Blog Post 83 – Pips and Faces (Cards, part II)
Today I’m continuing the card-reading discussion from the last post. I’m going to tackle this on a card-by-card basis, but I thought it might be helpful to add a little bit on enumeration and face cards as a whole. I really should have done this on yesterday’s post, but, well, I didn’t. So it’s going to be in today’s instead.
There are lots of different systems of interpreting the card numbers and the royals. Some are fairly simplistic (mine definitely are) and some get incredibly detailed, looking at astrological and numerological significance in kabbalistic and ceremonial magical contexts. I’m not a particularly good ceremonialist, so I tend to use a fairly straightforward system focusing on key concepts associated with each number. I can probably demonstrate better than I can explain, so here’s my numbering system.
Aces – Beginnings; Primary or Solitary things
Twos – Pairs; Couples; Exchange
Threes – Growth; Wishes
Fours – Decisions; Stagnation; Choices
Fives – Groups; Bodily things; Gains/Losses
Six – Paths
Sevens – Epitome cards*; Inversions; Trouble
Eights – Talking; Ideas
Nines – Patience; Ambition; Expansion
Tens – Completion; Endings
Jacks – Youth; Children; Messages; Peers
Queens – Women or a particular woman; Beauty; Mothers; Nurses; Teachers
Kings – Men or a particular man; Wisdom; Age; Power; Judges
*A note on “epitome” cards – the Sevens of each suit represent the most concentrated form of that suit. Often, there’s a somewhat negative connotation to this intensity. Yet, this does not necessarily mean all good or all bad. For example, the seven of spades can mean “tears” as an epitome card, but if those tears are near lots of red cards, they are likely tears of joy.
The number combinations can also lead to a certain amount of interpretation. For instance, if you had several threes and nines, that would guide you towards a reading about opportunities and very quick growth (because both cards are about growth/expansion). A seven, five, and four might indicate bad choices and losses that come out of those choices. A king with a six might mean a teacher or elder is going to help guide the questioner in a new direction.
Royal cards (or “face cards”) also have a certain potency that the numeric cards lack. I sometimes include aces as a face card, but this really depends on the reading and the number of other face cards around it. It’s sort of like spiritual blackjack—it can be the highest or lowest value depending on the other cards. The other face cards usually represent particular people or major events in the subject’s life. Getting a king and a queen of the same suit can often indicate “parents” or the parental guidance which shaped the questioner’s life. You’ll see more about these as we explore them in depth later on, but for now just know that royals, aces, and sevens all mean “pay attention to this reading.” There are some divinatory systems (such as the card-reading taught in curanderismo) which also remove the queens from the deck before reading. This dates back to a European practice based on a specific deck, but don’t be surprised if you don’t see them in someone’s reading. As a final word on royals, there are two special royals in my system of divination: the king and queen of hearts. Depending on the gender of the client, one of these cards will represent him or her (the king for a man, the queen for a woman). We’ll look at how that works later on, though.
All of these interpretations are also deeply linked to the suits, of course, and to where they fall during the reading.
Okay, now with that out of the way, we’ll be moving on to individual cards in the next post. Please let me know if you have any questions, though!
Thanks for reading!