Wise & Subtle Art of Reading Cards The Wytch of Middling Memory The Wytch of Exceptional Memory Combinations
Hie to Carterhaugh: Ballads Green Grow the Rushes: Songs & Chants
Wortcunning: Seeds and Weeds Blackthorn and Hawthorn: To Harm or Heal
T'ween Dusted Pages of Auld: Suggested Books A Proverbial Wytch: Proverbs, Maxims and Wise Words Old Craft Glossary
Tom Tit Tot: Faery Lore The Fabled Hare Artful Avians: Bird Lore Standing Stone and Elder Tree Labyrinths and Mazes Beneath the Mask: Guising Midsummer Lore Merry Misrule Kilkenny's Wytch: Dame Alice
Which Witch is Wytch? Walking The Crooked Path Fetch Light Atop the Hedgerow The Old Straight Track: Ley Lines Oot and Aboot: Crossing the Hedge By Horse and Hattock Skry Stone, Shew Stone: Divination Signs and Symbols To 'Prentis Seekers
Diana and Her Darling Crew: Links About the HedgeWytch Credits and Kudos

The Wise and Subtle Arte of Reading Cards

…as examined by a Witch who practices said Arte

 

For the Witch of Middling Memory:  

Further in the Land of Courts and Pips

 

            Having mastered the arte of reading cards as suited to the Witch of poor memory, if you are a witch of at least middling memory, you may consider continuing your study with the following material. 

           

            Those that are skilled at reading cards generally look at their courts and pips in an intuitive way, each a strand in a web, a word in a sentence.  That is what you must learn to do to develop this skill – learn to look at the cards in combinations to understand their speech.  The material set forth here will aid you in this endeavor, but you must also be willing to stretch your mind a bit and to reason patiently, for truly is it said that intuition is the daughter of reason.  To help you, you may consider keeping a notebook for cardreading.  Assign a couple pages to each card, and as you learn and/or discovery their meanings and combinations, note them down for your own future reference and to teach others who would follow in Our Way. 

 

 

The Suits

 

            In order to better understand the Court cards that follow, you must understand a bit more about the suits and their correspondences, thus extending your grasp of the secondmost rule. Those of you that are familiar with correspondences to the suits of Tarot must keep them out of your mind.  The daughter does not take after the mother in all particulars.  

 

            Diamonds:  Fire, Spring

            “Money, wealth, means, and ends”.  Diamonds are associated with the element Fire and the season of Spring.  In the human body, the suit of Diamonds is the vital, electric energy that courses through the nervous system.  Thus, Diamonds are associated with intelligence, wit, and nervous energy.  It is the “thinking suit.”

 

            Hearts:  Water, Summer

            “Love, family, and friends”.  Hearts are associated with the element of Water and the season of Summer.  In the human body, the suit of Hearts represents the circulatory system, the river of blood that courses through the heart.  Hearts are associated with emotions, artistry, happiness.  It is the “feeling suit.”

 

            Clubs:  Air, Autumn

            “Work, callings, and plans”.  Clubs are associated with the element of Air and the season of Autumn.  In the human body, the suit of Clubs represents the muscular system, which gives us the power to act in the world.  Thus, Clubs are associated with practicality, business (and busy-ness), and activity.  It is the “doing suit.”

 

            Spades:  Earth, Winter

            “The troubles that plague every man.”  Spades are associated with the element of Earth and the season of Winter.  In the human body, the suit of Spades represents the skeletal system, the groundwork of our physical being that limits us to certain activities.  Thus, Spades are associated with limitations, trouble, and frustration.  It is the “learning suit”, but typically learning through adversity. 

 

            You should have no trouble remembering the elemental and seasonal designations.  In the Northern hemisphere, at least, Aries is the Fire sign that starts the Spring, Cancer is the Water sign that starts the Summer, Libra is the Air sign that starts the Autumn, and Capricorn is the Earth sign that starts the Winter.

 

            A Note on Arteful Meanings of the Suits:  Diamonds represent human souls.  Hearts represent the Gods.  Spades represent the fated patterns and befallings that the Gods assign to human souls.  Clubs represent the progress of human souls in living out their patterns, ultimately to achieve Godhood themselves. 

            In the lay of the worlds, Diamonds represent the journeying human consciousness.  Hearts are the Upperworld, Chimeri, the Heavens.  Clubs are the Midworld, Earth, the Green Field.  Spades are the Underworld, Elfhame, Hel.   Witches, who are intimately concerned with Fate, are generally represented by Spades.  One of the meanings of the King of Spades is a male witch, just as the Queen of Spades may be a female witch.  The Knave of Spades is the witch’s familiar or fetch or the initiatory experience that sets one upon the path of witchery.  The 8 of Spades is a Coven or Witch Family. 

 

 

The Court Cards:  We will now examine each court card in turn and reason out further meanings in light of the three rules and the correspondences given above.  Please note that a Court card does not invariable represent a person. 

 

            The Kings:  “While Kings are the symbols of power and men.”

 

King of Diamonds:  A very fair man, or one with white hair.  A man of wealth or financial means.  A man who is intelligent and quick, and usually sociable.  A man who is restless, always wanting to be “up and away”, and thus, a lover of travel and new experiences.  A male professor.  Financial power or the power to pay for things.

 

King of Hearts:  A man of medium coloring.  An emotional man, and thus one that will seek security in a relationship.  An artistic man.  The father or other man in the seeker’s family, such as a brother or uncle.  A husband.  A family man.  Whoever he is, he will have the seeker’s welfare and best interests at heart.  Emotional power or the power to arouse feeling.

 

King of Clubs:  A man of darker coloring.  A business man, work-oriented.  Boss or superior.  A practical, efficient man.  A man active in practical affairs.  If with hearts, sometimes the Seeker’s grandfather.  Practical power or the power to progress, get things done, or accomplish a goal.

 

King of Spades:  A man of very dark coloring.  A widower or divorced man.  An enemy, or man ill-disposed toward the Seeker.  A lonely or depressed man.  A man of great authority, such as a police officer, judge, or military man.  A male witch.  A human male, deceased.  The power to teach others a lesson, to hinder, to do harm or evil, or to know and play one’s part in Fate’s pattern. 

