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Fortune Telling by Cards, by P.R.S. Foli, [1915], at

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What the Individual Cards Signify

Two systems—The English method—The foreign—Significations of the cards—Hearts—Diamonds—Clubs—Spades—A short table—Mystic meanings.

Two Systems.

THERE are two separate systems of explaining the cards individually: one which makes use of the whole pack of fifty-two cards, and another which only employs thirty-two, throwing out the plain cards under seven of each suit.

The English Method.

The former plan is sometimes spoken of as the English method, and in it we do not find mention of reversed cards bearing a different meaning from those which come out in the ordinary way. This is probably to be explained by the fact that the larger number in use affords sufficient shades of meaning, and the task of remembering one hundred and four significations would be too heavy for many minds.

The Foreign.

In the latter system, which is more distinctly traceable to foreign sources, we get the signification of each card modified, or even contradicted, by its position being upright or the reverse.

The following definitions apply to the use of the whole pack, and have been worked up from both ancient and modern sources of information. It must always be borne in mind that the reading of the cards has come down to

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us through many ages, has been passed on to us through count less hands and in varied tongues. Cartomancy has travelled from the East to the West, from the South to the North, and its secrets have been, for the most part, jealously preserved by oral tradition among its weird and fascinating votaries.

Significations of the Cards.

The following definitions are based upon one of the oldest authorities dealing with the subject, and have been amplified by some of the more modern meanings now in vogue,


Ace.—An important card, whose meaning is affected by its environment. Among hearts it implies love, friendship, and affection; with diamonds, money and news of distant friends; with clubs, festivities, and social or domestic rejoicing; with, spades, disagreements, misunderstandings, contention, or misfortune; individually, it stands for the house.

King.—A good-hearted man, with strong affections, emotional, and given to rash judgments, possessing more zeal than discretion.

Queen.—A fair woman, loving and lovable, domesticated, prudent, and faithful.

Knave.—Not endowed with any sex. Sometimes taken as Cupid; also as the best friend of the inquirer, or as a fair person's thoughts. The cards on either side of the knave are indicative of the good or bad nature of its intentions.

Ten.—A sign of good fortune. It implies a good heart, happiness, and the prospect of a large family. It counteracts bad cards and confirms good ones in its vicinity.

Nine.—The wish card. It is the sign of riches, and of high social position accompanied by influence and esteem. It may be affected by the neighbourhood of bad cards.

Eight.—The pleasures of the table, convivial society. Another meaning implies love and marriage.

Seven.—A faithless, inconstant friend who may prove an enemy.

Six.—A confiding nature, liberal, open-handed, and an easy prey for swindlers; courtship, and a possible proposal.

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Five.—Causeless jealousy in a person of weak, unsettled character.

Four.—One who has remained single till middle life from being too hard to please.

Three.—A warning card as to the possible results of the inquirer's own want of prudence and tact.

Deuce.—Prosperity and success in a measure dependent on the surrounding cards; endearments and wedding bells.


Ace.—A ring or paper money.

King.—A fair man, with violent temper, and a vindictive, obstinate turn of mind.

Queen.—A fair woman, given to flirtation, fond of society and admiration.

Knave.—A near relative who puts his own interests first, is self-opinionated, easily offended, and not always quite straight. It may mean a fair person's thoughts.

Ten.—Plenty of money, a husband or wife from the country, and several children.

Nine.—This card is influenced by the one accompanying it; if the latter be a court card, the person referred to will have his capacities discounted by a restless, wandering disposition. It may imply a surprise connected with money, or if in conjunction with the eight of spades it signifies cross swords.

Eight.—A marriage late in life, which will probably be somewhat chequered.

Seven.—This card has various meanings. It enjoins the need for careful action. It may imply a decrease of prosperity. Another reading connects it with uncharitable tongues.

Six.—An early marriage and speedy widowhood. A warning with regard to second marriage is also included.

Five.—To young married people this portends good children. In a general way it means unexpected news, or success in business enterprises.

Four.—Breach of confidence. Troubles caused by inconstant friends, vexations and disagreeables.

