Jennifer Kast collects antique and vintage Ouija boards and fortune telling devices, including all kinds of different tarot and fortune telling cards since the early 1990’s so she has always been interested in their fascinating origins and designs. Now she has designed her own deck of cards: The Caravan of SEE’ers “Cartomancer” playing cards. It is a custom deck with ornate design, fortune telling oracle and tarot alternative inspired by decks from the early 1900’s.
The use of a standard deck of playing cards for divination is called Cartomancy and a person who interprets meanings from the cards is called a Cartomancer. Playing cards were first choice as the tool to foretell the future for a very long time. Playing cards were not only familiar, they were accessible. Everyone had a deck of cards in the kitchen drawer or in the cabinet. Tarot cards, on the other hand were very expensive and difficult to find.
The popularity of playing cards being used for fortune telling peaked in the 1920’s and left behind a trail of magnificent cards from that era. Oddly enough, they are now the cards that are hard to find. They were easier to use than the Tarot and they really worked! Jennifer is bringing them back…
The Nile Fortune Telling Playing Cards deck in the green box is one of the original fortune telling decks put out during this time. It has a copyright of 1897 to 1904 and the booklet pictured with the Nile cards is a Fortune Telling with Playing Cards manual produced by USPC in 1921. Advertisements for other fortune telling decks from this era also produced by The United States Playing Card Company is shown in the back of the book. This is part of this deck inspiration.
Playing cards are closely related to Tarot in a lot of ways. There are four suits in both sets of cards. A Tarot deck has 56 cards in the Minor Arcana, whereas a standard deck of playing cards has 52. Both sets have 1-10 and court cards, but the playing cards are less the Knights seen in the Tarot. The Knights were excluded by French Cartomancers in the late 1300’s. In fact, some still believe the origin of playing cards actually rooted from the Tarot.
Caravan of See’ers’ written meanings and illustrations are interpretations of the cards that Jennifer has come to know to be true. They are scenarios based on a mixed collection of hers and thousands of other people’s visions and insight into Tarot and Cartomancy throughout the centuries that have now become almost universal.
The main deck of the campaign, “cartomancer” is meant to be used by interpreting the silhouettes acting out the meanings of the cards. It has definite roots in the cartomancy world with real meanings and an easy system for reading the cards while maintaining the beauty and elegance that so many playing card collectors desire. Something you don’t want to miss out on…the “cartomancer” deck is the next revolution of fortune telling cards made by The United States Playing Card Company.
Since the “cartomancer” cards are ornate and mysterious in their simplest form they are wonderful stripper decks. Fortune telling and trickery are the makings of the ultimate deck of cards for a performance.
There are two more Caravan of SEE’ers decks….the red “intuition” deck has one word for each of the 104 illustrations and the blue “novice” deck has the entire meaning right on the cards. These decks will be available as add-ons as soon as the main goal is reached. These are quality decks manufactured by a smaller company. They will not produced by USPCC because of the high minimum order requirements per deck design.
Jeniffer will be honored to have a deck of cards produced by the makers of Bicycle and a valuable collectable and tool for future seekers beyond our time.
More info and pledges in the project’s website.