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Tabletop Gaming

Useful Cartomancy Decks

Many fortune tellers like to use tools to assist them in making predictions (as opposed, to say, Auguring), in order to better sustain mental focus. Until recently, most of these tools were existing gaming objects that were adapted by overlaying divinatory meanings onto the playing pieces. Cartomancy (still a female dominated field) is forecasting using cards of all sorts, and it has its greatest popularity in card game playing Roman Catholic Western Europe. Unlike tools, such as dice, which are Cast in order to disconnect the caster from the result; cards are intentionally Drawn by subconscious choice. A Cartomancer is a translator, so does not necessarily have to pursue meditation or esoteric studies.

Most commonly the cards used for forecasting will be illustrated with scenes (a picture is worth a thousand words), but they could also be cards displaying only pips, numbers, or even just labels. Up until mass market printing became practical in the mid-1800's, cartomancers only had locally available gaming decks to work with. This legacy can be seen in the inclusion of playing card images in many modern forecasting decks, even though these modern decks may be otherwise illustrated specifically for cartomancers.

In recent times both artists and esotericists have discovered that fortune telling cards make a great showcase for their craft (simpatico with cartomaners, since the reason many seek-out a fortune teller is for the entertainment value). Since the new millennium there has been an explosion of deck choices. Although many decks are re-illustrated versions of classic cartomancy systems, there have been quite a few which are new inventions of the deck creators; and even the traditional systems are now getting "extra" cards included. While a few decks have just been slapped together in order to make a quick profit for the deck manufacturer (the "Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards" deck being an absonant example), many of these new decks have been carefully thought out (the deck called "Madame Endora's Fortune Cards" being a commendable example).

Due in part to the competition feared by puritanic religious institutions, cartomancy has until recently only been tolerated in the shadows of society. As such, it is difficult to pinpoint when, and by whom, traditional card systems were invented. Also, both because card reading was taught through hands-on learning, and because manufacturing was once provincial (in Europe still, as opposed to assimilated North America, there are numerous playing card deck sizes and pip designs), many regional variants have appeared. Working with the classic cartomancy decks are of importance however, because they allow for a consistent translation methodology, which allows those familiar with the classic system to uncover any charlatans.

Modern decks are considered to be the equivalent of one of the classic decks if the imagery, numbering, and etceteras, can be identified as representing the same meaning as that of the original. Note though that some of the classic 36 card systems also have abridged variants, which consist of only thirty-two cards (the shortened deck variants being the forced result of the full contemporary playing card deck having been too expensive for rural printers to manufacture).

1. Worldwide, the most common classic cartomancy system is currently the 78 card five suit system called "Tarot". When reading Tarot, it is the artwork on a card that is most important, so a single deck's artwork will probably not be an ideal fit for all clients. The most common style variants are the stodgy Marseilles, the popular Rider-Waite-Smith, and the exotic Thoth. The Tarot deck works well for questions that deal with the psychology of how one 'feels' about a situation. Keep in mind that images and keywords assigned to a card are allegorical, and that over the years since the symbology was originally established, some allegorical meanings have shifted in the public mindset. This is the reasoning for example, why the Tarot "Death" card is sometimes now labeled "Transition". It is possible to perform a fairly comprehensive Tarot reading using only a standard deck of playing cards, because the so-called Minors are the ones which primarily describe the querants mundane interplay (the Majors mostly indicate more existential influences).

2. The French prefer the system of 36 pictogram cards called "Lenormand", which are named after a famous French cartomancer of the Napoleonic period (although it should be noted that Ms. Lenormand herself actually used a standard Piquet gaming card deck of thirty-two playing cards, onto which she overlaid her own meanings). The Lenormand deck works well for yes/no questions and those of a mundane nature, as it reveals what a bystander might 'witness'. Conceivably, because the images are just pictograms, if you memorized the historically retained equivalent playing card associations, you could perform a Lenormand reading using only a standard Jass gaming deck of 36 playing cards (or alternatively, with a standard Poker deck which has had the twos, threes, fours, and fives removed).

