Cartomancy is a divination tool that can be used to give psychic readings using a regular deck of playing cards.
The history of card reading is quite fascinating. Egypt is credited with the origin of the cards and until the 15th century they were available only to political leaders. The church began using them for spiritual guidance during the Middle Ages. At that time, readings were used to gather prophecies for political and religious leaders only. By the 17th century, all citizens were permitted to use the cards.
People began using them in games and soon there was an association with gambling. The Chinese discovered they could keep their culture alive and designed decks hiding ancient truths in the artistry for future generations to preserve their history. Gypsies kept use of the cards alive but weren't viewed with integrity by the general public so card reading developed a darker reputation. Even psychologists, like Carl Jung, felt the cards held keys to the past and future and could give insights into the psyche. There have been many uses for the cards throughout history.
To start reading playing cards, you need a virgin deck. This is a new pack of cards with an unbroken seal which have never been used in playing games. Regular playing cards are very similar to tarot. The main difference is that there are 52 cards in a regular deck while the tarot has 78 cards. Each card in a deck has its own meaning and as you lay the cards out in a spread they create a story.
The ritual of breaking the seal and seasoning the cards is symbolic of man. The seal and outer package represent the conscious and the cards themselves the subconscious. Once the seal is broken, you can find a great reward within just as the presence of God is said to be within man. You have to break the seal to get to the power within. Mentally, you should concentrate on the laws of attraction and the cycle of actions and consequences or reactions as you are opening the deck.
Seasoning the cards merely means to fill them with your own energy so that you will be connected and the cards will speak to you. Shuffling cards and spending time looking over their art will give you an opportunity to develop your own meanings for each card.
Once the deck is prepared, you are ready to begin reading for others. Your client should sit opposite you in a setting with a spiritual overtone. Dimmed lighting, candles, soft music and incense can be added to your environment to create the appropriate mood.
You will hand the deck to your client. After explaining the process, have them shuffle he cards. The client should never cut the deck. Cutting the deck should only be done by the reader and is used as a method to clear the last reading from the cards.
There are different layouts that can be used to read the cards but the easiest is to just have the client pick out twelve cards from their shuffled deck. The cards will build a story and tell you as the reader what question is on the mind of your client.
There are four suits in a regular deck and each suit contains ten numbered cards and court cards (Jack, Queen, and King). The court cards can be used in several different ways and can represent people, thoughts or ideas.
There are several books available if you need help interpreting the individual card meanings. I believe the best way to interpret is to develop your own relationship with the deck. Write down what each symbol on a card represents to you. While you could use the definitions of the symbol in an author's book, you should remember that an object can mean different things to different people.