Saturday, October 28, 2017

Swedenborg Cards

Swedenborg cards is an oracle deck that was very popular in Russia in the 19th and 20th century. It was a bit like Lenormand - 36 cards with symbols on them. They were read like Lenormand cards, in 4 rows of 9 cards, and the placement of the significator card (The Spaniard for men and the Amazon for ladies) told the future.
The first deck appeared 1859 in Moscow. "Temptations of the famous Professor Swedenborg" by publishing house L. Stepanova
They have no connection to Swedenborg himself, his name was just used because of his fame. They also had Cagliostro cards etc.

Here are cards from two decks using the same images by Maria Masjutin. The ones with playing cards depicted are Die Swedenborg Wahrsagekarten (or Wahrsagekarten Emanuel Swedenborg) and the ones without are Dein Schicksal in Deiner Hand by Gizeh (cigarettes).
(I have put these cards in the Russian order. The German order is different.)

One shuffles the cards as one does, and then divides them into four piles of nine cards, and then one lays the cards on the table in four rows of nine cards. Where the significator card appears decides the reading. 

Now, these cards aren't compatible with Lenormand cards, even though there is SOME correspondence between the playing card symbols. Like they have given the Six of Diamonds to Archer, which stands for luck, as does the Six of Diamonds in Lenormand, the Clover. But, then the Elephant is Ace of Clubs, which is the Ring in Lenormand... one could think the Elephant to stand for commitment, as it stands for hard work and perseverance, but the Ring isn't associated with hard work on any level. The obligations and commitment are more of the marriage and legal deals kind of commitment, keeping one's promises kind of commitment. But then, Jack of Diamonds is the Dove in Swedenborg and the Scythe in Lenormand. And those two have NOTHING in common.
So, I wouldn't even think about Lenormand, even though these two systems seem similar.

The Swedenborg card names and numbers:

1. Postman - news or letter; written information or communication
over the significator: glad news
on the sides: sad news
In general, the cards surrounding this tell more about the nature of the news

2. Rose - love, health, happiness
over - bring good luck
sides - unrequited love
under the feet - fatal, bad
Also influenced by the surrounding cards - negative cards are like thorns on the rose, portending separation from a loved one, and troubles. If these cards are far away from the significator, the troubles are just a threat.

3. Caravan - a difficult road
Like a caravan that spends a lot of time in the desert, in difficulties, thirst, deprivation, but always arrives to the destination, this card means a road full of trials that will end well.
Closer the significator, the bigger the profit.

4. Hot air balloon - happiness
Over head of the significator: good luck in all matters
on the sides: obstacles with a successful outcome
under feet: be careful - people want to know your secrets, and might use them against you. Keep your mouth shut.

5. River - good luck

River symbolizes the life bringing flow of water - bringing wealth, prosperity and success in business.
If it's close the significator or close to the other person card, this card promises marriage - closer the querent, closer the marriage.
Long away from the significator or under: loss due to accidents; separation, illness

6. Archer / Bow and arrow - balance
If the arrow points to the significator, luck and success, if the opposite direction, an obstacle, that can be overcome with unshakable patience, firm will and courage.

7. Tiger - trouble, misfortune

near the significator - betrayal, sly people, ingratitude
far away: domestic disagreement and quarrels, that will pass quickly

8. Owl - fear, bad omen
near the significator - serious trouble
far away - the troubles will pass safely and the future will be bright and calm

9. Wreath - wedding
for a young person - wedding
for an old person - jubilee and happy marriage
Stability, peace, serenity, pleasant life surrounded by loving, sincere people, family.

10. Cannon or gun - victory
You overcome dangers, triumph over evil plans

11. Wolf - disease, duties, enemies, long separation from loved ones
Above the significator - a dangerous disease
under - sick loved ones

12. Peacock - pride
Splendor and honors, sometimes undeserved. Show-off. Warns about pride leading to fall and ridicule.
Above the significator - inheritance or some other form of large sum of money, like winning the lottery etc.

13. Butterfly - gullibility, unrealistic plans
Warning against people and enterprises who promise much but hold little. Don't fall for gilding and sprinkles.

14. Chameleon or monkey - lie
Be careful, you are surrounded by dishonest and hypocritical people. Don't interact with those people more than necessary.
Near: brings a very big misfortune, many dangers and harm from other people
far: the harm that is being plotted against us remains ineffective; we will avoid many dangers

15. Elephant - will, perseverance, firmness of character
You will get what you want by hard work; hard work and persistence is being rewarded and honored.
Above the significator: promotion, honors, a powerful and benevolent patron, people are helping you to reach your goals

16. Comet - good luck
Above head - happy marriage, happy future
on side - easy life
under feet - sadness, illness, unfavorable path

17. Eagle - victory
Above the significator: winning a process, important, high position, status, good, stable life
below: losing the people who are in position to help us; reliable, kind and helpful people will leave us

18. Dove - message
Near the significator: good news, joy
far away: bad news, loss of a close friend
Look at the cards surrounding this one to know more about the message

19. Waterfall - a brilliant future
Flow with the water and everything will be fine - the water will take you far away from the storms and troubles of life. Go against it, and you will find troubles.

20. Flower garden - lasciviousness
Troubles and harm from enjoying our pleasures and passions too much. Listen to your head, not your heart.

21. Knight - a person
Near - a friend
far - an enemy

22. Troika (Russian three horse team, the horses are harnessed side by side) - journey
near - a pleasant journey that will end with a romantic date
far - a sad event in the family, loss of a loved one

23. A ferret (weasel) - loss
near - theft or loss, but the item will be found again
far - theft or loss, but you won't get it back

24. Flags - victory
overhead - honors on merit
near - joy and an unexpected reunion with a faraway friend
It is always victory, even far away, under feet or surrounded by bad cards

25. Harp - art
Pleasant time in a merry society; enjoying the social art forms, like theater, concerts, exhibitions; also your declaration of love is welcomed and responded in kind

26. Astrologer - prediction
near - an event will happily change your life, wellbeing and success
far away - unfavorable outcome, disasters, unhappiness
Prepare for the bad outcome and it will pass quickly with small or no harm done

27. Sphinx - protection

Above head - protection of the Higher Powers
The bottom row, especially under the significator - misfortune; ask for help from your friends

28. Ship, steamboat - miracle
above, near - bad things happening are going to get better by coincidence, happy accidents, providence, serendipity
far away - loss of benefits due to your own oversight and negligence

29. Hawk - great misfortune
above head - worsens the prediction; peace will be disturbed by some great misfortune
far away from the significator - prudence may protect you

30. Tulip - boastfulness
Pride and self-interest will cause harm.
It can also mean a person that is prideful, boasting, attractive but cold and haughty. People's ambitions can hurt you.

31. Lighthouse - the right path
Safe passage, we will successfully get out of the difficulties
Far away it warns you about the upcoming rocks and troubles.

32. Lion - courage

Strong protection in difficult matters, protective authority, benevolent officials, help of influential people.
Have courage, be fearless.

33. Helmet - joy
above head - victory over adversity, fulfillment of desires, long fought fight is won
far - you are being a coward and won't win the battle

34. Pheasant or goldfish - The Event
Above head - chance of the lifetime
everywhere else - you will miss your chance, due to neglicence, lack of self-confidence or other reasons

35: The Spaniard - a man

36. The Amazon - a woman

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