3. The Germans prefer the system of 36 cards called "Kipper", named after a Bavarian cartomancer from the late nineteenth century. Since the new millennium, the direction a character faces on a card has become a popular adjunct to readings. However as there are no facing standards, such readings are extremely deck dependent. The Kipper deck works well for questions relating to ones private social interactions, such as love triangles, and has been aptly described as a masculine deck intended for women.

4. The Americans, until relatively recently, preferred using the oldest form of cartomancy... a standard deck of 52 "Playing" cards. Although mostly accordant, individual card meanings and spread layouts will vary depending on the local region. A recent trend is to forgo the traditional meanings, and instead interpret the cards as though they were Tarot Minor Arcana cards. Once popular with novices were the various novelty fortuneteller decks, which had pronouncements printed right on the playing card faces. It should be noted however that the fortunes on several older mass-market fortuneteller decks came from the minds of printers who weren't conversant with traditional card meanings, and were only trying to cash-in on the appeal of the mythical gypsy fortune teller; so very often the printed fortune did not match the traditional interpretation of the particular playing card. With the recent popularity of Lenormand, we are now starting to see regular playing card decks which include Lenormand pictograms on the card faces (although pictogram choices for the twos, threes, fours and fives vary wildly).

5. The Italians prefer the system of 52 cards called "Sibilla". Interestingly these cards often include lottery numbers on their face, and will use 11, 12, and 13 for Jack, Queen, and King respectively. Typically the cards will also use Italian suite names (Picche = spades, Fiori = clubs, Quadri = diamonds, Cuori = hearts). Conceivably, because with Sibilla it is the keywords, rather than the artwork, which are of importance; if you memorized the equivalent playing card associations, you could perform a Sibilla reading using only a standard Poker gaming deck of fifty-two playing cards.

6. The Austrians (and Hungarians) prefer the system of 36 unnumbered allegorical artwork cards called "Gipsy" (although an expanded version introduced in the 1930's is also popular with cartomancers). Gipsy cards depict allegorical life situations, and are read in relationship to each other to create a story. To a slight degree they are almost like a forerunner of OH Cards.

7. The Ottomans (and Greeks) prefer a recent system of 65 Turkish labeled cards called "Deste", invented by a cartomancer named Katina. This deck appears as if assembled by mashing a Lenormand with the Tarot court (although card meanings differ considerably, and the deck is shuffled using a unique spiral motion). The deck incorporates all the Lenormand cards (sporting equivalent Near-Eastern pictographs), but with the Woman being represented twice (one Evil and one Good). Incorporated from the Tarot are the Aces and Court cards (the Pages/Princesses and Knights/Princes are also represented twice, with the dual aspects of these cards now physically separated). The deck utilizes reversals, and the four Elementals are always kept separated from the bulk of the deck, to be read after the main reading.

8. The Russians prefer a unique type of structured Forecasting Oracle called "Pasyans". Deck sizes will vary from 20 to 36 cards, with 25 cards being typical. Imagery, and therefore meanings, also vary considerably from deck to deck. What they all have in common is that each card displays four half-pictures of an object or scene (often taken from classic moral teaching fairy tales). To perform a reading, the cards are blindly mixed, then laid out face-up into a square Grand Tableau. The individual cards are then rotated, without shifting their position, in an attempt to cause a picture to match up with an adjacent card. Readings tend to be somewhat of a social event, as chatting is encouraged while the revelation slowly unfolds.

Decks that are not based upon one of the above eight classic card systems are lumped into a category called "Oracle" cards. A tiny number of Oracle decks are designed in a structured predictive manner, like the classic Forecasting card systems. A larger number are of an unstructured Affirmational nature, that proffer situational words of advice to ponder. Although sometimes referencing higher powers, they are not direct communications. The vast majority of Oracles tend to be only decks of Inspirational sayings, like those cliche workplace motivational posters. An odd category of Oracle are the Angelic cards. Supposedly Angelic cards are being chosen FOR you by good natured supernatural beings, in order to transmit their caring advice.

