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Fin de Siècle Kipper


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I didn't realise till reading other forum posts and other online posts about the deck that the expanded versions was quite a controversial thing, like Holmes said about their format as a system. They have quite a historic set structure. He originally made his Gilded Reverie Lenormand with the extra cards and sold it from his own site in a limited edition, then in 2013, US Games picked it up and published it in an original Lenormand version of 36 cards which is the tradition. But for years, fans asked Ciro to release a version again with the extra cards and the first version had a limited run and was trading for a lot of money! US Games decided in 2017 to publish the original set, I think it's exactly the same but he might have thrown a few extras in for the fans in the self published original. So the Expanded version has all of the original cards. I don't know why he never self-published a second run, there might have been contractual rules with US Games by then.


I am not sure what I think of the extra cards, I haven't quite made up my mind. It strays from the original 36 cards. He justifies their inclusion near the end of the LWB that they are based on cards from European decks that were going around historically at the time, like the Dice card popped up a lot as a concept in different cartomancy decks as "chance or luck". He felt the deck needed those 8 extra cards to cover areas and themes that were missing. I did a big reading exchange and used the expanded deck a lot, it did help my sitters with those extra cards but also it makes it tricky to add them in combinations when you have learnt the original system. I am undecided if I should use the original deck or expanded constantly (I do have both!). I think the 36 cards really can cover everything but yet it helped my sitters with the new cards as a message hmmmm.


Since the Lenormand, Ciro vowed on his Facebook to never do a limited edition with more or less cards than the mass produced version, it just caused him stress with people wanting the missing extra cards! His own limited releases are different to the regular version but not by different cards since and of course you always get a signed random card in the deck. When it came to the Kipper, it seemed to be a challenge for him as he did not know the system and got help from people who did know the system to create it. He changed some card names, themes and meanings slightly but there are no extra cards. I think if you want to just add cards to a system, you might as well make an oracle and make the structure how you want!  8)


Some people online really hated the changed number of cards but there must have been interest for US Games to make the expanded edition of the Reverie. I am glad to own those expanded cards ultimately :)

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  • 6 months later...
On 6/23/2018 at 12:58 AM, Katie said:

I also saw in the LWB that they seem to use it a little "tarotly".

How so?
Fortune B. might, but neither Susanne Z. nor I do!
No hard feelings, though. Peace.

X-posting this from another forum. Some may find it helpful. 😉


First you'll need a deck, of course. The gold standard is the Original Kipperkarten published by ASS Altenburg. It's the one everybody knows, it's inexpensive, and it wears like iron.


Some people don't like the art in the Original, and that's OK. Ciro Marchetti's Fin de Siècle Kipper is lovely, and it reads very well!

And there are a few others. The Leidingkarten are an "updated" version (but it already looks a little retro, with corded phones and hairstyles you don't see so much these days.) And a lot of people just love the Mystisches Kipper by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter. It might not be the best beginner deck, since the images are a bit of a stretch from the meanings, but if you just love that one, go for it.


In the first Kipper decks, all of the images faced the opposite way except for no. 22, but got flipped in subsequent printings. And the peoples' facial expressions were more serious. So the "Original" is not really the original! http://www.kipper-karten.com/the-original-kipper-cards/ (That's Susanne Zitzl's site, BTW - she's quite good.) Some people make a fuss over this, and if you're really bothered by it, both Toni Puhle's deck and the Salish Kippers incorporate a lot of the original facing directions. But it really doesn't matter. After all, those first decks were only in print for a short time. The tradition grew around the Originals as we know them now. Go by what's on the table in front of you.


There are new decks being produced all the time. I think at least some of this is just people trying to pile on the bandwagon and cash in, without a good understanding of what the deck is supposed to be like or how it works. I've seen some pretty bad ones pop up. Others might be perfectly OK. The best way to judge a Kipper deck is by the meanings. Does the image express the meaning?


