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The Card Reading

Cartomancy and Divination with the Playing Card Oracles
Your Questions Answered, Your Future Revealed, Your Fate Unveiled

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Welcome to The Card Reading

Welcome to The Card Reading, the most fully interactive cartomancy and divination site on the world wide web. The Card Reading offers free card readings with multiple card oracles and more card spreads than are available on any other divination website.

To get a free card reading now, click the Get a Card Reading link on the navigation menu at the top of this page.

For those experienced in the arts of Cartomancy and Divination, The Card Reading provides an environment for experimentation and growth, with the opportunity to improve their skills.

For the novice, The Card Reading provides the perfect environment for learning these arts. And for both, The Card Reading provides resources for experimentation, communication, and conversation.

Divination and Cartomancy
Divination is the art of interpreting the communications of an oracle, usually regarding questions one may have about the past, present, and future. These communications are generally delivered by means of a medium such as bones, entrails, twigs, stalks of grass, tea leaves, dice, or cards.

For any given medium there may be multiple different interpretations, and those performing divination often have specific interpretations they prefer. In our modern, scientific age many divination methods have fallen into disuse - thankfully, in the case of such methods as the reading of entrails, which requires the sacrifice of an unlucky animal in addition to all the other complexities of divination.

But most questions of any importance to us personally cannot be answered by science or technology. When will I meet my true love, what has gone wrong with our relationship, which job offer should I accept, how can I embark on a spiritual growth path, what will tomorrow bring, what is my destiny - none of these can be answered by science. And so to help answer these and other questions, there are many divination methods still in practice today. These include reading tea leaves, dice, grass stalks, and cards. Either dice or grass stalks can be used with the famous Chinese I Ching for divination, for example, and the use of both Tarot and ordinary playing cards is popular and widespread.

The specific divination medium is generally considered unimportant; the important thing is the message transmitted by the oracle. However, some methods are easier to interpret than others. Reading entrails or tea leaves, for example, is challenging and difficult. There is often ambiguity in what one sees and tries to interpret. Is it a crescent or a hook? Depending on the judgement made by the deviner, the interpretation of the reading could be significantly different.

This is where divination by means of cards is at an advantage. There is no ambiguity about the card you are viewing, whether you're using a Tarot deck or a deck of regular playing cards. You don't have to figure out which card you're looking at, so one level of ambiguity and error interpreting the message is removed. And since cards are widely available, it is an art that can be practiced and learned by anyone!

Regardless of the method of divination, the diviner must always be aware of the fact that the oracle does not speak any human language. Rather, the oracle speaks in terms of allegory and metaphor, using symbols to communicate an underlying message. So even with an unambiguous medium such as a card, the deviner still needs to be aware of possible metaphorical interpretations of the card in the context of the question asked, the position where the card falls, the questioner, and the questioner's situation. Interpreting any divination must be done with care and an open mind. When King Croesus asked the Oracle of Delphi if he should go to war with his rival, Cyrus of Persia, the Oracle replied that if he did a great kingdom would be destroyed. So Croseus went to war, and a great kingdom was destroyed -- but it was his own.

The moral here is to always be mindful of alternate possible meanings - your first interpretation of a reading or even a single card may not be correct, so you should take time to consider the meaning fully. At The Card Reading you can add comments and notes to both individual cards and to the reading as a whole, and save your readings, so you can follow up your initial interpretation with additional notes and comments later. You can use this to improve your skills at both Divination in general and Cartomancy in particular.

Cartomancy is a method of divination that uses ordinary playing cards. There are several different methods of cartomancy, some of which are based on a full 52-card deck, others which use fewer cards, and still others which use multiple decks. A divination using cards is called a Card Reading.

The Card Reading uses a single, full 52-card deck, although support for additional cartomancy methods using more cards and fewer cards may be added in the future. It is also possible that support for Tarot readings will be added in the future as well, but the 52-card deck is more familiar, and provides everything needed for a full and complete card reading experience. And since the medium itself is unimportant, The Card Reading provides the ideal environment to learn and practice your divination skills as a cartomancer.

Performing a Card Reading
To perform a card reading, the cards are shuffled, and a number of cards are dealt into a Card Spread, which is interpreted according to the card meanings of a Card Oracle. Because so many card spreads and oracles are available at The Card Reading it can be confusing and difficult to choose the right spread for your reading. Don't be intimidated.

A Card Spread is an arrangement or pattern of cards. Each position in a card spread is called a Card House and has a meaning associated with it. The meaning of the House provides the context for interpreting the card falling on it. For example, many card spreads have a House representing the past. The card falling on that House represents something to do with the past. Depending on the situation and circumstances, this could be something that happened in the past, a description of the past, something in the past that still has influence, or something that is coming from the past. Registered members can create their own custom card spreads and add them to the website.

You interpret a card reading by interpreting the meaning of each card and the meanig of its position in the card spread. There are many different card spreads available at The Card Reading. Some of them are for special purposes, but most are fairly general.

