Tag Archives: Little Czech Oracle Deck

Cards & fans & fans & fans…



The spreads I almost always use are the Grand Tableau, the 3×3 and lines of 3, 5, 7 or 9. But sometimes it’s fun to play with something else. I see a lot of people adapting Tarot spreads to Lenormand, etc., or inventing spreads, and this is actually OK, there’s just a simple trick to making it effective.


In cartomancy with playing cards, you’ll run across spreads that use a fan for each position. This generally consists of three cards – they can be laid side-by-side, or laid out in a fan formation, similar to the way a person holds a poker hand:




Hence the name. 🙂 You can see an example of a spread that uses named positions, like Tarot, but with three-card fans for each position, at Cardseer’s blog here.


So, using this logic, you can adapt just about ANY Tarot spread to Lenormand, playing cards, Sibilla, Kipperkarten, or whatever. Just remember to use three cards for each position.


Recently, there’s been a trend in american Lenormand called “mobile” Houses. It’s done by laying out random cards in a small spread, and laying more random cards on top of them. It’s a fun technique, but “Houses” is actually a misnomer, since Houses require the entire deck in set order. “Mobile” Houses remind me of nothing so much as two-card fans! Why not make it three cards?


There’s a good reason for using three cards – you can see the logic in Chanah’s piece called Why Three Card Draws?
She makes the case that the third card can be VITAL, so take time to look over the examples! There’s a big different between Heart + Key, and Heart + Key + Fox! The third card makes all the difference in Lilies + Cross + Ring, too.

So if you’re going to venture off the beaten path with your spreads, just remember the fans. It takes a few words to make a sentence, after all! 😉

Bohemian Rhapsody: The Little Czech Oracle Deck

My new deck arrived just a little while ago. As you can see from the back illustration, pictured above, it’s modern but lively and not new-agey at all, the art has an appealing primitive style, almost like portraits done by some itinerant artist ca. 1800 or so. I hope to build a decent rapport with it. I grew up around a lot of Czech people (they’re known as Bohemians here in Texas, since the country was still called Bohemia when their ancestors left) so that might help me grasp the sensibility a little. I wasn’t steeped in the culture, though. I’ve never known any native Czechs (the ones who settled Texas came around the same time as the German settlers in the 1800’s) and the people who still converse in the language and maintain some of the traditions, then and now, are for the most part a dwindling number of older people living out in the sticks. But the way I know them, they generally work hard, play hard, socialize a lot, they’re tough – not much fazes them – and they’re fun: the standard informal greeting is “Jak se máš!”. What we were told “Jak se máš” meant was NOT “How are you?” like the internet says, and it’s probably not a good idea to put that translation here on this blog. 😉 People laugh when they hear it and reply with either “Jak se máš!” or “No thanks!”…have these people done the impossible, have they trolled the WHOLE INTERNET? Or just the entire state of Texas? Either one is pretty impressive. 😆

Back to the deck, something else that helps is that it has a striking similarity to other traditional oracles, especially Ziguener Wahrsagekarten and Biedermeier, but also Italian Sibillas and Kipperkarten. The symbols are already familiar. The deck itself is only “updated” in the sense that it’s a lot less hung up about sex than the older ones, which lends it humor and a down-to-earth quality. There’s nudity, but nothing pornographic, if it was a movie it might get an “R” rating at most. The stock is about the same thickness as the Piatnik Lenormand and feels like decent quality.

For my very first question, I wanted something that would play out fast, and the only thing that was scheduled to happen today is that a friend had mentioned they would call. Neither of us are sticklers for punctuality about these things, so it seemed like a good question for the cards. So I asked if the call would come today and got:

Dissimulation, Longing, and Misery. It’s a lot like those Dire Dailies that people get with Ziguener Wahrsagekarten, the ones that scare them half out of their wits if they’re not used to the deck. I’m glad I had a specific question or I’d be REALLY worried about the days events, too. Looking at the cards, one of the first things you will notice is that negative cards seem to have have darker backgrounds than positive ones. (Looks like Ivy had us readers in mind when she painted these!) The situation is split in the middle with the lighter card. If the draw had been “Longing, Dissimulation, Misery” I think it would have been worse…the thing to really watch out for is negativity in clusters, like several Spades together in a playing card reading. Still, the answer seems to be a definite “no”.

The card titles in english aren’t very good and the titles in czech are worth translating. “Dissimulation” is “Přetvářka” (hypocrisy, sham, pretense or affectation) in czech. So there’s a lot more nuance there already. “Longing” is “Touha” (desire, urge, yearning) in czech. “Misery” is “Neštěstí”, disaster, accident, unhappiness, misfortune, or crash. Looking at it this way, it could simply mean that “I’ll call you Thursday” means “I’ll call you sometime around Thursday” (More than likely, and I don’t consider that a sham or hypocritical in this case, just a figure of speech) and if I expect a call literally, exactly today, I’ll be setting myself up for a disappointment (emotional “crash”). But I don’t like ANY draw that ends with the possibility of an accident or crash, and I won’t consider that something like that has happened without drawing a card to make sure there hasn’t been an accident, so…(eep! is my friend ok?)

A light colored card. Věrnost: loyalty, fidelity, faithfulness, allegiance, adherence. If you read off the pictures (and I don’t, with these oracle decks, but it’s worth mentioning) it shows people who have grown old together, very reassuring. Looks like I’ll be hearing something soon, just not today. I’m good with that. 🙂

In summary:

Light cards are generally positive, darker ones generally negative.

Translate the czech keywords. It’s worth doing.

Draw clarification cards if needed, at least until you have a good rapport with the deck.

AND ABOVE ALL: Take the drama of this deck with a BIG grain of salt – just like life. Don’t panic over a Dire Daily. Don’t burn your boyfriend’s house down if the sexy cards come up – there’s almost no way they won’t with this deck. Think Czech: work hard at learning and most of all have FUN with it. Then relax and have a pivo! 😀

Images are copyrighted and property of Ivy Hüttnerové, published by Obchodní tiskárny Hořovice, a.s
The Little Czech Oracle Deck is available from Baba Studio