A short look at the book Reading Your Future in the Cards, by Louise Woods.

This is a lovely book on cartomancy from a woman who seems warm and full of good advice; but I find that I’m of mixed feelings on it.

I think it’s a well-written book, entertaining and humorous. It oozes personality. Woods’ layout methods are fine; and she does emphasize the interaction of the cards throughout the book. Her reading method is based on layouts involving a few groups of five card fans. She seems to know her stuff.

The extras on card “mixers” are probably more useful after one is familiar with the card meanings Woods’ uses. These mixers are intended to show groups of cards that would give an idea, unequivocal answer to a question or ideally represent an person or situation. I skimmed through these though, and it gives cards that one could look for to answer questions, such as “will we have a purely sexual relationship?” or “is this the right job for me?” This is a helpful addition as it shows how the prospective card reader can build up a vocabulary with the cards.

Woods’ meanings, however, did not grab me. I had a chuckle at the 3 heart including menage a trois as one of its meanings. And there seemed to be a lot of love cards, particularly in the hearts, at least to my eye. She really downplayed the negativity of the spades, notably the infamous Ace of Spades, which is more of a creativity card. I think I understand her reasoning — she wants to give people hope in readings. I just found it hard to break with what I know. She does introduce the book with a suggestion to “forget everything you know,” and start with her meanings upon a blank canvas. Overall, I didn’t feel like her card meanings gelled for me. They seemed different enough from what I often think of for several cards, with little overlap of some “traditional” meanings, or at least commonly accepted ones.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, the author is very entertaining and she does have some good advice. I didn’t find the meanings resonated with me, but that’s okay. It’s a book that I was happy to have, even if I am not likely to use it a lot (although I may try out her card spread in the future). I think it would work for a newcomer though, who has nothing to unlearn, and wants a somewhat meaty method that utilizes card combining.