My Year of Cartomancy Comes Full Circle

The Arcana Tarot Playing Cards, by Chris Ovdiyenko, helped bring my year of cartomancy to a close–in a revealing way.

At the top of last year, I set an intention to honor the dream I had 20 years ago (the anniversary was this past July) that set me on the path to becoming a cartomancer.

If you’re new to the blog, I had a (sleep) dream in which I was doing a card reading for myself, using a deck of playing cards. I had never used a deck of cards that way in waking life prior to the dream, so I knew it was significant.

I looked up playing cards in a dream dictionary and the entry said that playing cards were related to Tarot cards. At the time, I hadn’t seen or heard of Tarot, so I started doing research on the subject, and, in time, purchased my first deck (which was the Crowley Thoth).

But because the dream specifically had playing cards in it, I wanted to go back to my roots, so to speak, in my ongoing personal study and practice of the cards (because Tarot is the main divinatory tool I use in my work with clients).

And to reinforce the intent, The Universe got in on the act by having people, over on YouTube, ask me to share the meanings I use when I read playing cards, much in the way I did with both Lenormand and Kipper previously.

It was a great time with the cards. I got a number of new decks throughout the year, testing them out to see which seemed to be great for readings, and some really surprised me with their spot-on accuracy in my daily draws.

And, as the year moved closer to its end, an interesting thing happened.

A viewer, who had been keeping up with the cartomancy series I mentioned earlier, sent me an e-mail, first saying how much she was enjoying the series, and expressing hope that I would continue (my posting frequency had slowed due to the busy-ness of life).

Then came the question: “Do you read the Tarot de Marseille?”

Cards from the ISIS Tarot de Marseille by Tadahiro Onuma.

She thought, with the way I read playing cards, I would work well with it.

I had considered it a long time ago, and the only deck that appealed to me back then was the ISIS Version Tarot de Marseille by Tadahiro Onuma, a Hermetic philosopher based in Japan. This was in 2010, when that deck was first published.

The question got me thinking about the deck, which I hadn’t given much thought to in the 8 years it’s been available to the public.

What to do…? I decided to take this to the cards, of course. I grabbed my copy of the second edition of Arcana Tarot Playing Cards by Chris Ovdiyenko (produced by Dead on Paper), sitting down to do an Answer Spread with this question in mind: “Is it time for Tarot de Marseille?”

Answering the Tarot de Marseille Question

In response, the cards that turned up were: The Magician, Page of Diamonds, The Sun, 3 of Clubs, Jack of Hearts, and 6 of Clubs.

Representing the situation were The Magician and 3 of Clubs.

The Magician, being a Major Arcana card, starts things off by pointing out the question being posed to the cards is significant, that it speaks to an important event being ushered into my life.

The Magician also is a card that talks about talent, skill, and ability—as well as specializing with a particular “tool of the trade,” and Tarot de Marseille would fit that bill.

Following that up, 3 of Clubs can mean the growth and development of work; this card talks about expansion and broadening one’s horizons.

Both also hint at the possibility of working with Tarot de Marseille in my business with clients, so that was interesting to see.

Answering the question directly were Page of Diamonds and Jack of Hearts.

Page of Diamonds is the card, for me, that can represent the student and the scholar—this alone says that it would be worthwhile (or worth my while; Diamonds) for me to study (learn) Tarot de Marseille.

This Page is one that offers “valuable information” (as Pages are messengers), so the card implies that is what Tarot de Marseille would bring to me.

And the Page is facing The Magician, which only adds to what each card has to say.

Jack of Hearts is a personal card, because I have assigned it my sun sign (Pisces), so, like The Magician, this was significant (a pun on significator) to see.

In addition to that, one of the meanings I have for this card is an interest in—and focus on—divination, again keeping with the context of the question.

Moving to the last column, which reveals contributing factors connected to the situation, there’s The Sun and 6 of Clubs.

What is there to say about The Sun, aside from it being the best card in the deck (in my personal opinion, of course)?

It’s a definite yes—it’s time for Tarot de Marseille. The Sun suggests the experience promises to be both enlightening and illuminating.

