Queen of Tarot

The ancient wisdom of the cards

Methods of Divination

I shall now give several modes of laying out the cards for divination. The reader can adopt whichever he prefers, or he can combine them.

Whatever mode of laying out be adopted, it is necessary that the person inquiring should carefully shuffle the cards, with two objects in view; firstly, that of turning some of the cards upside down; secondly, that of thoroughly altering their position and sequence in the pack. They should then be cut. During the shuffling and cutting the inquirer should think earnestly of the matter concerning which he is anxious for information; for unless he does this the cards will rarely read correctly. This shuffling and cutting should be thrice repeated. The backs of the cards should be towards the person shuffling.


FIRST METHOD.-The full pack of seventy-eight cards having been first duly shuffled and cut, deal the top card on a part of the table which we will call B, the second card on another place which we will call A. (These will form the commencement of two heaps, A and B, into which the whole pack is to be dealt.) Then deal the third and fourth cards on B, and the fifth on A; the sixth and seventh on B, and the eighth on A; the ninth and tenth on B, and the eleventh on A. Continue this operation of dealing two cards on B, and one on A, till you come to the end of the pack. A will then consist of twenty-six cards, and B of fifty-two.

Now take up the B heap of fifty-two cards. Deal the top card on a fresh place which we will call D, and the second card on another place C. (This will form the beginning of two fresh heaps, C and D.) Then deal the third and fourth cards on D, and the fifth on C; the sixth and seventh on D, and the eighth on C, and so on as before through these fifty-two cards. There will now be three heaps: A = 26 cards, C = 17 cards, and D = 35 cards.

Again take up the heap D of 35 cards, and deal the top card on a fresh spot F, and the second card on another place E (so as to make two fresh heaps E and F). Now deal the third and fourth cards on F and the fifth on E, and so on as before, through these 35 cards.

There will now be four heaps altogether. A = 26 cards, C= 17 cards, E = 11, and F = 24. Put F aside altogether, as these cards are not to be used in the reading, and are Supposed to have no bearing on the question. There will now remain A, C, and E.

Take A and arrange the 26 cards face upwards from right to left (being careful not to alter the order), so that they are in the form of a horseshoe, the top card being at the lowest right-hand corner, and the 26th at the lowest left-hand corner. Read their meanings from right to left as before explained. When this is done so as to make a Connected answer, take the 1st and 26th and read their combined meaning, then that of the 2nd and 25thand so on till you come to the last pair, which will be the 13th and 14th. Put A aside, and take C and read it in exactly the same way, then E last.

This is a very ancient mode of reading the Tarot, and will be found reliable.


SECOND METHOD.-Withdraw the King or Queen, selected for the Inquirer’s Significator, from the pack. Then shuffle and cut the same as before. Place the Significator on the table face upwards, leaving plenty of room for the selected cards on the left-hand side of it. Now go carefully through the pack, taking the top card first, then the seventh card from it; and so on through the pack, re-commencing if necessary, until you have drawn 21 cards by taking every seventh. Arrange these 21 cards in three rows of seven each, from right to left, on the left-hand side of the Significator, thus:

7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1         Significator.
14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8           “
21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15         “

Read the meaning of each row from right to left, beginning with the Significator; then combine the 1st and 2 1st, the 2nd and 20th, and so on, as in the previous method.


THIRD METHOD.-This mode of laying out the cards is rather more complicated than the preceding. Withdraw the Significator, and shuffle, and cut as before. Then deal them as in this diagram, face upwards:

              33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23              
              66 65 64 63 62 61 60 59 58 57 56              
22 55