by J David Arcuri
The Heart of La Vera Sibilla
Most traditional Sibilla card spreads are composed of an odd number of cards placed in a row. There is a good reason for this. Every Sibilla reading pivots on the center card. It is called the heart of the reading. A good place to begin learning how to read a line of Sibilla cards is to start with the three-card spread, which forms the heart of every line of Sibilla cards.
In a line of cards, the action moves from left to right. The only exception is when a directional card refers back to a previous card. Although the sequence gives a sense of time passing, the line will not necessarily include past, present and future. Sometimes the entire line of cards will refer to a series of future events. Other times the cards may refer to a progression of past actions. Much depends on the context of the question.
The center card of any linear spread is the heart card. It carries the strongest influence on the matter in question. It reveals what is at the very heart of the situation— what must be faced or dealt with in order to resolve a problem or overcome an obstacle and move forward.
The cards on either side will clarify the importance of the heart card. In a three-card Sibilla Draw, these two cards serve special purposes. The first card opens the reading. It sets the premise of the situation. It can reveal the motivation or reason behind the question. The final card closes the reading. It provides the outcome of the situation. It shows how things will end.
Let’s take a look at an example three-card reading…
I have a childhood friend I have not spoken to in awhile. He has been on my mind lately, and I have not been able to contact him. My question is, “Will my friend contact me within the next two weeks?”
10♦️Ladro (Thief) + 3♣️Viaggio (Journey) + 6♥️Denaro (Money)
The heart card provides focus for the reading. Viaggio shows movement, travel or relocation. My immediate feeling is that my friend has moved, which makes good sense why I have not been able to contact him.
The first card sets the premise of the reading. It can tell us why we’re asking the question. Thief indicates something stolen. But what? With Viaggio we might say a stolen journey, or even a stolen car. But based on the context of the question, we know that communication with my friend is what has been stolen. The move/relocation has stolen away, or deprived me of contact with my friend.
Denaro is the money card in Sibilla. The move may be due to financial reasons, or because of work. The 6 of Hearts can also refer to the past. This meaning is derived from Etteilla’s original meanings for the tarot 6 of Cups. The image on Denaro suggests this idea with the old books and archived documents stored in the safe. When Denaro ends a line reading, it throws everything preceding it into the past. It seems that my friend must have moved some time ago.
As the outcome card, Denaro answers the question. It throws all of the preceding action into the past, and indicates no future action ahead. This tells us that within the specified timeframe, I should not expect to receive contact from my friend. This card also gives me the sense that the move has been advantageous for my friend, and there’s no need for concern regarding the lack of contact.
The three-card reading is great for addressing simple questions. It also works well as a daily draw. The heart card shows the main message for the day. The flanking cards provide additional information, and the result or outcome.
Bio J. David Arcuri
Master Predictive Cartomancer specializing in reading the 52-card Poker deck and La Vera Sibilla. Author of Art of Cartomancy blog.
I was raised in an Italian-American family where divination was a part of everyday life. My paternal grandmother read playing cards, coffee grounds and the crystal ball. She sparked my interest in the art of Cartomancy at a very young age.
I was introduced to La Vera Sibilla by a family friend from Italy. I was immediately enchanted by the deck. I began a serious study of La Vera Sibilla by following the online lessons from an Italian Sibilla master who teaches the traditional meanings and methods. I have an obsessive passion for all forms of Cartomancy. I also work with Lenormand, Oracle Belline, and Pages of Shustah.
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