Today I’ve received a most glorious set of cards from cartomancer and card maker extraordinaire, Ryan Edward, a long-term student of mine.

He sent me again prototype number 1 of his new Marseille Tarot Playing Cards. You heard that right: What we’re dealing with here is a playing card deck that has gone to meet the Marseille Tarot. In the hands of this master, this is a most successful encounter.

Ryan is now well-known in the cartomantic world, and his Maybe Lenormand cards, the first he made, are very much appreciated.

Since he announced his second project, we have all been very eager to see more.

The cards are here now, and we can take them for a first ride.

I do what I do best. Ask a question, and read the damn cards. I’ll leave out the historical references to what I see has inspired Ryan. He can do a better job at it, if he’s so inclined. As far as I’m concerned, I find going places with the cards more interesting than talking about provenance and patterns, however fascinating that may also be.

So I asked the cards, a simple 3-card layout:

What is your gift to me?

The first card down was the Popess. Well,  this didn’t surprise me, since I’ve been tutoring Ryan for quite some time in all things cards and magic, from playing cards, the Lenormand oracle, and the Marseille tarot to Zen and folk magic with cards.

The central card was the World and the final card the Hanged Man.

Quite literally, and since this is a prototype and not the final thing, the cards say:

There’s a world of wisdom here, that you’ll just have to wait and see.

The Popess looks back at the Star, a naked woman, and open to all sorts. This openness stays as we move over to the World, and we almost see a bimbo-like creature enjoying her space, a more cultivated space than the one we find in the Star card, a space of protection. A gift of boundaries awaits.

‘Just wait,’ the Hanged Man also says, but, of course, I can’t. I drew a few more cards  to see what’s below, under the sweeping hair of the man.

The Wheel of Fortune, whose lever is pulled by the Fool leads to the Sun.

Round and round it all goes. Indeed, if you want to create a classic, then you must remember the classics. Go back to them, the old school. But also be free. Folks respond to that, to irreverence. I guess that’s always been my style.

So Ryan’s gift is one of worldly wisdom that ultimately leads to mutual sharing.

That’s the idea in cartomancy, isn’t it? Very nice of the cards to validate what I already think of what I’m doing here.

Now, since the Popess was the first card down, I thought of laying around her the pip cards, to get an impression of the visuals.

The 9-card carré is a classic and a good idea.

The context for the reading is the same: The gift of cards. I know exactly what the gift of Ryan in my life is, so I’m not interested in asking about that, but the gift of cards, yes, that’s a different matter, as the gift of cards can change. It can point to all sorts.

Here it seems that although I think of the gift of cards (cards in general) as too much work, what stares me in the face is the pleasure that I derive from it. I always get fresh ideas to work with.

In fact, this is my very aim: in this ‘too much work’ with the cards, what I go for is giving others an idea to work with, to think about.

The two aces here, the Ace of Batons and the Ace of Diamonds say that much.

Meanwhile, it looks like Ryan has graduated. He’s no innocent student anymore. He’s a King. He says to me, ‘see that magic carpet? Guess where it will take you? To the land of ultimate bliss.’

Well, for all my Zen inclinations, who can say no to that? Bliss is here already. Quite glorious.

I’m not only very pleased with these cards, but also most humbled by their gift, by Ryan’s gift.

They are most beautiful and incredible to work with. The color and form is sublime.

I can only say this: Start saving up for this deck. Ryan tells me that the limited edition is going to be exactly that, limited. The cards are hand-painted, on cotton paper, boxed in a wooden container, and numbered. Only 1oo copies will be made.

Though, forget about number 1. When he’s ready to fling the final cut, in the first week of April, number 1 is reserved for me, again. If I must give my money away, then it’s for this, for him.

The other reason why you want this deck in your life is because it contains a magic secret. Now, I can’t disclose what that is, but there are two elements in this deck, one of color and one of design that Ryan did just for me. So you get this deck, you get a piece of what I hold most precious in the magical world.

I don’t mean to presume that everyone may be interested in this, but if it happens that you follow my work and you like it, then you may actually want to get on that very wavelength that gets you reading like the Devil, reading the damn cards.


I’m doing a series of vlogs these days. Blame my nephew for it, who said: Get a Blue Yeti. I did. I’m now experimenting. Now he says: ‘Get a decent webcam.’ It never ends, does it?

Here’s the newest one referencing the work of Surrealist Leonora Carrington AND Tarot. Ryan’s cards made it in it.  Enjoy, if you have 7 minutes.


Stay in the loop for more cartomantic activities coming up this spring.

Published by Camelia Elias

Read like the Devil | Martial Arts Cartomancy | Zen


    1. Ryan will take pre-orders in the first week of April. Shipment in May. The cards are all hand-painted, on cotton paper, and boxed in a wooden container. He will only make 100 copies.

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