Monday, July 6, 2015

Basic Cartomancy Skills: Number Meanings

Part 2: Number Meanings

I think the biggest problem most new cartomancers encounter is how get the card meanings to fit together and tell a story.  The beginner will memorize all of the various meanings and the important combinations for each card. In actual practice, those special combinations don’t always show up in a layout to make things easy.  That’s when a good foundation in the symbolism of the suits and numbers becomes so important.

Once you have a good understanding of the Suits and how they interact as outlined in Basic Cartomancy Skills: Part 1, the basic number meanings can be used to delve more deeply into the symbolism of each card.

In the system that works for me, each number has two opposing meanings.  The appropriate meaning applied to each card will be determined by it’s suit symbolism.  The first meaning listed (positive meaning) usually applies to a red card, and the second meaning (negative) will most often apply to a black card.  It's important to note that the card falling to the right will always influence the final meaning, and it’s always best to allow your intuition to make the final determination.

Basic Number Meanings:
1 – beginning or ending

2 – cooperation or conflict

3 - expansion or loss

4 – foundation or instability

5 – activity or restlessness

6 – communication or ignorance

7 – improvement or stagnation

8 – Health or illness (balance/imbalance)

9 – wish or disappointment

10 – success or failure

11 (Jack) – thoughts/message, also young helpful person, or troubled youth

12 (Queen) – receptivity/intuition, also female friend or rival

13 (King) – action/force/mastery, also male friend or rival

The basic Suit Interactions combined with the Basic Number Meanings are all you need to produce accurate, insightful Cartomancy readings.  You can add additional meanings to each card to broaden the scope of your readings, but you’ll find that you’ll return to the basic information again, and again when the more detailed meanings don’t seem to jive in your card layout.

Example Reading with Basic Number and Suit Meanings:

To illustrate this basic method of Cartomancy, I shuffled the cards while focusing on my question.  When I felt the shuffling process was done, I cut the cards into three piles from left to right using my left hand.  Finally I flipped over the top card of each pile to reveal the three cards for my reading.

Question: Will I be hired in the new job position I’m pursuing?


  1. 9 of Clubs

  2. 6 of Diamonds

  3. Queen of Hearts


Since I asked a “yes/no” question, the first thing to take note of is the balance of red vs black cards in the layout.  In this spread we find a predominance of red cards indicating that the basic answer to the question is “yes.”

Next, let’s take a look at the Suit Interactions:


Club + Diamond =   an increase in money, rewards, or power.


Diamond + Heart = rewards, positive attraction, and sharing money.

The suit combinations confirm the good news, and suggest that the new position will bring a raise in pay, and emotional well being.

Now let’s dig for more information by taking a look at the Basic Number Meanings:

The number 9 represents a “wish or disappointment.” Because the 9 is followed by a red card, I would read it to represent a wish.  The 9 is a club, and if we look to the basic suit meanings, we find that clubs represent business and work, among other things.  So the 9 of clubs is the perfect card to represent my wish for a new job.

The number 6 represents “communication or ignorance.“  Since this number 6 is a red card, and it’s also followed by another red card, I would go with the positive interpretation of “communication.”  The basic suit meanings tell me that diamonds represent energy, power, rewards, money, etc.  So the 6 of diamonds would indicate some good news (followed by ) regarding money, and could represent the forthcoming news that I am hired for the new position.

The final card is number 12 (or Queen) which represents “a female friend or rival,” and may also denote the qualities of “receptivity and intuition.” Either or both of these meanings could apply.  In either case, I would interpret the Queen of hearts as a friendly influence since hearts indicate love, friendship, peace, happiness, and pleasure.

The Queen of hearts falls in the end position of the layout which represents the final outcome. Therefore, I can read this card in a general sense to mean that the new job brings (I receive) pleasure and happiness.  Or I could read this card to represent a kind-hearted female who will be instrumental in helping me secure the new position.  Either way, this card denotes a happy outcome to the question.

