (as explained below).

Due to the complexity of determining the exact person, many Witches prefer a cautious approach. When faced with a health matter indicated by a specific card and the specific interpretation (mother, daughter, sibling, etc.) doesn’t immediately come to mind, keep it general. For instance, if the Q♥ represents a woman dear to the Seeker’s heart but the exact identity is unclear, you can say that the health matter will impact a woman close to the Seeker. If the Seeker accepts this without further inquiry, leave it at that. However, if the Seeker seeks more specific details, you can close your eyes for a moment, go within yourself silently, and call upon Mother Fate. Then open your eyes, survey the spread, and allow yourself to be guided by the cards that are most relevant in revealing the correct answer. These cards may or may not be directly next to the Q♥. For example, if the Seeker asks for greater specificity, and your eyes are drawn to the 2nd and 22nd cards of The Three Steps, revealing the 6♣ and 3♦, you can elaborate by saying, “It is a woman dear to your heart who is currently working to further her education to improve her prospects in the professional world.”

This practice of being guided by the cards may require some practice, but have confidence from the outset. When a Seeker asks a sincere question, Mother Fate will provide you with the means to offer an honest answer. However, if, after following the procedure mentioned above, no cards seize your attention, you can simply state, “The cards do not reveal more than what I’ve already shared.” Don’t feel compelled to apologize or act sheepish in such instances. Remember that Mother Fate may choose not to disclose all her secrets, even to those she holds closest.

Spacing of the 4♠ and/or 5♠

In many of the aforementioned example trios, the 4♠ or 5♠ is part of the trio itself. However, this isn’t mandatory. It suffices if the 4♠ or 5♠ is situated nearby in the spread. For instance, suppose cards 11, 12, and 13 of The Three Steps are K♣, 6♥, and T♠, while the 5♠ is positioned in station 16. If these cards capture your attention, you can rightfully interpret that the Seeker’s grandfather (indicated by K♣ followed by 6♥) is dealing with high blood pressure (6♥, T♠), and it might be worsening. Generally, the closer the spacing of the 4♠ or 5♠, the more urgent the issue. This is a skill that apprentice card readers develop through practice and trust in Mother Fate’s guidance.

Be Discreet

As you gain experience, you’ll come across various health-related issues. Exercise discretion and speak softly if necessary, as Seekers usually prefer to keep their health information private. For instance, the Witch penning this essay once conducted card readings at a barbecue party in an upscale neighborhood as a favor to an elderly friend. While reading the cards for a neighbor, the Witch saw indications that the neighbor’s 16-year-old daughter was in the early stages of pregnancy (K♠, 3♥, 7♠; a girl concealing a pregnancy and feeling troubled). The Witch discreetly whispered this information across the table. The neighbor woman blushed and responded with equal discretion, “You’re right. She hasn’t told anyone except me. I haven’t figured out how to tell her father yet.” Skilled card-reading Witches can recount numerous similar instances. As an apprentice, always remember to safeguard the secrets of Seekers. Failing to do so may risk Mother Fate’s reluctance to entrust them to your care in the first place.

The Presence of Third Parties

And whilst we are on the subject of discretion, the skilled card reader will also occasionally see illegal activities, marital infidelity, and profitable falsehoods. It is for this reason that many Witches highly skilled in card reading will not allow a third person to “listen in” on a Seeker’s reading. Sometimes a Seeker and a friend consult the Witch “for a lark” or “for fun.” There is little harm in that attitude until the Seeker realizes that the Witch may reveal potentially damaging information about her or someone close to her. If you are highly skilled, and if the Seeker wants a third person listening in, you must warn the Seeker that you will hold nothing back merely because of the presence of the third. If the Seeker persists, however, then simply proceed.

Minor Health Matters

Although the Witch of exceptional memory should leave off in predicting most health matters until she has worked with the cards steadily for at least a year, there are some minor health matters that she may look for immediately every time she reads the cards. Nor are they dependent on the presence of the 4♠ or 5♠ anywhere in the spread. Those cards may be wholly absent and the following interpretations will still hold true.

