Difference Between Cartomancy and Tarot

Difference Between Cartomancy and Tarot

Cartomancy is one of the so-called “Divination Arts” or forms of divining information.

Cartomancy, in regards to getting the future told with the usage of cards, is based on many different schools of thought, most popular ones are using regular playing cards (poker decks), tarot cards and Lenormand 36 card deck (aka Petit Lenormand).

Tarot cards are used mostly for (after some more modern theories of cartomancy) gaining insights into personal relationships or life paths.

Their usage has not only spread to the divination of the future, but also asking questions about any topic. The person doing the reading can ask a question and then shuffle tarot cards and draw a few that will answer the question.

Tarot cards were also used in regular playing card decks before, but their usage has become more and more diverse after tarot reading was introduced to the broad public.

Cartomancy is also known as “card reading” or “counting cards”. The diviner uses one of the different types of cards to reveal information about the questions asked by people.

Cartomancers typically use tarot cards, regular playing cards or petit Lenormand cards (Lenormand is a form or divination itself and has its own interpretation system).

Tarot and Lenormand are both used to answer questions and see what influence events in the future will have on a person.

Petit Lenormand is named after Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand, who was known as court fortune teller for Napoleon and Josephine and also did readings for many other people in 19 th century Paris.

Her name and fame live through the tarot cards that were created based on her divination technique. She was better known as “Sibyl of The Salons” and her divination technique was known as cartomancy, that is nowadays also called Lenormand or Petit Lenormand or sometimes just tarot cards.

Petit Lenormand cards are 36 card decks consisting mostly of images instead of symbols like tarot cards.

Popular theory is that the first Petit Lenormand decks were made only with 36 cards and additional queens and kings were added after so it would be a 52 card deck like Tarot, but there is no written evidence of this theory.

One interesting fact about Petit Lenormand is that two decks can be used simultaneously – one for the question asked and one for the answer given.

For example, if a man asks: “How will I meet my life partner?” The cartomancer can use the first deck for asking and another deck as the answer.

The most popular usage of Petit Lenormand cards is fortune telling and to see what influence events in future will have on a person.

Cartomancers and tarot and Lenormand readers also sometimes use regular playing cards when doing a reading, but the usage of this is not as popular even though there are many different theories on how it should be used to get the best insight into the future.

While using regular playing cards for divination dates much further back in history, many different methods of reading cards exist and some date back only 10-20 years.

The usage of regular playing cards is called “playing card reading” or “cards reading” and the diviner uses the whole deck of 52 cards.

There are also complex theories on how to use them, but one interesting fact is that you can even make a 3 card reading from the regular playing cards.

Right after making a question, seven cards are cut and put on top of each other in three piles.

The first pile will have an ace through 3, second 5-7 and third 8-10. The only thing that should be looked at is either the number or suit of each individual card.


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