Card colors, suits and putting them together
Cartomancy, divining with playing cards, is a method of accessing your intuition to navigate this realm more effectively. It has nothing to do with “witchcraft”, the “dark arts” or anything of that nature. Cartomancy is perfect for day-to-day life. A reading can cover one day to a week. A 9-card reading can cover up to one month to six weeks. Our accuracy improves with time, as does the meanings for the cards as you progress.
Though I am sure one can do so, cartomancy is not for psychoanalytical types of readings, the way tarot seems to be these days. Reading or divining with playing cards is down-to-earth. It covers if you are getting that raise today or about an upcoming date. Cartomancy is for what is going on in this realm – today, the next few days, week or month, depending. You will find a card is saying something else than what you learned sometimes. You will develop your own relationship with your cards.
I have been diving deep into the cartomancy method I prefer. So far, I found 4 people from 3 countries who have used it for two to three decades! Dawn Jackson attributes the method to ~ An Arteful Anonymous Witch, not herself. One group put out some beginner cartomancy cards using the numbers and suit meanings on Etsy. So who came up with it? No one is claiming copyright except for the text and speech they present on their websites or videos. The copyrights on this version or system of cartomancy is to whom you prefer to attribute them to and learn from, if you so wish.
I have spent over three years going through anything and everything that was translated into the English language that is from the mid-1400s to the present. With the changing of culture throughout the almost 800 or so years of cartomancy, I found the meanings of the playing cards were divided into spiritual, religious, cultural and country factions. The method I prefer seems to be popular across today’s whole realm with those who want to learn.
After reading through all of those various texts online, people’s meanings and systems on their websites, watching videos on the various video platforms, read through hundreds of pdfs and buying 20+ books, I am going to give the current methods and meanings I prefer.
Do note! Cartomancy is NOT based on tarot card meanings. Drop any and all of the tarot out of your mind to learn cartomancy to divine with playing cards. There are sites out there if you want to use tarot with playing cards for you to peruse. Cartomancy is one of the oldest systems of divining with cards out there. Of course, the meanings have been updated a bit. In 800 years or so, life tends to change a bit for us.
This is one of three articles. With the third article, there will be a pdf to save and/or print out the whole thing. It does not include the 1st and 2nd Rule worksheet pdf. That will need to be printed separately. The link is below. Do note that you can print out whatever pages of a pdf that you choose. The pdf will not include any of my introductions or musings that have no useful purpose beyond learning this system of cartomancy. Cartomancy with playing cards is not set in stone. Again, you will find some meanings will change for you in time. It is the nature of card reading.
Stay consistent until something changes where you need to adjust your reading to your method, style, new meanings that you glean, and your intuition.
The colors of the cards can be used for simple Yes or No answers. You can use 1 card or the majority color of 3 cards laid out for your Yes or No answer.
Customary 2-color Yes or No Answers
Red= Good ~ Yes. Black = Bad ~ No.
Another take by one reader:
♥ Hearts = Yes. ♦ Diamonds = Probably Yes. ♣ Clubs = Probably No. ♠ Spades = No.
3 Red cards = Things look to be going well.
3 Black cards = Lots of problems, challenges, and work to deal with.
2 Black cards + 1 Red card = Things are bad, but it is not too bad.
2 Red cards + 1 Black card = Things are good, but they are not that good.
You can do 3-card readings using the colors for simple readings. It gives you “sentences” using the yes/positive and no/negative color meanings above. This can be fine-tuned, as I will post after the card meanings to give some context to the 3-card reading. For this version, you have eight simple readings from the possible combinations of the 2 colors. Some have a few suggestions for the trio grouping from me and a couple of other readers.
R · B · B · Things start out well, but problems start to pile up. A good start steadily worsens. A fair beginning steadily deteriorates.
B · B · R · Though things are not going well, they will work out at the end. A solution is on the horizon. A light at the end of the tunnel.
R · R · B · A problem is coming up. Something you will need to work on is coming up.
B · R · R · A problem will be solved. With work, things will improve.
R · B · R · A small delay or problem will be overcome. A problem will be overcome.
B · R · B · A brief break from problems before something else comes up.
R · R · R · All is good. Things are going well. All is going nicely.
B · B · B · Troubles, obstacles, hard work and challenges Beset by problems & hardship. Things are not going well.
