Saturday, April 1, 2017

Marseille and the Devil on April Fool's Day

Today is the first day of April, also known widely as April Fool's Day. Many years ago when I was a kid, I used to thoroughly enjoy playing tricks on people (to be honest, my antics weren't relegated to one day per year, but it's nice to have a day dedicated to trickery!). I remember once when I pretended to have a lengthy conversation with my friend on the telephone (back when landlines were a thing), discussing all sorts of outlandish topics much to my older sister's entertainment and surprise....until the phone actually rang and my ruse was up. My sister was certainly my preferred target (insert devil emoticon).

While I left pranks behind long ago, I ended up giving birth to a new generation of trickster: my daughter Lourdes. She so embodies the energy of "playful naughtiness" that we dubbed her the "Devil," and her favorite depiction in the Tarot is from the Deviant Moon by Patrick Valenza:
This Devil not only features her famous grin, but he is doing her hallmark prance as well. And though I didn't witness it myself, I'm pretty certain that this is how she looked this morning as she was creeping around the house setting up various traps for us to fall into!

This was slipped under my door this morning:
To be fair, last night Lourdes consulted me about the best way to create fake poo: peanut butter and Hershey's syrup, she asked? No, I said - use cocoa powder instead of syrup - less drippy. So I suppose in some way I'm complicit. And my cards seem to agree:
Claude Burdel 1751 Tarot de Marseille 
I recently delved into the world of Marseille (I'm just so completely rapturous about the beauty of these cards!) and am still figuring out how I want to approach reading them. Some people apply RWS meanings to the minor cards, others take a more cartomantic approach, and still others absorb the shapes, colors, and movement in the illustrations and allow that to inform their readings. The funny thing is, all reading styles seem to reach similar conclusions with this trio:

In RWS, the 6 of Wands is about success and recognition, and the 6 of Cups is about childhood, memory, reminiscing, innocent joy. So in that sense I see myself (as the Queen of Cups) remembering my own prankster days (6 of Cups), and supporting my daughter in her endeavors (also 6 of Cups), giving her helpful advice so that her work is a success (6 of Wands) and is appreciated by everyone (also 6 of Wands).

According to Yoav Ben Dov's Marseille meanings, the 6 of Wands represents an alliance of two people working toward perhaps different end-goals, but who share a common interest (very true), and the 6 of Cups not only also relates to a personal alliance, but more importantly "repetition between different generations in the family." Hm. Yep!

This morning I stumbled into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee, and as I went to the sink to fill the carafe, I was showered in water from the sink sprayer, which had been rigged into the "on" position with rubber bands. I'm pretty sure I shrieked in surprise and with the sudden coldness seeping through my shirt. In that light, this arrangement of cards took on a very literal meaning: those six cups are dousing the Queen as she approaches them with her coffee pot, and the 6 of Wands now looks like a great big "X" warning me to beware.

So there you have it!


  1. Lol, I didn't know Tarot de Marseille was so versatile. Although I haven't caught this Marseillle virus from IG I do appreciate the beauty of your new deck. It is stunning
    PS I hope you'll survive this day and your "Devil in disquise" Maybe pull a few pranks yourself? :D

    1. Ha! Thanks. She's already gotten me twice, and her brother and sister once, respectively (she put Isa's phone in Chinese language!). I have been wanting the Tarot Noir for quite a while now, but that March of the Pips challenge really made the craving irresistible!!! :)