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by Mistress Arwen Evaine fert Rhys ap Gwynedd

This technique of soothsaying, though more recent than any of the others of which I have written, is perhaps the most thorough and detailed. Whereas many of the other techniques are more subjective (i.e., require a greater amount of direct character interpretation by the soothsayer), this method will, in quite some detail, describe events both past and future.

The tool required is a deck of playing cards, 9's and above through Aces (i.e., 2-3-4-5-6-7-8 are not used}, or equivalent cards of the Tarot, lesser Arcana. rather than Trumps. This method I call "Swedish Cards" because I learned the technique in Sweden. It probably originated in central Europe, though. For Society use, however, I plan to employ a Viking design Icelandic deck as well.

There are a series of "sets" or "lek" involved in a full reading

LEK #1 (First Set)
The first thing which is done is to permit the Querent to shuffle the deck thoroughly. He/she then places the deck face down between her/himself and the soothsayer. With his/her left hand (if unmarried) or right hand (if married) Querent cuts thrice toward his heart, making thus three piles.

The soothsayer then turns the piles face up and examines the three top cards -- these reveal what is of foremost immediate concern to the Querent.(predominance of red cards indicate the Querent is an optimist; black, pessimist.)

At this point in our discussion, a key to the meanings of the cards is in order. Each card means something; some more than others. Also important are the combinations of cards. (As with bind-runes, these may give an entirely different meaning than the cards read individually.)

Key to Card Meanings

Spades: Aett of Business Matters

ACE: If upright, Gift to you, or big surprise, if reversed, gift from you
K: Man in uniform (police, fireman, postman, etc.)
Q: woman with dark hair, or a serious woman
J: Thoughts of the King of Spades
10: Business; public institution; business deal
9: Party/something to celebrate

10 of Spades (reversed) and 10 of Clubs: business travel

Hearts: Aett of Love Matters

ACE: If upright, at home; if reversed, away from home
K: "Indicator card" for a male Querent
Q: "Indicator card" for female Querent
J: Thoughts of the King of Hearts
10: Major love; marriage? Deep relationship?
9: Minor love; puppy love, flirtation

10 Hearts + 10 Spades: Honeymoon
10 Hearts + 9 Hearts: Marriage Proposal, formal declaration
10 Hearts + 10 Spades (Reversed) Marriage for business reasons only, or for parent's sake

Diamonds: Aett of Money as such

ACE: Message, letter, communication
K: Young man, fair-hired man, light-hearted/outgoing man
Q: Young woman, fair-hired woman, light-hearted/outgoing woman
J: Thoughts of the King of Diamonds
10: Riches; lots of money
9: A little money. Usually outgoing.

ACE of Diamonds + 10 of Spades reversed: Querent to receive a check or $$$ from business deal
9 Diamonds + 10 Spades reversed: Querent must unexpectedly pay someone else a lot of money.

Clubs: Aett of Disturbances

Ace: Upright, seeming good luck (can be easily negated), if (reversed) petty illness, minor tzuris hiding as "good luck".
K: Older man, serious man
Q: Troublemaking person, "greater trouble" card
J: "very soon"
10: "middle level" trouble card
9: Lesser Trouble (The type of trouble told by associated cards)

9 Clubs + 10 Clubs + ACE Clubs : Death of especially close friend or family; major life tragedy, death or serious illness, major disaster

9 Clubs + ACE Clubs : If "good luck", there's a bad hook in it. Don't take the bait. If "bad luck", something good can come of it.

Multiple cards other than those above:
TWO KINGS (or more than two; or Kings and Jacks mixed) excluding Indicator Card if Querent is a male = business matters; business conference

TWO QUEENS (or more) excluding Indicator Card if Querent is female = especially if facing each other: gossip, some talk about/behind the back of the Querent


TWO ACES TOGETHER: Fortuitous happening. This cancels out "bad- ness" of A Spades, and dampens effects of bad cards nearby.

THREE OR MORE ACES TOGETHER: Completely negates adjoining bad card(s). Very fortuitous happening.

