Miscellaneous

Playing Card Suits

1 Comment October 29

Suits of the CardsI have always thought of a deck of cards as a fun way to pass the time. Almost every person you see on a daily basis knows how to play at least on card game. That being said, almost no one you run into knows what the cards represent. Very few people know that the original concept of cards had a far deeper meaning that includes religious, metaphysical, or astronomical significance.

Here is what I have learned about the symbolism of playing cards:

  • The four suits represent the four seasons of the year
  • The 13 cards in each suit represent the 13 phases of the lunar year
  • Black represents day and red represents night
  • The 52 cards, as you can guess by now represent the 52 weeks of the year
  • Here is a fun one, the value of each card if added up is 364, it is assumed the value of a joker is 1 giving us 365 and 366 the number of days in a year and a leap year.
  • The symbols on the cards spade, heart, diamond, and club were given their meaning from the four economic classes of the middle ages.

What is the symbolism of a spade on a card?

♠ The symbol of a spade did not represent the shovel as some would think, but instead it represented the military or a sword.

What is the symbolism of a diamond on a card?

♦ The diamond on a playing card dis not represent the girls best friend but instead the diamond on playing card stands for merchants for trade.

What is the symbolism of a heart on a card?

♥ The heart is not from the human body, but in fact represents the clergy

What is the symbolism of a club on a card?

♣ Clubs represent agriculture

What is the symbolism of face cards?

Depending on which country or story you read the meaning of each face card, and the person associated with it will change. However, one of the more commonly accepted theories is the are representative of the rulers/leaders of England. Below are is an outline of the symbolism of the face cards:

Face Card Person Represented by the Face Card
King of Spades David – Second King of Israel – Biblical Reference
Queen of Spades Pallas daughter of Triton – Greek God
Jack of Spades Ogier the Dane/Holger Danske
King of Hearts King Charles the I of England
Queen of Hearts Judith – Biblical Reference
Jack of Hearts La Hire (Étienne de Vignolles)
King of Diamonds Julius Caesar
Queen of Diamonds Rachel – Biblical Reference
Jack of Diamonds Hector – Trojan Prince
King of Clubs Alexander the Great
Queen of Clubs Argine – Latin word for Queen
Jack of Clubs Lancelot

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1 comment

  1. Lava Lamp says:

    Never knew all this stuff. There were a few that seemed famliar, but card values represent 365 days for the year?!? New one on me!


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