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La Settenaria Sciolta: from the 19th century to the 21st

A blog by Christopher Dork

Picture it: Naples. In the mid-20th century. In the courtyard of her cozy home, Giuseppina, an elegant silver-haired grandmother, hosts Sunday luncheon for her extended family. An expert cartomancer, trained by her own mother, Giuseppina offers more than just physical nourishment; she is always ready to help people in need with whatever she had on hand. Swathed in her black shawl, she has a miraculous ability to turn what seems like nothing into everything and to see the future with precision and accuracy. She sees her private consultations away from the courtyard as her duty. Her talents awakened an interest in cartomancy in her grandson, Roberto Cafiero, who eventually chronicled her seven-card method of card reading in his book, La Settenaria Sciolta.

Fast forward to the early 21st century. I first learned of La Settenaria Sciolta as part of the World Divination Association’s Vera Sibilla curriculum and went on to read Cafiero’s text. “La Settenaria Sciolta” means ‘the chosen set of seven.” It is based on a seven-card spread that is traditionally drawn by the hand of the querent. It works well for Tarot de Marseille, Lenormand, playing cards and naturally Vera Sibilla. I used it extensively and with enormous success during the pandemic for virtual reads, initially because its line-of-seven arrangement provided an insightful read on the very limited space of my computer desk. I think Giuseppina would have approved of my modification.

There are so many techniques to choose from, but I decided to offer this particular workshop because it links the past to the future and works so well with so many card systems. It is an exceptionally useful addition to any reader’s toolbox. "


If it doesn't nourish your soul, get rid of it.


Learn about the set of 7 with Christopher Dork on Saturday 26th June / Sunday 27th June at the Conference - only 25€ to learn this and so so much more!!

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