 

            A Note on the Kings as Power:  If a King is read as a type of power in the reading, whether the power is used for good or ill shall depend on the cards around it.  The King of Hearts flanked by two spades, for instance, may indicate emotional manipulation; the King of Diamonds flanked by two clubs, may indicate money turned to practical ends.  The King of Spades flanked by Hearts may show a Witch playing a benevolent role in a Fated pattern.  The first and secondmost rules shall hold you in good stead here. 

 

            The Queens:  “Queens are the emblems of women and truth.”

Queen of Diamonds: A very fair woman, or one with white hair.  A woman of wealth or financial means.  A woman who is intelligent and quick.  She may be a socialite, and is generally somewhat superficial.  Like the King, she likes travel and have new experiences.  A female professor.  The truth of a financial matter. 

 

Queen of Hearts:  A woman of medium coloring.  An emotional woman, intuitive, and sometimes psychic.  An artistic woman.  The mother or other woman in the seeker’s family, such as a sister or aunt.  A wife.  A homemaker.  Whoever she is, she will have the seeker’s welfare and best interests at heart.  The truth of an emotional matter, or in general, the truth.

 

Queen of Clubs:  A woman of darker coloring.  A business woman, career-oriented.  Boss or superior.  A practical, efficient woman.  A woman active in practical affairs.  If with hearts, sometimes the Seeker’s grandmother.  The truth of a business matter.

 

Queen of Spades:  A woman of very dark coloring.  A widow or divorced woman.  An enemy, or woman ill-disposed toward the Seeker.  A lonely or depressed woman.  A woman of great authority, such as a police officer, judge, or military man.  A female witch.  A human female, deceased.  An unpleasant truth, or in general, a lie. 

 

            A Note on the Queens as Truth:  Again, look to the cards near the Queen when you interpret one of them as Truth.  A Queen by red cards, for instance, will show that the Seeker is being told the truth of a matter (whether financial, emotional, etc.).  If she is near spades, the Seeker may have a falsehood to grapple with.  If with Clubs, she may have to dig or work in uncovering the truth. 

 

            The Knaves:  “A Knave is a message, a girl, or a youth.”  Where a youth is indicated below, “girl” should be understood with it in tandem.

 

Knave of Diamonds:  A very fair youth.  A privileged youth.  A youth who is intelligent and quick.  A student, perhaps of a scholarly bent.  A message concerning money. 

 

Knave of Hearts:  A youth of medium coloring.  An emotional, artistic, or dreamy youth.  Sometimes a beloved pet.  A happy-go-lucky or merrymaking youth that sometimes acts foolishly.  A message from a loved one or friend, a compliment, “thank you” or small gift to show appreciation.  Being asked out on a date.   

 

Knave of Clubs:  A youth of darker coloring.  A practical, efficient youth.  A youth active in endeavors like sports, clubs, or volunteering.  An apprentice.  A message concerning a business venture or some practical matter. 

 

Knave of Spades:  A youth of very dark coloring.  An untrustworthy youth or one ill-disposed toward the Seeker.  A lonely or depressed youth.  A youth in trouble.  The witch’s familiar or fetch.  A deceased spirit, in general.  A message containing bad news. 

 

            A Note on the Courts and the Old Craft:  Although of little practical value in reading the cards, there are certain Craft titles given to the Courts, which are mentioned here for the sake of interest:

 

King of Diamonds:  The Devouring Sun
Queen of Diamonds: The May Queen
Knave of Diamonds: The Dancer
King of Hearts:     The Red Lord (refers to bloodline)
Queen of Hearts:    The Seeress
Knave of Hearts: The Merryman
King of Clubs: The Harvest King
Queen of Clubs: The Reaping Wife
Knave of Clubs:  The Kern Baby or Corn Dolly
King of Spades:  The Horned Man or Magister
Queen of Spades:   Fate or the Lady
Knave of Spades:   The Man in Black

 

The Pip Cards:  We will now examine each pip card in turn.  Read over the meanings of each card and if you have any trouble understanding whence the meaning derives, review all previous material on the suits and numbers, and you will be able to piece together the given meaning. 

            When this system was developed, the only material available was that which we have given for the witch of poor memory.  But over the decades, new things have emerged in the world, and card readers adapted their meanings to those new things.  For instance, when confronted with the expensive motor car, the 6 of Diamonds was pressed into service.  Generally, however, any additions make sense in terms of the rhyming rules for the witch of poor memory, and so the apprentice card reader will not have trouble recalling them. 

 

            The Aces:  “An Ace brings beginnings”.  Recall that each of the Aces has a traditional meaning, which you have heretofore memorized.  These have been incorporated below. 

 

Ace of Diamonds:  Money.  A letter.  Something new, generally connected with finances, but not invariably.   Fire.  A diamond ring, but other cards must support that interpretation.              

 

Ace of Hearts:  The home.  The family or a family member.  The beginning of a love affair or new friendship.  Sometimes a birth or addition to the family, or a change of residence (because aces indicate beginnings), but those interpretations are usually supported by other cards. 

 

            A Note on the Ace of Hearts:  In almost all old systems of card reading, the Ace of Hearts is called “The House”, and from judging the cards associated with it, the reader tells whether a letter, visitor, trouble, marriage, etc. shall come to the Seeker’s home.  We shall examine this concept later in a spread given for those of exceptional memory.

 

Ace of Clubs:  A new duty, task, goal, or opportunity. 

 

Ace of Spades:  A decision, generally an important one.  A death or an ending.  A big change. 

 

            A Note on Death:  It is possible to see the physical death of either the Seeker or a person close to the Seeker.  It is definitely not advisable to mention it, but we leave you to make your own mistakes.  To predict it, you must usually see three or four of the spades close together – such as the 3 (loss), 5 (illness, disease, doctor), 7 (tears), 9 (change for the worse), or 10 (worry, grief) – together with the A.  The A must be present for a death to occur. 

