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Updated: Jan 30, 2022

Playing Card Deck with Meanings

Most schools of thought on Playing Card divination advise the student to memorize meanings of each card in a standard 52 card deck, for both upright and reversed positions. Others advise the student to meditate on each card and develop their own meanings. Some learned to read playing cards by applying the divinatory meanings of Tarot Cards to those of Playing Cards.

Meaning in the Cards The Jack of Hearts To begin, the cards are divided into three groups they are: 1) The Four Areas of Life 2) The States of Being and 3) The Players in the Game of Life. The Four Areas of Life The four suits in a deck of Playing Cards represent four areas into which life can be divided. These four areas cover the totality of human experience. They are: Hearts represent love, friendship, and close relationships. Diamonds represent business and money matters. Clubs represent creativity, energy, hard work, and rewards. Spades represent change, the unexpected, and warning. The four suits have other association as well such as the four seasons, the four elements, etc...It is also interesting to note that the four suits also correspond to four classes in society during the time in which playing cards came about. That is, Hearts relate to the clergy; Diamonds to merchants and bankers; Clubs to Royalty; and Spades to military personnel. Such associations help to flesh out your readings and bring an added depth to your divinations. For example, when the Queen of Diamonds appears in a reading, it may indicate a woman of business. The States of Being The ten numbered, or Pip, cards represent various states of being or dimensions of human existence. Each card is associated astrologically with the planets in our solar system which, in turn, also carry their own associations. For this reason, playing cards lend themselves well to any astrologically based card spreads such as the Clock of Horoscope. Ace (Sun)- Ego, sense of self, conscious will.

Two (Moon)- Emotions, creativity, instincts.

Three (Mercury)- Communication, commerce, travel

Four (Venus)- Affection, love, the arts

Five (Mars)- Aggression, force, sexual desire.

Six (Jupiter)- Expansion, good luck, abundance, wisdom.

Seven (Saturn)- Discipline, restriction, limitation

Eight (Uranus)- Freedom, change, upheaval.

Nine (Neptune)- Perception, illusions, imagination

Ten (Pluto)- Destruction, Transformation, Rebirth Players in the Game of Life The Court, or Trump, Cards represent twelve archetype into which human beings can be divided. These archetypes are based on the twelve signs of the zodiac, and again, they carry their own associations. King of Clubs (Aries- The Leader) outward appearance, ego, self identity.

King of Diamonds (Taurus- The Provider) money and material matters.

King of Spades (Gemini- The Judge) communication, siblings, short journeys.

King of Hearts (Cancer- The Adviser) home and family.

Queen of Clubs (Leo- The Achiever) love, children, and creativity.

Queen of Diamonds (Virgo- The Supporter) health, work, and pets.

Queen of Spades (Libra-The Worrier) marriage, agreements, and partnerships.

Queen of Hearts (Scorpio- The Healer) sex and death.

Jack of Clubs (Sagittarius-The Adventurer) spiritual growth, dreams, and long journeys.

Jack of Diamonds (Capricorn- The Gambler) career, ambition, profession.

Jack of Spades (Aquarius- The Trouble-Maker) friends, associations, and open enemies.

Jack of Hearts (Pisces- The Lover) karma, transformation, and self-undoing. Jacks represent a person of either gender, whose connection to the seeker is indicated by the suit. Jacks are read as potential, influences not yet fully formed. Hence the Jack of Hearts may represent a potential lover. Queens represent a female connected to the seeker, or the seeker herself. The suit will indicate how she is connected to the seeker, or to the question asked. Queens are read as emotional, fluid, and wavering. Kings represent a male connected to the seeker, or the seeker himself. Again, the suit will indicate how he is connected to the seeker, or to the question asked. Kings are read as logical, fixed, and possibly stagnant.

That Darn Joker The Joker is something of an enigma among card-readers and carries his own mystique. He is not associated with any suit and, therefore, stands alone and apart from the royal court. The Joker, is thought to have derived its name from Jucker which is the German word for Euchre. Originally it was called The Best Bower and later it was known as the Little Joker or the Jolly Joker. Suffice it to say that the Joker is akin to The Fool in the tarot deck, and they have several similarities which is as it should be. The Fool tarot card precedes the Joker by several hundred years (the Joker being introduced around 1860 by Euchre players who had modified the rules of the game) and The Fool is theorized to be the inspiration behind the Joker being depicted as a court jester as tarot decks at that time often depicted The Fool as a harlequin or a buffoon. In the modern era, the Joker (along with the Ace of Spades) is specially designed as part of the manufacturer's brand. Some readers make use of this card and some do not. Of those that do, it is used in one of two ways. The Joker is used to represent the querent in the reading, that is, the person who is receiving the reading. In this instance, the Joker is either removed from the deck and placed on the reading surface before hand and then the querent shuffles the cards; or some readers make a habit of having the querent hold the Joker while the reader shuffle the cards herself, only stopping when directed to do so by the querent. The Joker is then placed on the reading surface and the cards laid out around him. The Joker is left in the deck to act as a wild-card. In this instance he is said to represent everything and nothing. Cards that surround this card are usually said to represent what is close to the querent's heart. He can represent folly, and the results of poor decisions. Then again, he can represent fresh starts and new opportunities. Then again, he can represent the attainment of desire or simply the unknown. It is up to you, the reader, to decide if and how you wish to make use of the Joker in your playing card readings.