  • Energy Level: If the 3♦ appears in the spread, you can always assess the Seeker’s energy level. If the 3♦ is followed by or combined with a 4♠, the Seeker’s energy level will be low. If followed by two 4♠ cards, it will remain low for an extended period. If followed by a 4♠ and then a 3♥, the energy level will be low (due to some issue, not necessarily a health issue, indicated by the 4♠) but will then return to normal (3♥). If the 3♦ is followed by a 3♣ and then a 3♥, you might mention that the Seeker will have sufficient energy to successfully accomplish the task they have set for themselves. Essentially, you are interpreting the 3♦ in general terms based on the suits of the cards that follow or are connected to it.
  • Nervous Stomach: Always be on the lookout for the 5♦, which indicates the stomach. If a 4♠ follows it or if there are many 4♠ cards around it, it suggests that the Seeker has a nervous stomach, or the stomach is closely tied to the Seeker’s emotional state.
  • Headaches: Similarly, when you see the T♦, representing the brain and head in general, followed by a 4♠, it indicates that the Seeker may be prone to headaches. This is also true, to a somewhat lesser extent, for the 9♦. If the 5♠ is present, the headaches may cause the Seeker to feel unwell, and if the 4♠ is present, it may lead to exhaustion. If the T♠ is involved, the headaches could be severe or even migrainous in nature.
  • Exhaustion, Reduced Defenses, Cold: Keep an eye out for the 4♠ alongside a Court card; this combination suggests that the body’s defenses are weakened, and the person is likely exhausted. It often indicates the onset of a cold. If the 8♦ is also involved, it could affect the throat, potentially leading to a cough. If the 8♣ appears, it may indicate chest congestion, and if the 8♠ is present, the person might be at risk of some type of infection.
  • Poor Eating Habits: Look for the 3♥ followed by a 4♠ as the combination to watch for.
  • Insufficient Exercise: Keep an eye out for the 5♣ followed by a 4♠.

So ends our discussion of health matters. Illustrative examples of home, magical, and health matters will be found in the interpretation of the sample spreads below.


We will be covering four new spreads for the Witch of Exceptional Memory – the Coven, the Wheel, the Temple of Fortune, and the Grand Throw.

The Coven

This is a traditional spread composed of 13 cards. It can be timed as usual, or if the timing fails, it will show the future over the coming 8-12 weeks. It may also be used to answer a question. We will look at an example of each general future and question.

This is the one of the few card spreads that make use of the Joker. Lay it in the middle of the working place; it represents the Seeker. Have the Seeker shuffle the cards and cut them. Fan them out and have the Seeker select 13 of them, face down. Keep them in order as the Seeker selects them, then lay them, faces upward, in the following pattern:


The cards have been placed in pairs because that is how they are read. The 13th card (above denoted by “7”) is placed over the Joker. The diagram, itself, represents a coven of 13 – 6 pairs of witches, plus a leader.

To Read the Coven Spread: First, read card 7 as indicating the general tone of the future. Then read the cards in pairs – 1A and 1B, 2A and 2B, and so on. Finally, each of the cards 1A, 1B, 2A, and 2B shall indicate a particular subject or area of life that will be affected by the trio of cards around each of them. For instance, the subject represented by 1A will be affected by the trio of cards 5A, 3A, 6B. If you have difficulty determining whether something is favorable or unfavorable, refer to the center card (7) for assistance; because it represents the general tone of the future, it is the most important card and affects all of the other cards. With practice, you will find that your interpretation will not be succedent and tidy, as listed above. As soon as you interpret 1A with 1B, your mind will go to the three cards around 1A in order to get more information. This will become clear as we interpret the example. The pairings give us a little information, but then the larger groupings provide much more expansive detail. Thus, in the interpretation below, it will seem like we are “backtracking”; that is purposeful to show you the step-by-step thought process in interpretation; with good practice, however, your mind will fluidly combine all the information at once.