And bringing this reading to its close, in the pivot card position (a type of secondary answer, if the cards in the answer column aren’t clear), is the 6 of Clubs.

And the meaning that fits the context here is this: the act of reading (because this card can reference books, but cards are also read).

The Sun + 6 of Clubs could be read to say “Illumination and enlightenment come from the act of reading.”

It’s like The Sun is saying to me, “Could the answer be any clearer?”

Oh—and let’s not leave out the visual cue of Jack of Hearts moving in the direction of 6 of Clubs…

The Outcome

Having my answer, I went ahead and ordered a copy of the ISIS Tarot de Marseille. It arrived a few days before Christmas, and I’ve been enjoying the bonding process, discovering how it “speaks” to me (which is another aspect of 6 of Clubs: communication).

And I became aware, through this experience, that my year of cartomancy came full circle: it brought me back to Tarot in a new way.

It will be interesting to see how this journey with Tarot de Marseille unfolds—especially with this year marking the 20th anniversary when I purchased that first deck of cards and became a reader (which happens next month).

 

 

 

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When the Student Is Ready…

If you’ve been reading my postings for some time, you might recall that I’ve written about my on-again off-again with Kipper. Kipper and I were off-again, as I’ve been spending time with playing cards and Gypsy Witch cards most of this year.

You might have noticed I said “were,” as in past tense—and that’s because something very interesting took place recently that changed our relationship status to on-again.

Cards are from the Fin de Siècle Kipper Deck by Ciro Marchetti, published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc.

It started with a couple of Kipper videos I made for my YouTube channel receiving a number of comments in the span of a week. What made this stand out was that one of the videos was a year old, and the second about 7-8 months old.

That got my attention, given that I hadn’t done anything with Kipper for at least 6 months, if not more.

And following that, I received an e-mail from a young woman, expressing interest in cartomancy coaching (my newest service offering) with me. The interesting thing about her interest is that she wanted to work with Kipper specifically.

You might be asking why this was interesting. It’s because Tarot and Lenormand are the only systems mentioned in the text on the service page.

It was as if the Kipper-geist (the energy I refer to when it comes to Kipper) was saying to me, “James, it’s time to get back into Kipper.”

And with that, I turned to the cards to shed light on the possibility of working with this prospective student. Taking my favorite Kipper deck, the Fin de Siècle (but, in all honesty, I only have two Kipper decks at the moment), in hand, I asked the cards, “What do I need to know about possibly working with this student, reading/studying Kipper?”

The cards I drew, in a Line of 5, were Privileged Lady, High Honor, Occupation, Marriage, and Journey.

Occupation, as the focus card, fits with the context, as it talks about work and work-related issues. So that fits for me, given that cartomancy is my work.

Occupation also talks about hobbies, and this aspect would fit with my prospective student.

Occupation can also indicate hands-on activity and working with one’s hand, which would fit for both of us, and we’d be handling the cards during our future sessions together.

Privileged Lady, opening the line up, represents a woman younger than me (in Kipper, I will always be represented as Main Male), so here we have Kipper referencing the student.

It’s interesting to note Privileged Lady’s direction (Kipper relies heavily on directional cues); she’s walking away from the cards behind her toward an undetermined future (no cards in front of her).

High Honor, the card closest to Privileged Lady, can suggest something she’s struggling with (again, because the card is behind her).

With that in mind, High Honor is a card of advancement and achievement, indicating that the student has been struggling with advancing her ability to read Kipper.

High Honor is also a card of recognition; with that, Privileged Lady + High Honor + Occupation could be read to say, “A young woman recognizes/praises work.”

When the young woman reached out for coaching, she mentioned that she discovered my Kipper videos on YouTube, and, liking what she saw, thought I might be able to work with her.

On the other side of Occupation sits Marriage, a card of a serious, committed relationship, again fitting with the context of the situation.

Occupation + Marriage talks about the relationship being connected (Marriage is a “connector” card) to work and/or a hobby.

For me, the pair could also be read to say, “Work that leads to a partnership,” the implication being that we would work together in the future.

