Hi! I have been learning to read playing cards as well as Tarot de Marseille. I stumbled onto Playing Marseille by Ryan Edward. Does anyone have it? It’s a fun concept and fun deck… but still figuring out my system… how I would read pip cards. Do I want to follow playing cards system or TdM? Pip cards/number cards are more like playing cards… so my heart says… read them like playing cards… If anyone uses this deck, please share…
I have this deck! I am attracted to it for its simplicity and I appreciate the creator’s awareness of both tarot and playing card traditions.
As for how I approach the suits, it’s a little confusing for me because old habits die hard and the only suit that matches how I’m accustomed to understanding is hearts to water. In this system Diamonds are Fire, Clubs are Air, and Spades are Earth. The pips themselves are non committal, at least visually, so you could assign them how you please without too much trouble. I try to honor the creator’s intent when reading a deck and so I try to read the deck as it was intended. It’s a good exercise for me, to try to discipline myself to see things from a different perspective and to give myself a little challenge. However, the goal is to have a relationship with the cards and ultimately, the more we use a deck the more sympatico we become with it. I think it’s ok to assign the suits for this or any deck, the way that makes the most sense to you. Know the intent and be able to justify why you see it differently and just be consistent with it. Enjoy this deck, it really is a lovely deck! ~ Marilyn
We don’t have that deck of cards here, but as far as reading the cards, the Open Reading system that we use and teach is perfect for both. In the Open Reading system a “pip” card is a pip card no matter the deck it belongs to.
Hi, Marilyn. Oh so nice to connect with you here. I have been watching your YouTube and learning a lot… and I bought some expensive Italian decks… hahaha… It is a bit confusing to me too… So some people use this system: Diamond-Fire, Clubs-Air, Spades-Earth… I watched Queen of Diamonds’ video to began learning how to read playing cards: Queen of Diamonds - YouTube and she uses this system. Then I picked up a couple of books only to realize many uses a different system: Diamonds-Earth, Clubs-Fire, Spades-Air… which makes more sense to me… I don’t know what I will end up, but I also try to connect with the author’s/creator/s energy and honor that too. Thank you again for responding.
Thank you for sharing! Yes… absolutely. I am trying to get there… so perhaps, in the process, honoring the creator’s intent is not a bad idea… and add my own?
Hi Sophia Anne! I love Playing Marseille! Ryan of Spades was a student of Camelia Elias, and his guidebook is basically the Cliff Notes version of her Read Like the Devil series. I would definitely recommend her books.
Thank you so much for sharing… I will check out her books. Do you follow his/her system?
SophiaAnne - I do use her system! For awhile, I was flailing all over the place - one system for Marseille, another for RWS, another for playing cards, another for Lenormand, and then after reading Camelia’s books, I was convinced by her common sense approach - which is just to read the damn cards. She is not wedded to fixed meanings, but rather reading the cards based on their function in the context of the question. All meaning is contextual. As far as the pips go, she employs what she calls the cunning folk method - pretty much the hedgewytchery system that is discussed in the Queen of Diamonds videos, and laid out in the Playing Marseille little guidebook. As far as the suits go, she has definitely convinced me that the cunning folk method makes complete sense, and if it makes sense, use it. If you’re interested in her work, I’d start with her first book, Marseille Tarot Towards the Art of Reading, before the Read Like the Devil serie. The first book is like a primer, and the Read Like the Devil series is basically a compilation of her classes, so it’s more like a textbook.
I will also say that while I do consider myself a student of her work, and I try to read in her style, that is not to say I use this system to the exclusion of everything else. Like you, I’ve watched Marilyn’s channel, and I’ve learned sooooo much. Tom Benjamin has several books out, one is called Tarot on Earth which is another great resource for figuring out how you want to read Tarot, particularly pip decks, and kind of creating your own Tarot Toolbox (which is his second book, but I like the first book better, and I think the concepts in Toolbox are in the first book too).
Thank you so much. Tom Benjamin! Ha! Another one that I often watch. Interesting to see how some people go through similar steps on their cartomancy journeys… Do I call you Olive? Thank you!
Sorry… I see your name. Thank you, Wendy!
Not familiar with Playing Marseille but it looks nice! May have to add that to the wish list.
I recently ordered The Tarot of Loka Llewellyn Publications, as well as a deck of Fournier French Tarot playing cards. Both can be used to play French Tarot, although Loka is apparently another card game similar to French Tarot that can be played with RWS style cards; the Loka cards just put the number and suit in the upper left and lower right corners for easier fan-reading. TdM techniques work fine with them, although for the Fournier cards you do have to have the major arcana memorized, because modern tarock/tarot style trump cards use a whole totally different illustration standard for their trumps.
I also have two 48-card playing decks with Spanish suits on them. Those cards go 1-9 and then 10-12 are courts (Page, Knight, King). I read the pips as normal for the suit and then read the King as a non-binary King/Queen figure.
I have a personal goal to come up with a system using a single Five Crowns deck. It has FIVE suits (the 4 classics plus a “Star” suit), J-Q-K for the courts, three Jokers, and pips 3-10 only. Not sure how to address the lack of aces and deuces yet, or how to interpret the 5th suit, but I heard the Alleyman’s Tarot had a similar gimmick so maybe I’ll see how they did it.
Generally, the way I handle it is, I use TdM formulas, with Diamonds=Coins, Spades=Swords, Clubs=Wands, and Hearts=Cups. I’ve gotten free drinks at bars by reading poker decks this way. In one case it was one of those fun theme decks that had sexy pictures on it, so I was able to throw in some open reading for those, lol.
I have to check out those decks! I was just the thinking about taking cards to beer garden or winery… so that proves my idea… I am just starting to do live reading… practices… have you heard of Heckadeck? I have a deck but too many cards… I wish I can figure out reading them…
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
BTW- the Playing Marseille is the best!!!
I have now! That looks wonderful, I just wish-listed it for myself! Thanks for making me aware of it.
Sophia, omg yes! This is one of my favorite decks! I’d love to talk to you about it.
I read them as I would playing cards, but when I teach using this deck, I tell people to just translate the French suits into their Italian equivalents. The beauty of it is that you can read with it in so many ways! I’d go with what your heart says here.
I’ve been reading her work and find it fascinating!
Hi, Jo… Thank you for writing here. I would love to continue this conversation, absolutely! What do you mean by French suits into their Italian equivalents? have been using the little booklet as a text book to further my knowledge about reading playing cards…
You mean heart-cup, diamond-coin, club-baton, spade-sword? Yes… I know the history is very deep and detailed… I can never remember the details…
That’s correct, yes, Sophia :). The French suits are what are on playing cards. That’s how I always remember which is which.