It should be noted that the images on traditional cartomancy decks are no more evil than the images on Old Maid decks. The cards have not been tooled by supernatural beings such as monsters or angels, but are instead only mundane items made in factories from paper and colored inks. They are not cursed or blessed before shipping, and are merely stuffed into boxes and sent on to retailers. They are produced as secular products, nothing more. As such, you are not required to handle them in a reverent manner (although you should, like with all valued possessions, handle them with care), and you could in fact use them just for playing card games. Note that the destructive practice of card trimming (like scissoring heirloom photographs to make a collage) is never recommended, as the card borders are intentional, and function as a picture frame to protect the cards' imagery.

It is said that anything touched by a person will absorb a little of that persons aura. If this is what you believe, then it is a good idea to "clear" newly acquired decks before their first use, and to cursorily clear the cards between readings. Whether or not you permit a querent to touch your cards is a personal choice (it opens the cards to the possibility of being damaged or soiled), but allowing physical contact, if even just for pointing or pile cutting, is encouraged for absorptive reasons.

In the eight classic cartomancy systems, cards are read by laying them in a "Spread". Spreads are unique to each card system, and might consist of just three cards, all the way to using the entire deck. This can be so because when you read a Spread, it is the spot where a card is placed in the Spread that is of importance. Therefore, before you lay a Spread, you must be mindful about what each spot in the particular Spread is designated to be representing, so that the cards filling each spot can be subconsciously selected to reveal a valid answer. Most clients appreciate if you begin by first reading their Spread as a flowing overview paragraph, before explicating individual card details.

Although it may seem that the mechanism behind Cards is similar to that of Dice or Coins, this is false. Dice and Coins are "cast", and therefore difficult to manipulate by the caster to force a result. Cards are "shuffled" (or alternatively drawn), and as any good Illusionist can demonstrate, relatively easy to manipulate into a desired sequence. Supposedly your Subconscious knows where the cards it wants are located in the deck, and can incognoscibility manipulate them into its desired sequence. This is why you endlessly overhand shuffle the deck while mulling the question, until you 'feel' the cards are ready to be read. Although the abusive Riffle shuffle is a fast way to randomize a new deck, never use that method to final shuffle a deck for a Reading! Only the Overhand shuffle should be used, as the subconscious requires this agency to manipulate the cards into a proper sequence. If you choose to use a draw method instead of overhand shuffling, the cards should be selected by the non-dominant hand when possible.

It is acceptable for private decks to be exotic and difficult to decipher, but a public deck should be durable and use imagery that the targeted client can relate to (the uncluttered decks marketed as Beginner Decks are often ideal). I normally set out only one, but seldom more than three decks (mixed or matched systems), at an open-door reading session, and the decks I offer will usually be chosen to match the theme of the event or the decor of the reading location. Presently I am drawn to decks with minimal arcane overlay (because as stated, they are more suitable for forecasting), and which have the considerably rarer, more masculine vibe.

Listed here are decks I have acquired over time. All could be used for public forecasting readings, although several are unorthodox and better suited for a special circumstance or a niche audience. Hopefully these listings will help you when seeking a deck for yourself. The brief text extols the deck's features. The link with the exemplifying card image leads to a review. The link with the "flip" ( ) image leads to a flip-through video.


PIP Decks

1 Magician - Arcana Full Tarot Deck Arcana Full Tarot Deck - (revised artwork version)
Why: Neoclassicist style, pen illustrated Court and Majors. Pip Minors. Good readability. Sized and intended as a Playing deck when you remove the Pages and Majors.
- Note that this is a prestidigitators deck with additional gaff cards.

Ten of Wands - Marseille Cat Tarot Marseille Cat Tarot
Why: My only Marseille-styled Tarot deck. Anthropomorphic cats make the stodgy antecedent Majors far more palatable. Pips-only Minors helpfully sport tiny posed cats.

