The Suit of Spades in Cartomancy

The Divine Mr. R. By The Divine Mr. R., 6th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Divination>Cartomancy

Just a brief explanation of the (more or less) traditional meanings of the suit of Spades when using playing cards to do fortune-telling/divination/readings.


The suit of spades, when reading playing cards, has kind of a rough reputation. This is usually justified, as there is very little kindness in a suit that is a group of small, black swords (spade comes from the Italian “spade” meaning “sword.) It usually represents conflict, and not the useful kind that brings to mind the phrase “as you sow, so shall you reap.” It’s usually falling-outs, fighting, and flat-out disasters, nonsense that makes the good parts of life all the sweeter. No, the sort of conflict it brings involves stuff that pits you against people or conditions, which isn’t entirely a bad thing if you believe in strength through adversity.
Like I happen to.
Anyway, the following meanings are based on the traditional “English” method/system for playing card divination. I’ve included my own bits and pieces from teachers, readings, and experienced gained from giving readings of my own. Just remember this when a Spade crops up; Never take it as a sign of defeat. With enough work, any obstacle can be beaten. I try to indicate that in the meanings.

Now, let’s get started!

The Meanings

King of Spades: This card traditionally means a “dark man.” Now, this can realistically mean a man who just has dark hair, to a man who is of a generally evil disposition. The man represented by the King of Spades is almost always ambitious, successful, or both in the higher walks of life. This man also tends toward cruelty, through malice or callousness. On a more general level, this can also denote the darker thoughts of an individual (a cruel, ambitious bastard is still a cruel, ambitious bastard.) He is an adversary to be avoided or, if unavoidable, to be faced down with friends.

Queen of Spades: Traditionally a widow, though it can denote any dark woman (as the King of Spades) who tends toward a nature which is both malicious or without scruple. Either way, this is almost always a rival to the one receiving the reading, and this individual tends to be fond of destroying reputations or behaving in a malevolently petty fashion. This Queen is prone toward scandal (engaging in and destroying others with it,) and is rather open to bribery. Best to avoid, if possible.

Jack of Spades: The Jack is not actually a bad guy, and usually has your best interests at heart. However, he tends to be a bit lazy for his good intentions to be of any real use. You can maintain friendship with this soul, if you wish, but it’s best not to give him anything terribly important to do. Sadly, he will let you down almost one hundred percent of the time.

Ten of Spades: A nasty card, and usually denotes some form of grief, maybe even imprisonment. It usually means something will be brought to a definite end in the sense that it has been ruined utterly. Think of it like shutting the door and having the house drop down around your ears. The only bright side is that the storm’s over and you can pick up the pieces. The downside is that this can be a context-dependent card, meaning that it affects the cards around it. If there are good-signifying cards nearby, this card detracts from it significantly. Ever heard of lead to gold? This can be gold to lead. But at least you can start over, right?

Nine of Spades: A rather rough card, this one. It traditionally means sickness and lost, all manner of trouble and endless family discussion (the bad sort.) If this is drawn, it’s a bad illness, the bank lost your cash (or you did,) and your good luck just went south for the winter. The only bright side to this card is that you know about it, and can take measures to prepare or avert the coming storm.

Eight of Spades: A general warning to proceed with caution, as something is likely to go all funny real soon. The closer this is to you (the card representing you,) the worse it’s going to be. If this crops up, rethink your plans, make sure to keep sharp, and watch those close to you. It may also denote friends that are opposing you, whether on purpose or due to sheer ignorance. Either way, you’ll need to be clever.

Seven of Spades: You’re likely to lose a friend, whether through death, a move, or blind chance. Regardless of the how, this is most likely going to cause you a great deal of distress.

Six of Spades: A good card, for those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and go after what they want! This card usually means that you will have what you’re after, but you’ll have to work hard to get it. Industriousness pays off… Eventually.

Five of Spades: Another context-sensitive card (honestly, they all are.) This card traditionally means that the inquirer has a bad temper with a tendency to meddle that could really stand some correcting. Alternately, it can indicate in love or marriage-centric spreads that there is genuine happiness to be found in the chosen husband or wife.

Four of Spades: Typically, this card indicates sickness when drawn. However, it can also denote a need to keep an eye on one’s business affairs.

Three of Spades: This is another card with many meanings, dependent on the position in the reading. It can either mean a marriage that will be disturbed by cheating (and if you draw a face card, that’s probably the home-wrecker.) Or it can mean that someone will be going on a trip very soon. Honestly, if you’re pulling for the first meaning, then the second probably applies in equal measure.

Two of Spades: A card that has no really good meaning to it. Either something or someone will be removed from the equation in a less-than-pleasant fashion, or, someone will probably die. Technically, this is also a removal, and even less agreeable than the previous mention.

Ace of Spades: This card traditionally indicates trouble, and by that it is implied to be Trouble. Capital “T” is necessary. Whether through unfortunate accident (or incident,) bad guesswork, misdiagnosis, or just really poorly-chosen friends – we all know someone – things are likely to go south and fast. Usually, this card should be taken as a sign that a person should salvage what they can and cut their losses.


Cartomancy, Divination, Divination With Playing Cards, Fortune-Telling With Cards, Spades

Meet the author

author avatar The Divine Mr. R.
The Divine Mr. R. is an intuitive reader, writer, and Urban Shaman from the Ohio Valley. He will be writing about divination, the paranormal, and chiming in with advice.

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author avatar Kingwell
6th Jun 2015 (#)

Interesting! I've always thought of the Ace of Spades as the 'death' card. Blessings.

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author avatar The Divine Mr. R.
7th Jun 2015 (#)

It can mean a lot of things, really. All cards are really quite sensitive to context.


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