Egypt Cards: Using the Sacred Hieroglyphics of Ancient Egypt in Today’s World
Self-Published, 1999, 2012
Deck: $25 + s/h (available here)
Guidebook: $17.97 (available here)
6X9” PB 162 pages
Cards: 56 + 1 extra card
For those of you who review decks, have you ever sat on the pending review of a deck for months because the deck is just so cool you’re not sure your review can do it any justice?? Well, I have just had that experience with The Egypt Cards, by Constance Trillich (self-published 1999, 2012). These cards have a mind of their own and can speak volumes if you are willing to listen.
I really don’t know what to say about The Egypt Cards without it sounding like I’m gushing about the deck. I shall start by describing the deck.
The cards are sized exactly like regular playing cards 2 ½ X 3 ½”) with the same type of laminate surface. They are supple and extremely easy to shuffle, even by those of us with small hands. Card backs consist of a glyphic design within a colorful border done in the traditional colors of ancient Egypt. Card backs are fully reversible since the two rows of glyphs are mirror images of one another. Around the colorful border there is a ¼” white border, which is also present on card fronts.
The Egypt Cards are divided into four suits that reflect the suits of the playing card deck and Tarot, as well. Suits are: Air (hearts & Swords), Fire (diamonds & Wands), Water (clubs & Cups), and Earth (spades & Pentacles). Each card has the suit Element symbolically represented with one glyph in the upper center of the card and the other in the upper far-right corner. In addition to symbols of the suit’s Element, each card also contains a symbol for the corresponding suit from Tarot. The symbol for Air – Swords is a knife that was used in battle. The symbol for Fire (Wands) is the Crook that was carried along with the Flail by the Pharaoh as emblems of his power & authority. The symbol for Water is the ba cup, which is symbolic of being the receptacle of the soul. The symbol for Earth is a pentagram – the star within a circle, which is also the traditional Tarot symbol for the suit of Pentacles. Interestingly enough, this symbol comes from ancient Egypt and is a glyphic representation of the Duat, the Egyptian underworld in which the soul undergoes various perils, is then judged, and if it passes judgment is then transformed into a star to live for all time in the heavens above.
Housed in a sturdy 2-part lidded plastic box reserved for the highest grade of playing cards, The Egypt Cards have 56 cards, plus 1 extra, which is a Bastet card that was originally mislabeled. Card number 40, the Page of Clubs/Cups should be Bastet, the cat goddess of ancient Egypt, but originally this card was mislabeled Tefnut. Both cards are included in each set. This just goes to show everyone what a little trickster Bastet is. She enjoys playing little jokes on us.
The cards are very slick, so do be careful when you use them. There is a tendency for a few of them to escape while shuffling. However, when this occurs I always make note of which cards “escaped,” and I am always amazed with this deck that those 2 – 3 cards that managed to escape while shuffling contain a special message for me. This is not always the case when cards escape a shuffle, but no matter which deck you are using, when that occurs it’s always best to make note of the cards.
Each suit numbers Ace through King with court cards designated Jack, Page, Queen, and King. All cards are numbered sequentially beginning with the suit of Hearts, followed by Diamonds, Clubs and Spades. The suit of Hearts are therefore numbered 1 – 14, the suit of Diamonds are numbered 15 – 28, the suit of Clubs are numbered 29 – 42, and the suit of Spades are numbered 43 – 56. The playing card designation is located in the upper left-hand corner. The number of the card that denotes its position in the deck is located on the upper right-hand side, third symbol from the top. The main pictoral symbol is centered and the title of the card appears in bold script at the base of each symbol at the center of the card’s base.
Through the background colors of the images the suits are further differentiated. Cards 1 – 14 (Ace – King of Hearts) have a gray stone background. Cards 15 – 28 (Ace – King of Diamonds) have a tan stone background with hints of green. Cards 29 – 42 (Ace – King of Clubs) have a tan papyrus background. Cards 43 – 56 (Ace – King of Spades) have a pinkish-tannish background.