Coven Spread/Future Example

A general future was sought by a male Seeker of medium coloring, about 35 years old. His card would therefore be the K♥. This reading was conducted in April 2005, and the cards fell as follows:


The first thing to note in this spread is that the A♠ is the middle card, indicating an important decision and a big change. This is confirmed by the fact that all four Sixes (“Six means a path that the Seeker shall tread”) have appeared in this spread of only 13 cards. Another thing to note is that only four cards are red, whilst the other nine are black. There are toils (three Clubs) and difficulties (six Spades) ahead for this Seeker.

Let us look at our pairings:

  • 6♣ T♠ — The Seeker is worried about a business trip he will be taking (it will be over land); inadequate preparation is likely his specific worry since a Spade follows the Six of Clubs (steps toward a business goal). Because the Ace of Spades is in the middle, it affects everything we say; therefore, this is likely to be a very important business trip for the Seeker.
  • 6♦ 7♠ — Now is not the time for the Seeker to make financial investments. In addition, the Seeker will have trouble with his car.
  • K♣ 9♥ — The Seeker’s wish may come true through the agency of a business person.
  • 6♠ J♠ — Although this combination may indicate a troubled youth running away (see Combinations section in Middling Memory), the sense the Witch received when reading this was that a troublesome person would depart from the Seeker’s life.
  • 6♥ 3♠ — A pleasure trip that the Seeker is planning will be cancelled. Progress will be interfered with by small aggravations or a third party.
  • K♦ 2♣ — A helping hand or business arrangement with a financial advisor.

The above pairings give us some information, but not a great deal, so let us turn toward more specific interpretation of the four inner cards:

6♣ as affected by the 6♥, K♣, 2♣** — We previously saw that the Seeker is worried about an important business trip. Here we see that during the trip he will meet with two authoritative business people (K♣, 2♣ — the 2♣ indicates a doubling), and that it involves a business partnership (2♣). The Seeker is presently concerned about inadequate preparation, but the 6♥ shows that by the time the meeting comes around, he will be adequately prepared. Moreover, the presence of the 6♥ shows that good progress will be made at the meeting. As a result of this good progress, however, a good deal of additional work will be generated for the Seeker (two 2♣s follow the 6♥). Thus, this area will turn out well for the Seeker.

T♠ as affected by the K♦, 9♥, 3♠** — We already know that the Seeker is worried about his business trip, and that he will make good progress despite his worries. Here we see the small obstacles (3♠) he will face in his preparations for that trip. We saw that the K♣ was linked with the 9♥, and now we see that the K♦ is also linked with the 9♥. From this we can conclude that all of his worries will be for naught, and that both of the authoritative business people (as indicated by the two Kings, as well as the 2♣) will only be too willing to overlook any shortcomings or help him (2♣) over any small obstacles (3♠).

6♦ as affected by the 6♥, 6♠, K♦** — The primary focus here is steps toward a financial goal or investments (6♦). The 6♥ followed by the 6♠ indicates that his investment finances will progress for a bit, and then turn sour. He should avoid any risky investments schemes, as no profit shall come from them (confirmed by the 7♠ being paired with the 6♦ earlier). The K♦ ends the trio, and with a red card, things will turn out well; the K♦ signifies that he will seek the services of a competent investment adviser to aid him after things turn sour (6♠, K♦). Note that we have “recycled” the K♦ for an additional interpretation. That same card represented one of the two authoritative business people with whom he will have his business meeting; here it represents a financial advisor. Do not be afraid to use the same Court card to represent a different person if there appear to be two (or more) contexts for the interpretation of the Court card.

7♠ as affected by the 2♣, J♠, 3♠** — The 7♠ indicates double trouble, and the source of it is the J♠. This would be a younger person in the Seeker’s environment, associated with the Seeker’s business (2♣), who causes problems. The J♠ is a troubled (7♠) or even “lost” soul (3♠) who is not suited to a cooperative business (2♣) environment. We already know that this person will be leaving the Seeker’s environment (paired with the 6♠). Because the J is a Spade, and is coupled with two other Spades, the Witch surmised that the person would lose his job (3♠), i.e., be fired.