Thoth-system Decks

Five of Cups - Arcana Iris Sacra Arcana Iris Sacra
Why: A Thoth-system Tarot deck, with details abbreviated to their minimal iconographic form. Minors display both their astrological and keyword associations.

Seven of Cups - The Gill Tarot Gill Tarot, The
Why: A Thoth-system Tarot deck, and probably the least difficult of that complex style to read. Minors are numbers, with supplemental pictures and keywords.

18 Moon - Vision Quest Tarot Vision Quest Tarot
Why: Pastel colored deck of heavily Nice Washed and romanticized Native American images. Thoth-system, but labels greatly modified to match the theming.

RWS-system Decks

0 Fool - Ancestral Path Tarot Ancestral Path Tarot - (original artwork version)
Why: Interesting new-agey synthesis deck, where the Minors are unconventionally divided into four separate ancestral groups. Deck is of mixed readability.

Five of Swords - Anna.K Tarot Anna.K Tarot - (original artwork version)
Why: Many of the deliberately informal images depict overlooked aspects of a cards meaning. Tiny labels coerce you to absorb the image first. Average readability.

Five of Swords - Baseball Tarot Baseball Tarot
Why: The mythology of Baseball dovetails well with Tarot. Unique, understandable imagery. Oracle sized and styled cards are awkward. Courts can be a bit tricky to read.

6 Lovers - Connolly Tarot Connolly Tarot
Why: Softened, but still readable deck that is comfortable around most Christians. Stained-glass style artwork is appealing to most, making it my most popular Tarot deck.

Eight of Wands - Cosmic Tarot Cosmic Tarot
Why: Color washed pen and ink illustrations of Interpretive Dancers who resemble movie stars. Deck is of mixed readability.

21 World - Everyday Tarot Everyday Tarot
Why: Pocket-sized deck that is durable and easy to carry. Images are abbreviated to their minimal RWS silhouette form, so the smaller cards are easy to decipher.

Knight of Swords - The Fountain Tarot FateShifters Astrology Tarot Deck
Why: Beautifully rendered digital art, from several artists having a matching style. Images posed similar to RWS, making cards very easy to read.
- Note that included as a supplement is a full set of zodiac and planet cards.

Four of Wands - FateShifters Astrology Tarot Deck Fountain Tarot, The
Why: Exciting contemporary deck using crisp avant-garde imagery. Average readability, but leans more towards being a modern-art piece than a working deck.
- Note that this is an Expanded deck with an additional divinatory card.

5 Hierophant - Fradella Adventure Tarot Fradella Adventure Tarot
Why: The pagan-god comparable archetypes in super-hero comics dovetail well with Tarot. Motivations of even unidentified characters are quickly comprehended.

3 Empress - Golden Art Nouveau Tarot Golden Art Nouveau Tarot
Why: Thick matured characters, drawn in an Art Nouveau style, imitating RWS poses. Very readable. Gold foil embossing catches passerby's attention from a distance.

Eight of Pentacles - Golden Thread Tarot Golden Thread Tarot - (revised artwork version)
Why: Waterproof plastic cards for outdoor use. Minimalist iconographic etchings, in gold foil on a black background, look attractive under candle light. Average readability.

Six of Pentacles - The Halloween Tarot Halloween Tarot, The
Why: An amusing themed deck, imitating RWS image poses. For light-hearted readings to those just wanting to be entertained. Fairly easy to read.

8 Strength - Hanson-Roberts Tarot Hanson-Roberts Tarot
Why: Colored pencil close-ups of happy, hobbit-like characters. The smaller sized RWS inspired cards include Spanish labels. A replaceable deck for "rough handler" use.

Queen of Pentacles - Hoi Polloi Tarot Hoi Polloi Tarot
Why: A mod, abbreviated, felt pen colored RWS clone from the dawn of the Age of Aquarius. Proffered to Seniors as a nostalgic option for their reading.

