Over the next few weeks, I shall be publishing a series of short posts outlining how you can combine the strengths of the Tarot with the strengths of the playing cards as divination tools.
‘Why on earth would anyone want to use only one deck of cards?’ you may ask. A lighter bag is the only reply I can offer. There is no NEED to combine systems, but I find this kind of multi purpose flexibility attractive.
For me personally, the Tarot is an intensely probing tool whose imagery can provide deep insights, prompt the seeker to ask themselves questions and explore their psyche with regard to whatever issue is being read on, as well as predicting outcomes of a given set of circumstances/actions. The playing cards are precise and analytical. They can give on point timing, very detailed descriptions of people, describe where a lost item or person may be and are very good at yes and no responses. I am very aware that these two short summaries of the strengths of each system are nowhere near comprehensive, and don’t do either justice.
*NB I’m sure that Lenormand could well be incorporated into Tarot readings – particularly for health related queries, but I won’t go into this for two reasons 1. Health related questions are a minefield with regards to ethics in the UK, and 2. The paying card associations of the lenormand are different to the ones I use for reading playing cards, so things could get a trifle confusing.
I’ll also be looking at Tarot as an aid to several methods of meditation, and an outline of ways in which it can be used as a card a day oracle deck or to give inspiration and an uplifting message to close a reading session.
I struggled for a long time to learn to read playing cards, and the method you’ll see used throughout these posts is taught in a course on Udemy – Your future is in the Cards, by Twelve of Hearts Cartomancy. I found this to be the most useful, and useable system I’ve come across to date. Udemy regularly run special offers where courses can be bought for under £10 if you feel inspired to give this course a try.
Tip #1 – Timing
The system of playing card divination that I learned utilised the complete deck with jokers, (jokers removed for timing purposes).
Swords/Air = Spades = Winter
Wands/Fire = Clubs = Spring
Cups/Water = Hearts = Summer
Coins/Earth = Diamonds = Autumn
There are 52 playing cards in a deck (remember don’t count jokers which are reputed to be a much later edition to the playing card pack, introduced as a wild card by players in a gentlemen’s club who wanted to introduce an element of danger to their playing), and there are 52 weeks in a year.
For the purposes of timing, the Page (Knave), is numbered 11, the queen 12 and the king 13. In order for the numbers to add up, we shall ignore the Knights and the Major Arcana in the Tarot deck for the purposes of timing.
So, in answer to a question such as ‘When is the best time for me to begin this project?’, We would shuffle our Tarot deck, cut it and turn a card, keeping turning until we find a minor arcana suit card numbered from 1 – 10 or the Page Queen or king. There is no need to remove all of the other cards from the deck – just keep turning until one of these appears.
E.g. The first suit card drawn is Four of Coins – this equates to the fourth week of spring in the system outlined above. Check out google for the date of the first day of spring, count forward four weeks, and that is the week that is indicated as the best week to begin the project.
You may decide that the suits correspond to a different season for you. That is absolutely fine. Intend that season on the suit from the very start, be unwaveringly consistent in your application, and practise, practise, practise until you see your timings emerge accurately in your own readings.
In the next post, I’ll be showing you a method to very accurately describe the people who may crop up in a reading.
The Tarot Cards used in this blog post are Lo Scarabeo’s Tarot of The Angels