 

 

            The Twos:  “And Two gives exchange.” 

 

2 of Diamonds:  Money changing hands.  A gift.   An invitation.  Telephone call, message.

 

2 of Hearts:  Love, relationship, or marriage.  Dancing.  The arts.  Harmony.

 

2 of Clubs:  A helping hand.  Business partnership.  A doubling of something or a repeated cycle.

 

2 of Spades:  Conflict.  Argument.  Inability to get along.   Separation. 

 

 

            The Threes:  “Three shows things growing”.  3s denote gradual growth, bit-by-bit, and the concept of “little”.  The idea of “much” or “great” is assigned to the 10s.

 

3 of Diamonds:  A raise in pay, greater financial security, profits, although only a little of any of those.  A small amount of money.  A scattered mind, concentrating on many little things, so not much is accomplished in any one thing. 

 

3 of Hearts:  Fertility.  A child, or children in general.  Decorating or adding beauty to something.  An emotional bond growing, little by little.  A love triangle.

 

3 of Clubs:  A practical development.  Moving forward, progress bit by bit.  Extra work or duties.  A temporary job.  Part-time work.  A garden or gardening.  Herbs.  Crops, in general.

 

3 of Spades:  Problems adding up.  Small aggravations.  Interference from a third party.  Loss, something lost. 

 

 

            The Fours:  “But Four does not change”.  And the meaning of Fours have generally not changed.  They have always denoted stable things, and squarish things, including papers and buildings and fields.  Because of their stability, they also connote justice and legal matters. 

 

4 of Diamonds:  Financial stability.  A check.  A bank account.  An official document.  A license or certification.  “The City”, in general.

 

4 of Hearts:  Emotional stability.  An even temper.  Fairness or justice.   An apartment or summer home or cottage.  In times past, but occasionally still today, a barn or outbuilding serving some function for the doings of the homestead (which is the Ace of Hearts). 

 

4 of Clubs:  Goals are on a firm footing.  Job security.  Boredom at work.  Plowing or plodding along. Land or field or farm.  “The Country”, in general.  An outside building or place.  A desk. 

 

4 of Spades:  Instability.  An uneven temper.  A problem that you cannot solve or get away from (it hems you in at all four corners).  Exhaustion because of steady pressure against you.  “Sick and tired” of it all.  Unfairness or injustice.  A parking ticket or speeding ticket.  A summons, lawsuit, or court of law.  The Armed Forces, in general. 

 

            A Note on the 4 of Clubs:  “Outside building or place” is meant to be general here because specific buildings or places depend on the cards next to the 4 of Clubs.  For instance with the 5 of Spades (illness), it would mean a hospital.  With the 2 of Hearts (the arts), museum (and if the 5 of Clubs was with it, a dance club).  With the 3 of hearts (children), daycare center.  With the Ace of Spades (death), a funeral home.  With the 4 of Diamonds (bank account or “City”), a bank or City Hall. 

 

 

            The Fives:  “Five is the body, its health and its stead”. 

 

Five of Diamonds:  Eating.  Clothes.  Jewelry.  Appliances, furniture.  Shopping.

 

Five of Hearts:  Good health.  The hand of friendship or a friend.  Sexual relations.  Enjoyment, entertainment in general.

 

Five of Clubs:  Exercise.  Sports.  Hobbies.  Craftsmanship (making practical things by hand).  Working hard, nose to the grindstone.  Determination. 

 

Five of Spades:  Illness, disease.  A doctor.   Drugs, alcoholism, addiction.   Taking on more than you can handle. 

           

 

            The Sixes:  “Six shows a path that the Seeker shall tread.” 

 

Six of Diamonds:  Distance, in general, that is, someone or something at a distance.  A car.  Steps toward a financial goal.  Investments. 

 

Six of Hearts:  Pleasant trip, vacation, usually associated with family or friends.  Making good progress, moving ahead, the means will reach the end.  A deepening emotional bond. 

 

Six of Clubs:  Business trip.  Steps toward a business goal.  Education, learning, teaching.  Reading, books. 

 

Six of Spades:  Walking away from or abandoning something.  Cleaning up your life, getting rid of things.  Wrong choice, headed in the wrong direction.  Difficulties while traveling, an ill-advised journey, or a journey from which no profit comes.  Running with the wrong crowd. 

 

 

            The Sevens:  “Seven brings trouble that Fate as assigned.”  Because Fate is mentioned in this line, the 7s are also associated with magic and religion – things used to cope with the problems that Fate has assigned to us.   The Sevens have many secrets connected to them because they are the in-between number of their respective suits:  there are six cards behind them, and six cards before them. 

 

Seven of Diamonds:  A troubled purse or financial problem.  Profits down.  The means will not reach the end sought.  Clairvoyance and foretelling.  The talent of seeing and speaking true.  Psychism in general. 

 

            A Note on the Seven of Diamonds:  The divination and foretelling referred to may be by any method, but this card has particular reference to astrology because the seven Diamonds on this card are meant to refer to the “Seven Lights” – the Seven Planets – which are the primary indicators of Fate’s movements.  Technically, there are only 5 Planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn), and two Luminaries (the Sun and the Moon), but they were and are often grouped together and called the Seven Planets.  There are greater considerations to all of the Sevens, which we do not have space to detail here, although a hint of the larger meaning is given in the note on the Arteful Meanings of the Suits.  In any event, the greater considerations are of very little practical value in cardreading.

           

Seven of Hearts:  A troubled heart or emotional problem.  Unsettled emotions.  Dissipation of trouble, sometimes.  Religion, in general. 

 

Seven of Clubs:  Trouble at work or some practical problem.  The power of chance, happenstance, in general.  A charm, talisman, spell, or other work of magic.  The power to make things happen by magic.

 

Seven of Spades:  Double trouble.  Tears.  Mystery or a mystery, something hidden.  Investigation.  Rarely, a curse or hex. 

