Traditional Italian Fortune Cards - Old Cartomancy

Traditional Italian Fortune Cards

I got a new deck called “Traditional Italian Fortune Cards” when I looked at the listing; they were listed as Oracle cards. When I read the description it mentioned Tarot cards. So I was very intrigued & curious for a few reasons:

  1. I’m part Italian, my father was half Italian & half Irish. My grandmother (his mother) was all Italian. Her parents & other siblings had immigrated to Boston from Italy in the earlier 1900s. She was the only child born here in the United States out of all her siblings.
  2. The old artwork was so interesting to me
  3. 18th Century Italian anything always interests me as a part of my heritage anyway

So not fully understanding if they were tarot or oracle cards, I had to have them & find out more about them. I opened them immediately to go through them. I found out that there are only 40 cards. The suits are the same as Tarot, with Cups, Pentacles, Wands, & Swords. However, they only run Ace through 7. The court cards are different too, with Page (Knave), Knight, & King. There are NO Major Arcana cards at all.

These cards are used as fortune telling through a card game with 2 people. A question is asked & then the cards are shuffled by “the fortune teller”. Once they are shuffled the fortune teller cuts the deck evenly. So, they have 20 cards & the other person has 20 cards. Each person draws 3 cards at random & lays them face down in front of them. They each have an association. The person would lay out their 3 cards in they would be in order from left to right. Do NOT ask the question yet as it is considered to bring bad luck.

The cards drawn by the person are Past, Present, and Future. The cards drawn by the fortune teller are Resource, Action, and Outcome. So, it winds up that the first 3 are on the bottom & the second 3 are Past, Present, and Future. Now, the person wishing to know their future asks a short and precise question concerning themselves and not other people. At this time all 6 cards are turned over and the fortune teller interprets them.

Pair 1:

  • Above Resource = something or someone positive to help the querent
    Below Past = event or sign from the past to provide a clue as to what will hinder or help
    the querent

Pair 2:

  • Above Action = what needs to or must not be done to obtain answers and good luck
    Below Present = the current situation and the condition of departure that is useful to
    understand what is happening.

Pair 3:

  • Above Outcome = what may happen if the querent follows advice given and performs the
    right action by using the resource effectively.
    Below Future = a look at or clue about what will happen after the events covered in the
    reading and in future years. If it is unfavorable the querent will need to combat it by acting
    virtuously and following the advice of the person doing the reading.

Why are the cards placed opposite each other? The cards are part of a game where the winning card in each pair is assessed to see which has more influence than the other. If it is a number card from 1 to 7 the one with the higher value wins. These are beaten by Knave, Knight, and the King in that ascending order. If there is a tie then you need to look at the suits.
In ascending order of strength, Swords are the weakest then followed by Pentacles, Wands, and Cups which is the strongest suit and beats all of the others. The winning card has a greater influence in that column.

If Past beats Resource, the fortune teller will give more importance to the person’s history and to what happened to them before the question was asked. If Action beats the Present then it is more important to perform that action and give less importance to the events in the present moment. Obviously, if the Outcome beats the Future, this will give a clear indication of what can be achieved and greater uncertainty about the future.


While using the deck one needs to pay attention to any signs and events, such as falling objects, clue, and provides knowledge about oneself as long as one has a good heart and a keen eye. But what if during the reading someone crosses their arms, sees negative signs in the room ora a card is picked up with a left hand? Neapolitan popular culture will come to the rescue. Stand up, take a new card from the querent’s deck and drop it onto the six cards that have just been read. If it falls face up, it will erase any negative signs and certainly help the querent. If it falls face down but on a card that was unfavorable in the reading, it will erase its harmful effects. In all other cases, the situation will remain as before. But always remember that you are the talisman against all evil and that your greatest lucky charms are the good deeds you are doing and will do.

Information from the guidebook:

Traditional Italian Fortune Cards – Old Cartomancy

I personally will be using them for the Single Draws for a more lighthearted & fun reading to add to those posts If I do have the chance to play or use them as intended, I will share the experiece with the coven. :smiling_face:


These cards look really interesting! I like how it’s tied to your heritage, for sure.

It’s also really interesting how interactive it is to use with other people. I hope you get the chance to test that part out with someone! I look forward to seeing them in the daily draws :blush:


They are really interesting! Even the artwork which is derived from the late 18th-century artwork of the cards used at that time is cool to me too!

I feel like most of my practice is in some way tied to my heritage that I am heavily connected to, which is Celtic :triquetra: Ireland :ireland: & also Italy/Sicily :it: It’s what I knew & grew up with all my life.