There are no cards representing household or magical matters in this spread. Neither are the 4♠ or 5♠ present, so health matters are not at issue. Or are they? Read the notes on cancer again and look at that cluster of Spades in the reading – the A (death), 3 (cancer), 7 (investigation/diagnosis/doctor), and 10 (worry) are all present and in close proximity. In addition, there is the J♠, possibly indicating bad news. The sense of the cards is that someone that the Seeker knows – the Witch felt it was the K♦ (note that this is the third time we have used this King) – may think he will be diagnosed with cancer. That is not true, however; the 5♠ is not present, and the 9♥ is close by, indicating that all will be well with him.

The Seeker’s card did not appear in the spread. Upon searching the deck, the K was found facing the 5♣, indicating the fifth week of autumn, so the events of the reading will come to pass by mid-October 2005.

Note on Timing: What if the K♦ had been the Seeker’s card? How would we time it in this spread? Simply follow the usual rule. If you lay out the cards as above, you will see that the K♦, although angled, is actually looking at the 6♠. In that instance, the timing would be the sixth week of Winter, or about the beginning of February 2006.

What if the K♣ had been the Seeker’s card? Laying out the cards as above, you will see the K♣ facing outward from the spread, toward no card. In that instance, timing fails, and you would rely on the 8-to-12-weeks designation.

A Word About Difficult Readings: It is common for instructors to pick out the most wonderful, exciting, and lucid examples to use in teaching their apprentices. We, however, forbear from that practice as a matter of principle. We have included the above reading because it was a difficult one. For one, the Seeker was skeptical and challenging. For two, there is little excitement or pleasure laid out in the reading. After all, a hum-drum temperamental Seeker salvaging a business deal by the seat of his pants through the good grace of others is hardly riveting (although, mark my words, it will be important and relevant to the Seeker). When confronted with a reading such as the above, simply follow the rules. Indeed, the more confounding the reading, the more beneficial it will be for you to fall back even to the firstmost rule.

Coven Spread and Questions: Firstly, when asking a question by the Coven Spread, the Joker is not used. Instead, you must pick a card to represent the question topic and use that card in place of the Joker. If a Seeker is concerned about her children, use the 3♥. If about changing jobs, use the 9♣. If the concern is finances in general, use the 8♦. If emotional trouble, the 7♥. If ill health, use the 5♠. If a love affair, use the 2♥. And so on. Then follow the same directions as above for laying out the cards. In interpreting, you should make the meanings relevant to the question asked, although you may also refer to outside events or conditions that may affect the question asked. Using these topic designations will be of use to you when interpreting a Grand Throw, where they are used extensively.

Secondly, when using the Coven Spread to answer certain questions, you will not necessarily be looking to pinpoint events in space and time. Therefore, your interpretation will sometimes be a bit more free-flowing. This is reflected in our Coven Spread question example below.

Coven Spread/Question Example

A young woman of 17 was uncertain of her career path, and asked the Witch for some guidance. She was of very dark complexion, and thus the card chosen was the J♠. Note that the Spade refers to her complexion, not her temperament or character. This reading was conducted in April 2002. The question card was chosen as the 8♣, indicating work or career in general.

The cards fell as follows:


The first notable thing here is that the spread is very balanced –- six reds, seven blacks, three Diamonds, three Hearts, three Clubs, and four Spades. No color or suit predominates greatly. The next thing we note is that the 4♥ is in the middle, indicating emotional stability, an even temper, fairness, and justice. That card will affect the rest of the cards in the reading. Let us turn first to the pairings to see how the Witch pieced together the answer:

