Tacheles Wahrsagekarten


This is an old deck belonging to the Gypsy Witch/Whitman family of almost-Lenormands-with-extra-cards. This version, Malkiel Rouven Dietrich’s Tacheles Cards, has been renumbered to follow Lenormand more closely. There are, however, differences, and I prefer reading this deck as a reduced Gypsy Witch, rather than as an expanded Lenormand. Lenormand really doesn’t need extra cards, and IME they tend to fuzz up the picture. Still, I find the familiar Lenormand numbering helpful for things like house positions.

There is no Bear in this deck. Malkiel has assigned the Rose to #15, titled “Die Heiße Liebe”, “the hot love” – a natural progression of the Gypsy Witch “beauty and rugged health” and logical for red roses, but with no Bear card you’re going to have to look to other cards and combos for the meanings you normally assign to the Bear.

The image for the Cross is actually a medal, almost identical to Gypsy Witch’s Order (“Honor and recognition of labor” – pretty close to the Lenormand Moon, actually.)

The other extra cards are the Train, Lightning, Cats, Pig, Broken Mirror, Amor (Cupid), Crossed Swords, Bride, Clasped Hands, Money Safe, Wine, and Flames. All of these have their counterparts in the Gypsy Witch deck, and, with the exception of Wine, the Whitman.

As for the insets, it’s been suggested that they’re sigils from the Lesser Key of Solomon (a tenuous and superficial connection at best – one could just as easily draw a parallel to the alphabet in On Beyond Zebra), and Tironian notes (though none of the people doing the suggesting have offered to translate.) While some of the squiggles may or may not be based on those, there’s a lot more going on here including tree branches, planetary glyphs, a clef note, and a seahorse/dragon. I wouldn’t waste my time trying to decipher them, they were obviously added for looks. I suppose an unscrupulous reader could make things up and scare a client into thinking they needed a curse removed, but I’d suggest being straight with your clients and telling them it’s for show. It’s a very snazzy-looking deck, obviously old, and brightly colored.


“Tacheles” is a Yiddish word for “straight talking”, I think. And it will do that, whether you read it as a Lenormand or a Gypsy Witch. It’s the PERFECT deck for those of us who love GW, but are put off by those dorky purple witches on the backs, or just don’t like using cards with printed meanings on them for client readings.

It’s available from Lauren Forestell here http://gameofhopelenormand.bigcartel.com/product/malkiel-s-tacheles-deck-with-mystical-symbols

3 responses »

  1. Hey Stella, do you know of a traditional deck (easily available would help) that *does* have all the GW cards but isn’t, as you put it, so dorky as the actual GW deck? Yes I know there are new GW-type decks springing up; I’m interested in something more traditional. Thanks!

    • Nothing that doesn’t look like the Manson family went crazy with a truckload of Pepto Bismol, lol. But there’s still an option:

      Go here http://www.orphalese.net/decksbydominatrix.aspx?chosenculture=en and scroll down, you can download the Orphalese deck. Even if you don’t use Orphalese, you can open the folder once it’s downloaded and the images are there, with high enough resolution to make a good deck at makeplayingcards.com or a similar site. Just make it for your personal use and don’t sell them!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s