And rounding out the line is Journey, a card of movement; that aspect of the card alone can suggest going forward and working with the young woman, helping her with reading Kipper.

The train in the card’s image serves two functions: First, as a symbol, I read it as a pun for “training,” again, referencing the nature of the work we’d be doing together.

Second, the train leans toward Marriage, suggesting that the journey is connected (remember that Marriage is a “connector” card) with making a commitment.

As a result of the insights gained from the cards in this reading, I reached out again to the young woman, and I’m happy to say that we’re now working together to become better students of Kipper.  

 

 

 

 

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I Dream of Gypsy Witch

I recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the dream that set me on the path to becoming a card reader. On July 7, 1998, I had a dream in which I was reading and studying playing cards; I was doing my own reading and taking notes throughout the process.

Because of this milestone, I made the personal intention to work more with playing cards personally this year.

And, as a result of that intention, I found myself working with the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards more and more.

So, it intrigued me, when, as the anniversary date neared, I had a dream in which a person came to me, asking me to do a reading, specifically with the Gypsy Witch cards.

That was all I could recall upon waking—just that the request was made.

At first, I considered the dream to be telling me to use the Gypsy Witch cards for my “Oracle Outlook” weekly video reading for my YouTube channel, which I did.

After the video was posted, though, I began wondering if the dream was something more than that, so I turned to the Gypsy Witch deck itself to shed some light on the situation.

I sat down with the deck and asked, “What do I need to know about the dream as it relates to my use/work with the Gypsy Witch cards?”

The cards I drew, in response, were Flames on the Hearth (7 of Diamonds), Dog (4 of Diamonds), and Key (4 of Clubs).

The first thing I noticed were that two of the three cards were from the suit of Diamonds, which can point to material resources (the deck is a tool, which is a resource), and energy (the energy being put into using and working with that resource).

I then noticed that the number 4 repeats two times; 4 represents a foundation being laid, as well as structure, framework, groundwork, and discipline. My take on this was that I was forming a foundation with the cards that would include my own type of structure, as well as becoming more disciplined in using and working with it.

Going with that idea of coming up with my own structure, when I read with the Gypsy Witch, I work with both the playing card and the symbol on the card.

Turning to the first card, the 7 of Diamonds talks about investing time and energy (resources) into using and working with the deck, and that there would be a return on that investment. The 7 is a number of improvement, so a message here is that energy is being put into improving my ability to read with the deck.

Flames on the Hearth symbolizes passion, and being “on fire” for something, so I read this as the type of energy I’d be bringing to the experience.

The middle card, 4 of Diamonds, I read as talking about a firm/solid foundation being formed, and that I would see the value in both having a structure for the deck, as well as a discipline for how I use and work with it.

I also got the message that “discipline is its own reward.”

The symbol Dog speaks of a friend, partner, and companion, and I took that to mean the deck wants to be all those things to me. The deck wants to be regarded as a guide (think guide dog) who offers help, support, and assistance.

Dog can also mean trust, so the deck wants to be considered trustworthy.

The final card, 4 of Clubs, can represent a room (think 4 walls), and I took this to mean making room (and space) to work (Clubs is the suit of work) with the deck more in the future (last card in the line can represent the future).

The 4 of Clubs could also suggest forming a foundation to build on in the future.

Key, the symbol on the card, can mean discovery, revelation, an answer or solution, as well as something being important, vital, and certain.

Pairing Dog and Key, the combination offers these possibilities:

  • An important friend/partner/companion/guide
  • Help/assistance in discovering/revealing answers and solutions

So, based on the reading, it looks like there was more to that dream request.

And I took that request to heart (along with the insights from the reading), and I’ve been working with the deck regularly ever since…

 

 

 

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“Deception” and the Ace of Spades

“Deception,” one of the new midseason shows this TV season, just aired its season finale (and series finale, as it was also cancelled).

Promotional photo for “Deception,” a crime drama centering on a magician working alongside the FBI.

The premise of the show I found interesting from the start: A magician, Cameron Black (played by Jack Cutmore-Scott), is hired by the FBI as a consultant to help one of its units solve cases that seem somewhat “impossible.”