Queen of Cups - Mermaid Tarot Mermaid Tarot
Why: Realistically rendered fantasy mer-folk in differing habitats, though unfortunately borderless. Average readability, with many images eliciting new perspectives.

16 Tower - The Norse Tarot Norse Tarot, The
Why: Viking themed deck with unaccustomed image and meaning associations. Art is framed with an elaborate border. Majors are assigned a Rune, and depict Nordic myth.

9 Hermit - Sharman-Caselli Tarot Sharman-Caselli Tarot - (revised artwork version)
Why: My all-occasions Tarot. Smooth shuffling. Excellent readability, as imagery is concise, and emotionally understandable by even those unfamiliar with the Tarot.

Five of Cups - Tarot in Wonderland Tarot in Wonderland
Why: Brilliant adaptation, though unfortunately borderless. The Alice stories dovetail well with Tarot. Great deck for the story-telling/character-facing Tarot reading method.

Three of Swords - Tarot of Timeless Truth Tarot of Timeless Truth - (original artwork version)
Why: The only photographic Tarot deck that I find appealing. Although some images are peculiar, helpful keywords are subtlely included. Grandparents seem to like this deck.

Novelty Decks

Three of Swords - Life Is Like A Board Game Tarot Life Is Like A Board Game Tarot
Why: Inspired by a classic Monopoly game board. An inoffensive neutral deck, which will appease P C persons of all ages. Lower readability due to a shortage of imagery.

King of Cups - Maori Tattoo Tarot Maori Tattoo Tarot
Why: Novelty deck inspired by New Zealand sources. Images represent tattoos on a persons arm. Fun, but challenging to read. Way more of an art piece than a working deck.

Queen of Wands - Science Tarot Science Tarot
Why: An oddly themed deck. Conventional Tarot imagery is intelligently substituted with modern scientists and scientific concepts. Requires effort to comprehend fully.

Two of Swords - Thomson-Leng Tarot Thomson-Leng Tarot - (replica version)
Why: British deck from 1935. Comic page style artwork. Quirky to read, as Elements are swapped and design is influenced by fringe Tarot systems. For seekers of the peculiar.


14 Fox - Chelsea Lenormand Chelsea Lenormand - (red version)
Why: Arts and Crafts Movement paint on cardboard themed novelty deck. Playing card pips are incorporated into the pictogram. More of an art piece than a working deck.

20 Garden - Leiding Lenormand Leiding Lenormand
Why: Age of Enlightenment era themed pictograms in a tasteful border. Interestingly, each card is given an astrological planet, house, or sign symbol association.

34 Fish - Dondorf Lenormand Miniature Dondorf Lenormand - (replica version)
Why: Miniature cards are ideal for a Grand Tableau. The clean classic images and Playing Card inserts are still easy to discern in their reduced size.

18 Dog - Mlle Lenormand Cartomancy Mlle. Lenormand Cartomancy
Why: My all-occasions Lenormand. Turn of the last century era artwork is clear, and is appealing to most. Cards boldly display traditional numbering and playing card equivalency.

7 Snake - Postcards From My Lover Lenoracle Postcards From My Lover Lenoracle
Why: Pleasant novelty deck. The intriguing and surprisingly readable images are from real antique postcards. Each card back is also from a differing postcard back.
- Note that this is an Expanded deck with additional divinatory cards.

39 Bed - Rana George Lenormand Rana George Lenormand
Why: Sagely expanded deck, using Near Eastern imagery, custom designed by a Lenormand expert. Extra cards allow building an impeccable 8x5 Grand Tableau.
- Note that this is an Expanded deck with recommended additional divinatory cards.

33 Key - Titania's Fortune Cards Titania's Fortune Cards
Why: Manipulated photographic deck of isolated pictograms. Lenormand in its most basic form. Clear, precise, and easy to read. Cards are somewhat larger than typical.

13 Child - Under the Roses Lenormand Under the Roses Lenormand
Why: Ragtime era artwork and character ethnicities are unusual, but attractive and restful. Card label is clearly displayed.