The ancient Egyptians used their glyphs in magic. All glyphs contain energy as a result of their use in magic during ancient times. When I hold this deck in my hands I can actually feel the energy. It’s like a very slight tingling or vibration, perhaps a mild “hum,” for lack of a better description. Now, I work with ancient Egyptian deities so perhaps that’s why this deck seems to sing to me, or it may be just a really awesome deck that has been greatly overlooked simply because it is self-published so not many people have known about it despite its years of being in print. Either way, I can tell you, the images themselves contain energy. The images run the gambit from depictions of items from everyday Egyptian life to representations of deities and sacred symbols. I find this deck to be a real joy to use.
The cards and guide book of The Egypt Cards are sold separately. The deck does come with an explanatory pamphlet, but I HIGHLY recommend you also buy the book. You will be glad you did. The guide book is a scholarly work that was thoroughly researched and it is well written and highly readable. Each card is discussed with regards to the Daily Rendering (what the card means in mundane life), the Spiritual Rendering, Numerology, the Mythos behind the image (which is fascinating all on its own), the Symbol’s description, what type of Person is represented by this card, and the anatomical correspondences of each card that is very useful in readings about health. Each card has approximately two pages of text devoted to it. The guide book concludes with five spreads:
- Door of Nebthet (3 cards)
- Serket’s Scorpion (3 cards)
- Star of the Duat (5 cards)
- The Shenu of Life (5 cards)
- Ptah’s Compass (13 cards)
For my sample reading, when I first received The Egypt Cards, I asked of the deck, “how will we get along?” This is my go-to sample question as it helps me to determine whether my energy will work well with the energy of any given deck or not. Sometimes a reader meshes incredibly well with a deck, but sometimes no matter how much a reader may love the artwork of a deck, it just doesn’t work well for that particular reader. That’s due to incompatible energies and doesn’t speak badly of the reader or the deck.
I drew three cards for my reading and received: Udjat, HeruWer, and Serket.
Udjat corresponds to the 2 of Diamonds and the Tarot suit of Wands, so also the 2 of Wands, by association. The symbol on the card is the Eye of Horus, a strong amulet of protection. According to the guide book, Udjat represents physical as well as spiritual vision. It speaks of meditation, use of the third eye, and of following one’s intuition.
The second card I received, HeruWer, corresponds to the 10 of Diamonds and the 10 of Wands in the Tarot. According to the guide book, HeruWer represents our elders in age, but also our elders in spirituality. This card is about being open to receiving guidance from our elders, but to also be open to receiving spiritual guidance. Sometimes what the cards have to tell us is not what we wish to hear. This card reminds me of that fact.
The final card I received is Serket, which corresponds to the Page of Spades, or the Page of Pentacles in the Tarot. Serket represents health, exercise, doing good things for my body, and treating my body like a temple. She is an important reminder that self-care is vital to a person’s general well-being.
Summing up my reading here, these three cards are telling me that The Egypt Cards will help strengthen my inner vision and psychic ability as long as I use it with respect. It also validates that I am under the protection of the gods, something I already know quite well.
As I shuffled the deck for my question you know how sometimes your mind can wander briefly. I had a fleeting thought that I need to start an exercise program and improve my diet. I purged the thought and continued to shuffle while concentrating on my question. It’s funny how Serket speaks of exercise, diet, and treating the body as a temple. That card had nothing to do with my original question, but it gave excellent advice. This shows that when you do readings for yourself, just because a card or two may not make sense according to your original question, a person should never discount their counsel. Cards appear in a reading for important reasons. We as readers may not be aware of the reasons at the time, but looking back on readings I have given myself when I have noted the card made no sense at the time, examining the reading again in my journal with the added benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I find that those perplexing cards did, in fact, make total sense with what was going on at the time. Sometimes when we’re in the middle of an evolving situation we just can see the finer points, but the cards always see and they always tell.
I really love The Egypt Cards. Anyone who has a love of ancient Egypt (and seriously, who doesn’t admire that great civilization and all their grand achievements?), will really enjoy using this deck. If you treat this deck with love and respect, it will in turn give you sound advice and steer you in the right direction. It works beautifully for me and I hope it does the same for you.
Nefer Khepri, PhD.