 

 

            The Eights:  “While Eight shows ideas or thoughts in the mind.”  Eights show ideas and thoughts, and hence imply the exchange of ideas and thoughts, that is, communication.  Unlike the Knaves and 2s, which tend to indicate person-to-person exchanges, the greater-numbered 8s tend to show groups of people.

 

Eight of Diamonds:  Thoughts about money or finances.  Financial plans, budgeting, how to make ends meet.  Computer or other electronic (fire) media used for communication.  Electronics in general.  Occasionally, a bank, accounting firm, financial planning firm. 

 

Eight of Hearts:  Thoughts about love or emotional thoughts.  A group of people celebrating.  Festive atmosphere, party, or sometimes wedding.  “Raised cups”, that is, social drinking.  Flirtatious conversation.  A social club. 

 

Eight of Clubs:  Thoughts about work.  Work or career, in general.  Business conversations, sometimes job interview.  Company or corporation.  Labor union.  Practical plans. 

 

Eight of Spades:  Negative thoughts or attitude.  Oppression or feeling oppressed.  A “poisoned atmosphere”.  Gossip, rumors.  War, or conflict involving groups of people.    A gang, organized crime, or unruly mob.  The Coven or Witch Family. 

 

            A Note on Rural Life:  Not of such great importance as it once was, but farm animals are also represented by the 8s.  Larger farm animals that are workers or beasts of burden are the 8 of Clubs, while productive animals – those that give products for the use of people (sheep, goats, cows, chickens) are the 8 of Diamonds.  The 8 of Hearts would show animals doing well, while the 8 of Spades might tell of a sickness running through the herd or other animal group.  For instance, a sickness befalling one’s chickens might be established by 4 of Clubs (farm) - 8 of Diamonds (the animals) – 5 of Spades (illness).  And you know from the secondmost rule that this would pose a temporary financial problem for the Seeker. 

 

            The Nines:  “Nine heralds changes.”

 

Nine of Diamonds:  Change in financial status, usually for the better.  “Creature comforts”, finery.  A change in plans, generally.  On rare occasion, fame. 

 

Nine of Hearts:  Change for the better, the Seeker’s wish will come true.  A change of heart. 

 

Nine of Clubs:  A change of job or business methods.  A change in goals or priorities.   Going back to work.  A change taking place at work. 

 

Nine of Spades:  Change for the worse.  The Seeker’s wish will not come true.  Disappointment.  Injury.

 

 

            The Tens:  “And Ten is the end.”  As the 3s have a connotation of “little”, the 10s have a connotation of “great” or “much”.  The word “end” in the verse also represents a destination, and so the 10s also mean journey and travel. 

 

Ten of Diamonds:  Financial independence.  Enough money to get something done.  A large sum of money.  Sealing a financial deal.  Success, in general. 

 

Ten of Hearts:  Emotional security.  Pleasant and stable family life.  Unshakeable marriage bond.  The spouse.  Happiness, in general.  Journey by or over water.  A boat or ship.  Lake, ocean or other large body of water. 

 

Ten of Clubs:  A great deal of work to do.  Work piling up.  The completion of a practical project – whether associated with work or a hobby.  Achievement, in general.  Journey by air, an airplane. 

 

Ten of Spades:  A great deal of trouble, worry.  Evil, violence, grief.   Great force. Failure, in general.  Journey by land (Earth). 

 

            A Note on the 10s and Travel:  A 10 in a spread will usually not indicate a journey unless it is linked with a 6 (path, steps) or another 10.  The linkage may occur by virtue of the cards being next to each other, or linked through the card of the Seeker in someway.  For instance, referring back to the example Square of Nine spread, we see that the King of Hearts is linked to two 10s because a 10 occurs in each of his lines 123 and 369; therefore, the cards show him traveling on business (10 of Diamonds), most likely by air (10 of Clubs).  Compare that to the Queen of Spades.  She is linked to the 10 of Diamonds in line 147, but she is not linked to the 10 of Clubs in any fashion; therefore, she will not be traveling with her husband.  Three 10s would indicate long-distance or foreign travel, and four 10s would indicate world travel or a world traveler. 

 

 

Learning Suggestions

 

            Admittedly, the above represents a great deal of information to absorb.  If you feel overwhelmed, you need not go on.  Cardreading 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:

 

            (1)  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. 

 

            (2)  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. 

 

            (3)  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 cardreader is a storyteller, only different from a fictionteller 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 as that. 

 

            (4)  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. 

 

 

Combinations

 

            With the meanings above, you can see many specific things in the cards when reading them in combination.  Some combinations involve only two cards, some involve three, and on rare occasion, four cards.  In time, as you learn the speech of the cards, you will easily see combinations, not just those given here, but your own, too.

            *Here* is a list of card combinations.  We have been working with trios up until now, so we will stick to combinations of two and three cards.  Make no effort to memorize any of them, although you may wish to add them your own notebook if they make sense to you.  As you read each combination, simply think through its rationale so that you know how it is derived.  This is likely the most important section for the Witch of Middling Memory.  Again, it is emphasized that memorization is not the point here.  It is by going through this list of combinations and simply thinking them through that you will learn the speech of the cards.  The meanings you eventually understand from the cards will not invariably be the meanings given here for the combinations.  In addition, the list given here is by no means exhaustive. 

            Remember, too, that the first and second rules may help you in interpreting combinations. 

 

            A Note on Describing the Characteristics of Court Cards:  When you see a Court Card in a trio or spread, you will usually identify it in two ways – by the characteristics of its suit and surrounding cards, but not by coloring.  The coloring of the Courts (very fair, medium, darker, very dark) are mostly used for choosing a card to represent the Seeker. 