33 Doubts - Fin de Siecle Kipper Fin de Siecle Kipper
Why: Rich digital artwork with English labels. Edwardian era London theme. Cards are reimagined and somewhat larger than typical.
- Note that this is an Expanded deck with additional divinatory cards.

5 Older Gentleman - Leiding Kipper Leiding Kipper
Why: A hundreth anniversary artwork update of the Kipper, using then contemporary styled theming. Labels are in the original German.

16 Collect Thoughts - Mystical Kipper Mystical Kipper
Why: My all-occasions Kipper. Labels are in English. The imagery is odd, but much of the allegory is less obtuse than in the Original Kipper.

6 Older Lady - Original Kipper Original Kipper
Why: The standard reference Kipper deck, which curiously is a 1920s backwards printing of the original 1890s imagery. Labels are in the original German.

12 Younger Woman - Roaring 20s Kipper Roaring 20s Kipper - (1890s facing version)
Why: Manipulated photographic imagery, with free spirited flapper era styled theming. Utilizes the 1890s card facings. English labels.


Note: Any regular playing card deck will work. I prefer the Berlin pattern. Queen of Hearts

Two of Clubs - Caravan of See'ers Fortune Telling Playing Cards Caravan of See'ers Fortune Telling Playing Cards - (blue version)
Why: Styled after old-time fortuneteller cards. Read using Tarot Spreads. Differing upright and reversed images, with corresponding upright and reversed meanings.

Six of Spades - The Hermes Playing Card Oracle Hermes Playing Card Oracle, The
Why: A fortune telling playing card deck with sensible imbedded pictograms. Useable as a Lenormand if you remove the twos threes, fours, and fives.

Jack of Clubs - Kadar Fortune Cards Kadar Fortune Cards
Why: Fortuneteller cards with a Penny Arcade machine theme. Very unique Spread method. The cards' meanings are printed along the card edges.

Queen of Hearts - Retroracle Retroracle
Why: Polish iron curtain era themed fortune telling playing card deck with underlaid pictograms. Useable as a Lenormand if you remove the twos threes, fours, and fives.


Love - Every Day Oracle Every Day Oracle
Why: Representative of the de facto standard "Vera" imagery. Includes both the traditional lotto numbers and playing card equivalency. Labels are in the original Italian.

Merchant - Gypsy Oracle Cards Gypsy Oracle Cards
Why: My all-occasions Sibilla, as cards now sport English labels. Playing card equivalency gone though, and romanticized "Della Zingara" imagery has a yellowish hue.


Biedermeier Version

Fidelity - Little Czech Oracle Little Czech Oracle
Why: A modern rendition of the early Gipsy deck, using simple illustrations. Regrettably several of the English card label translations are imprecise synonyms.

Zigeuner Version

Fidelity - Gipsy Cards Gipsy Cards
Why: Relaxed artwork variant of the de facto standard turn of the last century style imagery. Vibrant inks, but poor card stock that absorbs humidity.

Fortune - Gipsy Fortune Telling Cards Gipsy Fortune Telling Cards
Why: My all-occasions Gipsy. Representative of the de facto standard turn of the last century style imagery most are familiar with.

Jealousy - Retro Gypsy Cards Retro Gypsy Cards
Why: Buoyant manipulated photographic imagery, with retro-styled early 1950s Australian theming. Strangely, these cards have been numbered.

Art Deco Version

Good News - Art Deco Fortune Telling Cards Art Deco Fortune Telling Cards
Why: This is the classic original expanded Gipsy deck, incorporating additional divinatory cards. Thirties era artwork is uncommon, but tastefully refreshing.

Forecasting Oracles

Wednesday - Cards of Time Cards of Time
Why: Solves the problem of event timing, by being a deck dedicated purely to answering timing questions. Can use as a supplement to other decks.

