Cartomancy Corner

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27 August 2017

In praise of the Grand Tableau (again)

This is my favourite way to read playing cards.

Skatkarten, Französisches bild - ASS Altenburger

Ok, it's easier for me because I only use 32 cards, but you can count cards to get just 32 or 36* for a spread.

And I don't attempt to read every single card. I just home in on the interesting stuff. Laying all the cards out gives your deck the opportunity to hit you with some really juicy clusters and juxtapositions.

For instance, I've clearly left it too long to do a spread like this for myself because I'm sitting - Queen of Hearts - right at the bottom of the spread with all sorts of “stuff” going on over my head. And look at that line of three Aces with me staring intently at the bottom one. In fact, you could see that whole column as a situation “between” me and my Significant Other - King of Hearts – at the top of the spread. Who are those two Kings in the middle of the spread and what is their interest in the 8 of Spades? Perhaps the cards above can tell me more about them. And if you place a special significance on the first three cards of the spread, what might two 9s plus an 8 of Diamonds tell you?

There’s so much potential in a Grand Tableau – it’s entirely up to you how much time and energy you want to put into it.


*For 36 cards - take a 52-card deck and count by 3s through the deck, discarding cards 1 and 2, and placing #3 to the side. Repeat until the deck is exhausted (you'll have one card left over, discard it, and a pile of 17 cards). Take the discards and repeat the process - now you'll have two extras and 28 cards selected. Repeat one more time, so 3 times in all (the magickal 3 x 3 effect) and you'll end up with 36 cards and no leftovers - a nice symmetry.

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