Fun with nonsense

You may recall, back in February I made a post about this particular type of nonsense, but I’ve expanded and combined the nonsense to make it more silly and more effective at the same time. So. I’m going to write about using regular playing cards for the purpose of gathering information about the future and other directly unknowable things. If you’re interested, read on. I’ve developed an interesting … game.

I’ll start by walking you through a round of the game. First, get a deck of regular playing cards, or, if you already have a “Wish” deck set up, you can use that. It’s possible, but more challenging, to do this with Tarot cards, so if you have a preferred deck of Tarot cards you would like to use, feel free. Do you have a deck of cards in hand? Good.

Now, I want you to go through the deck and sort it into two piles, one pile will have all the single-digit numbered cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) and the other will have the face cards, the tens, and the aces. (For a tarot deck, you’ll have the same numbered cards in one stack, and a lot more cards in the other, including all the major arcana.) We want just the numbered cards, and there should be exactly 32 of them. Count them to be sure that you have 32, and if you have too many or too few, go through and find the misplaced cards. Set aside all the other cards.

Now, before we move on to the next step, I need you to think of a wish, something you desire. In order for this to work, what you want, your desire, should end up phrased in the form beginning with “I wish…” (Think of the beginning of the movie Labyrinth, the Goblin King wouldn’t take the baby until Sarah used the same form of wish.) Your wish should be forward-looking, and your wish should be positive. First, that means you shouldn’t wish for something to have already happened, or for something to happen in the past, such as “I wish I were born [the opposite gender]” or “I wish [he/she] hadn’t left me.” Second, it means you shouldn’t wish for something NOT to happen, such as “I wish I’ll never die” or “I wish they won’t find out about my dark secret.” So. Forward-looking and positive. Got it? Good.

Equally important to those guidelines is this: You should only wish for something you genuinely wish for. If, in re-phrasing your wish or making your wish more specific, your wish becomes even slightly off from what you actually want, what you actually wish for, the results will be at least that much off. If what you really want is to have the time and concentration to write a novel, but what you wish for is to win the lottery, thinking that that would have the desired effect… well, even if if your wish came true, the resutlts wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about writing a novel, only about winning the lottery. Feel free to wish for improbable or impossible things, but expect the results to bear this out. Just be sure that what you’re wishing for is what you actually want.

Have you got your wish ready, and in mind? Good.

Now shuffle the 32-card deck you made at the beginning. As you do so, concentrate on your wish. You are trying to “shuffle your wish into the deck.” This could take a single cut of the cards, a couple of shuffles, dozens of shuffles, even spreading the cards out on the table and running them around with your hands and then back together – do whatever you think is best, and shuffle until you feel they are shuffled enough. For me, the cards will usually tell me they’re shuffled enough by “slipping” or missing shuffling together smoothly, and that is when I will stop shuffling and start dealing. Have you got your wish shuffled into the cards? Good.

Now you’re going to deal them out into eight stacks of four cards. As you deal them out, try to continue to concentrate on your wish, if you can. The order and pattern you do this in is precise and important. You will start in the upper-left corner, laying down a single face-down card at a time in four stacks, left to right, then begin a second row below the first one, laying down four more cards, left to right, fice-down on the table in front of you. The cards should be laid out like this (numbers indicating the order you laid them down in):

 ___   ___   ___   ___ 
|   | |   | |   | |   |
| 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 |
|   | |   | |   | |   |
 —   —   —   — 

 ___   ___   ___   ___ 
|   | |   | |   | |   |
| 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 |
|   | |   | |   | |   |
 —   —   —   — 

Lay down a second set of cards on top of those in the same pattern, and then a third. Deal out the final eight cards face up in the same pattern (left to right, top row then bottom row), and you’re ready to play.

The game itself is a simple matching game. You can match any two like-numbered cards, such as a 2 of hearts and a 2 of diamonds or a 6 of clubs and a 6 of hearts, or any other matching numbers. You may NOT match my suit, a 4 of diamonds and a 9 of diamonds are NOT a match. When you have two matching cards, remove them to a discard pile and flip over the cards (if any) that were face-down beneath them. Pretty simple. Only two cards may be removed at a time – if you have three of a kind, you must make a choice from the three possible matched pairs which two cards you will remove. Personally, when I play, I avoid making choices as long as possible, hoping that the fourth card will come up from under one of my other matches. Play however you like. The object is to end up with no cards remaining.

If you followed all the steps correctly and ended up removing all the cards, the clear result of the game is that the cards believe you will get your wish. They do not provide any more information about it, but think about what you wished for, and then think about getting it – there you go. Be happy.

