Methods Of Fortune-Telling With Cards

What are all of the different methods of fortune-telling using cards? Would you like to know how you can use cards for divination? What are all of the similarities and differences between all of both common and uncommon methods of cartomancy?

As you probably already know, the correct name for fortune-telling using cards is cartomancy. Cartomancy is divination using cards. If you’re new to cartomancy, you may not have decided yet which method of cartomancy is right for you. Alternatively, if you want to learn another way of card reading, you might be looking for options. 

Below you can discover more about the different types of cartomancy. I hope this list helps you to make an informed choice about which method of reading is right for you. 

Methods of fortune telling with cards - Tarot Cards


Tarot is one of the most popular methods of fortune-telling with cards. It is pretty easy to purchase Tarot cards as they are available in most book stores and new age shops. Therefore, Tarot is often where most diviners begin their cartomancy journey as it is pretty easy to get started with Tarot reading.

There are seventy-eight cards in a Tarot deck; twenty-two of which are what are known as the Major Arcana and these include cards such as: The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, The Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Tower, The Devil, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, and The World

Other than The Major Arcana, the other fifty-six cards of Tarot are known as The Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana are further divided into four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles). Each of the four suits has cards numbered Ace to Ten and four Court cards. For example, the suit of Pentacles has cards numbered from Ace to Ten plus a Page of Pentacles, Knight of Pentacles, Queen of Pentacles, and King of Pentacles. 

Tarot is an excellent divination system for answering specific questions. Diviners read cards in spreads, and you can adapt a spread to serve pretty much any purpose. You can ask Tarot questions about your career, business, friendships, love life, the sky is the limit. 

If you’re just getting started with cartomancy, then Tarot is an excellent place to start because it is an accessible system and there is lots of information available on Tarot. However, because there are lots of Tarot card meanings to learn, it can take some people years to master the system. 

Methods of fortune telling with cards - Playing Cards Cartomancy

Playing Cards

You can use regular playing cards for divination. You do not require any special decks to divine with playing cards; just a regular deck will do. Sometimes, fortune tellers refer to playing card divination as just ‘cartomancy.’ 

As with Tarot, many diviners begin their cartomancy journey learning how to read playing cards. Reading fortunes with playing cards used to be a rather prevalent form a card reading, but it has fallen out of favor in recent years, possibly because of other systems (Tarot, Lenormand, and oracle cards) have more visually appealing decks. However, there are some pretty fine looking playing card decks currently on the market (such as the Alice in Wonderland one pictured).

Oracle Cards

Oracle Cards

In some countries, oracle card divination surpasses Tarot for popularity. As with Tarot, oracle cards are readily available for purchase in mainstream bookstores (such as Barnes and Noble or WHSmith). The vast majority of people who have an interest in spirituality have dabbled in oracle card reading. 

Unlike other methods of cartomancy, there is not a standard system for interpreting oracle cards because all oracle card decks are different. For example, one deck may include a card called Love Yourself and another deck might contain a card named after the planet Mercury. 

Oracle cards are typically used by diviners to answer self-help styled questions. For example, instead of asking your oracle cards a predictive question such as, “When is John coming back”? You would ask, “What steps can I take to get over John”?

Because they are easy to buy, a lot of diviners start with oracle cards, but they do pose their challenges. Every time you purchase an oracle deck, you have to start again with a new system; this can be off-putting, and many people do not delve too far into serious oracle card study. 

Kipper Cards

Kipper Cards

A lesser-known (and not very popular) method of cartomancy is Kipper divination. In some countries (such as Germany) it is easier to purchase a Kipper deck than it is in others. 

In recent years, there was an effort by the cartomancy communities to boost the public awareness of Kipper and bring it into the mainstream. New Kipper decks were designed and published by Tarot artists, and publishers translated books into English. 

Sadly, however, Kipper does not appear to have ‘caught on’ as a popular method of cartomancy. I am unsure why this is, but from what I can gather it is because the number of available decks, books, and instruction is off-putting to many diviners. Also, the system does not really provide anything which other card systems do not – if diviners want advice, they turn to their oracle cards, if they have specific questions, they turn to Tarot, and if they want to make predictions they start reading Lenormand cards.  

Lenormand Cards


Lenormand is another lesser-known, but a brilliant methods of fortune-telling with cards. While it is rare to find Lenormand cards for sale in bookstores or mind, body, spirit shops, sometimes you can get lucky. The vast majority of Lenormand readers purchase their decks online. 

A Lenormand card deck has thirty-six cards which are named after everyday objects such as mice, scythe, clouds, man, and woman. Each of these cards has a meaning which is parallel to its symbolism. For example, in Western culture, snakes are symbolic of enemies and temptation – this is also the interpretation for the Snake Lenormand card. Therefore, if you are already familiar with symbolism Lenormand will be easy for you to master. 

