One of the reasons why I like to collect cartomancy decks is because they always greatly amuse me in their take on the difference between men and women. Most often the gist of this difference can be summed up as follows: seek the company of men, and run away from women as fast as you can.
As most of these decks are meant to be read with both, upright and reversed cards, we can see how this difference comes to expression particularly in the reversed cards.
While the reversed kings are almost always people you can look up to, it’s not so with the Queens. While the Queens are violent, frustrated, quarrelsome, or deceiving, the Kings are brutal, but they can still lend you moral support, so their brutality is seen as a virtue (when Clubs), or as having an external function (such as in the situation of having to show up in court, and that is not something that you generally like, so it’s more neutral).
When the woman is intelligent she is also callous. When the man is intelligent he is also fair. When the woman is loving she is also deceiving. When the man is loving he is also protecting. When the man is dangerous he is also respected. When the woman is dangerous she is a witch.
And so it goes.
What I find even more amusing is the fact that we find these male and female attributes in correspondence to palmistry, as here, or metoscopy, something which reminds me of my previous post on the planetary and Kabbalistic seals on the Tironian Lenormand.
So which one is it, I’d like ask. When men frown, they are full of secret wisdom, while women are merely occult? No wonder the tarot cards got more popular than the fortunetelling cards, and at least since the 60s and onwards we’ve been experiencing a continuous outpouring of revisionist decks. Hence, I don’t like much the ‘tradition’ of reading fortunetelling cards and which still insists on maintaining crap culture.
What I’d like to see more of is how we can assign the Queen of Spades the role of magistrate, without having to look over our shoulders and fear the King of Spades’ disapproval of having to share this role with his consort.
What I’d also like to see is how we can translate the abstract qualities of the Queen of Spades as having calumnious tendencies into something other than the traditional, practical meaning of unpleasant advice, slander, and evil talk. Why can’t she exhibit supremacy, like the King does on the abstract level? Why not also the ability to go to war for a just cause on the pragmatic level, as the King does?
Since it’s mostly women who read cards, I’d say it’s about time we demanded more respect from ‘tradition’.
Enjoy your revolutions.
Jeu de la Main.
J.-M. Simon, 1963