Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Cartomancy - Jack to the Future

Cartomancy, Divination
A rather beautiful Dutch Jack of Spades
(photo by Michiel)


Noun. Late 19th century.
[French cartomancie, from carte CARD noun: see -MANCY.]

Fortune-telling by playing-cards.

In this grand and meandering game of chance we call life, have you ever said "It's just not in the cards for me right now," "Put your cards on the table," or "I'm just trying to play my cards right"? Well, apparently, if you have (and I haven't), this is because ... well ... I don't even know actually ... but that was the preamble on a spiritual guidance website that vaunts playing cards as a "code to life" through which we all can unlock knowledge and insight and wisdom and loads of other buzzwords. Oh, and no one knows where playing cards came from. But some say they might have come from Atlantis. And someone else mentioned mathematics. And science. And gypsies - there was a lot of talk of gypsies. And mathematics again - cartomancy is, apparently, "pure mathematics based on numbers" (italics and sarcasm mine). If this all sounds too good to be true (cough) ... well ... umm ... just remember that playing cards might have come from Atlantis.

Do please deal out your most divine comments below.


  1. I always thought playing cards came from China many centuries ago, but I have no idea where I got that bit of information from!
    Some gypsy could've told me! :)

    1. Are you thinking of pasta Jingles? Or soccer? Or whispering?


    2. That method of torture where you twist the skin on someone's wrist one way with one hand and the other way with the other apparently originated in China. You know the one, right? It doesn't really hurt, but you always pretend it does so as not to upset the torturer.

      And apparently, Jingles, no one knows where playing cards came from - or so virtually every cartomancy site I looked at says. Apparently, if you don't know where something is from, it's automatically imbued with some mystical power.

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