34 Door to Personal Healing and Happiness - Energy Oracle Cards Energy Oracle Cards
Why: Balanced system that utilizes Spreads and reversals. Includes Chakra and Angel cards. Lush digital artwork appeases persons demanding beautiful pictures.

4 - The Golden Moth Illumination Deck Golden Moth Illumination Deck, The
Why: Gives your subconcious a method to form its own wordless story. I intuitively re-interperet the images on these miniature cards on a session-by-session basis.

The Spirit - Madame Endora's Fortune Cards Madame Endora's Fortune Cards
Why: Endora is a unique five suite Cartomancy system, with an 8 card "Royal Court", 10 card "Realm of Fable", 10 card "Bestiary", 12 card "Treasury", and 8 card "Elements".

13 Jellyfish - Saltwater Reading Cards Saltwater Reading Cards
Why: Aboriginal influenced artwork with a summertime feel. Utilizes small Spreads. Naturalistic keyword reflections, from a place encompassing most of the world.

23 Forgiveness - Shamanic Healing Oracle Cards Shamanic Healing Oracle Cards
Why: Primitive-art chalk drawings done in a Shamanistic manner. A pragmatic, yet gentle, therapeutic keyword deck that utilizes Spreads.

11 Hidden Forces - The Wolf Pack Tarot Deck Wolf Pack Tarot Deck, The - (original artwork version)
Why: Classic pronouncement oracle. Read using forthright Tarot Spreads. Monochrome wolf themed sketches are drawn in a landscape orientation.

13 The Black Cat - Wychwood Oracle Fortune Cards Wychwood Oracle Fortune Cards
Why: Fun deck that utilizes Spreads and reversals. Woodblock print styled monochrome images and monospaced font, give the deck a spooky colonial America era feel.

Affirmational Oracles

Dadirri - Aboriginal Dreamtime Oracle Aboriginal Dreamtime Oracle
Why: Targeted parables. Useful when someone wants "a reading", but doesn't have any particular question in mind they want answered. Single-card draw, then read the parable.

Trader - Angels and Ancestors Oracle Cards Angels and Ancestors Oracle Cards
Why: Balanced advisory system that can utilize Spreads. Proffers actions that can be undertaken, rather than just passively revealing insights.

43 Poison - The Maine Oracle Maine Oracle, The
Why: Small fine art drawings with a Maine theme. Draw one card. A poem identifies the image, then suggests how it relates to your situation.

Full Moon in Gemini - Moonology Oracle Cards Moonology Oracle Cards
Why: Useful as a single-card "influences" draw. Cites Horary lunar occurrences to paraphrase the current imposing environmental energies.

No Trips Without a Tripper - Morgan's Tarot Morgan's Tarot
Why: Reprint of the very first Oracle deck. Monochrome cartoonish drawings, with a thought-provoking California Hippie vibe. An ideal deck to bring to your next love-in.

Ascending the Mountain - Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards
Why: Storybook style pastel imagery. Travel Guide-like advice for your current journey. Family friendly, and can utilize Spreads.

Inspirational Oracles

Self-Esteem - The Soul's Journey Lesson Cards The Soul's Journey Lesson Cards
Why: Single-card draw for an upbeat inspirational saying, reflecting upon a life lesson keyword. Illustrated with colorful Mandelas.

Angelic Oracles

Raccoon - Children's Spirit Animal Cards Children's Spirit Animal Cards
Why: Useful as a single-card "parental advice" draw. Imparts an admonition at your subconscious disquiet, from the supposed medium of pragmatic Animal Guides.

Diana - Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards
Why: Useful as a single-card "consolation" draw, especially after a troubling read. Assuages your subconscious distress, from the supposed medium of caring Spirit Guides.

Humpback Whale - Messages From Your Animal Spirit Guides Oracle Cards Messages From Your Animal Spirit Guides Oracle Cards
Why: Useful as a single-card "considerations" draw. Offers an insight for resolving your subconscious bewilderment, from the supposed medium of wise Animal Guides.