If you followed all the steps correctly, removed every possible match, and have cards remaining, you will not get what you wished for. But we can learn something about why not by reading the remaining cards. We’re going to use standard Tarot readings for the cards from this point forward, so if you’re using tarot cards, great. In fact, if you’re experienced at reading tarot cards, even better. For the rest of you, you’re going to need some sort of book or guide or website that tells you what the different Tarot cards mean. I tend to use this website, which has extensive information about each card. For most readings of my wish results, I’ll open up four tabs (or windows) of my browser to the four suits of the Tarot: Swords, Cups, Wands, and Pentacles – This gives me easy access to all the information I need for all possible cards.

Now, for the purposes of this reading, for those of you with standard playing cards, interpret all Spades and Swords, all Hearts as Cups, all Clubs as Wands, and all Diamonds as Pentacles. It’s easy once you get used to it. So, understanding that, and with your tarot card information ready, how do you read the remaining cards?

The cards remaining face up represent what would happen if you got your wish. With simple wishes and simple outcomes, you’ll probably only have one or two cards. With complicated or far-fetched wishes, or for wishes that did not match well with what you actually want, you’ll have a whole mess of cards left, both face up AND face down, and may want to skip the reading. (If you are using real Tarot cards, you will probably get a more accurate reading by treating reversed cards as upright cards. I have not tested this thoroughly.) Look up the meanings of the cards you have face up. This can tell you a lot about what the real outcome of your wish might have been – I often find that the cards remind me of difficulties and details in the situation that I had overlooked while wishing, that I had been working from an idealized version of outcomes rather than a realistic one. If there seems to be no relation between the meanings of the face-up cards and your wish, there’s a good chance your wish was too vague, was negative, was not forward-looking, or -more likely- was not something you actually wanted to occur.

Assuming your reading so far isn’t so complex or off-base that you’ve given up, there’s more: Some of the cards you have left MUST have face-down cards underneath them These cards tell you about what is preventing your wish from coming true. If, for example, you have only a face-up 9 of Hearts (9 of Cups) on top of a face-down 9 of Spades (9 of Swords), a simple interpretation could be that you won’t get what you wished for and be happy because you worry so much that you are afraid to even try. More complicated blocks are possible, but no card can be on top of more than three cards, so not TOO much so.

Some of your cards may not have ANY cards face-down underneath them. These cards represent the parts of your wish coming true that are not prevented by anything – that is, you can, and probably will, achieve these parts of your wish outcome. I did a reading recently for someone where they had five face-up cards, two represented the challenging and difficult parts of getting their wish and three represented the positive, enriching, happy outcomes. All were blocked but the most painful and difficult card, and in learning about the situation as I did the full reading, it was clear that this was accurate – they would get much of the pain, but none of the positive benefits related to their wish.

It’s also important to consider the whole picture, how all the cards work together. For this purpose, I like to get all the cards face-up in front of me. I take each stack of remaining cards and turn the face-down cards 90 degrees before flipping them over, then spread them out so that the cards closest to the face-up card remain closest to it in the spread, and all the cards’ numbers and suits can be read. An example of one card on top of another card turned 90 degrees is below:

 ___|   |
|   |   |
|   |   |

I do this with each of the remaining stacks, replacing them into their original configuration, and this allows me to see how each part of the wish’s fulfillment and prevention sits in relation to the others. Experienced tarot card readers should be able to see patterns and additional information in this layout. Also, for cards that are considered to be equivalent to or near-equivalent to a card of the Major Arcana, such as the 2 of Hearts (2 of Cups) and the Lovers, you may want to look to the meaning of the Major Arcana card in question. Like any reading, it’s important to relate the results with the query and the querant as best you can.

When you have finished with the reading, that’s it, that’s the end of the game. Well, except that after you get an accurate reading from your first wish, you’ll probably want to try out a few more, or try it out on other people. It’s a little more involved than a standard tarot reading, especially if you’re using tarot cards without clear numbers on them for matching, but you can certainly work other people through it.

First, be sure you have your deck prepared ahead of time, with just the 32 cards you’ll need separated out. Then, talk them through selecting a wish while you shuffle the cards with a clear mind. Give them the cards and tell them to shuffle their wish into the deck; that is, until they feel it is shuffled enough. Lay out the cards for them, making sure that the first card is in THEIR upper left, and that the first row is the one furthest from them and the second row is closest to them. Explain the matching game as you deal out the cards, and then let them play it out. Voila! You can then do the reading from their results (or tell them they’ll get their wish). Easy as pie.

I’d meant to also write about my recent uses of this game and how they related to personal events and things outside of my control and … and how they’ve been eerily accurate so far. Perhaps I’ll do that separately – this post is pretty long. If you have questions or problems, let me know. I’d love to clarify the instructions, maybe shorten them, maybe make them produce even better results – this is the third generation of the game, the first of which just gave the yes/no on the wish, and I’m developing a fourth already. Feel free to share this post, or the game or whatever, anywhere and everywhere. Also, feel free to flame me for having done something wrong or whatever. Moo!

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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.

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