©2023 michael raven

laying down cards
one-eyed jack black
paired with
seven pip spades
and a loathsome lady
demanding roses
painted red
wondering the meaning
in such a spread

The “spread” described above was never drawn, but I’ve developed an interest in using standard playing cards along with elements of the precursor to tarot to develop some storytelling prompts. From what little I’ve read, I gather that cartomancy trends towards more basic interpretations for the purposes of prognostication. It seems ripe for leveraging experiments like my flash fiction last night. I might explore a bit more with it after a bit of research.

15 thoughts on “cartomancy

    1. That’s great. You’ll have to let me know if you adopt the idea and we can exchange card meanings. It doesn’t appear the meanings are as uniform as tarot, but I’m also considering migrating simplified tarot meanings over to the standard deck, as there seems to be a few folks who have tried something along those lines for three purposes of divination.

      Let me know if you take it anywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think one of the qualities that makes humans unique in the animal world is that we’ve developed a sense of cause and effect, and we’re constantly attempting to leverage that knowledge to control what comes next — looking for signs and portents wherever we can.

      The ability to intuit seems essential for any appearance of success when it comes to divination. And/or the perchance towards vagueness.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Which, regarding your final comments, emphasises, I think, the disregard for such things – the fact that there are so many charlatans out there willing to pray on the perceived vulnerability of those searching for ‘answers’. Those who have true Intuition/insight/connection (or how ever you see it) get lumped in with them until it becomes impossible to see the wheat for the chaff.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I used to go to “psychic conventions” to troll the vendors with lack of facial responses and minimalist verbal details. It was often enlightening to see just how many spent more time reading their marks than their chosen form of divination.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. That’s not to say that some people aren’t gifted with prognostication, but there are far more who are scam artists and opportunists looking to make an easy buck off of the credulous.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting! I’ve been using tarot every day for journaling and find it’s a great jumping off place. I love this idea of using regular playing cards as inspiration for flash fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do wish my days would leave me with more energy to explore deeper. I’ve not written more than these few posts because I am often exhausted by the recent onslaught from the workplace. I hope to get back to them soon, however.

      Liked by 1 person

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