Putting it All Together With a clear understanding of these three groups, you can combine each individual element to determine the divinatory meaning of each card. For example, the three of hearts means “communication about love or friendship”, which could be interpreted as a love letter, an email, or a secret meeting between lovers. As always interpretation is the key, the correct interpretation depends on the client’s situation at the time in relation to the question asked. Conducting a Reading with Playing Cards Many readers have a ritual that they perform prior to giving a card-reading. It may be something as simple as lighting a candle and incense followed by a sincere prayer for not only the ability to know but also to understand. Then again, other folks simply take out their cards and start the reading. The choice, again, is up to you to decide what works best for you. The reading begins with choosing a calling-card to represent the querent. There are many different methods which have been used to determine a person's signifier, or calling card. As I have previously described above the 12 signs of the Zodiac are associated with the 12 Royal Court Cards. A person's calling-card may be chosen by their sun-sign. For example, a Virgo may be represented by the Queen of Diamonds. However, this method is not always satisfactory as an adult male may be uncomfortable, or even offended, by being represented by a female card. An alternative method concerns itself with matching the individual's age to the court cards in the deck. For example, adult males are Kings, adult females are Queens, whereas young adults and teenagers are Jacks. The suit chosen to represent the querent is selected by a few varying methods. They are: Some readers determine the suit to use for a person's signifier by using the element associated with the person's Sun Sign. Using this methods Clubs represent the fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), Hearts represent water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), Spades represent air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) and Diamons represent earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn).

Readers have been known to take into account the individual's race or coloring. For example, Clubs represent blonds, Hearts represent dark blonde to light brown, Spades represent Red heads, and Diamonds represent dark brown to black hair. Finally, as previously described, the Joker may be used to represent the querent in the reading. In other instances, you may wish to take a more literal approach and use the 4 of Hearts for an artist, or the Jack of Spades for a solider. In my personal practices, I have been know to have the querent simply cut the cards and place them back together. I think remove the topmost card from the deck and use this as the querent's calling-card. This card often gives me an insight into the individual's personality, mental state, or outlook on life at the moment. Once the calling-card has been determined, the querent is given the cards to shuffle while thinking of their question or issue. The cards are returned to the reader who then lays them out in a pre-determined pattern and their meanings divined. The simplest reading of all consist of fanning out the cards and running your hands over them while thinking of your question. Turn over the card that calls to you and base your answer on the meaning of the card. Pull other cards for clarification. Another simple reading consist of shuffling the cards while thinking of your question, then cutting them into four stacks before you. The top card of each stack is drawn and read as: Spirit- Your motivation for asking the question Being- Where you are now. Destiny- Where things are going. Outcome- The Ultimate Resolution In addition, card-spreads used for reading the Tarot can also be used to read the Playing Cards. Timing Events with Playing Cards Cartomancers have developed several methods to determine if and when an event is likely to happen. One reader I know times events by formulating the question such as How many (days, weeks, months, etc..) before (fill in the blank) will occur? He then has the individual shuffle and cut the cards as usual and lays down the cards in a straight line until a card appears which represents the desired outcome. He counts the number of cards on the table telling him how many (days, weeks, or months) it will take for the desired outcome to occur. For example, the questioner asks: How many weeks will it take before I find a new job? The cards are shuffled and cut and finally laid in the following order 8 of Spades * 10 of Clubs * 3 of Hearts * Ace of Diamonds The reader stops at the Ace of Diamonds which he interprets as the beginning of a new business venture which promises to be prosperous and successful. The Ace of Diamonds was the fourth card laid down and therefore he predicts that the client will find a new job within four weeks. In addition, the three cards which precede the Ace can predict what the client may feel or experience before he finds the new job such as stagnation (8 of Spades), a sense of being overwhelmed (10 of Clubs), and renewed hope (Three of Hearts). Since the reader has already predicted that the client will get a new job in four weeks, the three of hearts may portend that s/he gets called in for an interview since the number three is linked to the planet Mercury and therefore communication. People who read Playing Cards have often observed that there is a similarity between how a standard deck of playing cards are structured and the modern calender. They are: There are 52 cards in the standard playing card deck and 52 weeks in a year.

There are four suits in a deck and four seasons in a year.

There are 13 cards in each suit and 13 weeks in each season. With this information in mind, the standard deck of playing cards can be divided into four season with Hearts representing Spring, Clubs representing Summer, Spades representing Autumn, and Diamonds representing Winter. The four season can then be divided into 13 weeks. Beginning with the Ace and ending with the King, each card can represent a week in each season. Ace being the first week and the King of any suit representing the 13th. For example the 6 of Diamonds would represent the 6th week of Winter, the King of Hears would represent the 13th week of Summer, etc... Using these correspondences a reader can predict to within a week's time when an event will begin, end, or manifest. These are just a few of the ways in which a card-reader may determine if and when an event will begin, end, or manifest.

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