Cartomancy Seven Pack Layout; Tarot reading with playing cards

Cartomancy Seven Pack Layout; Tarot reading with playing cards

Cartomancy is the art of divination done with a normal deck of playing cards. The most common form of reading in Cartomancy is the Seven Packs or Seven Triplets layout. Learn how this spread is managed and what it says about the future for clients.

Roots of Cartomancy in Tarot

Just as Tarot reading predates Cartomancy, the Tarot deck, with its ornate major arcana and beautiful illustrations, appeared long before the ordinary deck of playing cards. Tarot decks are usually lovingly crafted by hand, the work of a skilled artist. Playing cards were crude and simple, designed for general use and to be mass-produced so that everyone had them. After the major arcana were thrown out and the court cards reduced from four suits to three, playing cards were simply produced and became a common household pastime. But people still wanted the ability to guess and divine with these new cards. Readers developed a system based on the colors derived from their Tarot readings. These traditions were passed down orally until the first printers collected them and printed simple charts of meanings to sell with their new decks.

The layout of the seven packages

This spread, also known as a seven-of-three layout, is dealt as follows. First, a client card is selected for the reading object; a king or queen card and placed in the center in front of the reader. The remaining cards, minus the jokers, are then shuffled and cut by the client. The first (21) cards are then dealt in a fan shape making seven hands or piles of three cards each. Hands are dealt one card at a time from left to right, with three hands to the left of the client’s card, one hand just above the card, and the final three hands spread to the right of the client’s card. Each pile of three cards is then turned over and viewed as a group from left to right. The three groups of cards are considered both individually and in combinations with each other to determine the reading for that particular stack.

Package items and their meaning

Each of the seven hands or bundles speaks to a specific aspect of the clients reading. They are read from left to right facing the customer card, exactly as they were dealt. The first package describes the client’s personality and state of mind. These cards must be interpreted in terms of the current influences that are shaping the general thoughts of the clients. The second package gives us information about the client’s family and home life, or lack thereof. This describes the impact on the people around the client and how they interact with them. The third hand refers to the current wants and aspirations of customers; it tells us what their immediate goals are. The fourth hand, dealt immediately above the client’s card, predicts the client’s hopes and expectations. It tells us what they want and what they believe will happen. The fifth hand, just to the right of center, represents the unexpected in the client reading. It can be people, events, money or problems. The only certainty is that this deck describes things not sought by the client. The sixth hand predicts the near future of clients. This deck will predict events that will happen in a few days; certainly in the next month or so. The seventh and final deck predicts the clients more distant future. This trio will reveal something that will happen in the next year or so. It often foretells some resolution to the unexpected factors predicted in deck five.


Cartomancy allows us to take a common deck of playing cards and make fortunes for our friends and ourselves. It is easy to learn and can be done almost anywhere with excellent results.

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