An example:  Let us say we have the King of Clubs in the spread and he represents a person in the Seeker’s life.  You describe to the Seeker that the man is practical, work-oriented, and efficient; that much you know from the suit.  Sometimes the Seeker will know the person right away, but oftentimes will not.  So, the Seeker will ask you if you can tell anything more about the man to help identify him.  Or maybe it is someone that the Seeker does not know yet, but will meet in the future; in that case, the Seeker will want to know how to identify the person when she meets him.  So, look to the cards near the King of Clubs.  You may see that he wants a family or that family is important to him (Ace of Hearts).  He may have a negative outlook (8 of Spades).  He may be a sportsman, big sports fan, or exercise nut (5 of Clubs).  He may always be ready to lend a helping hand to others (2 of Clubs).  Perhaps he is religious (7 of Hearts).  A high achiever (10 of Clubs)?  “Too much in his cups”? (5 of Spades and 8 of Hearts)?  Stylish and a good dresser (9 of Diamonds)?  You will usually be able to tell any of that from the cards. 

 

 

Spreads

 

            We will be covering three new spreads for the witch of middling memory:  The Three Steps, The Horns, and The Cross.  After a general discussion of each, you will find an example spread.

 

The Three Steps

 

            Although using more cards, this spread is based on interpreting trios, which the witch of poor memory is accustomed to doing.  This spread is good for getting a general look at the future, but not as good for specific questions.        

 

            Choose a card for the Seeker, but leave it within the deck.  Have the Seeker shuffle the cards and cut them.  Fan out the cards upon the table and ask the Seeker to choose 23 of them, face down.  Keep them in order as the Seeker selects them, then lay them, faces upward, in the following pattern:

23
19 20  21  22
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  11

            Some of the ninefold symbolism of the Square of Nine is repeated in this spread, for the Seeker walks up the three steps three times.  It is based on the countings of sevens to find the middle card of each trio.  There are nine trios to read in this spread, and then a final tenth, which is traditionally called “the Surprise”.  Starting, count 7 cards.  Landing on card 7, read the trio 6-7-8.   Next, count 7 again.  Landing on card 14, read the trio 13-14-15.  And so on.  Here are the trios that you will read from start to finish: 

 

First ascent:                  6-7-8, 13-14-15, 20-21-22

 

Second ascent:             4-5-6,  11-12-13, 18-19-20

 

Third ascent:                 2-3-4, 9-10-11, 16-17-18

 

The Surprise:                23-1-2

 

            You will note that there are some overlapping cards in the ascents (ex. card 6 is read both in the first trio of the first ascent, and the first trio of the second ascent).  These will sometimes link events together.  Thus, the trio 6-7-8 may show an event that will further progress in trio 4-5-6. 

           

            If the Seeker’s card appears in the draw, you may also read that card as the middle of a trio.  For example, if the Seeking Q appears as card 4, read 3-4-5 as a trio, which would otherwise not be read as a trio per the outline above.  A trio with the Seeker should be looked for and read first.

 

            Additional Consideration:  if there is some difficulty in determining the meaning of a trio, you may look to the card above or below the middle card of the trio, if there is one, for guidance or additional information.  This is usually necessary only when reading the first couple of trios, when the Witch is trying to determine exactly what the events surrounding the Seeker’s life are.  The interpretation of the card above or below should never contradict or usurp the meaning of the trio, but merely adds additional, supportive information. 

 

            Final Note:  Twenty-three cards are much to look at, and the novice cardreader’s initial reaction to her first few spreads of this size is to gulp, perspire, and sit tongue-tied.  Keep in mind, however, that there are only ten trios to read in this spread, and that if you are practiced in the Square of Nine, you have routinely interpreted eight trios.  Here, read each trio, one by one, and ignore the rest of the cards until you come to them.  Fall back on the firstmost and secondmost rules as and when you need to. 

 

The Three Steps:  An Example

 

            The Seeker here is a man of darker coloring; thus, the K.  This reading was conducted in September 2002.

    9
  A  10 4     2
  6    Q  6   4    A  10  Kn
 10  Kn   Q  5   2 Kn  3   3   K   8     7

           The Seeker’s card has not appeared in the draw, so we will jump right into interpreting the trios.  For considerations of space, we will not detail the supportive information given from the firstmost and secondmost rules

 

First Ascent

 

Kn, 3, 3:  From this trio, we can see that the Seeker has not come to us for advice on business matters – at least, not primarily (note, too, that there are only two s amongst the 23 cards).  The Kn could possibly indicate a date, but the 3 indicates small aggravations, interference from a third party, and loss.  The 3 shows a scattered mind.  This does not give us much to go on, initially, so we look at the card above the middle card of the trio and find the 6, indicating a deepening emotional bond.  From this we may deduce that the Seeker is interested in dating someone and getting closer to that person, but he has not been very successful.  A third party seems to be the issue, and may have been the cause of a cancelled date (Kn, 3).  The Seeker’s mind has been scattered, as he has been thinking about the issue off-and-on (3); one inference is that he is thinking that the person simply does not want to be with him and is using this third-party interference as an excuse. 

 

Q, 6, 4:  Here is the person the Seeker is interested in – a woman who is a widow or divorced (Q).  She is generally a warm-hearted person (6), but her situation is unstable (4).  Her heart is heavy ( hemmed in by s), she feels exhausted and hemmed in by problems at times (4), and she needs a vacation (6); unfortunately, she won’t get one ( on top of 6).  The Q may be interested in a deepening emotional bond, theoretically (6), but she may feel that her present circumstances are too unstable to maintain such a bond (4).  Note, however, that the cards do not give the impression that the Q is inimical to the Seeker or that she does not want his attentions.  She is simply tired and dealing with problems.  We can set the Seeker’s mind at ease on that point. 

 

10, 4, 2:  The 10 is success, in general.  The 4 is plodding along and goals on a firm footing.  The 2 is love and relationship.  Thus, the cards advise the Seeker that success (10) in gaining the desired deeper emotional bond (the 6 seen before) may be achieved by not giving up and with patient plodding (4).  When the 4 appears, we must incline our thoughts to the possibility of an “outside place” being in the cards.  Here, combined with the 2, a museum or theater is indicated.  When reading this trio for the Seeker, I chose the theater because the 10 as the first card indicated a larger amount of money being spent.  Thus, the Seeker will purchase good seats/expensive tickets to a theater performance, and will ask his love interest (2) to accompany him.  There is an additional dimension to why the tickets will be expensive:  they are part of a package including transportation to an out-of-town theater.  Note that the 10 falls below the 4; with that additional card considered, we have two 10s together, indicating a journey. 

