Telling a person’s fortune, either one’s own, a friend’s or a ‘client’s’, is as old as human conscience. Wanting to know what will happen in the future – and therefore being able to control it – is a desire that all humans share. Using cards to predict the future is surely as ancient as the cards themselves.
In both Haitian Voudon and American hoodoo, the cards of choice for cartomancy (fortune telling with cards) are run of the mill playing cards. I know of practitioners who use the Tarot for readings but historically this has not been the case. In all honesty Tarot cards would have been a lot more difficult to come by for most of the history of both practices. Modern Wiccans, Druids and other pagans tend to favor the Tarot but even they would admit that the European wise-people from whom they descend probably used playing cards – some of them homemade one would imagine – in their cartomancy. We’re all very similar if you dig past the surface.
For the purposes of this series of Friday posts, we will be examining the fortune telling meanings of common cards. The Tarot is far more intricate and, in all honesty, is a lifetime study. Hoodoo cartomancy, though it is also a distinct art, can be learned fairly easily. As you become familiar with the cards and your own psychic ability, you will find deeper meaning in each card and see the way the cards interact with those closer to or further away from them in a spread.
Learning cartomancy can be an invigorating experience. Let go and let it happen and remember: there is no one authority. If I’ve aroused your interest, do more research. If you have another opinion, leave me a comment and start a dialogue. I have a lot of experience but I do not put myself before you as the ultimate arbiter. I’m here to fire your imagination, get the ball rolling and help you change your perceptions.
To begin, here is a brief outline of the general patterns that each suit brings to the fortune telling table. Future posts will deal with the meanings of specific cards and later we’ll talk about layouts and spreads. I’ll try to make this a consistent Friday feature and, if you follow me over at Triple P, you know I’m pretty darn consistent.
Clubs: These cards correspond to the suit of Wands in the Tarot. They are ruled by the element of Fire (masculine). This is the suit of labor, energy, enterprise and growth.
Hearts: This suit corresponds to the Tarot Cups. Ruled by the element of Water (feminine), the suit concerns friends, family, love and happiness.
Spades: Corresponding to the suit of Swords in Tarot, this suit is ruled by Air (masculine). Spades are the suit of warriors, courage, aggression and conflict.
Diamonds: These are equivalent to the suit of Pentacles in Tarot. Ruled by the element of Earth (feminine), this suit represents trade, fortune and money.
And so we begin. Stop in to HQ often and bring a friend. I promise a long, enlightening and enjoyable journey.
Header: The Fortune Teller by Lucas van Leyden