A great resource of impromptu material can be per-formed with a standard deck of cards. With only the barest knowledge, you can explain that our modern deck is derived from the Tarot. The suit of Spades comes from the suit of Swords, Hearts from Cups, Clubs from Rods, and Diamonds from Pentacles. If you are familiar with the minor arcana, you can then read directly from the cards that are used today.
If you are not familiar with the Tarot, and don't wish to learn them all, you can make do with a brief combination of knowledge of suit meaning and numerology.
Spades (Swards) is the suit of competition, conflict, ambition, of politicians and military as well as athletics. Courage, valor, romantic in the King Arthur tradition.
Hearts (Cups) is the suit of love and romance, intuition, happiness, beauty, feelings and emotions.
Clubs (Rods) is the suit of enterprise, creation, agriculture, laborers, trades, clergy, spirituality, family, energy and growth.
Diamonds (Pentacles) is the suit of commerce and business, materialism. enjoyment of work and the benefits thereof, merchants, trades and money.
In terms of numbers, there are many systems and many books that can give you alternative interpretations.
Ace: One, Alpha, origin, indivisible, one with God, unity, beginnings, the seed, creative power, individuality.
Two: Union, marriage, commitment, duality, opposites, balance, night and day, good and bad, right and wrong.
Three: Growth and. expression, choice, decision, the child as a result of marriage, the choice as in the triangle, faith-hope-charity, body-mind-soul.
Four: Reality, material universe, logic, reason, solidity, foundation, four seasons, points of compass, square.
Five: Uncertainty, change, justice, five senses
Six: Sign of creation, marriage & motherhood, balance and harmony, 6 days of creation, perfect number.
Seven: Magical number, combines I or unity with 6 or perfection, the number of the mystic, the day of rest, soul development.
Eight: Justice, judgment, material progress, health, metamorphosis, the number of beatitudes.
Nine: Symbolic of attainment on 3 planes of being (physical, mental. spiritual), the sum of that which goes before, universal truths.
Ten: Perfection, completion, fate
Whether doing an individual reading or for a group, the use of regular playing cards can be a very powerful routine. Below is a transcription of the cards as used by Herb Dewey.
Ace of Clubs - The card of commerce, an indication that your financial condition will improve in the next 12 months. You would be advised to wear gold Jewelry rather than silver, but a definite turn for the better in finances.
Two of Clubs - The card of travel, a potential trip. The trip, to a place of orange trees. The potential has existed for the past two years, but the potential is definitely very strong in the coming year.
Three of Clubs - A strong card, you can overcome whatever stands in your way. Persevere in your efforts, in what you are doing. Work at it, and you can have whatever you choose.
Four of Clubs - You have a secret admirer. This person has been there for some time, and you may soon become aware of the individual. It should occur in the fifth month, in May, the person may have a previous marriage.
Six of Clubs - You have a tendency to keep too much within yourself. It is debilitating to keep everything inside, hostility and anger especially. Be more assertive.
Seven of Clubs - You are a dreamer, a romantic. You have your own world, like Alice in Wonderland. Your mind can be miles, 3.000 miles away. You get preoccupied, mentally preoccupied, and tune out the group you are with.
Eight of Clubs - Balancing the scales, you have paid your dues and it is not an imbalance, it is time to reap your rewards. Believe more in yourself.
Nine of Clubs - You are too critical of yourself. Nobody is perfect, and you can't expect that of yourself. You are your own worst enemy, it is counter productive. You will achieve with your mind, not with your hands, not through money, not through relationships, but through your mind and your own efforts.
Ten of Clubs - You have many acquaintances, but you are selective about your friends. Put some restrictions on relationships. You are a cut above the average, you should follow your own intuition.
Jack of Clubs - You don't need to settle for second-best. You no longer have to settle for second-best. If someone says you are too good for them, believe it.
Queen of Clubs - You possess a natural animal magnetism. I sense the symbol of the Lion, a cat. You are self-assured, fashionable, and you possess the power to intimidate.
King of Clubs - If you are careful of nutrition, then you shall live a long life, a good life. You possess the talent for psychic healing.
Ace of Hearts - To be happy you must be loved on three levels, three different levels. Spiritual -not religious - you are metaphysically inclined but also a bit of a skeptic, and you need to be loved spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Two of Hearts - You will not be alone in the future. The next two years are going to be much better for you, your desire for love can be filled.
Three of Hearts - You are prompt, dependable, reasonable. You are close to education, articulate. If marriage doesn't interfere, you would have and will go on with your education. I sense books, your future contains books.
Four of Hearts - Independence, even as a child you were independent. Things are in your favor to achieve a balance. You are at a different mental level than many around you.
Five of Hearts - Allow yourself to get ahead. Stop all that random activity and movement. As a child, you had dream of flying. The time to fly is now.
Six of Hearts - This is the card of proposals. The next 12 months will bring many proposals, proposals for love, career, business, or money. So many potentials.
Seven of Hearts - You are a tough act to follow. Those are big shoes for someone else to fill. You have charisma, people recognize it. You still blush. You are a sharp person. You didn't just come into town on a tricycle.
Eight of Hearts - You carry a tremendous burden on your shoulders, a thorn in your side. It is either behind you or soon will be. Due to those around you, you will have fewer burdens.