As you can see, with just these simple meanings it is possible to get a lot of detailed and accurate information from the cards.  When you encounter a card in a layout that doesn’t seem to make any sense, you can fall back on the basic symbolism of suit and number. You’ll be amazed by how the reading will suddenly come together and make sense.  Give it a try, have lots of fun, and happy readings!


  1. What does it mean when I keep drawing a 7D in a relationship context?

  2. The 7D talks about investments and an increase in value. It is not a romantic card. In relationship readings it can show that an investment is necessary, such as time or attention, to increase the value of the relationship. Effort is required to improve circumstances, or to receive the payoff you desire. Hope this helps.

  3. Thank you for explaining. Could also possibly be finances / investments influencing the relationship (thinking out loud).

  4. Please do some more sample readings.

  5. David, I am seriously studying this method and I start to see the light! If the last card was the queen of clubs instead of the queen of hearts, we will have two black cards that in the answer yes or no, it is most likely no (twi black cards and one red card). But still the queen of clubs is a good card regarding the work... how should I interpret this hypothetical draw? Thanks!

  6. That's an excellent question, Mirko... I can see that you are seriously studying this method. Whereas the heart suit represents our desires granted, the club suit indicates the need to work for what we want. If a club ended the trio as per your hypothetical draw, it would suggest to me that effort is required to secure the desired outcome. Yes, the two black cards would indicate "maybe." Specifically the Queen of Clubs is an industrious woman who takes an active role in the outcome of the situation. She may be the person who will interview the querent for the job, or someone else involved in the hiring process who must be influenced positively to ensure the outcome we want. That 6 of Diamonds now suggests the importance of presenting yourself in the best light, not too shy or too nervous. In other words, the full answer would be "maybe if the right effort is applied." Of course in the real world I would never expect the querent to be satisfied with this answer. Further explorations would be required to determine how the querent can tip the odds in her favor to secure the job. The above example is just a simple illustration to show the influences of the suits in a spread.

  7. Thanks you David, thanks for reply! I really like your methods! the best!

  8. Hello Kapherus

    I have a question with regard to the why the 10♣ represents a body of water, especially when traditionally associated you the element air. How do you reach this result?

    I also have doubts about the 7♠, how to get to the idea that represents the alcohol and the places where they sell?

    Excellent blog!

    Thanks for your reply

  9. Also, if it were not too much trouble I would like to know your opinion with regard to the comparison between the reading of playing cards and tarot. Why prefer to play cards rather than the tarot?

    Thank you

  10. You present a great question. It might help to keep in mind that the spiritual elements are different from the physical elements that they are named after. In fact, each physical element is made up of all of the spiritual elements in varying degrees. In my playing card system, the Aces represent the spiritual elements, and the 10s represent the physical elements. Water is an active force, and is best represented by the suit of clubs which rules all things physically active. The Ace of Clubs represents the spiritual element "air," but the 10 of Clubs represents physical water. So, each suit is assigned two different elements (except for Spades): a spiritual element and a physical element. Here are the other elements as I find they work in my system of cartomancy...

    Ace = Spiritual element of air
    10 = physical element of water

    Ace = Spiritual element of fire
    10 = physical element of air

    Ace = spiritual element of water
    10 = physical element of fire

    Ace = spiritual element of earth
    10 = physical element of earth

    This is why the 10 of Clubs represents physical water, and the 10 of Diamonds represents physical air and oxygen. The 10 of hearts represents warmth and sunshine. The 10 of spades represents dirt and nighttime.

    Because Spades represent double earth, you can find all of the physical elements in the Spade suit, but with a danger suggested. For example, the 10 of Spades can also represent a body of water, but usually in reference to dangers such as accidents and drownings. The 7 of Spades is another water card that represent leaks, water damage, and also liquor and medications which should always be used with care to prevent injury. I hope this makes sense.

  11. I do not read tarot, so I cannot say why one might be better than the other. I learned to read playing cards when I was quite young, and never felt drawn to learning to read tarot. Over the years I have acquired a good knowledge of the meanings of the tarot cards, but I have no experience with reading them. So I cannot offer a valid comparison. Sorry.

  12. The number cards start at 2. Are the jokers supposed to be used for the 1 card?