Sunday, March 27, 2011

Playing with the Queen of Hearts...

Knowing it ain't really smart...

True nuff. Don't mess with the Queen of Hearts. Ms. Newton was right on about that. Yesterday's post about angels led to an Angel of the Morning quote which of course was responded to with her only other hit that matters, Queen of Hearts.  Tonight is a bit about cartomancy.

Before tarot became a popular new age must-have, playing cards were the thing most often used for cartomancy, particularly in the Italian neighborhoods. The same woman who everyone went to to get rid of "the eyes" was the same one they'd go to to read the cards. The playing cards. The kind you could play poker with. I know many people whose first cartomancy deck was a standard poker deck. I learned this way too, tho it was through many games of solitaire and rummy that the meanings and layouts were imparted. I didn't know I knew until I Knew. It was set up that way. Like a time-release capsule lol

This isn't the most authentic site available, but it gives the basics.

My favorite reading is a 3 card deal with the center card as the meat of the matter and the ones on either side showing the immediate past and future prospects. It's not terribly different from the center of the celtic cross tarot spread.

Some say The Joker represents chaos or the unexpected if he comes up in a reading. Others liken him to The Fool card of the tarot. I take it to mean forces outside of your control, kind of the way the Major Arcana indicates the same. Destiny more than anything else. Tho the unexpected interpretation is certainly valid, depending on where it comes up in the series.

The other "deck" I like to discuss in terms of Italian influence on cartomancy is the Tarrocchi of Mantegna. Here is an excellent article on the origin of the modern tarot being born of the Platonic Mysteries, and not of the kabbalah. I know there are people who will plotz when they read it, but as this article points out, this is some of the earliest depictions, corresponds almost perfectly to the modern tarot (despite the difference in card numbers) and works with Pythagorean principles for readings. The site also has the pictures of the cards and they are well worth viewing.

There are 50 cards, divided into 5 groups of 10:
1 The archetypal social stations
2 The nine Muses and Apollo
3 The Liberal Arts
4 The Cardinal Virtues
5 The Heavenly Spheres

If anyone wants to get me a copy, my half birthday is coming up soon ;)

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