Look at each of the combinations above, and with reference to the colors, think through how the readings given were obtained. Whenever you are examining a group of 3 cards, follow this first and note the order of colors. The colors can help at times when reading by the colors alone.
Note ~ With the addition of the suit meanings, the BBB pattern shows fairly constant problems and stress. Even when the ♣ is the middle card, it is not a respite. It shows that you will need to do work and expend energy before the next problem arises. See the basic suit meanings below.
Card Suits ~ The Basics
♦ Diamonds · money, goods, thinking
♥ Hearts · emotions, loved ones, relationships
♣ Clubs · work, plans, practicality, activity
♠ Spades · problems, obstacles, challenges
There is more to the suit’s meaning. For this exercise and step of learning to read playing cards, the meanings above are enough for a start.
Combining the Suits and Colors
Using the suit meanings, you can now do a simple 3-card reading combining the suit color with the suit’s meaning. Here, though, Clubs are not quite the negative as Spades are. Clubs mean you will do work, and perform an action. For some, that is a negative, especially if there is a lot of work needed.
Print out the 1st and 2nd Steps pdf. It is a worksheet. It has the basic color trio meanings, each with a list under each one of the possible combinations, like shown below. You print it out and write in your own reading for the trio, using what you have learned so far. Using the 2 colors and 4 suits in a 3-card spread, you get 64 different readings, just for starters.
The 3 cards combinations can give the quick readings below:
♥ · ♠ · ♣ · An emotional problem that you will slowly work out of.
♠ · ♣ · ♦ · Working out of a problem at work or a problem with a personal project. A problem at work or a practical problem will be resolved.
♦ · ♥ · ♠ · Dwelling on an emotional, family or relationship problem.
♥ · ♦ · ♠ · Upset by a financial, thinking, or communication problem. Upset by not understanding a problem.
♣ · ♦ · ♦ · Working towards success. Working towards more financial gains.
♦ · ♠ · ♥ · A financial, communication or thinking problem is easily overcome.
♣ · ♦ · ♣ · A lot of work but with only a little profit or pay.
♥ · ♦ · ♥ · Generosity, a giving heart. Sharing your good fortune with loved ones and/or friends.
♣ • ♠ • ♠ · Working in the wrong direction, obstacles and delays.
Using the card colors with the meanings can give very quick readings to get a general flavor of what is going on. If you have a question, the meanings of the suits have enough verbiage to tweak the reading a little more if needed. Remembering the 2 colors I wrote about first and how they come together, then the suit’s meanings will aid you in figuring out what the cards are saying to you.
Susie (Queen of Diamonds) and a couple of other readers that uses this method gives some little “rules” that will help you see the flow and reasoning for the 3-card reading’s meanings:
♠ Spades in a 3-card spread indicates problems of some sort.
- A Spade at the beginning shows a problem that is being moved away from.
- A Spade in the middle shows an obstacle to overcome and it will slow down your efforts.
- A Spade at the end shows a problem coming up. It is on the horizon.
- 2 spades surrounding another card means that card is hemmed in by problems. The card in the middle indicates what the problem is.
- ♦ Diamond – Financial, communication or thought-related problem.
- ♥ Heart – Emotional problem or a problem with family or friends.
- ♣ Club – Practical problem, problems at work, problem working, problem acting, taking action.
- ♠ Spade – Problems, lots of problems; or trouble, trouble and more trouble. Things suck.
♣ Clubs in a 3-card spread indicates action.
- A Club at the beginning shows you have been taking an action.
- A Club in the middle shows an action will need to occur before the last card.
- A Club at the end shows that there is work or action to be done. It also shows that the situation will improve, but it will take time and work.
♦ A Diamond at the end of a spread shows it will be resolved, but not as easily as a heart card.
♥ Whenever a Heart ends a trio, no matter what it is, it is a good sign.
- A Heart at the end of a spread shows that whatever the problem is, it is going to be resolved very easily.
- A Heart at the end also means things will start to flow more positively.
With ALL of that said, when you add in the numbers, that can skew the 3 red cards being all good. laughing… It is all so simple though, and you will pick this up quite easily. Really.
Next time, I will write about the meanings for the suits and the meanings for the numbers that I prefer. Enjoy!