April 3, 2007 3:38pm CST
I just recently purchased this deck. I haven't had a chance to use it all that much, but I do like it so far. The deck resembles a pack of playing cards, since that's what the Gypsies used. On each card is an illustration. Card number 4 shows a skeleton key. On each card is a description of the illustration and what the illustration means. On Card 4, it states "The key nearby is a certain augury of success; but if surrounded by unlucky cards the prognostication is illness". What's interesting to note is that in addition to each card showing a suit (hearts, spades, diamonds, clovers) and a number (2,3,4, King, Queen, Jack) the cards also also numbered from 1 to 52. Number 18 is the 2 of diamonds and shows an illustration of a woman. Number 19 is the 2 of hearts and shows an illustration of a man. When performing a reading, you pull these two cards out first. If the person you are reading for is male, you place card #19 in the center of the spread. Female, the #18 card goes in the center. You do not put the other card back into the deck. The two spreads offered are a short reading and a long reading. The instructions are very brief, for which I am grateful. I don't like decks with instruction booklets that explain everything you should think and feel about the cards. Then why use the cards?The introduction states that the deck was produced in honor of Mlle. Le Normand, one of the greatest living prophets. Not knowing anything about Mlle. Le Normand (1768-1843), I googled her. I discovered she was considered a great cartomancer and had developed her own divination system based on 36 cards that were popular at the time. In later editions, these cards were replaced with regular playing cards. I found this to be quite interesting. How accurate can the system be if the cards were replaced? And I wonder why the cards were replaced. Of course, this is opening up many other doors, since we know that the Gypsies used playing cards for divination and I'm of the thought that they did so before Mlle. Le Normand. She developed at least two sets of tarot decks. Her history is very interesting and some day I might make the time to read more. Still, I'm left wondering why the makers of the Gypsy Witch Tarot Deck would mention Mlle. Le Normand. I'm thinking it would have been more appropriate to have mentioned Gypsy fortune tellers instead. Has anyone else here used this deck? What do you think about it? Do you like it or not? What are the pros and cons of this deck compared to others you've used?