D.I.Y. Free Cartomancy Readings

You do not need to waste hours online messing with all those silly free cartomancy widgets. 

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Cartomancy is the art of fortune telling using a standard deck of playing cards rather than tarot or other fortune telling cards. So just grab the old playing card deck that you have laying around and follow these steps to do your own free cartomancy reading.

In the Tarot, you have TWO decks totalling 78 cards. The Major Arcana (22 cards) and the Minor Arcana (56 cards). In Cartomancy/Playing Cards you have one deck that should be of 52 cards. If using Tarot for cartomancy you would simply put the major arcana cards away and then remove the KNIGHT cards in each of the four suits in the minor deck. That done you have the same as a regular playing card deck. 

ten of cups and ten of hearts for cartomancy

Older tarot card minors were originally like regular cards in that a ten of cups would simply display ten cups on the card. Other than having the knights the minor arcana in tarot decks were just the same as all the playing cards. That all changed with the Rider Waite deck, when full illustrations replaced the basic playing card format.

Nowadays most fully illustrated Tarot Decks are inspired by the original Rider Waite deck. If you wanted to learn the Tarot, starting with the Rider Waite will make it easier to later understand all other decks because you would have a good feel for the underlying imagery of later decks. (You will know where those pictures came from).

Back to your DIY Free Cartomancy Reading. Make a list of one strong keyword for each playing card from a book of Tarot Card meanings or a web page of Minor Arcana Meanings. Note the correspondences below.

Playing Cards / Minor Tarot

Hearts = Cups/Chalices

Spades = Swords

Diamonds = Pentacles/Coins

Clubs = Wands/Rods


Tarot 78 cards (22 Major and 56 minor) in deck

Playing cards 52 in deck

Cartomancy and regular playing cards are same as Tarot’s Minor Arcana except there are Jacks, Queens, and Kings in playing cards and Pages, (Knights), Queens, and Kings in Minor Tarot

Next you may want to use a cartomancy spread. You can use any Tarot Spread you like. Perhaps start with the basic one the Celtic Cross. 

Shuffle your deck thinking only of your main question.

Place all cards vertically except #2 which goes horizontal.

Free Cartomancy Reading Spread
  1. Central card will represent your main issue
  2. Horizontally crossing the vertical central card will represent your main challenge
  3. Below (1) place your 3rd card which will represent what you should focus on as a solution
  4. To the left of (1) place your 4th card which represents your past
  5. Above (1) your fifth card represents your strengths
  6. To the right of (1) your sixth card represents the near future
  7. Below and to the right of (6) place 7th card to indicate a suggested way forward
  8. Below and to the right of (6) and above (7) place 8th card which illuminates something you need to know
  9. Above (8) your ninth card can indicate your hopes and/or fears
  10. Above (9) your tenth card reveals your potential future.

Now use your own, or my, Tarot Keywords to write out a sentence in order of the above spread after shuffling and dealing.

An alternative is to make up your own spread intuitively. Perhaps three cards in an order representing a simple past/present/future reading.


Read more about learning Cartomancy Divination.

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