La Baraja Española: Las Escenas de los Bastos

La Baraja Española (Spanish Cards) is a playing card deck that is also used for cartomancy and divination. Each reader uses a personal set of meanings and understandings with the cards, with each family or house passing down a private tradition. Having come to the Baraja Española via external means, I did not have a formal teacher to learn from, and instead gleaned various sets of meanings from those that had published theirs. After reflection on my own practices, consultation with my peers, and steady use both privately and publicly, I adjusted the assignment of the cards into a harmonious set. The 48 cards include references to spiritual matters. A subset of 40 cards can be used if the Querent wishes to exclude the spiritual references.

In keeping with the sharing that I had learned my initial set of Baraja Española meanings from, I am publishing the finalized set of keywords that I use. They are by no means an authoritative or defining set, and must not be used to harangue other readers that have their own personal practices. However, these have proven themselves in private and public use with consistent results that meet the Querent’s needs. You are free to take them and use them with your readings, and free to alter them to suit your circumstances and worldview.

The 48 naipe set of my Baraja Española meanings can be broken up into 3 categories. The Ones through Sevens of each suit are Las Escenas, the scenes in which life is experienced. The Tens, Elevens, and Twelves of each suit are Las Personas, and represent specific type of people in the Querent’s life. The Eights and Nines of each suit are Los Espíritus, the spiritual influences in the Querent’s life. Depending on the Querent’s worldview, they can be representative of the Querent’s subconscious and drives. Or they can be representative or messengers of the Querent’s personal pantheon. The meanings are such that removal of Los Espíritus from the deck does not weaken the utility of the remaining cards.

Las Escenas de los Bastos (Clubs)

  • 1: Distance. Increase.
  • 2: Nearness. Decrease.
  • 3: Cohort and the tools needed by them. Change in effect.
  • 4: Endurance or completion.
  • 5: Wisdom and/or experience.
  • 6: Despair. Inability to cope.
  • 7: Work, profession, vocation, co-workers (including interns).

La Baraja Española is read in a Lenormand style, where the cards are not read individually as in some tarot readings. Instead, how they relate and influence each other is considered has just as much weight as what they each represent. These keywords are only the beginning of understanding them. It is up to the reader to intuit the nuances between them.

(June 27th Edit: After the consumption of coffee I realized I had listed the wrong entries for the Bastos suit. This post has been corrected and coffee supplies have been restocked.)