Listed here are card decks and other tools I use in conjunction with my normal cartomancy decks. Tools describe auxiliaries that can improve the cartomancy experience. Adaptations are other divination systems that have been reforged as cards.

= Adaptations =

Maybe - Alternate Realities Lenormand Bonus Cards Alternate Realities Lenormand Bonus Cards
Why: A re-imagining of Lot drawing as Cartomancy. Gives an equivalent Yes, or Maybe, or No result.

Salvador Dali - Art Oracles Art Oracles
Why: A re-imagining of Fortune Cookie aphorisms as Cartomancy. Advice on life, work, and inspiration, in the idiom of a famous artist.

3|2 - Double Nine Domino Playing Cards Double Nine Domino Playing Cards
Why: A re-imagining of Domino tile fortune telling as Cartomancy. Deck subsets are read the same way as Dominos (and Dice casting), and give identical results.

6 of Bamboo - Fortune Teller's Mah Jongg Fortune Teller's Mah Jongg
Why: A re-imagining of Mahjong tile fortune telling as helpfully illustrated Cartomancy. The cards are read the same way as the tiles, and give identical results.

Conjunctio - The Geomancy Deck Geomancy Deck, The
Why: A re-imagining of the Geomancy fortune telling system as Cartomancy. Draw one card for each "Mother", then compute as normal. Produces identical results.

1 Fehu - Rune Cards with Key Words Rune Cards with Key Words
Why: A re-imagining of Rune casting as Cartomancy. Cards display numbered Elder Futhark rune with its name and phoneme, plus upright and reversed keywords.
- Note that this is an Expanded deck with an additional divinatory card (blank rune).

51 Zhen - Tao Oracle Tao Oracle
Why: A re-imagining of I Ching casting as Cartomancy. Note "here" card, shuffle back-in, then draw "there" card. Study any changed "here" lines for insight into the journey.

Leg - Tea Leaf Fortune Cards Tea Leaf Fortune Cards
Why: A re-imagining of the Tea Leaf fortune telling system as Cartomancy. This different technique gives equivalent results, without the mess.

= Tools =

When working with cards it is smart to have your table covered with a clean cloth, so the cards don't become soiled or skitter away. For best results, any colors and designs on the cloth should not distract from, or meld with, your card images. Any nonslippery cloth will do, but you can also purchase special Tarot Mats.

New cards that want to stick together will normally stop doing so on their own after continued handling. If you desire to accelerate the process, or if you cards later become sticky due to wear or contaminants, you could rub your cards with magicians "fanning powder" to make them slick.

Scorpio - Astrological Oracle Cards Astrological Oracle Cards
Why: I often conscript one of these cards when I need to select a personifying "significator" card, so that I don't siphon away a card from the working deck.

Not cards Dynamic Spreads Deck Dynamic Spreads Deck
Why: A practice tool that teaches how to use divination cards more effectively.

Not cards Illustrated Tarot Spreads Illustrated Tarot Spreads
Why: A Spread tutorial exampling many types of focused Tarot Spreads.

Nine of Cups - Mellor Keyword Tarot Mellor Keyword Tarot
Why: Study Tarot of friendly, contemporary drawings with keywords. Has an enlarged Court. Deck explores reversals, and how an entrenched card system can evolve.
- Note that this is a greatly Expanded deck with additional significator and divinatory cards.

18 Moon - The Psychic Tarot for the Heart Psychic Tarot for the Heart, The
Why: Study Oracle paralleling the Tarot. Chakra theming. Explores optimistic responses to happenings revealed in counterpart Tarot cards.

28 - Wonderful Zodiac Fortune Telling Cards Wonderful Zodiac Fortune Telling Cards
Why: Kookie pronouncement cards for icebreaking. Deck gets party guests laughing, by letting them pretend that they are sideshow mystics.


Always remember that cards are just visualization aids, and that card systems are only suggestions. Forecasting is a personal dialog with the subconscious, so while standard methodology is a useful fallback, ultimately it is up to each individual card reader to determine how cards are used and what they mean.