A card interpretation is the meaning associated with a specific card, such as the Six of Diamonds. A Card Oracle is a set of meanings for an entire deck of cards. As with card spreads, there are multiple card oracles. The Card Reading provides five different card oracles: Arcana Arcanorum, Classical, Modern, Traditional, and Dreamwalker. Any given card may not have the same meaning with different card oracles. For example, depending on which oracle you choose, the Six of Diamonds could mean Anxiety (Arcana Arcanorum), a Premature Ending (Classical), Minor Financial Loss (Modern), or Relationship Problems (Traditional). The Classical and Traditional oracles are very similar, and many cards have the same interpretation in both oracles. As with card spreads, registered members can create their own custom card oracles and add them to the website.

For each reading, The Card Reading shuffles the virtual deck at least three times, cuts the deck into three stacks from left to right, then reassembles the deck from left to right. So the cards that were originally shuffled to the bottom are at the top of the deck when the reading is dealt. The deck is shuffled and cut for each reading, each time the page is reloaded. So unlike some other card reading websites, if the same cards keep coming up, it's not a programming error or bug; it's something you should pay attention to when you interpret the meaning of your reading. Since the virtual deck is reshuffled and cut every time a page is loaded, if the same cards keep coming up, it's not by chance. The oracle is trying to tell you something.

Even limited to a single 52-card deck, it should be evident that there are many different ways to use the cards to perform a reading, and many different ways to interpret the results. To help with this, The Card Reading provides the ability to add comments and notes to individual cards in a reading, and to the reading as a whole. You can save your readings, add additional comments and notes to the saved reading, and share the saved readings with others - who can also add comments and notes to the reading. These features will help you learn and perfect your skills in the art of cartomancy.

Interpreting the Cards
Interpreting the cards is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. Don't expect to be a master card reader instantly! Your skill will improve over time as you compare what you think a reading meant to actual events in the real world. The Card Reading provides you with the tools you'll need to improve your skills. You can add comments and notes to the reading as a whole, and to each card in the reading, and save the reading for future reference. When you review the reading, you can add additional comments and notes if you wish. Comparing what you thought the card reading meant with your later experience can reveal where your judgement was correct, or where there were additional factors to be considered.

Interpreting the answer you receive from the cards is easier if you know the question being answered. Especially at first, it's important to focus your concentration on the question you want answered when you get a reading. If you don't do this, you'll get an answer that may be a snapshot of yourself, your current situation, or whatever thoughts were in your mind at the moment of the reading. Or it may just be a meaningless arrangement of cards, since you had no question for the cards to answer.

It's also important to ask the right kind of question. Try not to ask yes/no questions. It's tempting, but since the cards rarely say yes or no, questions with a yes/no answer are inappropriate for the cards (most of the time). Only one of the oracles actually has yes and no cards, so you'll probably find it can be difficult to interpret the answer given by the oracle for questions of this type. The answer you receive will be symbolic and metaphorical, so you'll want to use imagination and creativity when you interpret it. It's better to ask for a description, illustration, or explanation than to ask for a yes or no you're unlikely to receive anyway.

If you do ask a question, it's important to be aware of your thoughts and feelings as you get the reading, since these may influence the reading. The Global Consciousness Project suggests that human consciousness has an influence over so-called random events, such as computerized simulations of card shuffling to generate a card reading. If the results of your reading don't make sense to you, or seem confusing or contradictory, perhaps you are distracted by multiple concerns or issues, or didn't focus your concentration sufficiently on your specific issue. You may want to repeat the reading, possibly choosing a different spread and/or oracle, entering a question if you didn't before, or rephrasing your question if you did.

Let's suppose that you've asked your question, your attention was focused on your issues or concerns, and you now have a card reading spread with all the cards displayed face down. What comes next?

When you move your mouse cursor over any card in the spread, a window will pop-up with the meaning of that House. Before you turn over any cards it's a good idea to review the meaning of each of the Houses in the reading, and to think about how that meaning may relate to your question or issue. Remember that the communications you receive from the Card Oracle are symbolic and metaphorical, and often subtle and indirect. It is possible that you will receive a clear, literal, obvious answer, but that is rare. More commonly finding the meaning will require imagination and creativity. But since that meaning is meant for you, no one is better qualified to determine what it means to you. Be creative, think about what the most likely meaning might be, but also use your imagination and think about whether there might be other possible meanings.

Clicking on a card turns it over, and pops up a window showing both the meaning of the House and of the card, using the Card Oracle you selected. The meaning of the card should be interpreted in the context of the House where it falls. What do you think it means? You can enter your ideas about this and add them to the reading. Add your notes in the box provided and click the Save button. You can also view the interpretations of alternate Card Oracles and add comments about them if you wish. So in any reading, you can view and comment on the interpretations of all card oracles, not just the one you selected.

When you save your reading, you can review it later. Perhaps your original ideas about the meaning of this card were indistinct, or inaccurate in light of later developments. You can add additional comments or notes to the card, as well as to the reading as a whole. This feature can help you to improve your card reading skills over time.

Navigating the Site
You can navigate the website using the navigation menu at the top of each web page. Moving your mouse cursor over a link pops up a description of the page associated with the link. Some pages are accessible only to registered members. Registration is free, and gives you full access to all website features. If you've made it this far, you're probably ready to register now, or to get a card reading.

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