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April 27, 2020

Cartomancy: What It Means + How It Works


One of the first steps you can take on your divination journey is to decide which method is right for you.

There are literally hundreds of systems to choose from, so how do you know where to focus your energy? I believe that Cartomancy is a great place to start. 

Many ‘newbie’ diviners are drawn to Cartomancy; you may be no different. However, Cartomancy is a whole branch of divination itself.

Once you choose to focus on card reading, what should you do next?

Here is a quick guide to Cartomancy that will help ease you into the system. 

What is Cartomancy?

Cartomancy is a division of divination that involves the use of cards. Through Cartomancy systems you can gain advice and make predictions.

Unlike many other divinatory systems that focus on one area (such as personality), cards can look at a wide range of life sections. 

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Using cards, you can answer questions of which you want to know the outcome.

For example, if you wished to discover whether or not your relationship was going to work out, you could perform a cartomancy reading.

Alternatively, Cartomancy is also very good for general readings. General readings are readings that do not have answer a specific question.

So, if you just want to know what your future holds in general, Cartomancy has you covered!

Cartomancy Spreads and Methods

There are many methods of Cartomancy to choose from and what you like will depend on your goals for your divination.

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All Cartomancy systems can reveal your general fortune or answer specific questions, but some are better at achieving these goals than others. 

Playing Card Divination

You can make perform readings using regular playing cards. You can ask your playing cards questions or use them to make predictions in general. Playing cards are easy to obtain.

However, learning the divinatory meanings of playing cards is challenging because the cards do not have images on them associated with the card’s meaning. 


Tarot Cards

When most people think of card divination, they are thinking of Tarot card meanings. Tarot is a 78-card system that can be used for both predictive and holistic readings.

The Tarot system is relatively easy to master because the images on a Tarot deck depict the card’s meaning. Depending on the subject you’re reading, the emphasis of the card meaning can be different. For example, the love Tarot meanings of Tarot cards vary slightly from the general meanings. 


Lenormand is a system of Cartomancy which only uses thirty-six cards. Unlike other card reading methods, Lenormand cards are read in something called Lenormand combinations – this means that you will not read each card on its own, but you will interpret them in relation to each other. 

Lenormand is amazing for predicting small details about your general future, but learning how to combine can be a challenge for some diviners. 

Oracle Cards

Oracle cards are not so much a system as they are items. There is no set method for reading with Oracle cards because all decks are different. Some Oracle decks may depict just a word, another a image of a mermaid, and another an image of an angel.

Therefore, every time you purchase a new Oracle card deck you will have to learn that deck’s ‘system’. Oracle cards are very good at revealing advice; they add a holistic tone to the reading.   


Our final method of Cartomancy is Kipper. Kipper cards can be used for specific and general readings. Kipper is not a very popular Cartomancy system and this makes learning how to read with these cards a lot more challenging than the other Cartomancy methods.

Kipper also does not offer any of the benefits that the other card reading systems do not.  

Performing a Cartomancy Reading

Although each Cartomancy system has its strengths and weaknesses, they are all the same when it comes to performing readings. 

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First, you must purchase your deck. For the more popular methods of Cartomancy (such as Tarot or Oracle reading) you can find decks in your local book store or Mind, Body, Spirit shops.

However, all types of cards can be found online through websites like Amazon. Contrary to popular belief, you can buy your own decks (they do not have to be gifted to you). 

Once you have your deck you can start building a bond with it straight away. Shuffle your cards often and always have them in close proximity to you.

There is no time limit to when you can begin performing readings with your new deck – you can start practicing right away. 

To perform a reading, you must clear your mind. Mentally ask the spirits of your ancestors to come and help you with the reading. Sit in meditation for a moment or two, and try not to worry about the outcome of your reading.

If you have a question for your cards, think of this question. If you do not have a specific issue you want the cards to address, just sit in silence – your cards will reveal what you need to know. 

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When you feel ready, shuffle your cards. You may shuffle them as much or as little as you want.

When you feel as though you have mixed your cards up enough, you may place your cards down in a row of three. Turn your cards over. 

Upon turning your cards over, what do you see? What do these cards mean? What (if any) are the figures on your cards doing? What do you think your deck is trying to tell you?

Record these messages in your journal or on your phone so that you can refer back to this guidance at a later date. 

Final Word

So, that is all for your guide to Cartomancy divination! I hope you now have more clarity when it comes to choosing which system, method, tarot spread, or cartomancy spread is right for you.

Once you purchase your deck, you can now perform a basic cartomancy reading for yourself and others!

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