Soprafino Readings in our Family:
The layout we would use:
I have never seen this layout anywhere on AT or anywhere else, so I do not know, if you all know it or if it was only used in the old times or only used by the people of my mom’s (Gypsy) clan for duckereing.
First you have to find out the Draba = the Star the whole spread stands under:
So you have your freshly shuffled deck and you turn over cards, one after the other,
1. the Mariage (=Lovers- Gli Amanti)
or 2. the Dance of Love (the Khee’l – Il Sole)
or 3. the Beng (the Devil – Il Diavolo)
or 4. Mullo, the Skeleton (no name Death)
or 5. the Water Angel ( La Temperana )shows up.
This card will be the Significator – the star of the reading:
Here it does not matter, if the card is upside down or right side up, just which one appears first.
Number 1 and 2 = Marriage or the Dance signify Kushto Bok = a good outcome, the situation is under a good star.
3 and 4 signify Waasto Bok = an unfavourable outcome that needs to be “duckered” = mettled with/ tweaked, influenced…
if 5 = Temperance shows up, we are looking at a situation with a stalemate = neither good or bad and maybe could be duckered.
Ifffff any of these mentioned cards show up in the rest of the reading they are being read just like any other card.
So you put this card in the top centre.
Then you go sunwise in a circle:
next card is Puri Dai = your grandmother’s wisdom = for something you know, but may not take heed of.
Then next card is something you do not know but it is important.
Then there is Raklie, the girl = nurturing influences upon the situation = These may not always be positive, it can, for example be “something that nurtures the thoughts of getting a divorce – or positive, what nurtures the marriage
Then in the middle below your Stat is “tuti” = you = or better, the querant, the one you read for.
Next comes Chav = the boy = influences, that are active, driving the situation forward. These too have to be read positive and negative = helping or hindering whatever the client desires.
Then comes the inevitable “Reinard”(also called the red tail) the Fox card, a danger to watch out for and avoid.
Then last there is Drom = the way into the future.
One card will be read extensively, = like the others in the reading
then you fan out the next 12 cards from there.
These cards symbolize the next 12 moons = so you have the 13 moons of the year.
But you only count, speak, tell, read loud the VERY FIRST 1 sentence that comes into your mind, when you turn over any one of these cards. (in lieu of all you meanwhile learned about the situation and the querant) Anything coming up may happen at any time during that year…..
This is one of my most cherished memories 🙂
The story about “Papessa la Luce” = the “female Pope of Light” is also quite “controversial” because I always suspected, that this is not just a meaning “made up”among the Gypsy readers of my Gran’s time, but is based on historical facts and also, of how the deck creator and Gumpenberg press meant this image to be seen.
Because of this, I asked a few of my friends here, to help do some research on it. today now, I received some confirmation that I very well may be right with my assumptions 🙂
But, first here my memory of the story of “La Papessa de Luce”
What I remember about “Papessa la Luce”
She was/ is the daughter of the Pope. She is very smart, but was married to a bad man. So the Pope cut the marriage linen and Lucia came back into the Pope’s palace. When he was out or at war, she was reigning in/ on his behalf. She sat on the golden throne of god and kept up the book of numbers, where all the many cardinals’ sins were written down. Therefore they did not dare to say anything.
She knows the secrets of the ??? (there was a special word for that ) 4 winds (elements) and all the plants and potions to be made from them…..and they are hidden in the pin she wears over her heart.
She has a list of everyone’s sin, but she will say nothing, if you do not anger her. If you do, she may mix a cup of poisonous wine for you.
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For me this card was the very one by which I was able to identify the deck, that I had last seen as a child of ~~8 as the one, that Gran had, and that also my mother’s niece read with and taught me, by telling these stories about the cards. When all the years later I looked through historical decks, it is the Papessa with the square pin over the heart and the book that has the lines of writing going vertical, like you would write numbers.
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Historically I personally am convinced that the story of her refers all the way back the Lucretia Borgia.
The “la Luce” or Lucia how she was called also points to that. She at one point sat on her father’s papal chair ( Pope Alexander VI ) and she also had a baby, Giovanni of whom nobody really knew, who the father was.
Reading through her story I even found a painting showing her as the Papessa:
There is lots and lots to read about her and I think she was a good female leader in northern Italy at her time.
More on Lucretia Borgia :
The Soprafino is very special to me, as it represents a little family history:
My grandmother Elizza (1869 to 1956) had one and used to read with it. Remembering seeing this deck when I was a little girl and looking at the old worn out frayed cards together with my mother is ultimately, what later brought me to Tarot.
Today I have an ever growing circle of Tarot clients , that come for readings, I correspond with other Tarot enthusiasts on the Aeclectic Tarot forums and I deepen my personal knowledge about Tarot and reading images on an ongoing basis.
Every couple of months or so I pick out a new deck, expose myself to its imagery and see, where that leads.
I welcome you, to look over my shoulder 🙂
Right now,I am looking at the”Roots of Asia Tarot as my “Deck for the summer Month: