The art and practice of divining the past, the present and the future by means of interpreting cards ― regular playing cards, picture cards (atouts), fortune-telling cards or Zenner cards. The most popular form Cartomancy is the Tarot.
Regular playing cards have been used for divination for centuries, with more methods of using them than can be counted.
According to most occult traditions, card decks used in Cartomancy should not be utilized for any other purpose. The cards set should be treated as a tool and cared for accordingly. Some cartomancers even feel that the cards should never be touched by anyone other than their owner. It is also considered unlucky to read the cards when you are alone, to read your own cards, or to read the cards of the same person more than once in the same week.
The practice of cards divination is very ancient and associated with Gypsy fortune-tellers. Modern playing cards evolved from Tarot cards, and the current deck probably originated in late 15th century France. Ancient card sets were either painted by hand or printed with wood blocks, and designed to be viewed from one direction only, as Tarot cards still are.
By 1832 mass production of playing cards stared all over the western world. In the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, standard playing cards were widely used for fortune-telling. In English-speaking countries, the 52-card, four suit deck is the fashionable selection. In France, the 32-card piquet playing card deck was, and still is, the most popular choice for Cartomancy readings, although the 52-card deck is also used.
See Diviner, Divination, Radiesthesia, Astrology, Acutomancy, Agalmatomancy, Coscinomancy, Cleidomancy, Augur, Stoichomancy, Dowsing, Tarot, Heptameron, Demonology, Sortilege, Idolomancy, Demonomancy, Tephramancy, Anemoscopy, Eromancy, Austromancy, Chaomancy, Roadomancy, Capnomancy, Pyromancy, Meteormancy, Ceraunoscopy, Zoomancy, Felidomancy, Horoscope, Horary Astrology, Zodiac, Numerology, Bibliomancy, Kabbalism, Alchemy, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Chakra Store, The Tarot Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: (1) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (3) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (4) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, Prometheus Books.
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