As a kid I was always intrigued by magicians and illusionists, always wondering how they pulled off their tricks and feats. These days, though, it’s been my activity reading playing cards that made the show appeal to me.

Magician Cameron Black (Jack Cutmore-Scott) playing with the Ace of Spades.

And the opening credits didn’t disappoint: Cameron is seen holding the Ace of Spades in his hand.

And while I was excited by this image, little did I know how the Ace of Spades would play a hand in making a connection with the show at a later point in time.

On May 13, 2018, I pulled the following cards for my daily draw, using the Hidden Leaves Playing Cards by Mahdi (Gilbert) the Magician: 7 of Diamonds, 10 of Diamonds, and Ace of Spades.

Cards from the Hidden Leaves Playing Card by Mahdi Gilbert (aka Mahdi the Magician).

Currently, in my study of playing cards, I’m trying to expand my meanings, and, on this particular day, I was researching the Ace of Spades. I discovered from Robert Lee Camp, in his book “Cards of Your Destiny,” that the Ace of Spades can mean a secret, and this meaning is attributed to the secret societies of old.

And because of this, the Ace of Spades can represent the study and pursuit of esoteric knowledge and wisdom.

It’s also known as the “Magi Card,” which is the plural form of Magus—a magician, sorcerer, or wise man.

I discovered (again through Robert Lee Camp) that there was an Order of the Magi, a brotherhood of astrologers, mystics, and priests of the temples of Egypt, instructed to keep secret the ancient knowledge of the playing cards (known as “the little book”) until the time when humanity would be of the consciousness to understand this occult system of knowledge and the true magic of life.

So I now had all these new associations to consider when the Ace of Spades would turn up in a draw, like it did that day.

While I thought this was all very cool, I also thought about the likelihood of coming into contact with a secret society of any kind (and not the ones that people speculate about on the internet, like the Illuminati, etc.).

Well, it just so happened I didn’t have to wait too long…

Later that night, “Deception” presented an episode entitled “The Unseen Hand.” The plot centered on an internet conspiracy theorist reporter who discovered a secret society, and just before he could reveal it online, he was murdered. The FBI and Cameron were on the case.

As I’m watching the plot unfold, I remember that I drew the Ace of Spades in the morning, and the research I had done. Here was the “secret society” meaning of the card playing out right before my eyes.

And it got better.

The team solves the case; it turns out a rogue member of the society took out the reporter and was apprehended.

As the episode came to a close, the head of the society (played by Mario Van Peebles) paid a visit to Cameron, revealing to him that his great-grandfather had been a member of the society, which meant Cameron was a legacy member of the society.

Bruce Conners (Mario Van Peebles) giving Cameron (Jack Cutmore-Scott) a mysterious gift in “The Unseen Hand” episode of “Deception.”

So, now there’s the Magi aspect of the Ace of Spades coming into play, as Cameron is a magician.

I’ve been reading cards for almost 20 years, and moments like this still leave me awestruck. These days I say, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

It’s the “magic” I find in playing with the cards.

 

 

 

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The Petit Etteilla Talks Blue-Green Algae

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of talk coming into my sphere about decalcifying one’s pineal gland. In metaphysical circles, the pineal gland is associated with the brow or ajna (sixth) chakra, also known as the third eye. The third eye is said to reveal insights of the future.

Since I work with my intuition often with my clients, as both a card reader and life coach, I started looking more deeply into decalcifying my own pineal gland.

In doing research, I found some things to try (and some things I was already doing, which was nice to know), and decided to pick one new thing to bring into the mix.

That one thing? A blue-green algae supplement.

On the day the supplement arrived, I was meditating, and felt a prompt to ask the cards about the process when I came out.

I reached for the Petit Etteilla, because I hadn’t turned to it for awhile (having been binging on playing card decks), and I was interested in seeing how it would answer such a question.

So, with deck in hand, I asked, “Will the blue-green algae supplement be helpful in decalcifying my pineal gland?”