Three.—Legal and domestic quarrels, and probable un-Sappiness caused by wife's or husband's temper.

Deuce.—An unsatisfactory love affair, awakening opposition from relatives or friends.

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Ace.—Wealth, a peaceful home, industry, and general prosperity.

King.—A dark man of upright, high-minded nature. calculated to make an excellent husband, faithful and true in his affections.

Queen.—A dark woman, with a trustful, affectionate disposition, with great charm for the opposite sex, and susceptible to male attractions.

Knave.—A generous, trusty friend, who will take trouble on behalf of the inquirer. It may also mean a dark man's thoughts.

Ten.—Riches suddenly acquired, probably through the death of a relation or friend.

Nine.—Friction through opposition to the wishes of friends.

Eight.—Love of money, and a passion for speculating.

Seven.—Great happiness and good fortune. If troubles come they will be caused by one of the opposite sex to the inquirer.

Six.—Success in business both for self and children.

Five.—An advantageous marriage.

Four.—A warning against falsehood and double-dealing.

Three.—Two or possibly three marriages, with money.

Deuce.—Care is needed to avert disappointment, and to avoid opposition.


Ace.—It may concern love affairs, or convey a warning that troubles await the inquirer through bad speculations or ill-chosen friends.

King.—A dark man. Ambitious and successful in the higher walks of life.

Queen.—A widow, of malicious and unscrupulous nature, fond of scandal and open to bribes.

Knave.—A well-meaning, inert person, unready in action though kindly in thought.

Ten.—An evil omen; grief or imprisonment. Has power to detract from the good signified by cards near it.

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Nine.—An ill-fated card, meaning sickness, losses, troubles, and family dissensions.

Eight.—A warning with regard to any enterprise in hand, This card close to the inquirer means evil; also opposition from friends.

Seven.—Sorrow caused by the loss of a dear friend. Six.—Hard work brings wealth and rest after toil. Five.—Bad temper and a tendency to interfere in the inquirer, but happiness to be found in the chosen wife or husband.

Four.—Illness and the need for great attention to business.

Three.—A marriage that will be marred by the inconstancy of the inquirer's wife or husband; or a journey.

Deuce.—A removal, or possibly death.

In connection with the foregoing detailed explanation of the meanings of each card in an ordinary pack, we append a short table, which may be studied either separately or with the preceding definitions. It gives at a glance certain broad outlines, which may be of use to one who wishes to acquire the art of reading a card directly it is placed before the eye:

A Short Table.


Ace of clubs.
6 of spades.


 9 of hearts.
 2 „    „   
 7 „  clubs.
10 „ diamonds.
10 „ clubs.


8 of hearts.

Early Marriage.

2 of clubs.
6 „  diamonds.
3 „  clubs.
5 „  clubs.



6 of hearts.


5 of hearts.


King of diamonds.
4 of diamonds.
3 „ clubs.
7 „ hearts.

Late Marriage.

8 of diamonds
4 „ clubs.


10 of hearts.
2  „    ,,
7  ,, clubs.
6  „    ,,

Discretion Needed.

3 of hearts.
7 „ diamonds.
2 „    ,,
2 „ clubs.
4 „ spades.

Presage Misfortune.

10 of spades.
 9  „   ,,
 8  „   ,,
 7  „   ,,
 3  „   ,,
 2  „   ,,
 3  „ diamonds.
 9  „ clubs.


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Mystic Meanings.

There is fascination in certain calculations, and the following figures are not without a deep interest to those attracted by the study of Cartomancy.

The fifty-two cards in the pack correspond with the fifty-two weeks in the year.

The thirteen cards in each suit symbolise the thirteen lunar months, and the thirteen weeks in each quarter.

There are four suits, as there are four seasons in the year. There are twelve court cards in the pack, just as there are twelve calendar months and twelve signs of the Zodiac.

A Curious Calculation.

Number of pips on the plain cards of the four suits


    „      „      „     court      „      „


Twelve court cards, counted as 10 each


Number of cards in each suit


Equal to the number of days in the year


Next: Chapter III. The Selected Pack of Thirty-two Cards