Friday, July 3, 2015

Analyzing a Line of Five Cards

I used to work a monthly psychic fair, and I came to rely on the simple Line of 5 Cards in place of a more ambitious card spreads. Readings at a fair are usually only 15 minutes long. Most clients are looking for fast answers, and are not tolerant of the extra time it takes to lay out an elaborate spread. It took me a few seconds to shuffle the cards while I tuned into the clients energy, then I cut the deck and drew off five cards. Nine times out of ten, the cards would highlight the exact reason for the client’s visit without my having to ask the client any questions.

Here’s an example of how I interpret the Cartomancy Line of 5 Cards…

First I look for trends and patterns in the cards. I make note of the ratio of red cards to black. I notice how many cards of each suit appear, and which suits do not appear in the spread. I consider the sequence of numbers, and any interactions between the face cards. Most importantly I take special note of the suit of the card that ends the line because that card will represent the outcome of the situation.

The first thing I notice in the above reading is that the red cards dominate the reading giving it a positive spin. The problematic black cards are surrounded by red cards showing that the problems or challenges are minor or temporary in nature.

Next I notice that only hearts and spades appear in the spread indicating an emotional or relationship matter. I surmise that the client wants to know about a relationship, and that proved to be the case.

Finally I interpret the individual cards. The flow of action in the spread moves from left to right, and the timing also moves from left to right. The Cartomancy Line of 5 Cards is immediate. The first card describes an ongoing situation or the recent past– usually no more than two weeks ago up to the present. The final card reveals the outcome of the situation usually no more than a month into the future.

The 4 of hearts is a relationship card, but it’s still a relatively low number, so the relationship described by this card is not usually serious. The 4 of hearts can denote a sexual relationship, and of course not all sexual relationships can be considered “serious.” Because the 4 of hearts is the first card of the spread, we know that this is an existing sexual relationship, and not something in the future.

The 7 of spades is a change for the worse that usually indicates stagnation and frustration. The sexual relationship is experiencing setbacks. We’re still at the beginning of the line, so we know that this reflects the current situation. The client is feeling frustrated by an existing sexual relationship.

The Jack of Spades is a young person of either sex. The client is a heterosexual female, so we can assume the Jack is male, and that he represents her lover. I call the middle card of the Line of Five "the linchpin" because it anchors the reading. In other words, the middle card will provide a focus for the events depicted in the previous and following cards. It’s not surprising that in a reading about an unhappy sexual alliance the partner would appear as the middle card.

Notice that the Jack is looking toward the right– toward the future, and away from the problems and frustrations in his past. We can determine from the interaction of the face card that the partner is not interested in the problems and setbacks represented by the 7 of spades. The Jack is looking toward the 6 of hearts, and that is where his interests lie.

The 6 of hearts is another love card, but because it’s a higher number than the 4, it represents a more serious alliance. The Jack of spades is interested in taking the relationship to the next level, and that may be what is causing the difficulties in the current arrangement. The Jack of Spades is usually a sexy guy with a tendency toward jealousy and possessiveness. If the client is only interested in a casual sexual relationship, the Jack’s possessiveness could be what’s creating the problems.

The 8 of hearts is the couple card. It represents compatibility and sharing. As the outcome card it shows that the couple will reach an agreement. Because that 6 of hearts is followed by another heart, the positive influence suggests that the lovers will take the relationship to the next level and become an official couple.

As a side note, if the 2 of hearts had ended the line of cards instead of the 8 of hearts, it would still show an agreement and a positive outcome, but the 2 is a smaller number than even the 4, so the indication would be that they resolve their differences and agree to be friends.

If the 10 of hearts, the highest relationship card of the deck, had ended the line of cards, the indication would be taking the relationship to the ultimate level of commitment– marriage.


  1. Im trying to decipher my reading i did for myself based on a wanting to know who if i would be in a relationship with a certain some one and i pulled The King of Diamonds. King of Hearts,7of Hearts,4ofDimonds and 6 of hearts last could you maybe help me understand how to read it? Thank you for any help!

  2. have learned a lot from you. That makes me happy!
    I thank you and ask God to bless you!