The cards I pulled are, from right-to-left, 9 of Diamonds, King of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds (reversed), 10 of Hearts (reversed), and 10 of Clubs (reversed).

Cards are from the Petit Etteilla by B. P. Grimaud.

What first got my attention were the two 10 cards reversed, which can mean “waiting,” and I took this to mean waiting to see the results of taking the blue-green algae supplement.

For the 9 of Diamonds, I chose the word “poverty,” implying lack. Taking the blue-green algae, with the intention of decalcifying my pineal gland, implies that it’s not functioning/working the way it’s “supposed” to (lack).

The word that best fit the question with the King of Hearts is “characteristic.” Pairing the 9 of Diamonds with this, the Petit Etteilla talks of poverty with a characteristic, again suggesting that the blue-green algae is being taken due to a lack of functioning.

The word I chose from the Ace of Diamonds reversed is “note,” and I took this to mean to note (notice) what happens while taking the blue-green algae, to notice its effects.

For the 10 of Hearts reversed, I took the word “inheritance” to suggest something of value being received at a later point in time, remembering the pair of tens reversed said waiting would be involved.

And for the final card, 10 of Clubs reversed, I went with “the past.” This seemed to suggest to me, that in the end (last card in the line), I would return to a former state (the past), implying my pineal gland would become decalcified.

I’ve been taking the blue-green algae for almost a couple weeks now, and the one thing I’ve noticed so far is that I’m actually recalling more dream activity than I have for some time.

And, if I’ve learned anything about myself over the years, it’s that, for me, most things start with my dreams…

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A Time to (Re-) Assess

It’s been a few weeks since my last post.

Over the Easter holiday, I experienced the flu, which came on after having a head cold during my birthday earlier in March.

As a result, the energy just wasn’t there for a lot of my routine things, like writing up the weekly Oracle Outlook posts. One of the things I had prided myself on—being consistent—was now gone. One week turned to two, then to three. I had fallen off the wagon.

And I was finding it difficult to get back on.

What made the situation even more interesting was that I was still filming the video presentations of the readings for my YouTube channel (which was very challenging one week because of the amount of energy it took being health-challenged), but the very thought of writing (transcribing) the reading for the blog made me feel tired.

So I wondered if it was time to assess—or re-assess—the Oracle Outlook in this space. To help me with this process, I decided I’d do an Answer Spread asking what I might need to know about the situation.

Pulling cards from my beloved Uusi Classic Playing Cards, I drew Ace of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds, 6 of Diamonds, 4 of Spades, Ace of Spades, and 8 of Clubs.

The Ace of Hearts and 4 of Spades represent aspects of the situation. I had to laugh when I saw these cards because they were so spot on!

The Ace of Hearts is a card of the home, but also the beginning of an emotional experience; I tend to read the Ace of Hearts as beginning to feel a new way about a situation.

The 4 of Spades is a card of illness (it’s known as “the sick bed” card), which is a clear reference to having had the flu; given the context, the pair literally reads being home (Ace of Hearts) in bed sick (4 of Spades).

The 4 of Spades can also indicate a period of exhaustion, or a need to slow down the pace. Considering this aspect of the card, my thought went to the possibility of burn-out, something I experienced when I was out in the working world before becoming self-employed.

The Ace of Diamonds and the Ace of Spades answer the question.

The Ace of Diamonds is a card of news and messages; it’s a card known as “the letter,” suggesting written correspondence. I feel this card is representing the blog itself, or an actual post, again sticking to the context of the situation.

The Ace of Diamonds can also indicate engagement, and this could be referring to my level of engagement when it comes to writing up the Oracle Outlook.

The Ace of Spades is a card of the mind, again highlighting that the situation is on my mind.

Also, Spades can point to blocks, problems, and difficulties, so here the cards are pointing to a potential (Ace) problem or difficulty.

With the Ace of Spades being the mind, it can also suggest the need to make a decision. Coming after the Ace of Diamonds, it can mean that a decision has yet to be made.

At this point, it strikes me that three out of the four cards are Aces. Aces represent a beginning, something new, or the potential for the future.