I blogged a list of the meanings back in 2013, with an eye towards keeping them short and easy to remember. https://fennario.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/a-traditional-kipperkarten-primer/

Barleywine put those to good use in his first reading with the deck.  🙂https://parsifalswheeldivination.com/2019/03/05/original-kipperkarten-first-thoughts/


At present, there is precious little in english on Kipper. Most of the material is in german. I can recommend Toni Puhle's book for the meanings and some of the techniques, with a couple of caveats: First of all, on page 16 she tells her audience to use the two Main Character cards, "regardless of the sexuality of your Querent". Many in the LGBTQ community may find this offensive, and, like Lenormand, there are other cards in the deck that can stand in for a same-sex partner. (the deck is people card-heavy!) You can pick them out by the cards that connect them to your sitter's card. Your lesbian sitters may not take kindly to their partner being represented by a bearded man, and a gay man could be likewise offended at the idea of his uber-masculine partner being represented by a corseted lady holding a rose.


Andy Boroveshengra wrote an eloquent and well-researched blog post on handling this issue - no matter which deck or system you are using. IMHO it should be saved to every cartomante's notes. https://abcartomancy.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/lavender-card/


Another issue is that she claims her method is the true Bavarian method, and Americans are "doing it wrong" and "reading it like Lenormand". But when I learned, I HAD to learn from Germans - I couldn't find any Americans who knew how to read Kippers! And I have asked a lot of German readers - none of them have ever heard of "Stop Cards". I haven't encountered the idea on German sites like Waldfee, either. On the other hand, there are cards that move in certain directions, cards that connect neighboring cards, etc. So use her method if it suits you, or just take what you need from it. Just don't fall into the hype.  😉


Malkiel Rouven Dietrich has some wonderful beginner tutorials on his youtube channel:


And Waldfee is always worth running through google translate. https://www.waldfee.net/kipperkarten.html


This is a fun little site for generating spreads with different Kipper decks (german) http://www.kipper-karten.de/


And another (english) https://www.kipper-fortune-telling-cards.com/


Some trivia: If you've ever wondered about the little girl riding a stork in boots on no. 18 The Small Child card, this may clear things up:


And some people are confused by Ciro's High Honors card. I cleared that up here: https://fennario.wordpress.com/2015/12/30/fin-de-siecle-high-honor/


Questions and comments are welcome!

Edited by katrinka
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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 6:31 PM, katrinka said:

How so?
Fortune B. might, but neither Susanne Z. nor I do!
No hard feelings, though. Peace.

I think it is because suzane z used the kipper with spreads with assigned positions. , and stella w used prymaid spreads. (wait are you stella w ? since you said "I do") when a person coming from the grand tableu of it all lenormand approach would be expecting the same thing so oh prymaids spread, nice (I actually did a variation of that in applying it ) 

I think it is because of the impressions that the kipper was read like the grand tableu and not into smaller sections. 

myself I don't mind that the kipper can be used like the tarot,, for it let me get by any qualms I might have had to studying it , course I didn't know about some of the tarot aspects when I brought the deck, I forgot why I got it actually in retrospect . perhaps it is because I got the lenormand and then heard about the kipper.  the artwork helped in making the decision before ordering it. 


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Neither Kipper nor Lenormand are traditionally limited to the grand tableau.  Both are often laid in odd numbered lines of cards, 3x3's, petit tableaus, and various others. The link I posted to Malkiel's youtube channel includes an old spread he says was passed down in his family, the Master Card spread. I've seen Andy Boroveshengra use the Chien de Pique spread with Lenormand at his blog. And there are many others.

Susanne does use a spread with named positions, which is OK as long as one considers card interaction such as combinations, proximity, and facings. The problems come in when people read the cards as little islands unto themselves, isolated from the others. Even Tarot works better when this is taken into consideration. Otherwise, as Andy says, a Celtic Cross becomes ten one card readings instead of one ten card reading.

It's inconsistent to say that named positions are strictly for Tarot, and then go on to read Kippers or Lenormand with "past", "present", and "future" designations. 😉

As for pyramid spreads, they're an old playing card reading technique (as are most of the other commonly used spreads). PC spreads lend themselves well to any system.

I'm of the opinion that there's entirely too much emphasis on spreads these days. People waste a lot of time and energy thinking that they need an arsenal of spreads for different situations and different decks/systems, while a simple line of cards will answer virtually any question you ask, and can be used with any deck.

And yes, I'm Stella. Hello. :)

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