            This trio also indicates that the Seeker is working on sealing a financial deal (10).  That deal is stable (4), and all will work out harmoniously (2) concerning it.

 

Second Ascent

 

5, 2, Kn:  It appears that the Seeker will heed the advice of plodding along patiently (seen as 4 above), for this trio shows him determined (5) in issuing invitations for dates (2, Kn).  Unfortunately, he will still get turned down sometimes (6 above the 2), but he will also sometimes get an acceptance (Kn ends the trio). 

 

8, 7, 6:  These cards show that the Seeker will consider abandoning the endeavor entirely.  His emotional thoughts (8) grow more and more negative (two s following), and for a time, he may even walk away from pursuing the relationship (6).  He feels that there is some mystery (7) behind the Q in sometimes accepting him company, but more often refusing him.  She is sending him mixed signals.  Here, the mystery happens to be solved by looking at the card above the 7 -- the Kn -- which is also part of the next trio.

 

10, Kn, A:  It appears that a primary issue concerning the Q is a child in her home (A) – the Kn.  She is worried about him (10).  What is the source of the worry?  Well, the child is probably feeling depressed, lonely, or sad, himself (two s in a row, and 7 below), and she is concerned about that.  She also believes that he is keeping something hidden from her (7, card below); it may be that he has had a failing (10) grade in school.  She believes that entering a new relationship (2, the card above) may not be the best thing for her to do at this time.  Again, we must advise the Seeker to have understanding and patience.  A mystery is something difficult to cope with; but identifying the problem will make things easier for him.  In addition, the ending the trio shows a light at the end of the tunnel.  The child will gradually improve and pull out of his sad state. 

 

The Third Ascent

 

10, Kn, Q:  As the Kn begins to improve in outlook ( on top of Kn), the Seeker’s only emotional situation shall grow more fair, and he will begin to experience greater emotional security (10).  The Qalso represents the Q returning to her usual more sociable nature (remember the 6 next to the Q) as her child improves (Kn).  Note that both the love interest and the child were represented by Courts.  Now, with the 10 appearing, meaning happiness, both the Q and Kn have turned into s, showing more sociable natures (s) and better outlooks (red card).

            This trio also shows that the Seeker will be invited to a wedding (10) of a younger couple (Kn and Q). 

 

3, K, 8:  With the Q and Kn on a more even emotional keel, the Seeker, who was formerly thinking of abandoning the relationship as a prospect (recall the trio 8, 7, 6 from the second ascent), now begins to gradually go back to his emotional thoughts (8), and is in a happier frame of mind, himself (K).

            This trio also shows that the Seeker’s brother (K), or other male family member (same), will soon be celebrating (8) a small raise in pay (3). 

 

            Note that both of the foregoing trios of the third ascent are composed solely of red cards, thus indicating a sustained period of fair fortune in the Seeker’s circumstances. 

 

4, A, 10:  With his emotional prospects now more secure, the Seeker will find something new to concern him.  This trio shows there will be instability (4) in a new financial project (A) involving a large sum of money (10 is the card above), and this will greatly concern the Seeker (10).  A lawsuit (4) threatening the project is a possibility.  Anything new (A) that the Seeker attempts at this time will be surrounded by delay (4) and worry (10).  In particular, travel plans (two 10s present if one considers the card above) must be very carefully laid. 

            A somewhat rare combination occurs here, too – the A followed by the 10 may indicate a destructive fire.  There is nothing directly linking the fire to the Seeker, so it is likely that it is something that the Seeker will only hear about.  It will not directly affect him, but may cause him some worry (10).  Fortunately, there are no injuries showing (no 5 or 9 present).  If the A were over the middle A instead of over the 4, then we would have greater concern and advise the Seeker that a fire in his house is a possibility. 

           

The Surprise

 

2, 9, 10:  And what a fair surprise this is for the Seeker!  He will get his wish (9), which has to do with entering a harmonious relationship (2) and getting married (10).  Thus, we can advise the Seeker that all will work out well with his love interest.  Marriage is definitely in his future.

 

Timing

 

            Timing is discussed below.  Here, the K remained in the unused pack, but searching for him, he was found gazing at the 3.  In timing, that represents the third week of Summer, or approximately mid July.  Thus, the events foretold by this reading would come to pass by July 2003. 

 

The Horns

 

            The Horns is a spread of 7 cards.  It is good for a quick glance at the future.  The spread may be timed, but in general, it foreshadows only 4-6 weeks.  It is a good one for the Witch to do for herself on a weekly basis, or for others when reading cards for many people.  It may also be used to answer a specific question. 

 

            Again, a card is chosen for the Seeker, but it is left within the deck.  If asking a question, the Seeker should think of it as she shuffles the card; if not asking a question, she should just bear a desire to know something of her future.  After she is finished shuffling the deck, she cuts it once.  The Witch takes up the pack and begins dealing off cards, face-up, by twos.  When the pair including the Seeker’s card is turned over, the Witch stops and sets those two cards aside.  She gathers up the pile of face-up cards, being careful not to disturb their order, and makes the pack whole again.  The pack is then fanned out on the table and the Seeker is instructed to choose an additional five cards.  They are laid out as follows:

  1

  2

0
3
0
4
0
5
0
6
0
7

            One of the first two cards will be the Seeker’s card.  If the Seeker is card 1, then card 2 will show an immediate influence or event in her life or in relation to her question.  If the Seeker is card 2, then card 1 will show an influence or even in her life or in relation to her question that has just passed.  Whichever it is, if the Seeker has asked a question, the non-Seeker card will usually be congruent with the nature of a question.  For example, if a love matter, it will be a ; if there is some trouble concerning her, a .  Sometimes the card will be spot on; for instance, if the Seeker asks about changing jobs, the 9 may appear next to the Seeker’s card; if she wonders whether she has been lied to, the Q; and so on. 

