Original Kipperkarten: First Thoughts

I recently received the Original Kipper Wahrsagekarten from Germany and have been scouring the internet for information on its use. (I’m aware of Toni Puhle’s book, The Card Geek’s Guide to Kipper Cards, but the consensus seems to be that it is best used with her own deck.) Kipper is a system of cartomantic divination resembling the Petit Lenormand, but it follows slightly different conventions. The techniques of card combination and proximity reading (the distance, or “near/far,” method of determining type and level of influence) are nearly identical, and some of the same card-linking steps apply – knighting, intersection and reflection, to name three – as well as many of the same spreads. The major difference, as far as I can tell at this early juncture, is that “facing” is highly important; the cards that are above the Significator (that would be Card #1, the male “Haupt-Person” or Card #2, the female “Haupt-Person”) and especially those ahead of it in the direction it is facing are more important than those that are behind and below it. Maybe it isn’t that simplistic, but that’s how I understand it so far. Unlike Lenormand, which most people read left-to-right in a past/present/future string, past is to the Significator’s back and future is in front of it. The cards themselves are more complex and may embody more than a single expression of symbolism.

To begin testing the interpretive model, I performed a nine-card, 3×3 reading with the deck and didn’t pre-position a Significator. As luck would have, the male Significator appeared randomly in the middle row and the far-right column, and he is facing to the left, so the flow of the reading is right-to-left with the right-most column as the “present” and the rest showing future developments. I used Stella Waldvogel’s “Kipperkarten Primer” as the basis for this reading. (https://fennario.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/a-traditional-kipperkarten-primer/)


First, a little background on the question. A couple of weeks ago I approached a local publication that highlights people in the area who are starting up or running unusual enterprises, to see if they were interested in pursuing an article on tarot-card readers in the area, of which there are several. To date I had received no response, so I asked what my prospects are for that initiative moving forward.

The card above me is a “decision” card, the “Magistrate” (No. 30), indicating conversations and the possibility of disagreements, problems and stress, but also an avenue for resolution. (Another meaning when close to the Significator, as it is here,  is “unavoidable sad news.”) Since I had heard nothing as of yesterday, the only one of these possible interpretations that had any immediate relevance was the editor’s decision hanging over my head (and that could go either way); the rest seemed premature.

The card below me is “Sad News” (No. 14), a mildly unfortunate card that complements the Magistrate as far as showing my present state of negative anticipation over not having received a prompt reply. The fact that this card is close to the Significator shows that the news would “break” soon, suggesting immediacy. As we will see, my suspicions  were also premature.

The card to my left going forward is “A Change” (No. 9), reflecting a change in circumstances. It implies movement in my current situation and, hopefully, advancement of my agenda. Note that this card touches every other card in the spread, becoming the central focus of the reading. Since I’m hoping to get off “dead center” with my divination practice, this augers well.

The next card to the left is “Getting a Gift” (No. 17), which can mean “joy, praise, recognition, profit, general happiness. It is a “lucky card, and “takes the edge off of nearby negative cards.” I noticed that the two unhappy cards above and below the Significator both knight to No. 17, making me think this is the “avenue for resolution.”

The card to the Significator’s upper left (top-center) is “Work, Occupation” (No. 34), implying that I will receive an opportunity to work at the practice of divination in my new location, which has been the goal of the various outreach actions I’ve taken (notably with local metaphysical meetup groups).

The card at the upper left is “Court” (No. 23), another “decision” card, this time related to public affairs and perhaps public exposure. Book-ending the Magistrate, it seems to show that the “jury is still out” on this matter.

The card to the Significator’s lower left (bottom-center) is “Winning Much Money” (No. 11). This suggests a windfall of some kind beyond my normal income. I’m thinking, though, that since the “work” card and the “change” card are above it , this card might just mean that I’m letting myself in for “a lot of work” by inviting greater public recognition. Of course, this could result in a tidy profit as well, so I can’t see it as a negative.

The card at the lower left is “His Thoughts” (No. 16), and it indicates that my thoughts on the subject are optimistic, given that there are no unfortunate cards surrounding it (No. 9, No. 11 and No. 17 look like a “change for the better” to me). Another meaning is “making plans,” which offers anticipatory advice.

Reading the rows and columns, I already mentioned the right-hand column as showing my current state of uneasiness, and the middle column as the chance for an increase in work (and possibly income) as the result of changing circumstances. The left-hand column implies that my positive thoughts about the “gift” of greater public exposure hinge upon the editorial staff’s decision.

In the top row, the two decision cards surrounding the work card show the implications involved in the outcome (I might get more work than I bargained for). The middle row shows closing in on the reward, while the bottom row reflects some lingering doubts over what “a lot” of new work might mean (after all, I am retired and enjoying my leisure). The facts that the Magistrate knights to the “windfall” card and the Sad News card knights to the work card seem to reinforce these doubts. Still, No. 16 at the bottom left and knighting to both the Significator and the work card suggest that I will be able to keep this development in proper perspective. The Significator also knights to the Court, meaning that the consequences regarding the pros and cons of increased exposure have been on my mind lately.

No. 16 (His Thoughts) also mirrors the Magistrate, which could be showing my direct dealings with the editor, to whom I had to present my thoughts on the subject of a tarot article. No. 14 (Sad News) mirroring the Court looks like a “negative reinforcement” assumption that, as I mentioned earlier, could be premature.

I read the four corners as saying that the verdict regarding my proposal (Court) comes down to one person (Magistrate, obviously the editor), and that, while I’m apprehensive about it (Sad News), I have cause for optimism (His Thoughts).

The really fascinating thing about this reading is that half-an-hour after I finished it, I checked my email (which I hadn’t done yet that day) and there was a message from the editor offering to move forward with an interview with the writer of a proposed article. To say the least, I’m very impressed with the precision and accuracy of the Kipper cards.


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