(A Beginner's Guide)

By Princess Corrine,
daughter of King Gendo I of Amber, and Queen Haruka of Harad.


Throughout history, Amberites have sought ways to predict the future and to answer questions that are beyond the scope of our knowledge. One of the most common methods is to attempt to use the Trump Cards provided to us by Fuyutsuki in an oracular fortune-telling rite, similiar to the "Tarot" Oracular methods found on Shadow Earth and other locations throughout Shadow. There is much debate on the accuracy of these answers and predictions among the royal family of Amber.

To be honest, no Oracular rite is a sure-fire way to predict the future. What the rites -do- accomplish, by presenting a series of images and symbols, is a means to refresh the mind by presenting new possibilities, forcing one to think in new directions. This is especially helpful when one is locked into worthless patterns through worry and indecision.

By examining the cards, thinking about them, and considering how they relate to the problem at hand, they cause you to break down the problem into descrete, simple terms. You relearn the problem by forming new associations, and it causes you to consider new options. In this way, Fortune Telling is not an exact science, but more of an art form -- a guide and assistant to help you think in new directions.

The Trumps:

However, there is something different about using the actual Trumps for Fortune Telling. Whereas most tarot decks are just stacks of cards with pretty pictures on them, the Trumps are created by Trump Artists, and are invested with actual power. An Amberite holding a Trump Card is capable of connecting the holder to different people and places across Shadow. They are powerful items, not fully understood (save perhaps by Fuyutsuki) yet eminantly useful, allowing us to communicate and transport across Shadow in an instant.

As such, it is theoretically possible that by using the Trumps, one taps into the persons and places represented by them, and therefore a -true- future prediction or answer for a question can be obtained. Unfortunately, there is no easy way of gauging this accuracy, save by extended observation of results over time. Even then, the skill of the prediction can be influenced by day-to-day factors.

Based on my own observations, a sliding scale for Trump Fortune Telling is as follows, from least accurate to most accurate:

As always, your results will vary.

The Images:

Each card in a Trump Deck ends up representing a fragment of experience, a slice of existance, a set of ideas and concepts and persons that could be applied to your quandry. Each card is different, each one holding a custom image of a unique individual or place in Shadow. They are archtypes, based on what you know of the presented subject, capable of representing other people or yourself, places and things, or possible ideas and trends. By thinking about the card and its subject, and deciding how said subject relates to your question, you stretch your mind to consider new ideas.

Another key concept when it comes to Trump Fortune Telling is that of "Reversed Cards". Reversal is a way to 'expand' one's Trump Deck for predictions (especially since the average Trump Deck will only have around 42 cards). By changing the orientation of the card, it represents a reversal of what that card usually means. Note that this does not always mean negative aspects -- a negative card reversed would represent positive things. It can also represent an opposite of the regular intepretation, or a uncommon aspect brought into sharp focus.

A listing of the cards featured in the Standard Fuyutsuki Trump Deck, and their commonly-attributed meanings and
reverse-meanings, may be found in a seperate document. My own Trump Decks have their own images, but generally follow
the same attributions for each card.

The Spread:

If one wants to, one can draw a single card from a Trump Deck and use the image on the card as a single "reading" for your problem. This is quick and easy to do. However, it is more common to draw multiple cards in what is known as a -tarot spread-. In a spread, each card is dealt into a pre-set position, and each position has its own meaning. When the cards are examined, one considers relationships between the archtypes and the position, as well as between the archtype and the question at hand.

There are many different known spreads, and many ways to go about interpreting them. Some are simple, and some are hideously complex and time-consuming. Most common spreads use ten to twelve cards. In this document, we will discuss the trump spread that I use most often, which has become commonly known as the "Corrine Cross" by others.

The Process:

The usual procedure for using the Trump Cards for fortune telling is as follows:

First: Take your standard Trump Deck. Clear your mind of all thoughts save your current question, quandry, or focus (person or place).

Second: Shuffle the cards, but do not look at them. Always keep the backs of the cards visible, not their fronts. During this time, if you are capable of it, place yourself in sympathetic communion with the energy in the Trumps in your hands.

Third: Finish shuffling, and square the deck.

Fourth: Start dealing the cards out in sequence in the spread, in numerical order, face up. Keep your eyes closed while doing this, to avoid any distractions or influences caused by seeing the card images ahead of time.

Fifth: Open your eyes. Study the spread and the cards placed within it, relate the cards and their positions and orientations to the problem at hand, and draw your own conclusions.

The Corrine Cross

This spread consists of twelve cards, arranged in a "+|" formation, and is commonly called the "Corrine Cross". Each location represents a portion of the fortune. Each card represents various ideas and concepts (either literally or figuratively) that could be applied to the location they occupy. This representation varies on the location of the card. They are dealt in order, from one to twelve.

The Positions:

  1. The Distant Past

  2. -- Origins and sources for the current subject of the prediction, related to events long ago in the past. When this card is drawn, think about long-ago influences and memories.
  3. The Recent Past

  4. -- Recent events and influences, from the past few years to the past few days. Think of the archtype presented in terms of things that recently occured.
  5. Purpose

  6. -- The current task or situation that needs to be accomplished at the present time. This could end up suggesting new tasks that you may not have considered beforehand, that need to be done before your primary goal can be completed.
  7. Inner Secrets

  8. -- Things hidden from view from yourself or from others. This card represents information that might be influencing the situation, but isn't obvious.
  9. The Near Future

  10. -- Immediate things to come. Where you're headed. Relate the card to the possibilities, positive and negative, that could occur. (Hopes and Fears can help refine this)
  11. The Far Future

  12. -- Long term occurances and possibilities. Long term goals and fears. Picture yourself years from now, and think about how the archtypes represented by the card apply.
  13. Destiny

  14. -- Ultimate culmination of the question, the maximum potential positive or negative outcome at this point in time. It usually marks a turning point, or even a showdown.
  15. Hopes and Fears

  16. -- Variant possibilities, representing both positive and negative aspects of desires and needs. They relate more directly on a immediate level, and can swing either way, or both simultaneously.
  17. Other's Views

  18. -- Other people's views and perceptions of the problem or yourself. It can represent the public opinion of the situation, or a person or group you need to be aware of whose viewpoints should be considered.
  19. Self-Image

  20. -- Your own perception of the situation and yourself, and what it represents. Apply the archtype of the card to yourself, and see if you learn something new.
  21. The Heart of the Matter (The Quandry)

  22. -- The central card, which represents the core of the issue being evaluated. Relate the image and archtype directly to the question, to yourself, to where you are and what troubles you're facing right now.
  23. Present Conflicts

  24. -- Those who are currently opposed to you, singly or in groups, over the issue in question. It can also represent conflicts within yourself, that prevent you from taking definitive action.

Written by: Corrine, Princess of Amber
Transcribed by: Philip J. Moyer
With Inspiration from: the _Silicon Valley Tarot_, created by Thomas Scoville, Edited by S. John Ross, Published by Steve Jackson Games

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Last Update January 14, 2000