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Cartomancy is fortune-telling or divination using a deck of cards. Forms of cartomancy appeared soon after playing cards were first introduced into Europe in the 14th century. Practitioners of cartomancy are generally known as cartomancers, card readers, or simply readers.
Cartomancy using standard playing cards was the most popular form of providing fortune-telling card readings in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The standard 52-card deck is often augmented with jokers or even with the blank card found in many packaged decks. In France, the 32-card piquet stripped deck is most typically used in cartomantic readings, although the 52 card deck can also be used. (A piquet deck can be a 52-card deck with all of the 2s through the 6s removed. This leaves all of the 7s through the 10s, the face cards, and the aces.)
The most popular method of cartomancy using a standard playing deck is referred to as the Wheel of Fortune. Here, the reader removes cards at random and assigns significance to them based on the order they were chosen. Though the interpretation of various cards varies by region, the common significators for the future are as follows:
|King of Hearts||An adult man with sandy, dark blond, or light brown hair, with brown, blue, or hazel eyes. Usually a family member or other loved one. Paternal and family-oriented.|
|King of Diamonds||An adult man with red or light blond hair with blue, green, or gray eyes. Usually a wealthy man in an authority position.|
|King of Clubs||An adult man with medium or dark brown hair, with brown, blue, or hazel eyes. Usually a married businessman (although business could have a sexual, rather than commercial, interpretation.)|
|King of Spades||An adult man with dark brown to black hair, and dark brown eyes. Usually a widower or divorced man, or a man from a foreign country. Ambitious and powerful, can be arrogant and deceptive.|
|Queen of Hearts||An adult woman with sandy, dark blond, or light brown hair, with brown, blue, or hazel eyes. Usually a family member or other loved one. Maternal and family-oriented.|
|Queen of Diamonds||An adult woman with red or light blond hair with blue, green, or gray eyes. Usually a wealthy woman in an authority position.|
|Queen of Clubs||An adult woman with medium or dark brown hair, with brown, blue, or hazel eyes. Usually a businesswoman or social butterfly.|
|Queen of Spades||An adult woman with dark brown to black hair, and dark brown eyes. Usually a widow or divorced woman, or a woman from a foreign country. Ambitious and intelligent, can be cold, calculating, or spiteful.|
- "In the Cards: A Brief History of Divination and Cartomancy". The Odyssey Online. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
- Huson, Paul (2004). Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage. Vermont: Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-190-0
- Knight, Jan (1980). A-Z of ghosts and supernatural. Pepper Press. pp. 15–6. ISBN 0-560-74509-5.
- "Cartomancy". The Element Encyclopedia of the Psychic World. Harper Element. 2006. p. 99.