  3. Thank you, Maria. I'm glad to know that my work here is helpful for other seekers on the cartomancy journey.

  4. I tried to do this reading and a card had jumped out of the pile but i did it at the end so my reading is as follows (3hearts, 9hearts,KingSpade,7hearts,4spade, Jumper 8hearts i put last because it felt right?) I was wondering what you would make of this and YES it is about love lol the man is older but not past 40 so is that a bad sign it came up Spades? Thank yo for ANY feedback you have as im still trying to get the grasp of this!! Thank you

  5. Hello, there,
    Interesting post and interesting site. I tried the star spread and now the line of five and they are amazing. For a long time I thought I cannot read the cards correctly, but it seems that the technique is very important - clear card meanings and clear questions are so important. In a few days information from you has changed my way of reading. I am not a specialist in cartomancy, I am rather on my way to learning more, but I am very interested in the subject. I also have to tell you that I am using 24 cards and ask your opinion about that. I guess the more cards we use, the more accurate readings we get, isn it. 24 cards probably gives basic insight...

    So, I asked a question yesterday - will I ever have any relationship with him? - and the five cards line was (from left to right):
    jack of hearts - seven of spades - king of diamonds (head left) - king of spades (head right) - queen of spades (head right)

    My interpretation, following your guide above, was:

    the jack of hearts represents feelings/love, according to the nature of the question; seven of spades represents frustration and delays in dealing with/expressing his feelings; the king of diamonds happens to really be the significator of the man in question, who appears unable to express or focus on his feelings of love; behind him, there comes (as a result of his impossibility to deal with love feelings?) a couple - king and queen of spades. My conclusion would be that no, most probably there will be no connection between us, especially taking into account that the row ends with spades and that he keeps the frustration right in front. Not to mention three black cards versus two red - doesn t allow too much hope.
    I am not really sure how to interpret the spades couple: as I understand the line of five goes from recent past to near future, so maybe this couple would be the result of his lack of interest, but my significator is not queen of spades; is that of any importance here? This would mean that, before he makes his mind to express his feelings, I will find somebody else and make a couple. but why spades?would that be bad news for the future?

    I must confess I was tempted to view the spades couple as the cause for the king of diamonds' frustration in love (a past disappointment, because he is divorced), but that would mean we read the cards from right to left :) I was probably mislead by the middle card's head direction (looks left).

    Can you please help with more insight into this interpretation of the line?

    Any suggestion would be of great help, as is the whole site:)

    Thank you,

    Lonely Planet

  6. When a card jumps out during the shuffle, I will either use it as the first card in the spread (significator), or use it as an overview card for a summary of the reading. I would not use it as the outcome card to end the reading, but I encourage you to follow your own intuition, and always to what feels "right" to you.

  7. Hello Lonely Planet,

    I think your interpretation of your Line of Five is thoughtful and insightful. Because you are using only 24 cards, I don't feel that any additional insights I could provide would be reliable or accurate since they would be based on the full 52 card deck system that I use. When I look at your cards, I cannot help but see the court cards as part of the full 52 card deck, which skews my perception of the reading. The significance of the number of court cards that appear in the reading may be different from what might appear when using a 52 card deck. A valid interpretation of the court cards in your spread must be take into account the ratio of court cards to pips in your truncated deck, and the meanings you ascribe to those 24 cards.

    On the subject of using the truncated, I think the value of using 24 cards will depend on the range of meanings you ascribe to the cards. I also work with a Skat card system of 32 cards with comprehensive meanings that can provide as much insight and detail as a 52 card reading. So I encourage to you continue to practice with your 24 cards to develop a comprehensive set a meanings that will serve you well.


  8. Dear Kapherus,

    Glad that you did not discard the 24 card system (7, 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace), the only one I had the privilege of watching ''in action'' so far :)
    I can only say I would gladly try 52 and/or 32 and see how it works for me.
    I will continue to follow your posts, as I can see they are of real help.

    Thank you,

    Lonely Planet

  9. Hello Kapherus, first I want to say thank you very much for all the help you are giving with your blog. I'm just starting to learn reading playing cards and although there are many sites about playing cards yours is the one that makes sense and appeals to me. However I got quite confused as in this example you explain how to read a line of 5 by reading from left to right [very clear to understand, no problem here] but in another example of 5 card draw: Pregnancy prediction, you give a different method altogether by starting with the middle card, etc... For a complete novice this is confusing. Does it mean that both methods are valid and when do we use which? Hope you can clarify things for me and thank you for your understanding!

