Solving Problems with Playing Cards

I’ve helped many clients with their problems using this simple method of solving problems with playing cards, called a Solution Reading. You don’t have to be a psychic to do this. All you need is a basic understanding of the way the symbols of an ordinary pack of playing cards are interpreted, the ability to listen to your client, a little bit of common sense, and a measure of faith that the cards will yield the appropriate answers.

I’m going to use a reading that I recently did for my friend George as an example. George is a great guy whom I’ve known for years, but he’s on the lower end of the economic scale and lives in a rundown house in a bad neighborhood. Although he’s not bad looking, he’s never been married and his experience with women is limited. Recently he called me up to tell me that he had his eye on a female co-worker but couldn’t get up the nerve to approach her. “I want to ask her out for coffee or something,” he said, “but I’m just so out of practice. I don’t know what to do.” He asked if I could do a free solution reading for him, and I was happy to oblige. Geographical distance was no problem, since I generally do these kinds of readings over the phone.

The first thing I do is to question the client about the nature of his or her problem or question. I make sure that I have a good understanding of their situation before I proceed any further. Then I sit down at a table, shuffle the cards, and cut the deck once. I then proceed to lay down nine cards, stopping to explain each one thoroughly before moving on. The pattern to the layout I use looks like this:

I begin by dealing the top card face up and place it in the center of the table. This is the Problem or Question Card. I then explain to the client the basic meaning of the card. If we agree that it fits their problem or question, I continue with the reading. If not, I put the card back in the deck and shuffle again. Occasionally, I’ve had to re-shuffle one or two times, but in most cases the card that appears on the first shuffle turns out to be the right one.

On this occasion, the Problem or Question card that came up was the Jack of Hearts. “The Jack of Hearts generally represents a young man who is immature or irresponsible when it comes to love and relationships,” I explained to George. “Although you’re not a young man, since you’ve had little experience with love or relationships, I think the card is a good fit. The Jack of Hearts is one of only two one-eyed Jacks in the deck. The single eye indicates a certain deficit in terms of self-awareness, and you have to admit that this fits you when it comes to love and relationships.” George agreed that the card fit his dilemma, so I proceeded with the reading.

I turned over the second card, which was the Seven of Clubs. “This is the Mercury Card,” I said. “It simply represents what’s going on in your mind, what you’re currently thinking about or are preoccupied with. The Seven of Clubs generally represents the importance of making right choices. In this case it reflects the fact that you’re acutely concerned with whether you should approach this person or not, and if so, how to go about it. It shows that you’re worried and anxious about making a mistake and ruining your chances. ” George agreed that this was an accurate reflection of his current thinking.

I turned over the third card, which was the King of Spades. “This is the Venus Card,” I told him. “It represents your current feelings. The King of Spades is the highest, most powerful card in the deck. In the Venus position, it indicates that your feelings are very strong at the moment. You feel the urge to act now, to act precipitously, possibly rashly, and without thinking things through completely. Is that an accurate reflection of the way you’re feeling?” George agreed that it was.

I turned over the fourth card, which was the Ten of Diamonds. “This is the Mars Card,” I said. “It’s usually the most important card because it indicates what action you need to take in the situation, and that’s normally what people want to know when they request a reading of this type. The Ten of Diamonds is a card of prosperity and abundance. The Diamonds suit has to do with money and values, while the Tens generally often represent large amounts or involvement with large groups of people. I think the card is saying is that you have to do something that involves more of an investment on your part that just paying for a cup of coffee. You’ll also have more success if you invite her somewhere where are other people around.

“Come up with some kind of event to invite her to,” I added. “Look in the papers or on the Internet and find something that’s going on in the city. Invite her to a rock concert or a hockey game. It has to be something that requires you to make a little extra effort, to shell out some money for a ticket, or even dress up a bit. If there are plenty of people around and some kind of show or entertainment, it’s also going to be a lot easier for you to break the ice. It won’t just be you and her sitting at a tiny table, looking at each other in awkward silence.” George was clearly encouraged as I gave him this advice. “Those are really good ideas,” he said.

I turned over the fifth card, which was the Jack of Spades. “This is the Jupiter Card,” I told him. “It represents your blessing, your ace in the hole, something that can be of help to you in your quest. The Jack of Spades is the most deceptive card in the deck, but in the Jupiter position this has to be seen an asset. I think what it means is simply that you need to do some undercover advance work before you actually ask her out. Find out what she likes before you choose an event to invite her to. Learn what kind of music she likes, or what kind of sports. You may have to be a bit sneaky about it, but it’ll pay off.”

This brought us to the sixth card. I turned it over and it was the Six of Hearts. “This is the Saturn Card,” I explained to George. “It’s usually read in conjunction with the Mars Card. Just as the Mars Card represents action that needs to be taken, the Saturn Card indicates action to be avoided—in other words, what not to do. Sixes are generally static cards, so the Six of Hearts represents not acting on your feelings. In the Saturn position, it’s saying the opposite: not acting on your feelings is what you should not do; acting on your feelings is what you should do.”

