Steps for those newer to Cartomancy
1. Figure out what your Query is.
Either by yourself or with others, make your question as detailed as possible- cards love loopholes!
2. Make a good space to focus.
Make your space as comfortable for you (the Reader) as possible, and ensure you have plenty of uninterrupted time to think through the process. Don’t rush a card reading, or you might miss critical information to your Query. If your spiritual tradition encourages spiritual protection (like casting a circle), take the necessary time to protect yourself. If you are spiritual, I recommend appealing to guidance from your Diety/Deities, any spiritual guides, and/or passed loved ones who want to provide insight; I also recommend performing the steps for offering to Them as necessary. This process, you, and all your support-- all deserve respect and care.
3. Choose a spread that fits your Query.
There are some on the following pages, or there are many online you can find with a simple search. A good beginning spread (card layout) to get started with, is putting three cards side-by-side, with your first card being your current situation, your second card being what made the situation happen, and your third being how you can successfully negotiate your situation. It can also be used for past- present-future reading in the same way. If needed, keep pen and paper close to draw the spread and write notes or journal.
4. Shuffle your deck and pull your cards with an open mind.
If working with a Querent, the Reader may have them shuffle, cut the deck, and pick cards that are sequential (in order) or random cards that feel right. As the Querent, don’t look for specific cards and outcomes, and don’t overthink—trust your gut.
5. Interpret your cards in their respective positions by “feeling” their meanings.
With oracle cards, the interpretation is found both with the wonderful art and the focus words on the bottom. Ask the Querent, “What do these words or symbols mean to you, in this spread’s position?” If the Querent feels a strong pull towards any words or symbolism, those are the ones to focus and meditate on. Put all meanings together to get a fuller picture, figure out an answer for the Query, or ask for more information. Ask the Querent if there’s any other desired information—if so, pull additional cards and repeat step five.
6. End your session.
If applicable, thank your Influences for this guidance and close your circle. Conduct care for the Querent/Reader after the session has been completed: drink water/tea, have cookies or sustenance— reading cards takes energy! —reflect on the reading as desired. Revisit in a couple of days and ask the Querent if any additional thoughts or feelings pertaining to the reading have occurred.
What do I do if a card "falls" or "jumps" out while I shuffle?
Put it to the side-- don't shuffle it back in! This typically is the first answer to your question, or important information to consider.
What does it mean if similar or the same messages appear repeatedly?
Card decks sometimes have a sense of humor, or want to emphasize a point. This especially happens to people who don't take first answers seriously, or have an unpleasant solution or peace of advice the cards are offering.
What does it mean if my cards appear upside down as I pull them?
Traditionally, Oracle cards have one meaning (the upright worded message/image) for easy interpretation. Depending on the Querent, establish beforehand that reversed cards either 1. have the opposite meaning, or 2. reflect on whether this is a quality for the Querent to work through internally, or externally. External that requires communication, collaboration, or teamwork with others. For instance: in a spread of seven cards, if a majority of cards are reversed the Querent might determine that this situation has more to do with internal conflict than external.