Tag Archives: cartomancy

A passel of cards

I’ve been trying to adapt of a segment of Robin Artisson’s Opening the Devil’s Eye, replacing the witch tools he sets around the compass to travel over with playing cards.  Fine in theory, but in practical application the cards blew around when I leapt over them.

Now, thanks to my beloved husband, I have a set of card tiles which should do the trick nicely:

I can’t wait to give them a try!

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Filed under To divine with cards

The Coven of Cards


There’s something quite extraordinary about an ordinary pack of playing cards. 

For a while now, I’ve been working an adaptation of the Coven of Cards which was set forth on Dawn Jackson’s site, hedgewytchery.com. The site is currently down, but you can find archives of it here.   I’ve gotten very good results with it, and as an added bonus, a surprising strengthening of the current between me and the cards.  Where before the cards were responsive, now they seem to work in concert with me.

Here’s my adaptation of this piece of Work.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

I establish a space that can remain up for at least a lunar month, and dress it with a red cloth upon which I place a votive candle on the South side, a small incense dish on the East side, and a dish of water with a sprig of rue on the West side.  I remove all the courts from a deck of playing cards, and lay them out on the cloth in a ring, in the following order:

1 – K ♠, The Magister, in the North

2 – Q , The May Queen, in the South

3 – K ♣, The Harvest King, in the West

4 – Q , The Seeress, in the East

5 – K , the Devouring Sun, in the Southwest

6 – Q ♠, Dame Fate, in the Northeast

7 – K, the Red Lord, in the Southeast

8 – Q ♣, The Reaping Wife, in the Northwest

9 – J , The Dancer, between Dame Fate and The Seeress

10 – J ♠, The Man in Black, between The Devouring Sun and The Harvest King

11 – J , The Merry Men, between The Red Lord and The May Queen

12 – J ♣, The Kern Baby, between The Reaping Wife and the Magister

Then, I choose three cards to represent what I Will to Be, and set them under the Joker, in the center.  Doing this represents the mastery of witchcraft over circumstance.

I light the candle in its holder and the incense in its dish.  I take three pinches of salt, cast them into the dish of water, and proceed to conjure a small circle around the coven of cards with my right hand, asperging the circle with the sprig of rue and censing it with the incense.  After the circle is made, I sprinkle and cense each of the Coven cards.

Then I take up the Joker and the cards beneath it and lay all but the Joker out in a line in the center, naming each of the three cards as I set it down.    I point to each of the three cards with my right forefinger, touching the card as I state my intention. 

So if I were working to conceive a baby, it might be:  (lay card down) “2 of Hearts,” (lay card down) “9 of Hearts,” (lay card down) “3 of Hearts, it is my Will that”  (touch 2 of Hearts) “my husband and I” (touch 9 of Hearts) “have our wish” (touch 3 of Hearts) “to conceive a healthy baby.  And,” (scoop up the cards with the 2 of Hearts at the bottom, then the 9 of Hearts, then the 3 of Hearts and Joker on top of all) “by the power of witchery” (kiss the Joker) “it is mine, here and now.”  (Knock three times with my knuckles of my right hand  to the north of my stack) “So mote it be.”

Then I set the stack of cards in the center of the circle, set my Athame in the North, pointing at the stack of cards, and leave the assembly to keep going on its own. 

Knocking three times draws the attention of the spirits I work with, so that They take note of what I’m saying and do Their part.  The Athame pointing to the stack reinforces my will working on the intention in the stack of cards.

The Coven of Cards will continue to work on the spell, keeping a current of energy going just like a battery, with the red and black acting as positive and negative poles.

I restate the spell every morning when I first wake, and every evening right before I retire.  I don’t repeat the circle casting, or the censing and asperging again, but in the mornings I do light a candle and some incense.  I leave the spell going until I see definite results or until a lunar cycle has completed, whichever comes first.

I keep a couple of decks of playing cards set aside for this kind of work.  One deck to take the Coven from, and a second deck because I often need a court card to represent the person I’m working for.

When I dismantle the spell, I put the three cards back in the deck they came from, then give offerings and thanks to the Coven of Cards before dispersing them back in their deck.

A picture being worth a thousand words, I’ll post one as soon as I’m able.

©2009 Trothwy


Filed under Crooks and Straights, To divine with cards

Oh Shit, This is Real.

This morning, I laid the cards in my favorite spread to answer a pressing question I had about Our Little Group.  Our Merry Band.  Our coven.  It’s a spread of only seven cards, which is really called The Horns, but which I think of as The Stang.

What a well-packed seven cards!  Very specific.  The King of Hearts, the King of Spades and the 8 of Spades all showed up.  In the Old Craft, these represent the Red Lord or witch bloodline, the Horned Man/Magister and the Coven.

You’d think after all these years I’d be used to how responsive the Powers That Be are. 

But still it gives me goosebumps.

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Filed under Crooks and Straights, To divine with cards