It’s indispensable

It’s indispensable October 5, 2023

As I was going through some older posts, I stumbled over, ‘Yes, but…’ on reading playing cards for yes/no questions. The text is now archived in the Method section of the Read like the Devil website. Recognizing my own voice from the past, and thinking about how fresh it still is after a decade, I thought about the playing card pack.

It’s indispensable, I said to myself. The Marseille tarot contains it, and so does the Lenormand Oracle. Without the playing cards, there’s no fortunetelling: from yes or no to the arrival of the tall, dark stranger who will teach you everything about yourself, making metaphysics fall into your head like rain, the playing cards tell the necessary story.

In the context of reading with them, the playing cards are sharp, merciless, autonomous in their voice, and collaborative. I wouldn’t even dream of either teaching or reading cards without having at least some rudimentary knowledge of the basic mechanics that goes into the use of the playing cards for both divination and fortunetelling.

The module dedicated to the playing cards that’s open for registration until tomorrow, when the class also starts, advances the argument that the playing cards are bridges.

In an older post yet again on Taroflexions, I gave the example, for instance, of how each of the four Aces initiates their suit by representing a bridge over negative space, the space without which there would be no primordial act, no emergence of any event.

I had this to say about the Aces:

The Ace of Diamonds is the message: There is life and death. The more you cultivate both, the more polished you are.

The Ace of Hearts is the shape of formlessness. Without flow, resistance wins.

The Ace of Clubs is the silent wind. It pushes you over into acceptance.

The Ace of Spades is the void of expectation. When the mind is free, the bones can create.

If this sounds like poetry, it’s because it is. It is playing cards poetry without which the voice of the diviner would be less sure of itself.


At Aradia Academy we to teach the sovereignty inherent in being an excellent diviner, as our ambition is to strengthen the excellent skills the reader who reads like the Devil possesses. When we associate these skills with martial arts, we’re not even kidding.

For my part, former students have called me the ninja of cartomancy, the samurai with a strong death resolve, and a trainer of tarot assassins, the latter appellative coming from Jeff Silverstein, a man whose trade is film and broadcasting.

I liked what he had to say about the ‘Read like the Devil’ method of reading cards so much that his praise is now smack at the front of my personal website. This, and other such praise, is no small praise. I owe much of it to my engagement and working with playing cards. I invite you to learn to read them too in our classroom, and while you still can.

The class is capped at 50. 40 spots are gone. 10 remain. If you can, then hop on board now. Don’t wait until next year. Today I envied someone’s optimism.‘This course sounds so exciting, I think I’ll take it next year,’ the person said. Ah, I thought, next year… But who knows what will happen next year? I kindly reminded the student that what we do at Aradia Academy is work run as a retirement activity motivated entirely by the desire to see a generation of diviners invested in something other than nonsense, wishful thinking, or fake activism. Next year we may just ride into the sunset…

I could go on, but let’s stick to the nature of this newsletter, which is to inform on what’s happening in the ‘Read like the Devil’ country right now. And what’s happening is that the playing cards module starts tomorrow and will continue for the next six weeks, until the Lenormand oracle will appear on stage.

See you in class, and keep going.


P.S. A few other short reflections have also appeared in the Shuffle section of the Read like the Devil website. If you won’t join us in this class, enjoy the other contemplations that are ever so readily available to all.

About Camelia Elias
Camelia Elias is a retired professor who is dedicated to the teaching and writing on the philosophy of reading cards. You can read more about the author here.
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