  • 6♦ T♣ — The young woman seeks a career that will allow her to make steps toward greater financial freedom (6♦). A fairly demanding career, one that will provide much work as well as a sense of achievement, is also indicated (T♣).
  • 7♣ 6♥ — The 7♣ usually indicates troubles at work or practical problems. Here, it is followed by the 6♥, indicating good progress and moving ahead. What is interesting here is that the two red Sixes have been paired with two Clubs that indicate much work or challenges at work. The Witch interpreted these cards as indicating that the young woman would do best in a career that challenged her, perhaps with knotty problems or deadlines, thus allowing her to feel that she was making continual progress in her career. Some people work best under pressure and with challenges. The young woman was such a one.
  • 2♠ 4♣ — The 2♠ indicates that the career shall have some amount of conflict inherent in it, and yet not the type of conflict that would threaten her job security (4♣). The 4♣ may also indicate a desk job, and could also possibly indicate land.
  • A♦ K♦ — The A♦ could possibly indicate money and finances, although the intuition of the Witch was that it simply represented “something new” that would start a fire in her mind. The source of that inspiration would be a male professor (K♦). The K♦ also confirms the meaning of the earlier 6♦; the young woman would like a career that gives her financial power.
  • 5♥ Q♠ + K♠ 4♠ — Looking ahead, the Witch saw that these two pairings were best interpreted together, for the Q♠ and K♠ are probably a married couple. Upon seeing these two cards together, coupled with the 4♠, the Witch asked the young woman whether her parents were involved in the same field – particularly, the armed forces, law enforcement, or perhaps the law. You will see that these are the types of field that fall naturally to the Spades, particularly the 4♠. Let us not also forget the 4♥, in the vital middle position, indicating fairness and justice. The young woman affirmed that both of her parents were attorneys, although her mother was taking a break from her career at the moment. That last fact is indicated by the 5♥ (enjoyment) being paired with the Q♠.

Here the Witch drew her conclusion, and declared that the young woman would go into law, for that field fulfilled the conditions of the previous cards. It would allow her financial freedom, give her a sense of achievement in meeting challenges and deadlines, has an inherent amount of conflict in it because Western legal system is adversarial, and yet it is not the type of conflict that threatens one’s job security. Also, legal jobs involved a significant amount of “desk time”. Both of her parents are attorneys, although the mother was no longer practicing. Note, too, that three 4s are present. A clue that the young woman would follow in her parents’ footsteps is that “four does not change”.

Upon hearing the conclusion, the young woman demurred and positively affirmed that she was not at all interested in the law as a career. The Witch, being often accustomed to having Seekers presumptuously believe that they have greater knowledge of the future than she, did not bat an eye. Instead, she stated that such might be the case now, but that a male professor (K♦) in her future would set a fire of inspiration (A♦) in her concerning that career, and that she would subsequently be devoted to the causes of justice in one form or another.

Although you will largely tailor your interpretation to the question asked, you should also feel free to make other statements or predictions indicated by the cards, should you feel inclined to do so. This is best left to the end of the interpretation, so as not to confuse the Seeker. In the above spread, the Witch made the following additional predictions.

Additional Predictions: 6♦, as affected by the 5♥, 2♠, 4♠: A car trip that the Seeker is planning with friends will be cancelled, owing to arguments or dissension. The situation will be an unstable one, and the plan will not be revived anytime soon thereafter (two 4♠ cards ending). The Seeker will also hear that a friend (5♥) of hers living at a distance (6♦) is having trouble with her teeth or a tooth (2♠, 4♠).

  • T♣ as affected by the K♠ + 4♣ + Q♠ — The Seeker’s parents (K♠, Q♠) have been working hard (signified by the series of Club, Spade, Club, Spade, showing effort intermingled with problems) toward the acquisition of some land or a building for investment purposes (the T♣, being card 1B, may naturally paired with the 6♦, which is card 1A, and which signifies the investment), and they will soon achieve that goal (T♣).
  • 7♣ as affected by the 5♥, A♦, and K♠ — Through happenstance (7♣), the Seeker shall form a new (A♦) friendship (5♥) with an older boy (K♠). But because a Spade ends this combination, there is trouble on the horizon. He has the power (K♠) to hinder her or hold her back (Spades).
  • 6♥ as affected by the 4♠, K♦, and Q♠ — This shows that the Seeker’s grandfather (K♦), probably on her mother’s side (Q♠), is experiencing some health exhaustion problems (4♠) related to his blood (6♥) – probably poor circulation, which in turn is causing some muscle soreness (linked up to the 7♣, which is card 2A). Note the clever speech of the cards here. The condition does not appear to be serious to anyone else, but the K♦ – who is a restless man that likes to be up and about continually – is hemmed in by Spades. The cards are whispering to you that it’s a much more serious condition for him, to experience it, than it appears to others merely witnessing it.

