MY STORY WITH THE PLAYING CARDS:
My journey with the playing cards began at the age of five. My Dad owned casino dice and kept a set in his room. I would play with it for hours by myself. Whenever I could, I would mix the dice and contemplate my throws. I knew that they were telling me something, but I could not comprehend what it could be. I did not yet understand the language, even though my intuition was telling me there was more to it than the eye could see. I know that it was meant for something. Years later, my parents would gift me playing cards and I would sit shuffling them and laying them out for hours, blissfully unaware that the layouts I was using may have very well meant something.
Fast forward a few years, I stumbled upon the lost journals of Prince Le Normand, a wonderful source which is now offline, but used to be located at Blogspot. I knew there was something special about the deck he was using because the illustrations were evocative. I couldn't read them intuitively because I was not at all familiar with the system, being a user of the tarot, but I knew the playing cards were once more trying to tell me something. There is something of value there... so I continued to read, absorbed in this brilliant system. He later shared photos of cards his father drafted calligraphy on, and it was quite a beauty! It inspired me to go out and make my own deck of playing cards with personalized drawings and typography.
I looked for the Playing Card Oracles deck he was using, but it was out of print and almost impossible to find. Some years later, I now own a PDF I purchased of the book, and also multiple copies of the 1st Vintage, 2nd Usgames, and 3rd Alchemy Edition of the Playing Card Oracles by Ana Cortez and C.J. Freeman.
The source book written by Ana Cortez turns anybody who commits to it into a skilled cartomancer with experience in geomancy. It is thorough in detail and offers an abundance of wealth. It will change your life. (It changed mine.)
She reveals the secrets and stories behind the suits; we are introduced to the courts by name and personal attributes. Research will delight you with discoveries of secrets that have long been hiding in plain sight. With complete meanings and spreads, it all comes together quite nicely. Once you are ready for something more advanced, you will learn the relevance of geomancy when reading with playing cards. You will learn about geomantic figures and casting charts based off the figures you generate. The cherry on top is a selection of essays written by C.J. Freeman to educate you in the history of playing cards, and some very enlightening discoveries he has made that he graciously shares with the world.
C.J. Freeman is her father, and the visionary that brought his dreams into reality. He illustrated the Alchemy Edition in larger than life oil paintings, and it was ironically painted before this edition was. From what she has told us, he just put the brush to the canvas, and was even surprised by the images that sprung into being. It seems like the second edition was painted first in order to make way for the second edition. Every week, Ana publishes some of the back stories behind his illustrations. I've got my fingers crossed for her to list the stories behind the cards I resonate the most with. It would make a great series for her to publish, telling us the story of how all 52 cards came to be!
This method of divination takes commitment and study at first, but has proven to be quite rewarding for me, once I "got it." If you listen to your intuiton, you will no doubt find it easy to assimilate. If you want to learn, set aside your experiences with tarot and lenormand, because it is an entirely unique system that holds off on its own. I find it refreshing after 13 years of tarot experience, flanked by a natural understanding of the lenormand. Quite frankly, I needed a change.
The system is finally starting to flow for me and I am now weaving it into my professional practice. It won't be long now before I seriously tackle geomantic figures and their interpretations. For learning, I got a mass market produced deck and I wrote the meanings on the cards. A cheat sheet of sorts, but it has really helped me get to know each card on a personal level and it means I don't need to pull up my PDF every five minutes. If you enjoy using the Playing Card Oracles, please get in touch... let's be friends! I want to be a part of this community, and will try by best to give this method of cartomancy exposure. It is a treasure that the cartomantic community must unearth!
I used this deck as I crafted entries for a contest I participated in for the Alice Tarot, and won! We had to get creative and post a photo of how we were getting acquainted with the tarot deck. You can view all of the entries here. For your convenience, I will post the entry here. I credited Ana Cortez and the Playing Card Oracles in the contest, and found that it spread curiosity in people who admired it.
Cards. Wonderful archetypes of life. We have in them a binary of red and black over white. Red for passion and love, black for repentance and fermentation. White for transcendence and pardon.
52 cards for 52 weeks in a lunar calendar year. 4 suits for 4 seasons in a year. 13 cards per suit, as 13 weeks in each season, and 13 lunar cycles in a year.
If we follow the lunar calendar, it is a perfect match.
Each card has an archetype it upholds, or as some would come to think, lives by. It gives them personality and purpose. All cards interact with one another, news travels fast. Lastly but most importantly, all cards bow down to their Queen.
Here we have three very naughty cards that have been caught red handed by the Queen, painting the roses red. She had specified that she wanted them to be red to begin with, and this turned out to be a very costly error. They tried to cover up their mistakes, but by then it was too late… they had already been spotted!
They can feel her sternly steely eyes as they burn holes into their backs. She is angry, and one of them will pay… if not all. But what are we to fear most? Her sharp eyes or her sharp tongue?
Word travels fast. She is quick to condemn, and at times not because of merit, but because she can. Her presence makes everybody quake.
Verdict? “Off with their heads!!!"
(Playing card calendar attributes credited to Ana Cortez, author of the Playing Card Oracles book!)
Follow Ana Cortez through her Instagram, Facebook and blog. She regales the Internet with her personal experiences in the enchanted world of her father's visions. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.