The 6 of Diamonds and 8 of Clubs provide additional information to be considered.

The 6 of Diamonds is a card that’s associated with astrology, so I’ve personally widened that interpretation, taking into account all of the metaphysical sciences, one being divination, like cartomancy (card reading). Again, this would keep with the context.

Another meaning that would fit the context would be a lack of communication, which would be the lack of posts over the past few weeks.

And third, the 6 of Diamonds can represent computers, and the blog posts are written on my laptop, as well as uploaded and published online (again through my laptop), and read on computer (and smartphone) screens.

The 8 of Clubs is a card of work and business, and can indicate the work one does (in my particular case, my work as a cartomancer). The 8 of Clubs is also a card of conversations; putting both aspects together, we have “conversations about the work one does,” which is, in part, what this very blog is about.

The 8 is a number of balance, and with that, the 8 of Clubs can mean effort (work) being put in to achieve balance (8) in both work and social activities (Clubs).

And it was that last interpretation that got me thinking that perhaps it might be good for me to share more about how I work with the cards in my daily life, and not just from a strictly professional standpoint, like the Oracle Outlook.

So that’s where I’ve decided to leave things for the time being. I’ll be posting about decks that come my way (I just got a deck in the mail today), and how I’m working with them at the moment.

I’ll be keeping an open mind (Ace of Spades), though, and if I discover that there’s still interest in the Oracle Outlook postings, I’m always free to change my mind and decide (Ace of Spades) to pick it back up.

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Oracle Outlook: Playing Card Reading for March 26-April 1, 2018

If you checked out my previous post, then this week’s deck selection will be no surprise to you. If you didn’t check out the post, then I have some explaining to do.

I wanted to work with a playing card deck this week, specifically the Cartomancer Poker Deck by Alain Benoit. I backed the deck on Kickstarter and it arrived in the mail last week.

And after doing my initial “breaking in the deck” reading, and a few daily draws, I thought I’d give it a turn in this space (the truth is, I was very eager to work with it).

So, I’m taking the deck in hand, shuffling the cards, and asking the general question, “What do we need to know about the possibilities for the week ahead?”

This week’s video reveals the cards for our reading:

If you prefer to read the post, here it is:

The cards for the week are: Black Joker, 5 of Spades, Ace of Spades, 6 of Hearts, and 5 of Diamonds.

Focus of the Reading

The focus card this week, which is in the middle of the line, is the Ace of Spades.

In this deck, the theme of the suit of Spades is Thinking (which is also the keyword on this card); this makes sense with regard to the meaning I have for the Ace of Spades: the mind.

With that, Alain has defined the Ace of Spades to mean using thought or rational judgment. This is important to consider, given that, for me, the Ace of Spades can turn up to say that a decision needs to be made.

So, having the Ace of Spades turn up in the middle of the line can suggests a potential problem or difficulty arising that will be on our minds because it requires a decision to be made.

Looking at the image on the card, the young figure holds a watch on a chain. This could suggest a possible timeframe with regard to the decision. With the watch being small, it could suggest there’s “little” time for the decision to be made—or that it’s simply a “matter of time.”

If we consider the figure on the card to be an angel (note the wings on his sides), then this idea of time might be more of a matter of “Divine Timing,” which operates differently than man’s ideas about time.

The angel can also suggest opening one’s mind to things spiritual, and this would coincide with the Ace of Spades meaning a rebirth, which could suggest a spiritual awakening, a process where one’s mind is open to new ideas, in the form of insights and epiphanies.

Basically, the Ace of Spades can turn up to represent a shift in consciousness, where one is becoming more awake and aware.

The surrounding cards will tell us more about the central issue or focus, so let’s start looking at the remaining cards in the line.

Looking at the Line

Starting off the line, we have the Black Joker, one of two Joker cards in the deck (the other being the Red Joker).

The first thing I notice with this card is its keyword, Consciousness, which was something just mentioned with the Ace of Spades (you can’t make this stuff up). So the thoughts about a shift in consciousness are reinforced with this keyword.

This shift could be quite radical, as the Black Joker can represent some type of shake-up—and the releasing of old ideas.