Lenormand is the ideal system for reading predictive styled readings. It is very, very easy to perform general readings with Lenormand, and most readings are done using a Grand Tableau spread. Each position of the Grand Tableau looks at different areas of your life, including everything from letters you will receive to who you’re going to fall in love with next. 

That’s all for the methods of fortune-telling with cards! You can discover how to read Lenormand cards on this website. In fact, you can learn the basics of Lenormand card reading by grabbing my free Lenormand for Beginner’s guide here

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What are all of the different methods of fortune-telling using cards? Would you like to know how you can use cards for divination?
Illustration What are all of the different methods of fortune-telling using cards? Would you like to know how you can use cards for divination?

Lenormand Playing Card Inserts?

What are Lenormand playing card inserts? Should you use Lenormand playing card inserts? In short, no I do not believe that you should use Lenormand playing card inserts and do not believe that you have to use them in order to consider yourself a Lenormand card reader. It is perfectly possible for you to be an amazing playing card reader without having to waste your time mastering card inserts. 

If you’re wondering, playing card inserts are the little images of playing cards that appear on the corner of your Lenormand cards. Some decks have them, some don’t. 

Personally, I never use Lenormand playing card inserts; not now not ever. I am adamant in my belief that you do not need to use playing card inserts to be considered an amazing Lenormand card reader. 

Below, I have listed the reasons why I do not use playing card inserts. Have a read, and hopefully, it will convince you that you do not need to waste your time with playing card inserts!

You Have To Memorize Playing Card Inserts

Whether their decks have them or not, playing card advocates still use the playing card correspondences. Therefore, they have taken the time to learn the playing card correspondences plus what they mean. I feel that your time could be better spent on learning other parts of the Lenormand system. 

Not All Lenormand Decks Have Playing Card Inserts

There is a level of effort involved in learning which playing card corresponds to which Lenormand card; this is something you have to know if you decide to use playing card correspondences in your Lenormand practice. 

Not all decks include playing card inserts. If you use inserts you either have to memorize all of the playing card inserts and their meanings, or only buy Lenormand decks which do have playing card inserts. Therefore, playing card inserts can limit your options. 

Lenormand And Playing Cards Are Different Systems

I think that playing card inserts are to Lenormand what astrology is to Tarot; they are a completely different system which is slightly alike, but not the same. And yet, like astrology and Tarot, many playing card insert advocates insist that you use them even though their interpretations do not match, get along or make sense. 

I do believe that correspondences can help you to learn meanings quicker, but there is a limit. You have to respect Lenormand and playing cards as their own individual methods of fortune-telling otherwise you end up with a mish-mash of ideas and a whole lot of confusion. Which brings me to my next point: 

The Crossover Causes Difficulty

Believe it or not, making the crossover from playing card divination to Lenormand cards could actually be made more difficult if you can read playing cards and you begin to associate the playing cards with Lenormand cards. The reason why is because you can end up accidentally reading Lenormand cards as you would playing cards. As I pointed out above, they are not the same, they are different types of divination, so reading them the same. 

You can see the same issues with diviners who learn how to read Tarot before they learn Lenormand; many end up accidentally confusing the Lenormand Tower with the Tarot Tower, the Lenormand Moon with the Tarot Moon, and so on. 

If you can already read playing cards, it is best that you keep the systems separate as this will prevent you from falling into the playing card trap every time you read your Lenormand cards. Give the playing card inserts the boot. 

They Don’t Make Sense

In most cases, the playing card and Lenormand correspondences are nowhere near alike each other so it is difficult to combine their meanings. For some readings this is okay, but what happens if you want to interpret your reading but you cannot marry the playing card and Lenormand meanings together? 

For example, let’s say you’re performing a business reading and you pull the Clover card and the Ship; I would interpret this combination to symbolize fortune made from international trade, shipping overseas, etc. 

On Lenormand cards, the playing card insert for the Clover is the Six of Diamonds and the playing card insert for the Ship is the Ten of Spades. The interpretation for these playing card inserts are: 

The Ten of Spades (Ship): The Ten of Spades is the worst card in the pack; it represents betrayal, divorce, bankruptcy, illness, and even death. 

The Six of Diamonds (Clover): The Six of Diamonds is a love card that predicts a second marriage after the failure of your first. Some cartomancers believe that the Six of Diamonds predict a second marriage which (like the first) will not go well. 

The above interpretations obviously do not match the regular Lenormand meanings. Marrying these meanings is difficult, and the effort needed to do so can interfere with your intuition. Therefore, it is best to forego the playing card inserts. 

There you have it, why I believe you do not need to use playing card inserts meaningful Lenormand reading! On this site, I also have a free Lenormand for Beginners Guide. You can download that guide here

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Illustrations What are Lenormand playing card inserts? Should you use Lenormand playing card inserts? I do not believe that you should use card inserts, and here is why