The other side, well, I’m not really connected to that side of my bloodline currently nor do I connect with the areas they are from or descendants of either. I suppose it has a lot to do with how I grew up. Knowing where they once immigrated from to get here though is very interesting & the parts of history that they make up or were a part of up until the early 1900s.

I do love :heart: doing genealogy though & am very interested in where my roots are from & connected to, I just don’t feel anything towards that part of the bloodline. :woman_shrugging: It just doesn’t resonate with me or my beliefs even a little bit. :laughing:

I used the cards today in the single draw thread but for these ones, I have to use the guidebook for meanings because they aren’t read as traditional tarot cards really & the meanings a bit different than they would be for traditional tarot, even if you go by the images used on the cards. Which is also really neat to me! :smiling_face:


How very interesting! The artwork is lovely! I hope the serve you well!


Thank you! I think I am going to be using them for more of an entertainment kind of oracle draw. I would like to see if I could do the traditional reading with them, but would need another person with me. I’ll have to see if anyone around me would want to try that out with me though :smiling_face:


Keep us posted if you do!


Whoa. Interesting art, and it looks like it could be a fun game!


@AileyGrey I used them yesterday, I’m still a bit under the weather, hopefully on the upswing :crossed_fingers: so I think today I will use them again in the single draw thread. :smiling_face:

@Amethyst I think so too! There’s a section about how you should sit without your legs or arms crossed & your hands where they can be seen…

My daughter doesn’t know it, but I think we have a New Year’s Eve game to play to see how the New Year is going to be for us :wink:


@Siofra_Strega omg u were right, these are GORGEOUS


Thank you for sharing! I don’t participate much in the forum as I struggle to reply and recheck in a timely manner. I couldn’t just ignore my gut reaction to try to connect to you. I am a (amateur) genealogist and have such a deep love for my own ancestry and family roots, but love learning all history and cultures too. That said, my father is 3/4 Italian and the remaining being 1/4 Irish. He grew up in Somerville, MA. My 2nd Great Grandparents immigrated from Italy to Boston/Cambridge in the early 1900s. My father’s paternal side were from Southern Italy (Orsara di Puglia, Foggia, Avellino, Campania, etc) and his mother’s mother was from Castelbuono, Sicily near Palermo. His mother’s father’s family immigrated to Newfoundland before coming to Boston, but originated in Cork or Munster, Ireland.

Boston was a very popular area for Italian and Irish immigrants but besides my grandmother’s parents I mostly saw Italians stay with more Italians so I love seeing another Italian-Irish roots with ties to MA.

Sorry to go so off the topic of the post, but I couldn’t ignore it. That said I was already fully invested in this post for the actual topic because I love my tarot and oracle cards. I actually am always going back to see Italian traditions of witchcraft and fortune telling so truly am grateful for your post in a multifaceted way. :slight_smile: :slightly_smiling_face:


Oh no problem at all. My grandmother’s side immigrated from the Campania area & go back to Palerno also. My grandfather’s side was from Cork County & a couple surrounding areas. Without having my tree up in front of me, my brain is a bit foggy from being sick, so I can only recall off the top of my head those 2 main areas.

It’s nice to meet you @SeasonsOfMeech! My heritage connection is what drew me to the cards & then I found out that I had gotten the last deck from the place I found them.

Small world to have such a specific connection to Ireland & Italy to Boston!


That sounds like fun! Good fortune to you both!


Thanks for the info! I’m Italian too. I’m always looking for new types of divination.


They are pretty neat. Ive been using them as oracle draws for the Single Draw thread. As far as i know they are back in stock at Gaias Roots LLC too


Great find!! I instantly recognized that deck! They look a lot like Spanish playing cards and they have the same feature of jumping from the 7 to the court cards (skipping 8s and 9s).

In Argentina we normally use them to play a game called Truco, which is a trump game like Tarocco/Tarocchi. So in a roundabout way it’s related to the Tarot deck but with fewer cards.

I recall using them when I was a kid to play a game of Past, Present and Future just like the one you described. But they could be used for divining with playing cards. Here are mine:


Very cool! Very different and how great that they are part of your heritage! Thanks for sharing!


@Francisco… I seem to remember a mention of them being used in Spain & the artwork being from that same time & era… maybe its the same but with an Italian type “spin”… very cool to see them & be so close in relation to each other! That is kind of the premise of the game too! Past, Present, Future! They also don’t have Queens in my deck. They jump from Knave, Knight, to Kings.

I never got to play the game, but maybe one day after my daughter gets home, we will give it a try.

Thats really awesome that you have the same cards, it looks like your colors are more vibrant than the ones in my deck! Thank you for sharing yours too!