 

            Once the cards are laid out, and the first pair interpreted, the remaining five cards are simply interpreted in order, individually.  You may see combinations, too.  If you like, any series of three cards (eg. 2-3-4, 4-5-6), may be interpreted as a trio.

 

 

The Horns:  Two Examples

 

            We give two examples for The Horns – one in answer to a specific query and one for  the future in general.

 

A.  The Horns:  A Question

 

            The first draw is for a question.  The question was asked by a woman, a Q♦ who had recently changed jobs.  The reading was conducted in the beginning of August 2004.  She wondered whether she would like the new job and whether she would be successful at it.  The cards fell as follows:

4

Q
0
6
0
5
0
2
0
7
0
6

            Interpretation:  The Seeker (Q) has been through a period of instability recently 4), but she is now on the correct path toward her job goals (6).  She will soon be undergoing some job education or training (6), which she will enjoy (5).  Indeed, she will generally find her new work atmosphere to be enjoyable (5) and harmonious (2), and she will even make social friends (5) there.  There is, however, a problem on the horizon here, shown by the trio 5, 2, 7.  There is a definite possibility that a romantic or sexual involvement (5, 2 in combination) at work will bring trouble and tears (7), so she must be aware of that and try to avoid it.  Otherwise, she will make good progress in the position and move ahead (6). 

           

            Timing:  You will not always be able to tell a specific time from the cards with The Horns because the Seeker card is always either card 1 or 2 and sometimes it will not face the other card.  In those cases, you must rely on the 4-to-6-week designation. 

Here, however, the Q faces the 4, so we know that the events will come to pass by the fourth week of Winter, or roughly January 21, 2005. 

 

            Addendum:  In the beginning of September 2004, the Seeker contacted the Witch again.  She found her job environment pleasant enough, but since it was a new field for her, she was not exactly sure that it was what she wanted to do.  Her company was also paying for her to get a higher degree, so she wondered whether she should continue with the job simply for that additional benefit or whether she should take training in massage therapy and enter the health field.  Fortunately, I had kept a record of the above reading.  If you are much-consulted Witch, you will have found that sometimes Seekers come back to you for additional related information or with an additional related question.  Consider keeping a record of your card spreads, for you may often answer the follow-up question from it and save time in having to throw another spread down. 

            Note how the cards of the original reading foreshadow the additional question.  There is instability surrounding the Seeker’s education (4 [instability], Q [Seeker], 6 [education]).  There is a query regarding training for massage therapy (6 [education], 5 [health, hand, enjoyment], 2 [harmony]).  Considering the interpretation of the original reading, and the fact that the 7 (trouble, tears) follows the 6-5-2 trio, I advised the Seeker to stay in her present position for the time being – at least until the end of January 2005 – before considering any change.  By the end of January 2005, she will be feeling better about her position. 

            Also note that the spread is not only relevant for what it shows, but also for what it does not show.  There are two 6s present here – one at the beginning of the path, and one at the end.  Together they imply a continuous path.  There are no Aces present, and indeed, no sign of new beginning shown anywhere.  That is an important indication given that the Seeker asks about making a new beginning in an entirely new field. 

 

B.  The Horns:  A General Future

 

            The next example of the Horns is one in which no specific question was asked.  The Seeker sought only a glimpse of the future.   The Seeker was a very dark man, a K, and the reading was conducted in October 2003.

K

 2
0
5
0
 3
0
7
0
8
0
 4

            Interpretation:  The Seeker (K) will quarrel (2) with a friend (5).  We can surmise a little about the nature of the quarrel; it is likely over small aggravations that have been adding up (3) or owing to the influence of some troublesome third party (3).  The loss of the friendship is likely for a period of time (5 3), and may even result in some business troubles (7), or a loss of business (3, 7) for the Seeker.  But the two s ending the line show the trouble ending and the fortune turning fair.  By happenstance (7), the two will meet at a party, have some drinks together (8), and reconcile (4).  Emotional stability (4) will prevail. 

 

            Timing:  The Seeker’s card is facing the 2, so the events predicted by this spread will occur by the second week of Winter. 

The Cross

 

            The Cross is a spread of 5 cards.  It is not good for obtaining a general look at the future, but it is good for asking questions of the type:  “What should I do about _______?”  It helps the Seeker determine how he should act in a given situation or toward a given person.  It would be easy to expand this spread into one using 15 cards, using three cards (or one trio) per each station.  I advise against it, however, on the ground that experience has shown that fewer cards speak more clearly with this spread.  You may find that your interpretations are more general with this spread, but even so, its testimonies will not err.

            If experiencing a difficulty in interpreting a card, focus either more on its suit or on its pip and give your intuition free reign.  If you like, you may read them as trios – one horizontally from left to right, and one vertically from up to down -- to get the gist of their message, including an evaluation of the firstmost and secondmost rules.  It is a quick spread, and one good to use if the Seeker has several questions of the above type.  Or it can be used to answer a question of the above type following a larger spread. 

 

            A card is chosen for the Seeker, but not removed from the deck.  The Seeker shuffles and cuts the cards.  The Witch fans them out on the table and the Seeker selects five.  The Witch lays them in this order:

4
l

1

2

3

l
5

            The stations have the following designations:

 

1:  a past event or influence

2:  a present event or influence

3:  a future event or influence

4:  how to proceed (advice on what to do)

5:  how to forbear (advice on what to avoid or what not to do)

 

            You will often be able to inter-relate cards 4 and 5. 

