France issued a great number of fortune-telling packs, and these are usually identifiable by the language of the inscriptions and the presence of a miniature standard card in the corner of the design. The beginning of the fashion lay in the second half of the eighteenth century and during the the nineteenth century various types of fortune-telling, oracle, Lenormand, sybil and destiny cards became popular. Many decks such as this one were published in Paris.
The pictures on the cards readily suggest the influences of different types of people, such as young men, fair ladies, widows, soldiers, lawyers, as well as virtues such as hope, charity and so on so that the perplexed may hopefully find some consolation.
Livre du Destin
An Ongoing Conversation with the Book of Destiny
What can you tell us about the current situation facing the world?
Given the virulent virus that is impacting, creating death and mayhem on such a wide scale I cannot say I was surprised when this card depicting illness and maladie emerged from the deck.
The last time Australia faced anything like this was at the time of the Spanish Flu which decimated the population between 1918 and 1920. This thesis by Patrick George Hodgson sheds light on what it was like at that time and the scene is eerily familiar.
The 9 of Spades (Swords) is a fear card which speaks of a lot of fear and anxiety and there is no doubt that, while I am putting on a brave face, I have had periods of heightened anxiety. On a positive note the 9 of Spades does speak not only of endings but the prospect of new beginnings. Many of the people I talk too are aware that when we emerge from this we will have reevaluated many things and the world order will look quite different.
Clearly this deck is not about to gloss over anything or foster any denial on my part. Hopefully as we communicate it will offer some strategies to deal with what is shaping up to be a marathon.
So are you prepared to show me a primary aspect of yourself?
When I asked the deck to reveal a primary aspect of herself a dark maiden who claims to be a friend and ally appeared before me.
8 of Clubs (Wands) people can be stubborn and fixed in their beliefs. They can appear aloof and unsympathetic towards the misfortune of others. However it is not that they don’t care. They care very deeply. They just have a tough time stepping outside of their comfort one to demonstrate their feelings.
I cannot deny that I find blunt truth challenging. However, while I may not immediately agree with some statements, I will cope and take on board what I am being told.
After meeting with the Dark Maiden the ‘Dark Lord’, King of Spades stepped forward.
In French Cartomancy this is not a good card to have confront you.
Lawman, widower, a divorced man, man of bad faith, envious person who seeks to harm, a man who wants only sex and does not care a tiny bit about you, evil dark man; here comes the King of Spades. This is one of the worst, if not the worst card in the deck.
Needless to say I wasn’t overjoyed to be confronted with him. However Cartomancy is never based on a single card. It is all about the interplay of cards. If you get the King of Spades on the first go that is auspicious. So I decided to offer this King a piece of my freshly made Chocolate Hedgehog and I will say it had an impact.
When I shuffled the cards again he popped straight back out and suggested if I was concerned about the current situation I might pop down and have a chat to the Ivy I had savaged when a man did a clean up in my backyard. When I looked I could see how quickly it was bouncing back. It really is resilience personified.
Ivy reminds us of the movement of the heavens and the way this is reflected on earth. It has the ability to bind all things together. It can wander freely, linking tree to tree, or form dense thickets that block out the light and restrict passage. Ivy brings shelter or overwhelming darkness and reminds us that where there is life, there is also death.