Fortune telling: history and meaning – Happiness and health


Cartomancy is an art, the art of finding answers within cards. This art requires having a gift and having a very open mind, you have to know how to read what the cards say.

Cartomancy is part of the divinatory arts, and is still widely used today.

History of fortune telling

La fortune telling is an art related to clairvoyance. It is very difficult to locate the beginning of this art, within the history, because it was already used at some ancient peoples, in other forms.

Card reading began in the East, where cartomancy was as much a game as it was an art. It then migrated to the West, when the Gypsies, who used fortune-telling, came to Western Europe.

Thus, it is quite possible that the famous Tarot which we use today for fortune telling comes from the Gypsies, but also from the Indians, two very spiritual peoples.

Cartomancy is, in fact, a very spiritual art, which requires a great openness of mind, and a great openness to oneself.

We can find on this site an explanation for the appearance of cartomancy.

The most famous cards in the art of fortune telling are the Tarots, with their very specific symbols:

  • The sword,
  • The stick,
  • The cup,
  • The denarius.

For a very long time, these symbols adorning the cards were these, before being replaced by those we know today:

  • Heart,
  • Clover,
  • Pique,
  • Tile.

Originally, cartomancy was based on these symbols, which had a very specific meaning.

Fortune telling: history and meaning – Happiness and health

Today, it is possible to find many very different Tarot models, which are no longer based solely on these symbols. But the Tarot, which still retains the same symbolism today, is, of course, the famous Tarot of Marseilles.

This Tarot has, not only, the symbols of the cards (hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades), but also the following, very well known and visible on all cards: Ace, King, Queen, Jack …


This sequel also has its meaning in cartomancy.

If it is complicated to define where, exactly, begins the history of fortune telling, this is not the case for clairvoyance. However, it is this art that is inspired by fortune-telling.

Formerly, the runes were more used, the symbols on the stones being easier to find, except for the Egyptians, who used the parchment for this art.


It was only afterwards, and thanks to the Gypsies, that the cards began to spread, albeit with different symbols.

By cartomancy we mean the art of reading cards, which does not only include Tarots. Oracles – like the well-known Oracle of Bellina – also hold a very important place in fortune telling.

It is nevertheless the Tarot reading that we remember the most.


Fortune telling: history and meaning – Happiness and health

Meaning of cartomancy

Cartomancy is the art of knowing draw and read cards. For this, we must understand the meaning of symbols.

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You should know that the Denarii, the Sticks, the Cups and the Swords are the first symbols of our Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades.

The deniers are the Clovers of today.

The Cups became the Hearts.

The sticks are today the Tiles.

The Swords, finally, are the Spades.

It is complicated to explain the meaning of these four symbols, because, depending on time, but also place, it varies.

Therefore, some assume that they are representative of the seasons, others that they are symbols of social classes. It is therefore easier to understand the meaning of the cards as a whole (emblem and figure).

Today, moreover, it is in this way that we read the cards: according to the name of Tarot cards, which remains the most famous divinatory card game.


The Tarot is made up of twenty-two major arcana, for fifty-six minor arcana. Some fortune-tellers only use the major arcana, which are the most important of the Tarot.

Although there are many different Tarots today, the arcana remains the same, although illustrated differently. Many themes are now used for Tarots, so that everyone can find the one that suits them.

The major arcana are:

  • Le Bateleur,
  • The High Priestess,
  • The Empress,
  • The emperor,
  • Pope,
  • The lover,
  • The Chariot (or Chariot),
  • Justice,
  • The Hermit,
  • The Wheel of Fortune,
  • Strength,
  • The hanged man,
  • The death,
  • Temperence,
  • The devil,
  • The house of God
  • The star,
  • The moon,
  • The sun,
  • The jugement,
  • Le Monde,
  • The Mast.

So we have a meaning for each arcane.

The mast represents an action to be taken, a goal not yet reached.

Le Monde is the most powerful card of the Tarot, whatever it is, because it represents the accomplishment, a goal achieved. It is success.

The jugement is the map of positive change, which implies that we are moving in the right direction.

Le Soleil is the symbol of joy, it is a very positive card.

The moon is the card symbolizing sensitivity, reverie. It represents a present from which we do not want to escape and is very nostalgic.

L’Etoile is the card of hope.

The house of God is also called the Tower in some games, and often looks quite scary in its illustration. It announces an upheaval, a page that is turned: we are about to start something again.