The Coven of the Cards: A Magical Application of the Coven Spread

There is a magical application of The Coven Spread. It may be used to cast spells when the Joker and Courts are laid out in a certain way. Set the Joker in the center of your working space. Then lay out the Courts as follows:

1A = J♦

2A = J♥

3A = K♦

4A = K♥

5A = Q♦

6A = Q♥

1B = J♣

2B = J♠

3B = K♣

4B = K♠

5B = Q♣

6B = Q♠

This is the Coven of the Cards, which will work your spell for you. You will note some interesting patterns in this arrangement, but we will leave them to you to contemplate on your own. To work a spell, choose a trio of cards to represent your objective. If you want a huge raise in pay at work, you might choose the 8♣, 9♦, and T♦, in that order. Make them into a little pile, face-up, with the first card of the trio at the bottom and the last card of the trio at the top, and place them underneath the Joker, thereby symbolizing your dominance over circumstance. Then leave them be. Once in the morning, upon arising, and once in the evening, upon retiring, take out the trio from underneath the Joker, name the cards and state your wish, using the following formula or similar words: “Eight of Clubs, Nine of Diamonds, Ten of Diamonds, I want a huge raise in pay at work, and by the power of witchery, so it is mine already.” Then replace the trio as it was before.

All sorts of little spells may be wrought by this method – finding lost objects, making someone contact you, finding a buyer for real estate that one is selling, the return of health, casting minor hexes, a blessing on crops, and so on. Leaving a symbolic pattern of cards set out like this is similar to allowing a candle to burn for a long time. Once the spell is commenced, it continues to build off its own momentum, a secret built into the half-light, half-dark pattern you will see upon laying out the cards. The Coven of the Cards is always working toward the Witch’s aim, even whilst she is occupied with other tasks or journeying. And with no risk of burning down her house.

When the spell has been fulfilled or the wish granted, remove the trio, place the three cards back in the deck, and then say words of honor and blessing to the Coven of the Cards. Finally, let the members of the Coven of the Cards be dispersed to their places in the deck until you shall need to convene them again.

The Wheel

This is a common spread amongst old-time fortune tellers. It is good for making general predictions of the future, as well as for questions of a very general nature (“Tell me about the status of my relationship, please?” or “How shall my career progress within the next year?”). It may be timed, but if timing fails, it shall hold good for 3 to 6 months. Once you are skilled in the speech of the cards, this spread will roll along quite quickly for you. The pattern of 8 spokes with a central hub is as follows:


Choose a card for the Seeker, but leave it within the deck. Have the Seeker shuffle the cards, making a wish perhaps, and then cut them. Fan out the cards face down on the table and have the Seeker choose 27 of them. Keep them in order as the Seeker selects them. When finished, deal out one card on each spot for the bottom card of each trio, then deal out a second card on each spot for the middle card of each trio, and then deal out a final card on each spot for the top card of each trio.

There are only nine trios to interpret for this spread. The meanings of each station are as follows:

  1. Present
  2. Desire
  3. Avoidance
  4. Past
  5. Future
  6. Past Advantage
  7. Future Opportunity
  8. Future Problem
  9. Past Mistake

