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What Is Cartomancy

Playing cards probably came to Europe in the fourteenth century from the Middle East. There are plenty of references to playing cards from 1377 onwards. Tentative connections have been made with very early cards found in China from the tenth century. It is thought that European playing cards are based on Mamluk playing cards. These Islamic playing cards do not have pictures, instead there is an elaborate suit sign with a title: Malik (King), Na'ib (Viceroy) dan Na'ib Thani (Second Viceroy). The suits are Cups, Polo Sticks, Swords and Coins.

Telling fortunes using playing cards is well known as being used by the Gypsies. But wherever cards are played, they are used for divinationpurposes also.

Playing cards vary from country to country according to the number of cards included in each deck, the suits used and which court cards appear. Decks may also come with 2 or more jokers. Usually the jokers are not included in divination but some readers choose to use them and give them Joker the meaning of the Tarot Fool (New developments, fresh starts, taking a risk).

However, the Joker is not actually a descendant of the Tarot Fool. Instead, it was an American invention in the 1860's for the game of Juker (now known as Euchre) where it was used as the "Best Bower". By the 1880's the Juker had become the Joker and had started appearing in decks all around the world.

The Meanings of the Cards

Ace: The home, love, friendship, joy the start of a romance. A love letter.
Two: Success and prosperity. An engagement or partnership
. Three: You need to be cautious. Don't say something you'll regret.
Four: A change, a journey or a move of house/business. A late marriage.
Five: Jealous people around you. Take your time to make any decisions.
Six: Unexpected good luck. Someone helping you out.
Seven: An unfaithful or unreliable person. Broken promises.
Eight: Visits and visitors. Invitations out or attending a party.
Nine: The wish card. Dreams come true.
Ten: Good luck and happiness.
Jack: A close friend or a good-natured, fair-haired youth.
Queen: A kindly fair-haired woman.
King: A good-natured, fair-haired man. Good advice.

Ace: A ring or present of jewelry. News about money. A letter.
Two: A love affair attracting disapproval from others. A business partnership.
Three: Legal problems, domestic arguments. A legal letter.
Four: An inheritance. Improvements in finances.
Five: Success in business. Happy family.
Six: Problems in a second marriage.
Seven: Surprise news or a gift. Problems and losses at work.
Eight: A marriage and travel late in life. Financial ups and downs.
Nine: Surprise with money. New business opportunities. Restlessness.
Ten: Money and travel highlighted. Fortunate changes.
Jack: A relative. A very fair-haired youth. Watch out for dishonesty or unreliability.
Queen: A woman who loves to party and to gossip. A flirt. A very fair-haired woman.
King: A stubborn and influential man. A very fair-haired man.

Ace: Wealth, health, love and happiness. A letter concerning money.
Two: Gossip. Disappointments and opposition.
Three: Marriage to a wealthy partner. Money coming from the partner.
Four: Changes for the worse. Lies and betrayal.
Five: New friends and a successful marriage. Help from friends.
Six: Business success. Getting financial help.
Seven: Prosperity and success. Be careful of trouble coming from a person of the opposite sex.
Eight: Trouble in relationships, business and personal. Jealousy and greed.
Nine: Achievements. A new lover or admirer. Don't be stubborn.
Ten: Unexpected money coming in. Good luck. Travel abroad.
Jack: A reliable friend. A dark-haired youth.
Queen: An attractive, self-confident woman. A dark-haired woman.
King: An honest, generous and affectionate man. A dark-haired man.
Ace: Emotional conflict, obsession, death. Things coming to a head.
Two: Separation, gossip and deceit. Difficult changes.
Three: Unfaithfulness and partings. Be wary in partnerships.
Four: Illness. Business and money worries. Broken promises.
Five: Happy home but interference from other people. Reversals and opposition but eventual success.
Six: Small improvements.
Seven: Loss of friendship or loss of a friend. An unexpected burden. A warning against losses and sorrow.
Eight: Trouble and disappointment. Plans go awry. Friends let you down. Cancellations.
Nine: Bad luck in all things. Depression and low energy. Destruction, deaths. Extreme anxiety.
Ten: Misfortune and worry. Imprisonment. Unwelcome news.
Jack: A well-meaning but immature and unreliable youth. A very dark-haired youth.
Queen: A widow. An unscrupulous woman. A very dark-haired woman.
King: An ambitious and authoritative man. A very dark-haired man.
Joker: (optional) New developments, fresh starts, taking a risk.