 

 

The Cross:  Two Examples

 

A.  The Cross:  First Example

 

            A Q asked the Witch, in July 2004, what she should do about a teenage son, who she believed was becoming more emotionally withdrawn from her.  The cards fell as follows:

3
0

Kn

  7    

Q

0
 8

    

Interpretation:  The Kn clearly shows a youth that is lonely, or depressed, or in trouble.  We see from the middle card, that the trouble is emotional in nature (7).  A future influence is a girl or woman older than he (Q).  My intuition was that although the Q does not appear until the future, she had been on the scene in the past, and was also presently on the scene, and was the source of the emotional trouble (7).  My sense of the cards was that it was an up-and-down relationship, with the Q calling the shots (because if the three cards are read as a trio, she falls last; also, if you lay out the cards here, you will note that the Kn if facing toward the Q, but she is facing away from *him*).  The relationship is presently in a “down” phase because the 7 -- emotional trouble – is in the middle (this card should not be read as cessation of trouble here because it is flanked by the two s).  The Q falling in the future indicates that she will reassert herself in the future and her emotional manipulations will continue.  My additional sense is that she is a troubled girl (), and seeks company in her misery.  She is succeeding because the Kn also appears as a .  The Seeker should probably seek to minimize the influence of the Q on the Kn. 

            What the Seeker should avoid is shown by the 8.  She should not force the Kn into social situations or smother him with love.  At the present time, he is unable to respond emotionally to people (), and enforced gaiety will make him withdraw even more.

            How the Seeker should proceed is shown by the 3.  She should encourage the Kn to get a part-time job.  He needs to expand his social skills outside of purely emotional relationships (family, girlfriend, etc.).  Comparing the 3 and the 8, I offered that he was often uncomfortable in social situations because he did not know how to interact with people. He needs to learn how to do that bit-by-bit (3).  A job environment (), which is generally a less emotional setting for the play of social skills, would help him do that more gradually and with greater security.  Reading the vertical cards as a trio, we see that the fortune of the youth will become more fair (, followed by two s; here we might even read the  7 as cessation of trouble because it is not flanked by s vertically). 

 

Timing:  The Q did not appear in the spread, but upon searching the deck, she was found facing the A.  Thus, the events of the spread would transpire by the first week of Fall.

 

 

B.  The Cross:  Second Example

 

            Our final example for The Cross  illustrates a rather common question:  “Should I continue to invest time and energy into my current romantic relationship?”  It was asked by a Q in April 2002. 

2
l

Kn   

 5 

K

l
 10

Interpretation:  This is a fairly easy example to interpret.  Before you read the interpretation below, try to interpret it yourself as an exercise.  The Q was in her early 30s at the time of the question.  The appearance of the first card – the -- as a Kn indicates the boyfriend.  No matter if he is near the same age as the Q, the fact that he appears as a Kn instead of a K shows that he has a little less emotional maturity than she.  He is a friendly chap, emotional, probably given to daydreaming a bit.  It is the next card, the 5 in combination with the 5 that tells us that he is a merrymaker and enjoys a good time and his entertainments.  Sexual relations with the Kn are also very good (5).  But it doesn’t look like he is “marriageable material”.  The 10 in the bottom position tells us that.  That card advises the Seeker that the Kn  is not going to make a good spouse for her, and she should not be pressing the issue of marriage and family with him.  He probably enjoys his freedom too much.  The top card – the 2 -- advises a separation, a split, a break-up.  Finally, in the future, we see that the Seeker shall meet the K, a more mature man, who is active, practical, and efficient.  He also knows how to enjoy himself (5 before him), but the fact that he is a shows that he will know how to balance business and pleasure. 

 

Timing:  The Seeker’s card did not appear in the spread, but searching the deck, she was found facing the 10 -- indicating ten weeks after the start of spring.  Thus, the events of the spread will transpire around the beginning of June 2002. 

 

Timing

 

            To end this essay for the Witch of Middling Memory, we focus on timing.  You may have discerned the method from the pattern given above.  The upper face of the Seeker’s card will usually face another card.  If the Seeker’s card should fall in the spread, look at the card the Seeker immediately faces.  If a , the timing is Spring; a , Summer; a , Fall; a , Winter.  Use the value of the card to determine weeks, as is done above.  Knaves are 11 weeks, Queens are 12 weeks, and Kings are 13 weeks; the Kings are obviously contiguous with the commencement of the next season (eg. K would indicate 13 weeks after the beginning of Fall, a time period just before the beginning of Winter). 

            If the Seeker’s card does not appear in the spread, hand the unused cards to the Seeker and have her shuffle and cut again.  Then turn the deck face up to search through the deck and find her card.  The searching is done by fanning out the cards from the left hand into the right hand.  When you find the Seeker’s card, look at the card it faces and determine timing from that. 

            It will rarely, but on occasion, occur that the Seeker’s card is facing no card in the reshuffled deck.  For instance, if you turn over the deck and find the Seeker’s card as the Q as the first card, you will see that she is facing to the right, but that there is no card before her.  In that instance, timing fails for the spread.  You should not have the Seeker reshuffle.  You will either have to use your intuition for timing or rely on a general time period, such as the 4-6 weeks mentioned for The Horns.

 

Sevens and the Moon

 

            Sometimes the Seeker simply needs a question timed within a month.  In that instance, look for the nearest 7 in the spread that the Seeker faces.  The 7 is the first 7 days of the Moon’s age (from dark/new to first quarter); the 7, the second 7 days of the Moon’s age (from first quarter to full); the 7, the third 7 days of the Moon’s age (from full to third quarter); the 7, the fourth 7 days of the Moon’s age (from third quarter to dark/new).  If no 7 appears in the spread, resort to reshuffling the deck, as noted above to find the closest 7 that the Seeker faces.  In this instance, timing is more likely to fail because of the reduced probability that the Seeker may face a 7.

           

            Even when the timing does not need to be within the month, after the spread is timed by the season and weeks, it is often helpful to look for the nearest 7 faced by the Seeker, anyway, as it will usually time some important event or a “next step”.  For instance, The Three Steps example, we timed the reading to conclude by the following Summer, quite a ways away.  However, if the 7 had been where the 3 was, we could advise the Seeker that the next important event (with reference to our predictions) would occur during the Moon’s fourth age.  

 

            Here ends this essay for the Witch of Middling Memory.  The final part of this essay will be for the Witch of Exceptional Memory.  Only a few interpretive points remain, so that final part will largely focus on spreads, the most important of which is The Great Throw, which uses the entire deck.

Card Combinations

© An Arteful Anonymous Witch

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