TWO OR THREE OF A KIND (otherwise): Fortuitous (usually)

TWO ACES, one on either side of Querant: Good fortune to the querant

LEK #2 (Second Set) Layout for Spread 2 (Opens in new window)

Soothsayer gathers and mixes cards from the former layout. Then hands them to the Querent, who shuffles them and returns them to Soothsayer. The latter lays them down, face up, in three rows of 8 cards each. The Querent's Indicator Card (henceforth IC) divides the array which results.

For example, letting % be the IC, all X indicate the past, or what thoughts the Querent has/is now worried about. The balance indicate future matters.

Now beginning at the IC count forward in sevens, taking note of each 7th card; these are of especial concern.

Gather in the most distant row (preferably all past) from IC and shuffle. Place one over and one under IC, face down. Then place a single face- down card over each card in the array which you (or the Querant) have identified as of special concern. Read the result.

LEK #3 (Third Set): The Necklace of Venus

Querent shuffles cards excluding IC, which is placed face up on table. Then one card, face down, is placed over the IC and another under. Now place cards face down in piles in the order shown: Layout Order for Necklace of Venus (opens in new window)

This should give you three cards in each pile of the "necklace" and five (counting IC) in center. One card will be left over; that is "What May Stay With You".

Read the array counterclockwise: Reading Order for Necklace of Venus (Opens in new window)

Interpret the cards using these categories for the cards (matching the reading sequence):
I. For you
2. For your home/family
3. What you don't know
4. What you don't expect
5. What may happen 6. What God will give you/what the Gods will give you
7. What is on your heart

LEK #4 (Fourth Set) : "The Mat" Construction of The Mat (Opens in new window)

Take out the IC and lay it on the table. then shuffle the remaining cards. Spread them face down on the table. Querent selects five (one at a time, without looking at them!) and slides them across to the Soothsayer. Soothsayer lays out the cards in the order selected (A) and then weaves them into a rigid "mat" (B), then flips it over disassembles it and reads {C)

LEK #5 (Fifth Set)

Shuffle all cards together well give to Querent to shuffle again. Then lay down cards in a row until IC appears. Up to this point all cards between (and including) sets of like cards (e.g. two of a kind) are removed. What is left will be "past".

Set down the IC and layout the balance of the cards; in this series, too, sets of like cards and cards between them are removed. The remainder is "future". Read the array which results.

LEK #6 (Sixth and Final Set) : "Yes Or No" Layout for Yes Or No (Opens in new window)

Before beginning this set, ask the Querent to think of a question to which the answer is either "Yes" or "No". Querent need not tell the Soothsayer what the question is. Querent shuffles cards. Soothsayer lays them, face up, in two rows. Lay cards down alternately, overlapping earlier cards. Wherever two of a kind are together, remove them and place a card from the opposite row in the row from which they were taken.

(Do this as the cards fall, not after dealing.) When you are finished, scoop up all cards of the left row, then of the right row. Without shuffling, lay them out again and pick up pairs in the same way. Continue until either all cards are gone or it is clear those which remain cannot be eliminated. The outcome of this row-card play.will give you the answer:

1) A quick "solving" = You will know the final answer very soon.
2) A slow "solving" = It will take a while before the final answer is revealed.
3) All cards removed = Yes
4) Only four cards left, but insolvable = "It hangs in the balance"
5) More than four cards left, and insolvable = No!

To properly read cards by this method takes about half an hour, hopefully undisturbed by a meal in progress. Just before a feast is a nice time for this sort of soothsaying. Read cards only once for a given person per week (maximum coverage) .It is preferable to read once only for a person until the nearest future revealed by the cards is resolved/experienced by Querent, who may then be read for again by this method. Of course, other methods of soothsaying maybe used at other times.

This technique has been exceedingly accurate for me, and is one of my favorite soothsaying techniques. It gives perhaps the deepest detail of all techniques I use; for a first reading of someone, I'll use this first and then, if the Querent needs to know more, I'll go to another technique (usually Rune Sticks, followed by Bean & Seed Casting)

© 2003 by J. T. Sibley, known in the SCA as Mistress Arwen Evaine fert Rhys ap Gwynedd. Used by Permission