Nine of Hearts - This is the strongest card in the deck, a psychic card. The potential for a happy marriage or relationship, a good card, a change in your luck.
Ten of Hearts - Good luck, your future will be happier. You have untapped artistic potentials, unleash them.
Jack of Hearts - Metamorphosis, beneficial changes, learning. Be true to yourself. You are going to be happy in spite of yourself. Four leaf clovers. Rabbits feet. Butterflies. The good luck omen of metamorphosis.
Queen of Hearts - Your desires will be fulfilled. You deserve happiness. When you are down, do not despair. Things will fall into place.
King of Hearts - You might seek advice, the needed wisdom of an older person, a wise old man, the intellect of a wise, older man.
Ace of Spades - Beware of people who drink too much. You have the potential for duality, for good or bad. You have a tendency to draw weaker persons to you. Beware of a Taurus who drinks too much.
Two of Spades - You have a talent for counseling, a combination of teaching and nursing. You can read others and are a natural teacher, a sharer of wisdom.
Three of Spades - You have come face to face with death or trauma, or a dream of a past life. You are a survivor, and you are stronger now. A strong person.
Four of Spades - You receive too much advice, make your own decisions. Others who say "I know how you feel" are wrong. That is false, only you can know. Follow your own intuition. Take any advice with a grain of salt. You have the power within. Make up your own mind.
Five of Spades - You procrastinate too much. Make and keep your decisions. You decide in April and act in November. It is months 'til you act. You are assertive, but could be more self-assured.
Six of Spades - You are not a deceptive person. You are honest, honest almost to a fault. Trustworthy. That is why people are attracted to you. You are a charmer, very good at the soft sell. You could sell the stripe off of a skunk's back.
Seven of Spades - A secret shall become known to you shortly, as a gift from one who loves you.
Eight of Spades - I sense that you have had a relationship, one that hurt you, caused damage. Your pride was hurt, but you have learned from that. You have learned a great deal about yourself.
Nine of Spades - You are a leader rather than a follower, a self-motivator. Your mission is to facilitate, to lead, and if you do that, they will follow. You shall be known, not- by what you can do by yourself, but by those you lead.
Ten of Spades - Stealing, someone is stealing, stealing from you. Something a pocket bag or something. Show caution, don't be paranoid, but be careful not to leave your keys in the ignition.
Jack of Spades - A legal or court decision shall be decided in your favor. You worry too much. You have good karma. Take it one day at a time.
Queen of Spades - A person who has left you, has left your side, shall return to you and you shall be together.
King of Spades - You are just and fair. Many of your decisions are contingent upon others' happiness. Stop. Put yourself higher on the list. You deserve it.
Are of Diamonds - You shall receive good news, and it shall arrive soon, within the next month.
Two of Diamonds - I sense pregnancy, a child or a potential for happiness, a positive event you or someone close to you.
Three of Diamonds - Gemini. Two major decisions, decisions you are or will be facing, and the figure two is important.
Four of Diamonds - This is the card of the Psychic. You are tuned in, perceptive, intuitive, observant. It is a natural God-given gift. Cultivate it.
Five of Diamonds - You shall have nothing to fear in the future. Basically you are a devoted person, a one-man woman or one-woman man. There is much good in your future. Your bad luck is behind you.
Six of Diamonds - Music, dancing, a sensuous, romantic type of person, a way of being. As a child, you would write lyrics or poetry.
Seven of Diamonds - You don't run off at the mouth. You are proper, very proper, too proper at times. You make a much better friend than enemy. Verbose.
Eight of Diamonds - You have the potential for a job change, more of a tide change than a career change. You do the work of two people, push too hard, but in the next 12 months you shall be rewarded.
Nine of Diamonds - There are too many burdens. You are carrying the burdens of those around you. You are a kind of Ann Landers. Take more care of yourself.
Ten of Diamonds - The card of expansion, growth. You may add to your present home, a library or a nursery, perhaps a fireplace, fireplaces, candles, wine, a romantic. That is the romantic in you.
Jack of Diamonds - As a person, you don't deceive. You don't play mind games. You are straight with others, but you wear your heart too much on your sleeve. You are too honest.
Queen of Diamonds - You could be more beautiful than you are. Not up to your potential. In your mind, you have that potential.
King of Diamonds - This is a card of good luck. Your mind is busy, always busy. You shall never fully retire. People work for you. You have the potential for self-employment. Birds, blue birds, birds of a blue color shall be a lucky sign for you.
For a short and impromptu reading, have the person mix the cards (you can do it yourself), then deal out three rows of either 3 or 5 cards. The row closest to the person can represent their past, the middle row their present, and the distant row the future. Read the cards according to the above procedures, planting positive seeds. This is not meant to be a substitute for using regular Tarot cards and the more elaborate spreads and meanings which take more work and time.
A strong effect is to present patter indicating that something other than chance often operates in our lives. Suggest that cards have significance and meanings, perhaps offer a few illustrations. Then the person selects a card (which may be forced. marked. or otherwise determined) and in you own way you present a reading which reveals their chosen card. Don't overlook this, it plays very strong.
Another effect is to have each person think of a card, then by writing the name of their thought of card and the birth date on the back of your business card, you are in a position to engage in analyzing the significance of the card choice, astrological sign, and handwriting. You, of course, may return the cards to the authors by psychical means or by straight-forward means. That gives them a reason to keep your card.
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