The Joker is the “wild card” in the deck, which I always read as the element of surprise being thrown into the situation. So this could suggest the problem or difficulty associated with the Ace of Spades comes as a surprise.

Looking at the image on the card, it looks as if two darts have landed in the Joker’s back, bringing to mind the expression “being stabbed in the back,” which implies some form of betrayal.

Given the order of the cards at this point, having the Ace of Spades follow the Black Joker could be read to say that the decision needing to be made might be about some “betrayal” that comes as quite the surprise.

Or could it be that one has a shift in consciousness about a “betrayal,” coming to a different understanding about the experience?

Moving to the card between the Black Joker and the Ace of Spades, we have the 5 of Spades, another card from the suit of Spades.

If we consider the Ace of Spades to represent the mind, the 5 of Spades can suggest a change of mind—specifically a change in one’s thinking.

Looking at the image, what immediately stands out for me are the butterfly wings on the card (noting that wings also seem to be a repeating visual, symbolic message). For me, a butterfly symbolizes transformation, and it’s said that when one transforms the mind, his or her world (the number 5 represents the physical/material) is also transformed.

In the more mundane sense, the 5 of Spades can turn up to mean the activity (5) taken up to handle (5) a problem or difficulty (Spades). Keeping with the order of the cards, thought is being given as to how to best handle a problem (5 of Spades), and then a decision is made to put a possible plan into motion (Ace of Spades).

Looking at the image again, we have a couple; in some cases, the 5 of Spades can turn up to suggest problems or difficulties in a relationship—possibly leading to some type of separation.

The 5 of Spades can also turn up to suggest that the problem or difficulty is forcing someone to stand on his or her own two feet—to become independent.

I mention these aspects of the 5 of Spades because they fit with the Black Joker offering the possibility of a “betrayal.” In that regard, the 5 of Spades points to the potential “fallout” of such an experience.

Moving to the other side of the Ace of Spades, we have the 6 of Hearts.

Having a Hearts card follow a Spades card can be read as an emotional difficulty or loss (just by reading the suit emblems), which would fit with what was mentioned about the relationship aspect of the 5 of Spades.

Going further, the 6 of Hearts can suggest male energy, and can represent a male friend or relative; this would suggest a man is involved in the situation.

I tend to read the 6 of Hearts as a need to talk (6 being a number associated with communication) about one’s feelings and emotions (Hearts) in the context of a relationship (Hearts); so the decision suggested by the Ace of Spades might be to have a discussion about a relationship with a male friend or relative.

The 6 is also a number associated with responsibility, so it might be helpful in the conversation to take responsibility (ownership) for one’s feelings rather than issuing blame. In the video of the reading, I call this using “I” statements rather than “you” statements.

One of the meanings Alain has given to the 6 of Hearts is understanding, and that segues nicely to the final card in the line, the 5 of Diamonds, which is named Nature. I take these to mean understanding your own nature.

The first thing to note is the appearance of a second 5, again suggesting activity toward change; the 5 of Diamonds can point to physical/material changes—remember what was said about a transformed world earlier with the 5 of Spades (transformative thinking)?

And that fits nicely with the image on the card, that of a man harvesting a field—in the form of a woman’s hair; it reminds me of the Black Joker (mirroring the 5 of Diamonds) when it talks about the releasing of old ideas.

The 5 of Diamonds is a card of gambling, and I read this to possibly suggest that the conversation implied by the 6 of Hearts (the previous card) might be a “gamble” (taking one’s chances); the tool that the man holds makes me think of Scythe in Lenormand, which can imply risk.

Scythe can also indicate a need to be quick; pertaining to the possibility of a conversation, it might be best to either get to the point quickly, or to stay on point, meaning not to bring up things not central to the issue at hand.

Sometimes, though, we have to be willing to take a risk if we want a situation to change. And in the case of the imagery of the 5 of Diamonds—sometimes the risk pays off and was worth the gamble (the harvest implies abundance and wealth, which can also mean reward and a payoff).

And with that, I’ll bring this week’s reading to a close.

 

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