You will note that all of the past cards are to the left. All of the future cards are to the right. The center shows the present. The center top shows the Desire, what the Seeker wishes to happen or where he wishes to head in terms of goals. The center bottom shows those things that the Seeker wishes to avoid or would prefer to forget exist. The best approach in reading this spread is to examine trio 1 first. Then examine trios 2 and 3. These will give you a good foundation in judging the Seeker’s past and future. Then proceed to examine trios, 4, 6 and 9. The order in which you examine those packs may depend on the nature of the cards themselves. Turn over all three packs at once and follow your intuition as to which to read first. Sometimes it is best to read in the order of 6, 4, 9 because the cards will show a past advantage (pack 6) that the Seeker has then squandered through his actions (pack 4), resulting in loss (pack 9). Likewise, reading the packs in the order of 9, 4, and 6 will sometimes show a past mistake that the Seeker has turned to his advantage. In other instances, the cards will show discrete areas of life – perhaps a past financial advantage (pack 6), a past emotional mistake (pack 9), and then some discrete event like the purchase of a car, or the surmounting of a health problem (pack 4); in those instances, it really does not matter the order in which you read the cards. Follow the same intuitive procedure with packs 5, 7, and 8 in the future.

Wheel Spread Example

A general future was sought by a mature male Seeker of slightly darker coloring, about 30 years old. His card would therefore be the K♣. The Seeker was also a male witch. This reading was conducted in April 2004. The interpretation below follows the suggestion above regarding the order of the packs:

  • Pack 1: Present, 6♠ 7♦ K♠ — Two spades bounding a diamond indicate a troubled purse, as you learned in the first essay. It is easy to see here that the Seeker has been on the wrong path (6♠) with regard to financial matters (7♦), and now finds himself learning a tough financial lesson (K♠). There is also a magical interpretation to this trio. He is attempting to study a form of divination (7♦), but is having difficulty learning it (6♠ signifying wrong path; and the K♠ showing hindrance in general). Not every method of divination works for every individual, and this witch was advised to search out a different method instead of trying to break through his frustration with the method he was presently studying.
  • Pack 2: Desire, J♣ 3♣ Q♣ — Since these cards are in the desire position, we know that the Seeker is hoping to receive an offer (J♣) of a part-time position (3♣) from a businesswoman (Q♣). It makes sense that he is searching for additional work, given the financial difficulties showing in Pack 1.
  • Pack 3: Avoidance, J♥ Q♦ 5♥ — Well, this is a very fair trio, indeed! Unfortunately, it falls in the position of avoidance. Given the previous two packs, it is clear that the Seeker is forbearing from spending money on dates (J♥) and entertainment (5♥). This pack is similar to the combination J - J - 5♥ or 6♥, which means an outing with young people. The presence of the Q♦ here in this similar combination is a clever turn of phrase in the cards – she emphasizes women, generally, as well as the truth of the Seeker’s financial predicament. Had we had the combination J - J - 5♥ here, we would say, in general terms, that he was avoiding going out with friends. And from there we would infer that it is because of lack of funds. With the Q♦, however, the speech of the cards is more specific (dates with women) and explicit (truth of a financial matter).

Turning over the three packs to the left, the Witch decided to read them in the following order:

  • Pack 6: Past Advantage, 8♥ 9♥ 6♦ — This pack of cards, all red, shows a very fair and advantageous past for the Seeker. In fact, he was at one time living his wished-for lifestyle (9♥), with much social activity (8♥) and was making positive steps towards his financial goals (6♦). In general, his life was one of continual changes for the better (all red cards, 9♥). The presence of the 9♥ establishes that the Seeker’s wish is to return to this place of sociableness (8♥) and financial progress (6♦). We know from the present cards that he has not yet achieved that. The presence of the 9♥ at all is certainly a heartening sign for his wish, but because it falls in the past cards, it would be better to withhold final judgment until the future cards are evaluated.
  • Pack 4: Past, 4♣ Q♠ 7♣ — Although all was going well, it appears that the troubles (all black cards, both in this pack and the next pack) commenced. Although his goals were on a firm footing and he considered himself to have job stability (4♣), a woman at work, probably one with authority over him, became ill-disposed towards him (Q♠), and troubles began at work (7♣). The initial event probably took place in the office (4♣) of the Q♠. Because this Queen is a spade, it is not out of the possibility that she also sabotaged the Seeker’s reputation with lies, or twisted truths (a Queen may indicate truth, but the spade turns it foul). That interpretation is particularly viable in this instance because the 8♠, indicating gossip and rumors, also falls in the next pack.