I now turned over the seventh card, which was the Two of Diamonds. “This is the Uranus Card,” I told George. “It signifies additional help that you can get in this situation. Diamonds represent values and Twos represent partnership or cooperation, so the Two of Diamonds in this position simply means that you’ll be helped by finding out what values and interests you share with this person.”

I turned over the eighth card, which was the Five of Hearts. “This is the Neptune Card,” I said. “It represents your deepest wish in the situation. Fives represent change, so in the context of your problem or question it reflects the fact that you’re trying to change a deeply ingrained emotional pattern that has resulted in your leading such an isolated life for so long.”

This brought us to the final card, which is always taken not from the top, but from the bottom of the deck. I turned it over and it was the Queen of Clubs. “The ninth card is called the Result Card,” I said. “It represents the outcome to be expected once you’ve worked through all the issues represented by the reading so far. A Queen represents a female person, so in this case the fact that a Queen came up is very positive that the end result will be some kind of contact or relationship with a woman. Whether this will be merely a friendship or brief encounter, or something more intimate or enduring isn’t indicated.”

“The fact that the card that turned up is a Queen of Clubs will be even more significant if it turns out that this woman you have your eye on has a Club as her Birth Card,” I added. “The only way you can find that out is to ask her when her birthday is. That’s another piece of information that you may have to use some sneaky tactics to acquire. Some people don’t like to answer a direct question like that. You have to be ready with some reason that justifies your asking. Tell her you like to send people birthday greetings, or anything else that sounds plausible.”

The final layout for this reading looked like this:

Like virtually all my clients, George responded positively to the reading and was very grateful to me for having done it. I really hadn’t given him anything more than a commonsense solution to his problem, but if he had asked for my advice out of the blue, I doubt that I would have come up with anything as specific and practical as what the reading helped me convey to him. A Solution Reading is really just a catalyst that brings to the surface what is present all along. It’s a time-saving form of counseling.

What my clients like about this method is that they find it very down-to-earth and practical. Instead of listening to a psychic give his or her impressions—which may or may not be correct—the client works together with the reader, giving needed background information, affirming that the reading is on the right track, and occasionally helping to interpret the cards if the reader gets stuck. Sometimes the reading merely reflects the current situation without offering a solution. That usually means that a solution isn’t yet at hand, and more time is needed before one can be sought. In George’s case, the solution was a simple one that he could take advantage of immediately.

I happened to call George up a couple of weeks later and asked him if he’d managed to ask his co-worker out. He hadn’t. But the fact that he had not managed to act on the advice given in the reading didn’t mean that it wasn’t valid. Not everyone who comes for advice will necessarily act on it, or they may simply have to go at their own pace before they can change their pattern of behavior.

If you’re interested in doing such readings yourself, the only thing you really need to learn is the symbolic vocabulary of the cards, which consists of the four Suits, the thirteen Face Values. The Suits are quite simple:

  • Hearts represent love, feeling, and emotions
  • Clubs represent the thoughts and communication
  • Diamonds represent money, finances, and values
  • Spades represent work, health, and wisdom

The face values of the cards correspond to the numbers 1 through 13, with the Ace equal to 1 and the Jack, Queen, and King equal to 11, 12, and 13. It can help to think of each face value as contrasting with, reacting to, or evolving from the preceding face value, as follows:

(1) Aces represent individuality and independence

(2) Twos are about partnership and cooperation

(3) Threes symbolize birth (the result of the union of two) and creativity. They’re also indecisive, which is a reaction to the duality of the Twos, i.e. the inability to make up one’s mind between two equal choices.

(6) Fours embody stability, in contrast to the indecisiveness and instability of the Threes

(5) Fives represent movement and change in reaction to the stability of the Fours

(6) Sixes are about balance and responsibility after the restlessness and change of the Fives. They tend to be static cards and often represent karmic situations

(7) Sevens represent obstacles and challenges to the balance of the Sixes, as well as the faith and spiritual perspective gained from facing these challenges

(8) Eights have to do with power, channeling the spiritual energy of the Sevens for practical purpose

(9) Nines represent withdrawal and detachment from the power of the Eights

(10) Tens symbolize abundance and achievement after the withdrawal and detachment of the Nines.

(11-13) The Court Cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) represent various stages in the final ascent to mastery. The Jacks represent creative yet immature mastery, the Queens feminine, intuitive mastery, and the Kings masculine authority.

Of course, these are merely thumbnail descriptions. It takes a bit of time and practice to be able to extrapolate more complex meanings and interpretations from the cards. For instance, I told George that the Seven of Clubs was about making right choices. In the above thumbnail descriptions I mentioned that Clubs represent the thought processes and that Sevens have to do with spiritual perspective.

It may not be immediately apparent that the way that people approach finding a spiritual perspective through the thought processes is by trying to make right choices, but gradually such insights into the meanings of the individual cards will come to you if you start to practice. There are also a number of books on the science of the cards that give expanded interpretations of the individual cards. While I don’t recommend that they be slavishly followed, they can give you ideas that will help you arrive at your own interpretations. Among these books is one of my own, Card Chemistry; The Secret Science of Relationships, available online at