  10. Hi Annie,
    I am very happy to know that the blog is helpful with your study of reading playing cards. You present a great question here. Sorry it took me a few days to respond. The above article is a basic approach to the Line of Five. I wanted to illustrate how both the action and the timing flow from left to right, it is meant to be a simple example for the beginner. The Pregnancy Prediction Line of Five is a more advanced approach, but the basic guidelines still apply. For example, the middle card is the hinge (in the above reading it is the boyfriend (JS), and the final card is the outcome (8H). Try applying the guidelines I set out in the more advanced approach to the above reading, and you will see that it shows the same outcome, but can provide a few additional subtle insights into the situation. I hope this makes sense and helps to clear up your confusion.

  11. Thank you so much Kapherus, it makes good sense. I'm going to start with the basic method and then when I start to feel more confident I will use the more advanced one. Thanks again for all your help!

  12. I noticed that with the pack of cards I use, the face cards for diamond, heart, and club will always face left no matter which way they fall. For spades, the face cards will always face right. Is this always the case for all playing cards or is it dependent on manufacturer? I drew a line of 1 black and 4 red cards, with the black being the first card and the red cards included 2 face cards. Would I still interpret that the king and queen are looking to the past? Thank you!

  13. Most standard cards have the King, Queen and Jack of Spades-- and also the Jack of Clubs-- facing right. All of the other court cards face left or forward and slightly to the left. But I do have decks where the orientations are different. What I find works for me is to read each deck according to the direction the court cards face. I read the querent as sitting on the left of a line of cards. So in the standard deck the Hearts and Diamond court cards-- and the King and Queen of Clubs face toward the querent showing support and good intentions. The other courts face right, away from the querent, showing little or no interest in the querents welfare. Yes, the court cards facing left could also be focused on what is behind them (past). I would suggest that you experiment to see if this method works for you.

  14. I absolutely love the line of 5
    Last night I did a spread asking "how will work be tomorrow" (today)
    I pulled QS, 10S, 3S, 5S, 3H

    Obviously not the nicest spread, but it was obvious to me it was regarding my coworker, whom a few nights ago, I advised her not to get involved with a man in a long-term relationship. She interpreted my advice as me trying to get between her and him and spent the last few days giving me hell. My 5S and 3H moment was when a different coworker caught me in tears and gave me the "Grow another layer and don't you let her see you down" pep talk I needed.

  15. Outstanding reading! The Line of 5 is currently my favorite spread!

  16. Hi kapherus..How do we read ace of hearts as feelings.

  17. Home is where the heart is. The Ace of Hearts can indicate a budding emotional experience, or it can show emotional security in an existing relationship. It can show an emotional beginning or renewal. It is generally a positive card.

  18. Thanks for replying -)

  19. Oh, and if the other cards support it, the Ace of Hearts can show "moving in together," or cohabitation.

  20. Hi, I'm a little confused and I have two questions:
    1. Since you mentioned that 4H also represents marriage, I would love to understand how you were impressed here from the beginning that this is a sexual and not a serious relationship?

    2. You mentioned that 10H also symbolizes marriage. What is the difference between marriage that represented by 4H and marriage that represented by 10H?

    I would appreciate an explanation so I can learn better.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Hadar,

      Very astute questions!

      The initial confusion is due to my own fault for not specifying clearly that I had already ascertained that the young woman querent was unmarried. Had she been married, the 4 of Hearts would absolutely refer to her marriage. When faced with an ambiguous 4 of Hearts in a reading, I will generally refer to it as “a relationship,” and allow the querent to help me determine whether it represents a marriage or business partnership or friendship or romantic relationship.

      In my experience, the distinctions between the 4 of Hearts and 10 of Hearts can be subtle. Both can denote marriage, but there are marked differences. The 10 of Hearts can represent a happy marriage or long-term relationship. If the couple is not legally married, they are usually cohabitating. The relationship is always of a romantic nature, and the idea of “creating a family” is intrinsic to the union. But the 10 of Hearts must be interpreted carefully because it can also represent any type of bliss, not only the marital kind.

      The 4 of Hearts is not always romantic. It can refer to a platonic relationship, or to a casual sexual encounter. It is more of an agreement between two people. It can be tricky because the 4 of Hearts can also refer to a wedding ceremony. I would look for the Ace of Diamonds nearby to confirm “a ring” in the mix. In fact, the most appropriate interpretation will depend on the energy of surrounding cards. For example, if the 4 of Hearts is surrounded by Clubs, my first thought is of a business partnership rather than a romantic union. The 4 of Hearts followed by a Spade is invariably a relationship problem— whichever type of relationship it may be.