Note that even though we are reading for a Witch, and that even though the 7♣ and Q♠ may have magical interpretations (a work of magic, a female witch or Fate, respectively), a magical interpretation was not used. That is because the Witch reading the cards at the time was not seized with a magical interpretation for them forthwith. Nor did she “force” a magical interpretation into the cards simply because she was reading for another Witch. Mind that you do the same and let intuition be your guide. If a magical interpretation of these cards had, indeed, seized the cardreading Witch, a viable interpretation might concern going into the country or land (4♣) to invoke the powers of Fate (Q♠) for an act of practical magic (7♣). But to return to our reading proper:

  • Pack 9: Past Mistake, 8♣ 8♠ 2♠ — Even a witch of the most paltry skill in foretelling can see from these cards what happened next. All of the cards are black, and ending in two Spades, so the interpretation is a foul one. The Seeker’s work atmosphere (8♣) became poisonous (8♠) to him, replete with gossip and rumors (8♠), likely stemming from the Q♠ from the pack above, so he eventually left the position (2♠). Note that the 8♠, 2♠ combination is similar in meaning to the 8♠, 6♠ (quitting or leaving job) from the list of combinations you will have previously studied.

Looking at the present packs again with the understanding of the past situation, we are now in a position to understand why he is in financial straits. The inference is that he left his job without having a new one. That was his mistake.

Turning over the packs for the future, the Witch elected to read them as follows. Note, however, even at first glance, how the balance of the Seeker’s fate is moving in a better direction. In the past, we saw three red cards followed by six black cards. Here, we have only two black cards amongst seven red cards.

  • Pack 5: Future, K♦ 2♦ 3♦ — You will find this trio easy to interpret if you have studied our section on combinations. The Seeker will receive a telephone call that concerns a financial message (K♦, 2♦) and from it, he will derive a bit more financial security (3♦). From this trio, we can infer that the Seeker will receive the hoped-for job offer shown forth in Desire, the second pack of cards. Good news for him!
  • Pack 7: Future Opportunity, 9♣ 9♦ A♦ — But that is not the best news. This trio has another combination familiar to us – the 9♣ next to the 9♦ indicates that he will have a change in job with finances improving. Moreover, this will give him the new financial start (A♦) that he needs. Seeing this trio, the Witch felt that it would be a full-time job opportunity, different from the part-time opportunity shown forth by the 3♣ in the second pack, and the small financial increase shown forth by the 3♦ in the fifth pack. The sense of the trio here is of a bigger opportunity – something that gives him a whole new start, not simply helping him make some extra cash.
  • Pack 8: Future Problem, 3♠ T♥ K♦ — From the firstmost rule, we know that this trio shows that the Seeker’s situation will steadily improve. No big problem is shown by this trio, just small problems (3♠) that he will probably be able to cope with easily. Indeed, the T♥ shows that he will become happier and achieve greater emotional security. But more importantly, he will again develop financial power and the ability to pay for things (K♦).

Now that we have read all of the cards, we can return to the wish card, which appeared in the sixth pack of past advantage. Because his future cards are so fair, we may now confidently judge that he will get his wish, and that his social and financial situations will improve.

As for timing, the K♣, the card chosen for the Seeker, is not amongst the cards. Searching the pack, he was found facing the 4♥, indicating the fourth week of summer, i.e., about the third week of July 2004.

We have two more spreads to cover – the Temple of Fortune and the Great Throw. The Webmistress informs us, however, that there are many prentice card readers clamoring for this third essay. Therefore, we have given her permission to post The Picturebook Compleat in this as-yet-Incompleat form. That will satisfy the needs of said prentices for additional study material, whilst allowing us additional time to explain and illustrate the final two spreads. We have greatly appreciated your patience, and hope that our labor shall further repay yours in the honor and practice of this useful and fascinating Arte.

Addendum: We are currently working on a new book, The Wise & Subtle Arte of Reading Cards: The Picturebook Compleat, to be released in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover editions. To get notified when it’s released, subscribe to our newsletter below — you will also receive a digital copy of this as-yet-Incompleat form of the book as a thank-you for your support.

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