It may sound very negative, but should be seen as a positive card, a beneficial change.

The devil is the card of excess, of abuse, of jealousy as well.

Temperence is the novelty card. It is present, it announces itself, despite the road that still remains to be covered.

The death is often mistaken for the most negative card in the game, which is a mistake. It is the card of renewal, rebirth, radical change. Whether this change is negative or positive.

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The hanged man is a map of the present moment. We are stuck there, not knowing how to move forward. It supposes a need for reflection.

La Force is the card of determination, a beneficial outcome is brewing.

The Wheel of Fortune involves changes to come, something new to be prepared for.

The Hermit symbolizes the need for reflection, you have to ask yourself and take a step back from the situation.

La justice demonstrates a need for truth, we need answers. It is also a card that involves future thinking.

The Char, or the Chariot according to the Tarots, symbolizes an almost total success, implying a last effort to be given.

The lover is a card of choice. We will have to make a decision and look at the situation with hindsight, in order to move forward cautiously.

Pope is the protective card. Very powerful, it presupposes an advice that will be benevolent.

The emperor is an active card, you have to act so as not to stay in the same place.

The Empress is a card of love, of intelligence, which means that we are in a phase of well-being.

The High Priestess symbolizes patience, a certain calm. Depending on the draw, it can be positive or negative.

The fool is a sign of curiosity, a new project is being set up. Something is emerging.

These meanings are, of course, general. Prints can reveal an answer depending on whether what one seeks to find: an answer in general, in love, or on the professional side.

This is the reason why, when we ask a fortune-teller for a drawing, we often have all the meanings, in order to have an answer corresponding to our need.

These representations of the major arcana of the Tarot are the same, regardless of the Tarot. The illustrations adapt to the style of the cards, to the theme to which they respond, but the meaning does not change.

If, in fortune telling, we often speak of the Tarot, it is because it is the main card game used for this art. Today, Tarots have become the favorite tools of fortune-tellers, who rarely use other cards.

Even if there are fortune-tellers who prefer to read Oracles, or who are able to read both styles of cards, the Tarot remains the primary tool.

Cartomancy represents the art of knowing how to find an answer in cards. For this, various draws are possible: a three-card draw, a cross draw, a square draw, a first name draw (as many cards as there are letters in the first name), a pyramid draw …

Depending on the draw, a different number of cards are used. According to the fortune-teller also: some choose to use all the cards, while others prefer to draw only the major arcana, which are the most important of the cards.

You should know that the meaning of the cards can vary according to the print, according to the – or the – card published before and after. This is how we get a unique reading, intended for a specific person.

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Fortune telling is very personal: the meaning of the cards will change depending on the person.

What does cartomancy represent?

Fortune telling: history and meaning – Happiness and health

Cartomancy represents a answer to a specific question or situation. It is possible to draw the cards on your own, but the drawing will be less effective, because we will not be objective.

Being objective during a draw is important. This is the only way to be able to read the cards and find the objective answer they provide. But, more than anything, the fortune-telling helps to understand each other better and, sometimes, to know each other.

When we ask for a draw, it is necessary to keep an open mind, and consider all the options. There is no such thing as a bad print, but there is a bad interpretation which is not necessarily due to the fortune-teller.

The fortune-teller explains the meaning of the cards in the draw, but we too will find a meaning within the explanation.

In other words, if we wish to see another meaning in the print, we will see it, but then it will be skewed by our refusal to see certain things. For this we need to think before and after the draw.

Fortune-telling can represent a chance to refocus on oneself, but also a questioning.

Cartomancy must be taken as a chance to get to know each other better. It is often difficult to see each other clearly, and maps can help us.

We need to think about the symbolism of the draw, and in To take advantage of thanks to the lesson he teaches us.

We often think of fortune telling is all about predicting the future, but card reading isn’t all about that. To see the future, we must also understand the past, but above all the present.

This is essentially the fundamental principle of cartomancy: to achieve understand the present to better manage the future.

Fortune-telling offers us more than an answer, it can give us self-confidence.

Believing in predicting the future is ultimately not so improbable. Because we build our future every day. The cards are therefore a help, a support that will promote the understanding that we have of ourselves, but also of our situation.

Thanks to them, we will be able to find the courage, the strength to build the future, our future.

Cartomancy is a answer that mixes our destiny and our will. It is up to us to know what we want to do with the response it brings us.

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